My new favorite jacket. Boy, am I fickle. But the Ice Field won me over immediately with its cozy-warm insulation and waterproof-breathable outer shell. I’m almost not really sure what to write, here, because I think it would be hard to go wrong with this piece. It has tons and tons of high-capacity pockets, which is a major bonus for me because I like to keep all my stuff separate in the pockets, you know, like when you keep all your food separate on your plate so that it doesn’t touch? Oh, it’s only me that does that? Well, someone else must do that too; who else would think of all these pockets?
So, it’s got pockets. It also has purposefully long sleeves, which some reviewers complain about but are admittedly nice to have when you’re climbing (fine, or driving) and you have to raise your arms up a lot. Normal length sleeves will pull up above your wrists when you do this, but the Ice Field, like most things Patagonia, is designed for motion. It’s also designed for cold weather, and it’s just perfect for exertion in temperatures from single digits to low twenties, and for standing around in weather warmer than that. The outer shell is H2NO (again: hee!) waterproof fabric, which is great because being wet sucks, at least when it’s 15 degrees out.
Fit is going to be kind of up to you on this one. The size small (my usual) fits me fine, but I heard some grumblings from my medium-size testers that they didn’t like the fit because it just seemed as if the jacket were a proportionally larger version of a small, which doesn’t work because a 5’8″ woman is not just a proportionally larger version of a 5’2″ woman. It’s called the Law of Similitude, or something. Anyway, so this jacket violates that law, allegedly. I can see how that could happen, because there is not a lot of extra room in the “upper torso” of the Ice Field. It works fine for me, but more, er, “blessed” women might find the chest too binding and the waist too large. So, just give it a shot and hope it works for you, because if it doesn’t, you’re missing out. The other thing I wasn’t crazy about is the SUPER high collar. It seriously comes up to my nose and took some getting used to. I know it’s supposed to help keep out the elements, but if I really need the elements to stay THAT far out, I probably will not be outside. Call me a sissy, whatever. It’s recreation, not suffering. But now I can not-suffer in even more types of weather, because the Ice Field Jacket is so awesome.