SNOWSHOE MAGAZINE GEAR REVIEW:

Icebreaker Quantum Hood: Fittingly Fashionable and Functional

Upon receiving the Icebreaker Quantum Hood, I immediately put it on and gasped because it actually fit – perfectly. As a slightly taller-than-average and fairly slender woman, I’ve noticed that jackets, especially of the hoodie style, seem to never fit quite right. If you order a small size, the manufacturer often assumes that you must also be petite and therefore, the hoodie is too short at the waist and sleeves, resulting in restricted, uncomfortable movement.

Putting on the merino-wool Quantum was like slipping into a custom-made jacket that didn’t pull up and leave my stomach exposed or my wrists begging for more material. All of this, and the bodice of the hoodie fits like a glove: It is comfortably form-fitting and shows my natural shape but allows for easy movement. Another benefit of the jacket’s fit is that the shaped hood stays securely on my head, and when, with the hood on, I zip up the jacket all the way, it zips right up to my chin, making me feel snug and secure.

I was already in love with this product, so the other details felt like bonus features, friendly surprises tucked away for me to find. First, I fawned over the reflective stripes that run along each side of the two-way zipper. Although this is a seemingly simple design choice, it really adds style to the jacket, and of course, the functionality of reflecting light. I also adore the thumb holes at on the sleeve cuffs; these make layering much easier.

Another fun discovery was the small, zippered pocket on the upper left-hand side of the jacket. I decided this would be a perfect spot to stow a tube of lip balm and my driver’s license, but it took a friend pointing out the pocket’s tiny incision for me to realize that I could use this pocket for an iPod and run the music player’s cord through the hole. Genius!

One surprise that left me a bit confused is that the hoodie doesn’t have hand pockets. This is no problem when using the Quantum as a layer, but when I use it as a light outer jacket, it would be nice to have pockets at the waist.

This jacket is comfortable and warm without being bulky. In addition, it keeps me dry. There are eyelet panels under the arms that increase venting and help prevent overheating. Whether wearing as a base layer for some serious snowshoeing, or sporting it as a light jacket around town, the Quantum Hood is fashionable, comfortable and – my favorite – it fits well.

Icebreaker makes an array of stylish jackets and outdoor products. The Quantum Hood retails for $180.00, and you can find additional products and details at www.icebreaker.com.

To purchase the Quantum Hood, click here.

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