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Reviews > Clothing > Jackets > ISIS Slipstream Down Jacket > Test Report by Gail Staisil

ISIS Slipstream Jacket
Test Series by: Gail Staisil, Marquette, Michigan

Page Contents:

Initial Report - January 3, 2013
Field Report - March 23, 2013
Long Term Report - May 22, 2013
 
Initial Report:Author
January 3, 2013

Tester Information

Name: Gail Staisil
Age: 60
Gender: Female
Height: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
Weight: 152 lb (69 kg)
Location: Marquette, Michigan USA
Email: woodswoman 2001 AT yahoo DOT com

For the last 20 years, backpacking has become a passion. I am a four-season backpacker and an off-trail navigator. Although I do take yearly trips to the American West or Southwest, the majority of my trips are in Michigan and Canada.My pack weight varies considerably but my base weight is below 18 lb (8 kg). I am primarily a tarp camper who averages more than 50 nights a year backpacking in a huge variety of weather conditions including relentless rain, wet snow and sub-zero temps.

 
Product Information

Manufacturer
ISIS
Website
http://www.isisforwomen.com
Model
Slipstream Jacket
Color

Vixen (Also available in Dusk, Vista, Emerald and Grape)
Size

Women's 14 (Size 4-14 available)
Manufacturer Weight
NA
Tested Weight
15 oz  (425 g)
Model Year
2012
MSRP
$229.00 US

 
Initial Impressions and Product Description 


The ISIS Slipstream Jacket arrived in the requested size and color. ISIS is a manufacturer of women's clothing so their products are truly designed with different types of women's bodies in mind. The jacket was mostly perfect in construction with one outstanding piece of looped thread on the front of the jacket. I have not snipped this thread yet as I have yet to determine where its origins are (do not want it to unravel).


Fit

When I checked the sizing information for the Slipstream Jacket, I decided to request a bigger size than normal. I really emphasize that manufacturer's charts vary widely so it is important to read them. I was truly on the border of the largest two sizes (according to the manufacturer's size chart) so I went with the roomiest. I was not disappointed. I often wear an insulated jacket such as the Slipstream over a couple of layers so I wanted to be sure to accommodate that preference. That said the jacket looks great over one, two or three layers. I have worn it every day since it's arrival and have been completely comfortable and warm no matter what I wear underneath. 

As a side note, I did receive the jacket in my requested color of Vixen. That is often a hard color to photograph and the jacket is much more pink than I would have guessed by looking at the color on the website. I still like it!


Design and Technical Features

The Slipstream Jacket is a hood-less 800 fill-power down jacket that is very light weight and is easy to compress for packing. The shell of the jacket is fabricated with 1.3 oz 100 percent anti-static polyester. This tightly-woven ripstop fabric lessens the chance of down escaping and helps in wind resistance. In addition it is coated with a durable water-resistant finish (DWR) to fend off light precipitation. The down fill is placed between waves of stitching in an attractive design that renders it very stylish. The wave pattern changes direction often and is figure flattering. Princess seaming adds to the shape of the jacket.

There are two attractive logos on the jacket (one is on a sleeve and the other near the bottom hem). These logos respectively feature the company name and the company's logo. The inside of the jacket is lined with a gray-colored soft nylon material.

The Slipstream Jacket has a number of features that should be noted. First, there are two side pockets with invisible zippers that don't detract from the design. Each zipper has a clear-color rubberized pull tag with a tiny snowflake or star in the center of the tag. These tags are non-slippery and have been easy to use so far.

Each pocket is roomy enough to stash a pair of gloves or assorted small objects like keys, phone, etc. There is one internal pocket that is fabricated with mesh. The roomy pocket has a zippered opening plus a snowflake-shaped portal for earphones. This pocket can certainly hold an extra hat if desired.

The jacket features a full-length zipper ending with a zipper cover at the top end. The zipper is flanked by a reportedly snag-free draft closure. The draft closure has a snowflake-patterned ribbon sewn the length of it to give it some
structure. The zipper itself has a nice clear-color pull with an ISIS logo inside. There is also an elasticized loop sewn into the inside edge of the zipper. I can only speculate that it might be used to further direct an earphone cord or something
similar.

