Icebreaker Tracer Jacket

Manufacturer Description

An evolved track jacket in plush GT260 terry merino wool that’s both warm and breathable, our crisply styled Tracer jacket is versatile enough to be your running outer layer and your staple casual jacket. Soft against your skin and stretchy thanks to extra Lycra, it won’t hold odor so you can wear it day after day.

Features

  • GT260 terry fabric – 98% Merino Wool, 2% Lycra
  • Set-in sleeves
  • Zippered front hand pockets – 18 cm wide x 22 cm tall (7.1 in x 8.7 in)
  • Icebreaker logo, GT wordmark and pip label
  • Measured size medium
    • Weight – 412 g (14.5 oz)
    • Center Back – 70.7 cm (27.8 in)
    • Pit to pit – 54.9 cm (21.6 in)
    • Sleeve length – 90.5 cm (35.6 in)
  • Retail – $170

YMMV Review

I have been a big fan of Icebreaker for a couple of years now. Here on YMMV Reviews I have reviewed a couple of Icebreaker products and had good success with all of them. There is a link at the bottom of this review if you want to see those reviews. Coming into the fall I wanted to do a review of the Tracer Jacket as it was part of their GT running collection.

Front View of the Tracer Jacket on

Testing

I tested this jacket on runs as an outer layer, cross-country skiing as a midlayer, and as a casual jacket around town. Temperatures for the runs were from 20 to 50 degrees with sun, rain, and even a little snow.

Design ★★★☆☆

Appearance (30%) ★★★½☆

Construction (35%) ★★★☆☆

Pockets (15%) ★★½☆☆

Sustainability (10%) ★★★★☆

Weight (10%) ★★½☆☆

The Icebreaker Tracer Jacket is part of the GT Collection. This collection is made for sports where you would like to get the benefits of wool but want top performance as well. The fabric used in the jacket is their GT260. This fabric is 260 grams per meter in weight making it similar in weight to Icebreaker’s midlayers and heavyweight baselayers. The GT260 is 98% Merino Wool and 2% Lycra. This gives the jacket all the properties you expect from wool with a bit of Lycra to help it maintain shape better. I am a big fan of wool due to its breathability, temperature regulation, sustainability, anti-microbial, and moisture transport. If you would like to learn more about wool just click on the banner below to read the knowledge base article.

The Tracer Jacket is styled like a typical track jacket with stripes on the arms and a trim cut. There is a full zipper in the front and a medium height collar at the neck. The ends of the wrists have been trimmed for appearance and comfort. There are two zippered hand warmer pockets that are ample in size. One of the drawbacks with this jacket is it does take a little more care. Machine wash warm or cold with regular or mild detergent. Do not tumble dry, just line dry.

Back View of the Tracer Jacket

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.

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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, here is my unique code: FC4DD77B2.

Front Collar

Fit ★★★☆☆

Arm Length (25%) ★★★★☆

Comfort Next to Skin (20%) ★★★☆☆

Cuffs (10%) ★★☆☆☆

Ease of Movement (20%) ★★★☆☆

Torso Sizing (25%) ★★☆☆☆

The fit on the Tracer Jacket was a little disappointing. I was expecting the jacket to be a bit more trim fit than it is. I am normally a medium in everything I have from Icebreaker and that is what I tested in this jacket as well. The Tracer felt large in the torso and around the wrists which makes me wonder if I could have gone with a small. The length of the arms was really good, and the torso length was also solid. For me, the bottom hem of the jacket was nice and tight while there was a bit of extra room around the midsection.  The jacket does have a nice stretch to it; it was unrestrictive and comfortable no matter what I was doing. As a running jacket I felt like the cuffs should have thumb loops. The arms are plenty long enough to add these, and they can be done in a way not to take away from the aesthetics of the jacket.

Hand Warmer Pocket

Performance ★★½☆☆

Breathability (20%) ★★★½☆

Drying Speed (10%) ★★☆☆☆

Moisture Transport (15%) ★★½☆☆

Reflective (10%) ★☆☆☆☆

Versatility (15%) ★★½☆☆

Warmth (20%) ★★★½☆

Wind Resistance (10%) ★★½☆☆

The Tracer Jacket had good and bad things about it in regard to performance. I have always been a fan of wool and in this jacket, the fabric was once again the star. The wool has a little wind resistance and breathes really well. It also does a good job of moving moisture away from your skin; either evaporating it off the outside or absorbing it. This does lead to one of the negatives with wool in that it does take slightly longer for it to dry. Whether the jacket is wet or dry, it still does a good job retaining warmth and is too much for days over 40 degrees for me. Fortunately, in Bend we have lots of days below that since most of my training is before or after work.

Wrist Cuff

As a running jacket I was disappointed to notice that there are barely any reflective elements built into this jacket. Just the small logo on the chest and upper back. While this makes the jacket look sharp and clean, it does mean that in darker conditions you will not be as easy to see. The two hand pockets are good for carrying lightweight stuff like gloves or a beanie, but I would not recommend heavier items. I tried to carry my iPhone in there on one run, and it just bounces around too much to be comfortable. The Tracer Jacket is very versatile. Since it has longer length in the torso and arms, I can see using it during the summer on cruiser bike rides as well as the occasional run. What I found the best application for this jacket is as a casual piece. The jacket is really nice looking and works very well in an informal office setting.

Overall ★★½☆☆

Overall, as a running jacket I was disappointed with the Tracer Jacket. The fabric is awesome, but the fit and features were a little lacking. As a casual and wear around jacket I think the Tracer is awesome. It looks really sharp and still has all the positive attributes of wool. I do wish the fit around the wrists and in the midsection were a little trimmer but as a casual jacket, it was not as big of a deal. I would recommend this jacket if you are looking for a casual jacket that can occasionally be used for running, but if it is to be a primary running jacket, I would look elsewhere. The Quantum Tops from Icebreaker are more of a trim fitting piece with many of the details I felt was missing from this jacket. Icebreaker’s construction is still top notch with this piece, and you will not be let down there. While the jacket does retail for $170, the great styling and performance of wool will help make it a better value. As always, your mileage may vary.

Pros [field name=iFrame]

  • Made of sustainable wool
  • Breathes well
  • Good warmth
  • Great styling and appearance

Cons

  • Loose in the wrists and midsection
  • No thumb loops
  • Lacking in reflective elements for a true running jacket

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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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