Throughout my experience testing various Jack Wolfskin products (you can see that here), I’ve quickly become impressed with just how ready their stuff is for the outdoors. The softshell, I’ve used that as a rain jacket, as a waterproof layer over a thick fleece jacket for cold weather, and even over a hoodie for my cold morning jogs. Well, now I’ve got a new layer that can sneak in right under that softshell – the Jack Wolfskin Routeburn Pro.
Thin-but-capable “puffer” jackets seem to be all the rage. And you know, we get it. Something that’s light and not bulky, but can still keep you warm and dry, all while giving you that puffer jacket texture? It’s a solid recipe, for sure. Given that, we put our hands right up when it came time for a chance to review this one from Jack Wolfskin.
As their sizing is European (coming from being a German brand), that can sometimes be a bit tricky to find the correct fit. For me, my height and weight put me between an L and XL in their stuff. With the softshell, the L was a perfect fit, so we went with a L for the Jack Wolfskin Routeburn Pro as well. Long story short, it did fit me just fine. It will just be a much snugger fit than you’d be expecting if you’ve got one of their softshells.
And frankly, I think that’s by design on the Jack Wolfskin Routeburn Pro. With the side panels, those are stretchy. Add that into the cut of the jacket and the longer hem, this is a jacket that’s intended to be the layer that’s close to your body. A snugger fit keeps the heat in, and then allows it to easily be underneath another jacket (ie, treat this much like you would a hoodie). Which isn’t to say you can’t fit a hoodie underneath it, as I have (one from Coalatree if you’re curious), it just needs to be thinner.
The fitment issue you may run into is going to be in the shoulders of the Jack Wolfskin Routeburn Pro. And as I reviewed what else I have with a similar cut (a Patagonia Better Sweater) I realized that it’s due to the angle those arm seams take on the shoulders. For me, if I try moving my arms too far forward, you’ll feel that seam bunch up. Now, if you’ve just got a t-shirt on under the jacket, it’s not that bad. Try having a layer UNDER the Routeburn, and then you’ll feel that binding up.
So, for me, I found it worked best if I had the Jack Wolfskin Routeburn Pro right over whatever shirt I was wearing, and then another layer over the Routeburn if I needed more warmth. So, that raises a question – just how warm is the jacket? Unfortunately, they don’t rate these like some brands do with sleeping bags, so you’ll have to rely on my very unscientific method.
I found that, without any wind, the Jack Wolfskin Routeburn Pro was quite comfortable over a button-up shirt down to about 40 degrees. If there was a bit of a breeze, then I found it could only go down to 45 before I felt cold. Then again, that’s with the jacket solely on its own. Put a shoftshell or other jacket over it, and then it’s a really nice inner layer.
And given how it will hug the body, the Jack Wolfskin Routeburn Pro is really intended to be on it’s own, or as an inner layer. I’ve been putting another shell over it in the colder temps here in Chicagoland, or I used it over that thin Coalatree when I need the versatility to go from cold to warmth. I found it’s also a great traveller, as it packs down quite compactly due to it’s thinner construction.
If you’re looking to upgrade your standard cold-weather hoodie layer to something a bit more stylish, the Jack Wolfskin Routeburn Pro is a very, very nice path to take, particularly if you want something to use in all seasons but summer. It’s available from S – XXXL in five different colors, for $169.95, direct from jackwolfskin.com
Details from Jack Wolfskin
- Our ROUTEBURN PRO INS jacket offers you reliable protection from the weather on your hiking trips. The insulating PRIMALOFT fill is made from recycled polyester, as is the TEXASHIELD PRO shell fabric, which effortlessly withstands cold gusts of wind and rain showers.With inserts made of comfortable stretch fleece, optimal freedom of movement is assured. The hem can be adjusted to get the fit that’s best for you. Small items can be stashed in the three pockets so you can grab them when you need them.
- Weight: 350 g (size M)
- Shell – 100% polyester
- Shell – 95% polyester, 5% elastane
- Lining – 100% polyester
- Filling – 100% polyester