Kue4007119 wrote a review of on November 25, 2012

2 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I mean that literally. This jacket has individual features that might be useful, but the whole is less than the sum of it's parts.

The outer face is a nice sturdy DWR soft shell material. Stands up to branches, thorns and rocks quite well. Sheds light precip for a few minutes, but more than 10-15 minutes in a steady drizzle will overwhelm it at the shoulders and start soaking through.

Then we have the fleece backer which adds no appreciable warmth and binds when you try to layer wool/fleece/cotton under it (poly slides OK). Better hope your layers have thumb holes, or your sleeves are going to be bunched entirely above your elbows.

So it's not warm and you can't easily layer under it. Well ok, but it's still a decent wind breaker with DWR finish right? Not really. The shell material doesn't breathe particularly well (and there are no pit vents/zips). Certainly not well enough to keep you dry at the temperatures this jacket will keep you comfortably warm in (40-60F) with any kind of aerobic activity.

It is nice for walking around the mall in, since there's no insulation you won't overheat like in a Denali.

2 Stars because the shell material is nice, without the binding fleece backer making it cumbersome as a shell I'd probably give it 3.5-4.





Kue4007119 wrote a review of on February 20, 2012

5 5

I've tried merino wool (IB, ibex, smartwool) a few times before because I keep hearing such great things about it's moisture and temperature management, but it always starts itching sooner or later. I'm glad I kept trying, because I finally found a merino shirt with no itch, and it's awesome! This shirt is so soft I can hardly tell the difference between it and a standard cotton T.

Seams and stitching are excellent. The fabric itself is more tightly knit than some other merino brands. Where wind just whips through my smartwool and IB pieces, the Stoic Bliss shirt provides a little protection from a cool breeze. This isn't an issue if you're actually using it as the base of a layering system, but if you fall in love with this shirt like I have and wear it everywhere, it's a plus.

The zip pocket extends all the way to the left side-panel seam Great for a paper trail map, not so great for anything small and dense (phone, gps, mp3) as it will be sliding around every time you move.

Bottom line: If you've never tried merino, try Stoic first. If you like merino, get 2.