Velvet collarThe top of the jacket features a tall collar that is lined with a velvety material. The collar is approximately 3 in (7.6 cm) high and covers my neck effectively.

I really appreciate the length of the jacket at approximately 27 inches (69 cm). The length gives sufficient coverage to my backside to keep the cold at bay. There are also two drawcord adjustments with toggles on the internal bottom edge if I want to make the jacket snug against my body.

Washing instructions are printed in the inside of the jacket. It can be machine washed on a gentle cycle with mild soap and then tumble dry. The use of bleach, fabric softeners, dry cleaning or ironing is not recommended. ISIS products are warranted to the original purchaser against defects in materials or workmanship for the life of the product according to the manufacturer.

I have already worn the Slipstream Jacket on a multitude of outings including a sledge trip. I will be reporting on that and much more in the field report in two months.

    

 

 
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________________________________
Field Report:
March 23, 2013

USA Locations and Conditions

During the field test period I have worn the ISIS Slipstream Jacket for four backcountry trips totaling ten days as well as for daily wear. Locations of all activities were in the states of Michigan and Wisconsin and ranged from hilly deciduous forest to open non-deciduous communities. Elevation ranged from 600 ft (183 m) to almost 2000 ft (610 m).

Location (Feb 4- 5): Hiawatha National Forest, Michigan
Type of Trip: Trail/rustic cabin trip
Distance: 7 mi (11.3 km)
Length of Trip: 2 days/1 night
Sled Weight: Approx 40 lb (18 kg)
Sky and Air Conditions: Snow    
Precipitation: 0.22 in (56 cm) 
Temperature Range: 13 F to - 4 F (-11 C to -20 C) 
 
Location (Feb 9-11): Hiawatha National Forest, Michigan
Type of Trip: Trail/rustic cabin trip
Distance: 11 mi (17.7 km)
Length of Trip: 3 days/2 nights
Sled Weight: Approx 45 lb (20.4 kg)
Sky and Air Conditions: Cloudy, snow   
Precipitation: 0.70 in (1.78 cm) Snow
Temperature Range: 34 F to -3 F (1 C to -19 C)

Location (March 2- 4): Hiawatha National Forest Western Unit, MichiganIce formations along Lake Superior
Type of Trip: Trail
Distance: 20.5 mi (33 km) 
Length of Trip: 3 days/2 nights
Sled Weight: Approx 40 lb (18 kg)
Sky and Air Conditions: Cloudy, snowstorm   
Precipitation: 0.01 in (0.03 cm) Snow
Temperature Range: 24 F to 7 F (-4 C to -14 C)

Location (March 18-19): Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michigan
Type of Trip: Trail/Bushwhack
Distance: 10.5 mi (16.9 km) 
Length of Trip: 2 days/1 night
Sled Weight: Approx 40 lb (18 kg)
Sky and Air Conditions: Cloudy, snowstorms   
Precipitation: 0.58 in (1.47 cm) which is more than 11 in (28 cm) of new snow
Temperature Range: 34 F to 9 F (1 C to -13 C )

Location of Other Activities: Upper Peninsula of Michigan and Wisconsin 
Distances: 4 mi to 6 mi (6.5 km to 9.6 km)
Temperature Range: 38 F to 15 F (3 C to -9 C)
 
  Wearing the Slipstream Jacket at camp
During the field test period the ISIS Slipstream Jacket has been worn in some capacity almost every day. For example, most days this winter have involved hand shoveling my driveway and deck. Nearly 15 ft (4.57 m) of snow has fallen so far this season so I've been out there often. The jacket has provided great protection from the strong winds and cold. As this can be a strenuous activity depending on the depth and moisture content of the snow, I have had to unzip it half way a few times to finish my task in comfort.

I also cross country ski, backcountry ski or snowshoe every day. The jacket is worn to and from locations but stowed in my daypack during those activities as they are highly aerobic and wearing the jacket is too warm. As soon as I finish my sport I change out of moisture-laden clothing and put back on the Slipstream to keep me warm on my return home.

