Field Tested: Brooks Range Isto Softshell Jacket


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Versatile. That’s how our East Coast tester described Brooks Range's four-way stretch, water-resistant Isto softshell jacket. He spent 100 days last winter and spring skiing, hiking and ciimbing in snow, rain, slush, sleet, freezing rain, some more snow, sun, blue skies, and any other weather conditions you can think of from Quebec to Colorado in this jacket and gave it a rave review.

It’s cut a tad short, which was a bonus as far as our tester was concerned. “It never felt confining or constraining—it kind of fits like a great shirt,” he reported. “The stretch fabric was supremely comfortable in all conditions: when I wore the Isto as a layer on cold days—it fits great under a hard shell, as a skinning layer on medium temperature days—it was super breathable with enough wind resistance to keep me comfortable, and as my outer layer on spring ski days, it wasn't too warm, and proved itself very durable run after run in tough trees.”

We love this jacket for its simplicity. It’s got essential features with obvious benefits—a moisture-wicking liner and collar, zippered side pockets, a large chest pocket, and hem drawcords, but no extra zippers, drawstrings or doo-dads that add flash without function. The Isto is ideal for trail runners, backcountry skiers, snowshoers and any other cool weather adventurers undertaking aerobic activities. And the price is right. Available now, $100;

—Berne Broudy