The Gust Jacket from Icebreaker has been the outer layer of choice for many of my early summer season outdoor adventures, whether it be backpacking, cycling, hiking, trail running, or climbing. Offering up a windproof and water resistant extra level of warmth, this soft shell jacket is that little extra something you need to get you through those cooler times.
Similar in construction to the SmartWool PhD Cortina Jacket, the Gust Jacket uses a polyester outer layer across the front and shoulders of the soft shell jacket to repel any rain you might encounter. Backed by a PU midlayer, the jacket is great at stopping cold wind from getting to your core. I was thankful for this wind protection when screaming down Haleakala last month (I bought the vest version of this jacket specifically for cycling).
With a 260 g/m² merino wool liner, the Gust Jacket is weighty but not too heavy. For highly active pursuits such as running, you might want to save this outer layer for much cooler weather. However, the back of the soft shell jacket features a vent air flap to help cool you down if you should start to overheat. The bottom back panel and underarms are made from a combination of merino, nylon, elastane, so also aid in breathability.
This soft shell jacket has plenty of pockets, including two zippered hand pockets that can be opened to further help with venting, two internal stuff pockets, and a rain flap protected zippered chest pocket with media port for your iPod shuffle.
The Gust fit is nice and trim, leaving no extra fabric to get in your way. I appreciate the drop trail construction for use when cycling and the arms are even long enough, a usual rarity for me.
The Gust Jacket has seen the inside of my front loader washing machine more than a few times now and hasn't succumbed to the inevitable shrink I find with some of my other straight up merino Icebreaker pieces. Do not attempt to throw the jacket in the dryer, however.
The Icebreaker Gust Jacket retails for $249.99 and is available now.