Icebreaker Blast Running Vest Review

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The Icebreaker Blast Vest is a highly technical outerwear piece from the company who, although not super well-known stateside, is ‘THE brand’ for quality outdoor apparel in the adventure sports mecca of New Zealand. This according to some friends who recently vacationed there.

Icebreaker makes quality gear for cool and warm weather with Merino Wool because of its durability and exceptional wicking properties in warm weather, and insulating advantages when the temperature dips. Check out this video from Icebreaker about the Merino Sheep, and enjoy the always entertaining kiwi accent.

The Icebreaker Blast is not just another lightweight nylon shell – it is made up of no fewer than 4 different materials, all specialized in function. The front of the garment is made of a stretchy wind-blocking softshell material with a zippered pocket on the left chest, which has internal cable routing for headphones. This material has a soft-touch inner surface for comfort. The arm openings are snug but again, quite conforming so they comfortably move with you. This same softshell fabric covers a vent at the top rear of the garment. For breathability, the lower portion of the back of the Blast Vest is made of a lighter-weight, more breathable  merino, also with a very soft inner liner.

Performance for the Blast Vest was exceptional. I tested the piece in cooler conditions while on hikes, runs and road bike rides, and what I liked most about it was the very fitted cut of the piece, which combined with its stretchy fabrics, keep it from getting in the way of your outdoor adventures. It also provided superb protection from cool winds and light rain. I usually feel like outerwear with water repellency does a poor job of breathing and wicking, but I didn’t get terribly swampy in the Blast Vest.

Despite having nice soft-touch textures, the materials of the Blast Vest seem to be very durable, and show virtually no signs of wear after half a dozen outings. Reflectivity is good as well, with the front Icebreaker logo being 3M reflective, and a strip of reflective graphics down the upper back of the vest. Overall, I would highly recommend the Icebreaker Blast Vest for those looking for an extremely high-quality piece to provide protection from cool weather, wind and light rain, but still breathe well if the temperatures climb. For those looking for a bit more protection, Icebreaker also makes a Blast long-sleeve.

The Blast Vest from Icebreaker retails for USD $199. For more information on the Blast Running Vest and other Icebreaker products, visit www.icebreaker.com.

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FROM ICEBREAKER:

The lightweight Blast Vest from our Technical Outer Layers range comprises a merino inner for next to the skin comfort, a polyurethane middle layer to protect against the wind, and a polyester outer to ward off the rain. Designed for running or cycling, this versatile soft shell vest also offers an interior pocket with cord hole for your MP3 player, a back vent for breathability, and an adjustable drop tail hem for extra protection.

Windproof, water repellent and highly breathable, our soft shell jackets and vests are designed for running, cycling and other outdoor sports on cooler days.

FABRIC: 100% merino wool lining, 100% polyester outer, 100% polyurethane membrane. Side and back panels: 39% merino, 45% nylon, 16% elastane
CARE: Machine wash. Dries fast in the shade, but do not tumble dry. Exact instructions on the care label.
Adam B: Adam is an outdoor sports enthusiast with a specific passion for running, racing, cycling, and triathlon. When he's not out racking up miles in Denver, Colorado, he runs a small graphic design and web firm. Adam enjoys all types of outdoor adventures in the beautiful Colorado mountains!
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