Icebreaker Commute Jacket

Manufacturer Description

The Icebreaker Men’s Commute Jacket is built for pure performance. Merino wool is lightweight and extremely breathable, and it manages moisture and odor ridiculously well. The slim cut of the Commute makes layering easy and won’t restrict movement.

Features

  • Main Fabric – 380 g/m2, 83% Merino Wool, 11% Nylon, 6% Spandex
  • Slim Fit
  • 2 zippered front pockets
  • 1 zippered chest pocket
  • 1 zippered back pocket
  • Full-length front zip
  • Interior zipper guard
  • Set in sleeves
  • Gripper elastic at bottom back hem
  • Reflective sleeve trim
  • Drop tail hem
  • Measured size medium
    • Weight – 630 g (22.2 oz)
    • Center back – 72 cm (28.3 in)
    • Pit to pit – 54.4 cm (21.4 in)
    • Sleeve length – 90.5 cm (35.6 in)
  • Retail – $230

YMMV Review

If you are not familiar with Icebreaker. They are a company that specializes in garment made of New Zealand Merino Wool. The company makes clothing that is a combination of performance and style. I have now reviewed several items from them and continue to love wool. The Commute Zip was one of two items I tested over the winter and spring. One for running and the other for cycling.

Front View

Testing

I tested the Commute Jacket on my commutes to work and home. I have a 16 mile each way commute and since it can get rather cold here in Central Oregon in the winter, it was a perfect time to test this jacket. I did not have to ride through much more than a sprinkle or stray snow shower this winter, so I will not be able to touch on that much. The temperatures ranged from 15 degrees up to 45 degrees.

Design ★★★½☆

Appearance (25%) ★★★★☆

Construction (35%) ★★★½☆

Pockets (20%) ★★★½☆

Sustainability (10%) ★★★★☆

Weight (10%) ★★½☆☆

Over the last year Icebreaker has started to make clothing for cyclists. In the Fall of 2011, they released their first clothing for commuters, this being the warmest of the items. The Commute Jacket is made of 380 gram per meter wool blend that is 83% merino wool, 11% nylon, and 6% spandex. This gives the jacket all the properties of wool while adding to the durability, stretch, and shape retention with the synthetic fibers. If you would like to learn more about wool, click on the banner below to check out the knowledge base article.

The Commute Jacket is trim fitting but is made to have a good range of motion for riding the bike. It runs a bit shorter in the front with a drop tail hem in the back.  At the bottom of the back hem, there is an elastic gripper to keep it in place.

Back View

The jacket has a full length front zipper with a full length protective draft flap behind it. There is a total of four main pockets on the jacket. You can also use the fabric of the handwarmer pockets to be used as drop in pockets but they are not official ones. The main pockets are the two handwarmer pockets, a zippered chest pocket with an audio cord out, and a small zippered pocket in the back. Since this is for bike riding, Icebreaker has put in reflective piping that extends from the back of the neck and down the arms.

Icebreaker is big on their ethics. Starting from where their wool is sourced all the way to you, they keep track of the wool and make sure it is up to their standards. Icebreaker wool is Zque certified. This certification makes sure the animals are treated ethically, the farmers are treated fairly, the business is ethical, and the workers are treated fairly. If you want to learn more about Icebreaker, their website does a great job explaining their business.

As with all Icebreaker products, my Tracer jacket came with a unique BaaCode. This Baa Code can be entered into the Icebreaker website and will track my jacket back to the sheep stations it came from in New Zealand. This whole process is pretty amazing, check it out.

Zipper Guard

Fit ★★★☆☆

Arm Length (20%) ★★★½☆

Comfort Next to Skin (20%) ★★★☆☆

Cuff (15%) ★½☆☆☆

Ease of Movement (25%) ★★★½☆

Torso sizing (20%) ★★★☆☆

The Icebreaker Commute Jacket is the warmest of the commuting series of clothing from Icebreaker. It is the heaviest piece of clothing I have from Icebreaker at 380 g/m2. I tested the medium in this jacket and might have been able to go with a small. I felt like the jacket ran slightly on the large side. The sleeves are definitely longer, but this was a good thing as they did not slide up my arms when I reached out. I do find the cuffs to be a bit sloppy. They are a bit on the wide side and do not hug my wrists at all. This allows them to flap around in the wind and lets cold breezes come up the sleeve. The fit through the torso and bottom hem are much better. Trim fit but not body hugging. I often layered a bodyfit baselayer underneath without and issues. As with all Icebreaker products I have worn, the wool is comfortable to the skin. I really appreciated the zipper guard. Not only is it behind the full-length zipper but also comes over the top to protect the chin.

Red Accents, Audio Out of Chest Pocket

Performance ★★★☆☆

Breathability (25%) ★★★☆☆

Durability (20%) ★★★½☆

Reflectivity (15%) ★★½☆☆

Warmth (25%) ★★★½☆

Weather Resistance (15%) ★★★☆☆

The Commute Jacket does not have any laminates or wind blocking properties. It breathes well, and the tight knit keeps you surprisingly warm when riding. This tight knit seems to resist some wind and with a baselayer underneath, I could barely feel any getting through. The wool with be able to take a light shower but anything substantial will seep through and get you wet. Fortunately, wool still insulates when wet so if this was to happen you will still be warm, or at least warmer than with some other materials.

Reflective Stripe on Arm

Over all my commutes and wearing this around work I never had any durability issues. The thick wool feels durable and ready to take on anything. It is nice that Icebreaker added the reflective stripes to this jacket. They are long, thin, and viewable front just about any angle. I still did not rely solely on these for my visibility, but they are better than nothing. I really liked to use the pockets, especially the chest pocket. I could put my phone in there and use the internal port and route my headphones up under the jacket which is much better than going up the outside. I tended to use the handwarmer pockets a fair amount as well but not the back pocket.

Overall ★★★☆☆

The Icebreaker Commute Jacket is enough to keep you warm on the way to work and then is sharp enough to get you through the day if you choose. Like other Icebreaker products the commute zip is well-made and I have not had any durability issues. I found it to be warm enough to below freezing and even deeper if paired with a baselayer. The great thing about wool is you can wear it to ride to work and not have to worry about it stinking. I really liked how many pockets were on the jacket, no reason not to have enough room for almost everything. The only drawback I had was the arms and wrists ran a little large for me. I wish they were a bit snugger, and then this would have been about perfect. The Commute Jacket retails for $230. As always, your mileage may vary.

High Quality Zippers

Pros

  • Warm 380 g/m2 wool
  • Plenty of pockets
  • Good looks off the bike
  • Good fit in the torso
  • Good ease of movement

Cons

  • Loose Arms and Wrist
  • A bit heavy

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About the author

I am an avid runner, cyclist, swimmer, hiker, climber, skier and many other activities that would make this list too long. I started Your Mileage May Vary Reviews in Early 2011 to combine two of my passions: sports and gear.

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