The Outdoor Research Iceline utilizes waterproof/breathable panels in the hood, shoulders and chest and stretchy panels with greater air permeability spanning from hip to mid arm. This provides water protection in critical areas while maintaining breathability and freedom of movement in the arms. A laminated fleece backing makes this jacket more suitable for true winter weather but limits multi season functionality.
Breathability This jacket’s waterproof paneling and fleece backing limits breathability compared to others in this test but the elastic paneling provided noticeable airflow when active. The Outdoor Research Iceline proved ideal though for moderately active pursuits when the temperatures were in the 40’s or lower.
Durability The Outdoor Research Iceline uses their 70d Ventia three-layer waterproof/breathable fabric in the hood, chest and shoulders and a 160d Cordura/spandex fabric elsewhere. These fabrics showed no abrasion, tears or punctures under almost constant use with packs and in contact with metal climbing hardware in rocky environments. All zippers and associated hardware are extremely robust.
Weatherproofing This jacket scores high marks here due to the waterproof paneling, water resistant zippers and seam taping in the critical areas and the gridded fleece backing on the majority of the jacket’s interior. Wind proofing was also excellent. This makes the Outdoor Research Iceline ideal for colder climates but not as useful in warmer shoulder seasons.
Fit/Comfort The Outdoor Research Iceline is better suited for athletic builds, being slim in the torso with ample room across the shoulders and upper back. It is shorter in torso length than other jackets, but still fits under pack and harness hip belts without pulling out (partly due to the elastic paneling). The wrist cuffs use elastic and easy-to-grasp Velcro tabs, allowing vast adjustment for both skinny wrists and fitting over gloves. An elastic cord with captive cord locks on both sides of the hip close down the bottom edge. The helmet compatible hood has multiple adjustments; the opening and circumference can be changed via captive cord locks, while a moldable wire fine-tunes the brim.
Compressibility The Outdoor Research Iceline’s laminated grid fleece backing, abundant pockets and bulkier three layer waterproof panels limit compressibility compared to lighter and simpler hoodies but is acceptable considering the harsh conditions it can withstand.
Features The Outdoor Research Iceline’s most usable extra feature is the pocket configuration. Two stretch mesh zippered hand warmer pockets reside in the usual location (one has a key clip) and function well as vents. A pair of vertically aligned chest pockets have large zippered openings and their stretch mesh interior drops down, preventing things from falling out even when bent over. Each torso interior panel has a stretch mesh “Shove-It” drop in pocket with an elastic top edge. These pockets were continually used to keep items warm: food, glove liners, etc. Unique to this jacket are chemical warmer packet pockets aligned with the inside of each wrist. Zippers are YKK Aquaguard Vislon (main zip has a draft guard and can open from either end) and have pulls easily grasped with gloves. Also, any surface that can contact chin or cheek has micro fleece liner.
Seiji specializes in climbing, but his interests have spanned a wide array of outdoor pursuits. Based in Wimberley, TX, Seiji has worked in several aspects of outdoor sports, including coaching, training, guiding, gear design, and writing. Find out more about Seiji at seijisays.com.