We’ve been running the Ibex Equipo Jacket for most of this season and are very pleased with how it performs on strenuous ski tours. It seems that the backcountry ski world is still split between hard- and softshell followers. I, personally, am a softshell evangelist and have been wearing various versions for almost a decade. Many manufacturers have developed their own softshell fabric but I believe the Schoeller used in the Equipo jacket is the best. What makes the jacket really interesting is the blending of Schoeller and merino wool into a fabric the folks at Ibex call Climawool. Climawool is a 4-way stretch, double-weave fabric, comprised of 65% nylon, 30% wool and 5% elastane. For the wearer of the jacket, this means it’s is like a regular softshell (breathes wonderfully, repels wind and snow) but has the added warmth and attributes of merino wool. There is no mistaking the 305 g/m2 wool content in this item. You can feel it in the interior of the jacket and in how it hangs on your body.
Velcro, sinchable sleeves
Helmet-compatible hood with concealed draw cord
Sturdy zippers with garages on each of the three external pockets
Internal pocket for iPhone/music player/whatever
The Ibex Equipo Jacket and Pant Combo
The Ibex Climawool Equipo Jacket is a classic softshell with a merino wool twist. We take it out on tours regardless of the temperature (though it’s rarely significantly below freezing here in the Selkirks). If you haven’t worn softshell stuff backcountry touring, you should. The fabric keeps you very dry and happy on the uptrack, and warm and comfortable on the down. The added beauty of it is that you can leave it on all day and avoid constant layer shedding—unless it’s super warm. The Equipo jacket is not 100% windproof so I always have a lightweight hardshell in my pack in case the wind really picks up and I want total protection. This jacket feels really nice too. The fabric has a good stretch to it so it’s quiet and moves well with your body. This can’t be said about hardshells which add the potato-chip-bag noise factor.
The hood is handy, especially is you wear a helmet. Most jackets coming out these days seem to be helmet compatible. The Ibex Equipo Jacket hood is a little big and clunky if you never wear a helmet but it’s sinchable at three points to keep it out of the way. The two big chest pockets are handy and out of the way of your pack straps or harness. They aren’t big enough to accommodate my skins, which, admittedly, are big and phat.
Price: $350 USD
Colour: Salsa (as pictured) Stone Grey, Black Navy Heather
Sizes: S, M, L, XL
A simple, high-performance jacket for ski touring. Nice feel with just the right number of features. Wool adds to performance and warmth (while also wicking). Made in Canada, eh.
Without a helmet, hood feels a little big. I could use another inch or so in length but that is a personal preference.
Fit / Mobility 1.5/2
Warmth / Breathable 1/2
Quality / Price 2/2
This is only our opinion. Do you disagree? Did we miss something? Are we totally out to lunch? Join the discussion in the forums here, and let us know what you think. People like/dislike gear for different reasons so chime in and we'll get a well-rounded evaluation.