SNOWSHOE MAGAZINE GEAR REVIEW:

Brooks Range Isto Jacket Ideal as Snowshoeing Layer

On a warm day of snowshoeing the Brooks Range Mountaineering Isto jacket is an “A” game choice for any snowshoer. It’s a softshell that features a breathable four-way stretch fabric, so it moves when you move… and quite effectively when strenuous aerobic activity is involved. On a cold day of snowshoeing the Isto is the perfect mid-layer worn under a shell to provide the needed warmth when the temps drop to the single digits and lower.

What I appreciate the most about the Isto is that it’s not over-engineered and excessively designed: No complicated zipper features, no combination of proprietary fabrics, and no pretentious attempts at trying to be fashionable. The Isto jacket also features a lightweight fleece lining that adds to the comfort and strength of the softshell. It’s just a functional jacket… and that’s all any snowshoer needs.

The Isto’s stretchable fabric is the big snowshoeing benefit. I view the Isto as being part of a snowshoe runner’s go-to gear arsenal. While it is breathable, it’s not entirely windproof, but that’s part of its appeal. I’m a big believer in simplicity when it comes to gear. I’m also easily impressed by the mainstream brands that are strewn across the shelves of my local REI. I love having gear that works… and continues to work over the years without showing a lot of wear and tear.

Having a windproof fabric adds to the expense of the product, but if the right layering is used in conjunction with the Isto, it’s not entirely necessary. Arguably, I could be wrong, but again… I like functional simplicity. That’s just the kind of snowshoer I prefer to be after being exposed to some really cool gear over the years. I just want what works, what lasts and what doesn’t kill my bank account. Is that too much to ask for? When it concerns Brooks Range gear, that’s not asking for too much at all.

Brooks Range Mountaineering is known for manufacturing an amazing line of safety products for effective sporting in the mountains. The company promotes innovative, top-quality equipment – such as shelters, rescue equipment, snow science products, shovels and more – for alpinists, backcountry travelers, and professional mountain and ski guides.

Even better, Brooks Range is serving as the primary sponsor of the 2011 U.S. National Snowshoe Team. For more information, click here.

Additional features:

  • Moisture-wicking lined collar
  • Large chest pocket
  • Zipper chin guard
  • Velcro adjustable cuffs
  • Hem drawcord adjustment
  • Zipper hand warmer pocket lined with moisture-wicking fabric
  • Total Weight (medium): 20 oz. (567 g)

For more information on the Brooks Range Isto Jacket, visit http://brooks-range.com/isto.html.

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