With the autumnal weather here and winter around the corner we review the Jack Wolfskin Baryon jacket. This review will focus on the women’s edition (but note it also comes in a men’s variation).
Where and when
This softshell offers all that we would come to expect with a light feel, windproof and breathability which is great for this time of year; especially when layering is essential and the weather is unpredictable and getting colder.
But this jacket has a few more tricks up its sleeve than any run of the mill softshell as it’s part of Jack Wolfskin’s ACTIVE TRAIL range. It has been designed to target those who are out and about for high-performance sporting activities such as trail running, mountain biking, fell running and mountain walking. Jack Wolfskin also highly recommends it for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing (which at the moment is not an option for us, but if and when the conditions allow, and the snow arrives in Snowdonia, we will certainly be giving it a try).
370g (for a Medium)
Women – white rush / blue graphite
Men – brilliant blue / red fire / blue graphite
XS-XL (Size featured in review women’s S, which is ideal for size 10-12)
94% POLYESTER, 6% ELASTANE
With the patented STORMLOCK HYPROOF which comprises of a tri layer system of an inner fleece, windproof membrane and outer active stretch shell you get a very stretchy garment, which offers windproof and water-repellent qualities.
Even more flexibility is offered though the patented two way stretch tech of NANUK DYNAMIC, which combines smooth jersey exterior and fluffy fleece interior.
What Jack Wolfskinsay
“The BARYON is our windproof softshell jacket for high-intensity activities. It’s extremely breathable and very stretchy.”
With extensive testing on trail runs, some minor bouldering and mountain biking we can say that it certainly lived up to its promise. The stretch inserts found on back, sides and sleeves provided good mobility and freedom to ensure performance was not hampered. A nice addition not found on all shells were the two side pockets as well as the sleeve pocket, which is perfect for those easy access items when a pack is strapped to your back and across the side pockets.
Although windproof and water-repellent it did not stand up to a sudden heavy downpour in Cwm Idwal one afternoon, but that said this is a softshell after all, and not designed to withstand such conditions. The heat retention provided by the light fleece lining did the job nicely; but when the real cold arrives, or when we get the chance to try out snowshoeing, we will definitely need to employ the layering-up technique.
At £130 this softshell is leaning towards the high-end market and not for those of you just looking to go for a nice country walk (however flattering and lovely it looks). However if you’re looking to be more active this autumn/winter, it is well worth the investment.