This Ibex Wool Aire Hoodie review takes a look at these ultralight men’s and women’s Ibex insulated jackets that are made with a proprietary merino wool insulation.
These high-end slimline puffy jackets are designed to be worn on their own or layered with other insulating layers, and versatile enough to be worn as your everyday outer or mid-layer, or one of several when tackling cold-weather pursuits such as winter hiking or skiing.
About Ibex Merino wool apparel
Ibex is an ethically-focused outdoor apparel business that produces Merino wool performance apparel.
Ibex prioritizes timeless design, technical fabrics, durable construction, and conscious manufacturing. This includes careful selection of Merino wool from farmers adopting best practices in Australia and New Zealand, and measurement and offsetting of the company’s carbon footprint.
Ibex Wool Aire Hoodie Review
This review covers both the men’s and women’s Ibex Wool Aire Hoodies, that Alastair and I have been wearing this winter, and are pictured in the photos throughout this review.
The Wool Aire Hoodie is a slim fit design, with elasticated cuffs and hem, zippered pockets, including an interior chest pocket (and exterior pocket on the men’s version), and a large ‘scuba’ hood.
The slim fit is appealing compared to other bulkier or looser insulated puffy jackets, as this style makes it more compatible with wearing for everyday wear and not just when hiking or enjoying the mountains.
Other features about this hoodie that stand out to me are that it’s:
- A lightweight, very packable jacket that you can fold down small and stash into its own interior chest pocket, or exterior pocket if you have the men’s version
- Made using Merino wool insulation, and a Bluesign certified shell fabric that’s wind and water resistant
- Clearly made with care and excellent quality, so it’s designed to last and be enjoyed for a long time
The Merino wool insulation is special because of the unique properties of Merino wool.
It’s a naturally insulating, breathable, microbial and moisture-wicking material, that helps keep your body temperature regulated, so you can feel cool when it’s warm, and warm when it’s cold.
When Ibex says lightweight, they mean it. My women’s Medium jacket weighs 9.875 oz (280 grams), which is crazy light for a warm layer like this.
The only feature I feel the hoodie could benefit from that it doesn’t have, is thumb holes.
While not everyone’s preference, I like being able to cover the backs of my hands and keep my thumbs out for use.
Sizing and fit
Because the Wool Aire Hoodies are slim fit, Ibex recommends you size up if you want to layer it with midlayers underneath.
For reference, in the photos I’m wearing a women’s size Medium and Alastair is wearing a men’s size Small.
You can see in the photos throughout this review that the fit is snug around my hips in particular.
Because of the shape, if you prefer a looser fit or have a larger chest or hips, I would expect you definitely want to size up one, or possibly two sizes, depending on how you want to wear it (with or without other layers).
What activities are these merino insulated hoodies best for?
One of the things I love about these puffy hooded jackets is that you can wear them for pretty much any activity as a mid-layer item of clothing, or simply as an outer jacket with maybe a merino base layer underneath.
With such a versatile item like this, you can wear it for a wide range of everyday activities as well as more exciting outdoor adventures, so you’ll get to enjoy the quality and warmth it provides on an almost-daily basis.
The lightweight, packable nature of it (see photo above) means it’s great for traveling or stashing in a backpack as it doesn’t take up much space or weight allowance when you’re not wearing it.
I do feel like it could benefit from an Ibex logo on the inside of the pockets so that the pack is more identifiable which would be especially useful if you have a men’s an women’s set as they do look the same if a little different in size, see image below.
The wind resistant shell material (100% nylon) also makes a big difference when wearing the hoodie on colder, windy days, when you don’t want the wind to cut through you!
How to wash the Wool Aire Hoodie
This Ibex hoodie is machine washable, on cold. It does require special care when it comes to drying, as you can’t put it in the tumble dryer after washing.
The instructions state that you should not wring it – you should reshape the jacket while wet, to get the Merino fill evenly distributed, and then either lay it flat to dry, or dry on a hanger in a well-ventilated shaded area – a warm utility room or closet would probably be best, unless you have a suitable outdoor area.
Like other puffy insulated outdoor apparel and other insulated gear such as sleeping bags, it should be stored unpacked, so the insulation is ventilated and doesn’t stay compressed for long periods of time when not being used.
Cost and where to buy
You can pick up the men’s and women’s versions of these jackets directly from Ibex for $285, which yes, is pretty expensive, but you certainly do get a good premium product that performs very well for your money.
They’re available in a variety of colorways and in sizes S to XXL (men’s) and XS through to XL (women’s) – check their website for current color and sizing availability: