Jack Wolfskin Crystal Mountain Women’s Jacket

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They Say - Soft, yet tough material. A double jacket with a weather protection function and high breathability for hikes of several days.

In addition to the smooth, waterproof main material, we also use a double-layer material on sections subjected to strain. During high levels of activity the underarm ventilation zips provide extra airflow.

The warm fleece inner jacket with its fleece exterior and lambswool-like lining protects against the cold. The sleeves have extra insulation, making the jacket easier to put on. Light and stretchy inserts made from fleece provide more freedom of movement.

  • Shell jacket:
  • Wonderfully smooth, waterproof and very breathable TEXAPORE SMOOTHLIGHT 2L
  • Shoulders, sleeves and lower back: robust, cotton-like, waterproof and very breathable TEXAPORE TASLAN 2L
  • Removable SUMMIT HOOD, adjustable in terms of size and field of vision, with reinforced peak
  • Underarm ventilation zips
  • Chest pocket, two side pockets, inside pocket, SECRET POCKET
  • Inner jacket:
  • Warm NANUK 150 BIPOLAR fleece with classic fleece exterior and lambswool-like lining
  • Side panels: lightweight, two-way stretch NANUK DYNAMIC JERSEY fleece with smooth jersey exterior and fluffy fleece lining
  • Sleeves lined with smooth microfibre SOFTTOUCH TAFFETA
  • Two side pockets

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We Say - It’s not often I come across a good quality winter jacket and having experienced severe Canadian winters for the  last 12 years I’ve gone through lots that attempt but fail to keep me satisfied during this extremely challenging and harsh season. Some fulfill the style category while failing in the warmth department, others visa versa. I think it’s true to say that unless you pay a lot of money you’re not likely to find a good looking, warm and functional winter jacket that can outlast the -20 degree Celsius temperatures that we have here regularly. This Jack Wolfskin jacket is relatively pricey some might say but I’d add, having used it the past month, that boy is it worth it.

First impression was that I liked the colours (grey, with pink and brown accents) as it added a nice splash of vibrancy to what’s been mostly a drab winter season. I put it on and it was very snug without being too tight (I got a size M, or UK 12/14 wheras I’m usually a size 10 to 12 with my shirts). I liked the double layers, the inside being a soft, non-itchy fleece and the outside a waterproof synthetic material that combine to be super warm.

The sleeves came down to my fingertips which ensured no wind would get through after I put my gloves on. I enjoyed the body length of the jacket too; it came down to around the top of my thighs which covered my lower back completely when I reached up my arms (when putting on my bag, or scrambling up hills). Again, this adds to the comfort and warmth factor. There’s plenty of storage space in the jacket, I’m sure there’s a pocket for everything – keys, phone, maps, cards – what with the 3 outer, 2 inner plus that hidden pocket inside the zipper flap on the chest. The zipper teeth are quite sharp though when the temperatures drop and whenever it came in contact with my very cold hands, it hurt them and made me want to not access my pockets as much. These are extreme temperatures I’m talking about though, like in the photo below, when it was minus 25, despite the lovely sunshine.

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I’ve worn it on different kinds of outings like in downtown Toronto, to my work and also on a number of day hikes in my area. It suited me best on the long hikes. Walking for long hours in cold conditions isn’t easy but it’s true that warm clothes can make it much nicer and I’m happy to say that this jacket served that purpose. Other than retain heat very well it also kept off any moisture or sweat that might’ve developed so that I was also very dry that whole time. It also had enough give in the shoulders that I could move about easily, as when I put my pack on or off, or used my arms to pull myself up icy slopes by holding onto trees and roots.

I didn’t like wearing it to school or on downtown outings that much though because this fleece and outer combination is simply too warm for me in those environments. It’s very well-suited for hiking but for normal day-to-day activities I just found that it made me too hot when going in and out of shops or classrooms. Obviously this is a personal preference and relates to my own environment; for someone who really enjoys the warmth it would be fine. So it’s no fault of the jacket, just my own liking of temperature control.

The hood of the jacket is very stable and stays fixed to my head, even in the fierce winds we’ve been having here in Canada this winter. It has a hard built-in visor which prevents the hood from flapping around or letting too much wind in. I was able to adjust it to fit my head by pulling the side strings/toggles. I like to get involved in my environments so whenever I see fresh snowfall I like to jump in and roll around, but often stop myself as I know my normal winter jackets wouldn’t deal with the resulting wetness and cold very well. With this jacket on I rolled around in snow about 5 times total during one hike and it kept me completely dry and mostly warm, so that was a great bonus, and now I know which jacket to wear when I want to roll around and play like I’m 10 years old again!

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Paired with a decent base and mid layer this jacket keeps me warm down to minus 25, so I’d think that you’re unlikely to encounter a climate that’s too cold for this jacket. It’s very comfy with or without pack on and I’d recommend the brand to friends. To discover more about Jack Wolfskin, please see http://www.jack-wolfskin.co.uk

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