Ibex Wool Aire Vest
$235, 7.5 oz./213g (men’s medium)
Sizes: men’s S-XXL, women’s XS-XL
How useful—and valuable—is your insulation layer? Consider this: I wore the Ibex Wool Aire Vest as my only outer layer over the same two base layers (a lightweight, wicking long-sleeve and a warm fleece hoody) on days of vigorous Nordic skiing in radically different conditions in Idaho’s Boise Mountains: from sunny, calm, and mid-30s Fahrenheit to cloudy and below freezing with strong winds that made it feel much colder. And I did not overheat in the first circumstance or get cold in the second. I also stayed comfortable wearing it as my sole middle layer under a winter shell in temps from around freezing to the mid-teens, with a low overcast and frigid wind, on days of snowshoeing and backcountry skiing downhill, and as my outer layer when skinning uphill (without wind).
That degree of versatility speaks volumes about the value of any layer, especially insulation.