Published on February 18th, 2011 | by Greg0
I/O Bio’s Track Jacket: Wonder Wool
Wool can be a tough material to love- it can be scratchy or harsh, even if it is attractive. And though traditionally quite warm, water can make that wool garment cold and heavy. We’ve recently been testing some coats with wool blends in truly cold climates, but in San Francisco and the Bay Area, we need something lighter and perhaps a bit more hip.
The I/O Bio Merino Men’s Signature Track Jacket Fleece is just the ticket- a lightweight, long sleeve, fairly tight zippered jacket that offers some nice neck and wrist coverage to keep out the sometimes fierce winds. And though it’s not too thick, it fits nicely over a layer for protection against the foggy cool. 95% merino wool makes it super-soft, feeling more like cotton but offering a lot of extra warmth. The other 5% is elastane, which makes the jacket a bit more flexible and stretchy. And merino wool is great for athletes, runners, joggers, or most anyone who moves around, as it offers superb wicking, meaning you won’t overheat or suddenly get cold due to your exertions.
You won’t find us on the track, to be frank. We may run plenty on the Mission streets, either catching a bus or dashing to get to the next stop on our favorite food truck’s route. So there was some concern that a track jacket would be perhaps a tad too athletic. But the color scheme was immediately appealing- ours was slate and blue, though a black version is available. Sizing seemed appropriate if a bit tight- we received a large, which fit fairly snug on a person who normally wears that size. If you plan on bundling a thick layer underneath, you may want to purchase a size above what you normally wear.
The jacket has so far gone through a couple of storms, plenty of bike rides, and more than a few lengthy nights out. And though we noticed some normal wear- no loose threads or anything but some degree of piling, which looks a bit like fuzz. Cleaning is easy, and the zippers were smooth. The only major awkward thing we found was the pockets, as they were a bit out of the normal position, instead located quite a bit further to the sides rather than the front. Other than that, we wished for a bit of reflective material for night time activities, and perhaps a bit of a liner around the neck line.
This is a great buy for a boyfriend who is into exercise, perfect for hiking or climbing in fairly mild climates. For $90-$140 and available widely online, it’s a decent value, and is the best looking garment of it’s type that we’ve seen.