It’s not always necessary to go with the lightest and most technical kit for playing outdoors. Sometimes we just need to throw on a coat that works on the trail from casual romps in the woods in fall or even deep winter to early spring ski vacations. Then, it’s time to head into town to go out to dinner with friends and you don’t want to sport that technical look because, well, you didn’t really do anything technical and frankly, you don’t need to. This season merino wool experts Icebreaker and Ibex both have great options.
For the more rugged look, Ibex brings back their Loden Austrian Felted Wool style of coats in the Europa Jacket. Keeping simplicity at the core, this one layer felted coat is breathable and cozy and easily slides on over those extra layers you’re wearing. Just a touch of elastic in the cuffs is perfect for keeping the sleeves in place without being restrictive on your wrists. If things get a little messy, you can easily pull the sleeves up some. The three stout zippers (front and two hip pockets) are smooth and frankly a pleasure to use. In below freezing temps with snowfall, the Europa will probably collect a bit of the fluff on the shoulders, but that’s a good look. Just brush it off when you come inside and the jacket will warm and dry easily. Strong double stitch lines are subtle where the same-color fabric panels of the jacket are held together, but they make a statement of how tough this jacket is. $300; ibex.com
For a slicker city look, Icebreaker offers their Ranger Bomber Jacket filled with MerinoLOFT insulation. Only available in black, two different fabric textures bring a little contrast to the silhouette. Horizontal stitching across the upper chest gives the jacket a broad masculine look. Sweater style cuffs and set-in sleeves keep everything in place while offering a wide range of motion. Small details add a touch more sophistication with a peak stitch between the shoulders on the back and the polyester jacket liner slides easily over whatever shirt or sweater you’re wearing and is patterned with a New Zealand based topographical map. The fine zippers blend right into the fabric and are easy to manipulate. Along with the two zippered hip pockets there’s an internal Napoleon style stash pocket with a high contrast orange zipper to match the orange of the topo map lines on the liner. $450; icebreaker.com