Ibex Breakaway II Jacket ReviewApril 18, 2014
- Warm for the weight
- Excellent mobility and stretch
- Absorbed more wetness than comparable synthetic jackets
The Ibex Breakaway II’s stretch-woven nylon/wool shell shed early-morning mists easily. The Breakaway II became my go-to piece for cool-weather cycling. Ibex blends unmatched breathability and streamlined warmth in an understated active softshell.
The Ibex Breakaway II is a stretch-woven nylon/wool softshell jacket.
While its nylon shell holds its own against early-morning mistiness, and its wooly lining holds an impressive amount of heat, the Ibex Breakaway II couldn’t fend off much in the way of actual weather. On the plus side, this jacket felt pretty comfy even when it got soaked!
Since I tend to be moving pretty quickly whilst outdoors, I’ll take superior breathability over superior weatherproofness any day. The breezy breathiness of the Breakaway II was really only a liability on fast, cold-weather bike descents; I otherwise loved its best-in-class vapor-permeability.
Experienced wool-wearers may notice the subtly coarser feel of rambouillet wool compared to merino; I did not feel that it compromised the jacket’s comfort at all. Uniform stretchiness throughout also contributed to high scores here.
There were neither extraneous bits nor useless bobs anywhere on the Breakaway II, but wool ain’t all that light. Nearly a full pound may be a reasonable weight for a wool jacket, but it looked a bit hefty among the other aerobic jackets here.
Attention to Detail
I noticed and appreciated that both textiles Ibex used (both their double-weave and plain wool) had very similar stretch characteristics – while this may seem like a minor point, it’s one that too many designers overlook. My only complaint was with the hem-adjust cord-lock that lacked the tiny tether that would have made it one-hand operable.
Despite its excellent design and workmanship, its Canadian origins, and the luxurious feel of its fabrics, I felt that $275 was a little spendy for this jacket.