The jacket has also been worn on four backcountry trips that involved pulling a sledge. I have worn the jacket all hours around camp for warmth. It was also worn during breaks while snowshoeing and pulling the sledge. I slipped the jacket off when I went into my sleeping bag for the night but used it for my pillow during sleep.

While I was visiting my small grand-daughter in Wisconsin I added another activity while wearing the jacket. We spent several hours sledding. I  stayed plenty warm and was glad that the snow didn't get inside the jacket while flying down the hills.


More Thoughts

Although the jacket has a tailored fit I have been able to wear it very comfortably over two light layers of wool plus a vest and I have even worn it over a down sweater without an issue. I have also worn it both under an anorak and under a larger-sized down sweater with the reason being that the other garment was larger and I didn't want to compress the down fill (see picture).Slipstream Jacket UNDER a down sweater

There are two features that really shine for me. One is the velvet-lined collar. I can't describe enough how comfortable this truly is. Many other collars on jackets have inner collars made out of a nylon material that are cold to the touch plus they are not breathable like a velvet material.

The second feature of this jacket that I love is the length that adequately covers my back end and prevents me from having to pull at the back of the jacket when I bend over. Again many other light down jackets do not have the length like the Slipstream. When one of my close friends first saw the ISIS Slipstream that I am testing she immediately went home and ordered one. The length was the deciding factor for her as she is even taller than I am. 

The grippers on the pocket zippers have worked well while wearing mittens or gloves. I often stash a phone and keys in the pockets. While the inside pocket has a portal for a wired device, I find it unnecessary as I don't like to be plugged in! However the mesh pocket is handy for other misc items when needed. I have also used this pocket for my keys and a spare lightweight hat.

The jacket has been constantly exposed to all forms of snow. There has even been some light freezing rain and sleet. I have not worried about exposing it to wetness as it has done relatively well in shedding snow. There has been occasional areas where the jacket surface appeared to be wet but it quickly dried without any effect to the insulating qualities.

The ISIS Slipstream Jacket is both stylish and functional; a very great combination in my book. The color that I am testing is a bit bright but I have received many compliments on the bright color. I guess I don't have to worry about not being found while wearing the jacket!

My only nitpick is that I wish the jacket had a hood. I know this is a personal choice but I feel that a hood makes a jacket much more versatile. I have compensated for the jacket not having a hood by wearing a wool neck gaiter and wool hat.


Care and Durability

I have spilled food on the jacket a few times but have been able to wipe it off with a damp cloth. Looking over the jacket closely it is probably due for a washing soon. I have one pulled thread on the front of the jacket which hasn't broke as I caught it against a rough surface. I did clip the hanging loop that was mentioned in the initial report as I determined that it was just an extra loop of thread and wouldn't harm the durability of the stitching beneath it. There are little pokes of down here and there sticking out but I haven't noticed much loss of down. The jacket zippers are all functioning well and have never got stuck.

Pros So Far

  • Very feminine design
  • Warm
  • Longer length covers assets
  • Comfortable
  • Velvet inside collar feels great on my neck

Cons So Far

  • Personal preference would be to add a hood to the jacket (ISIS does make a hoody coat version which is considerably longer)
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________________________________
Long Term Report:
May 22, 2013

USA Locations and Conditions

During the long term test period I have continued to wear the ISIS Slipstream Jacket at least four to five times a week including one overnight backpacking trip. Locations of all activities ranged from hilly deciduous forest to open non-deciduous communities including ice-covered Lake Superior as well as many icy inland lakes. Elevation ranged from 600 ft (183 m) to almost 2000 ft (610 m). Locations included backcountry areas in Marquette, Alger and Houghton Counties (Upper Peninsula of Michigan). 

Location (March 25-26): Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore (Beaver Basin Wilderness), Michigan
Type of Trip: Trail/Frozen Lake
Distance: 14 mi (23 km)
Length of Trip: 2 days/1 night
Sled Weight: Approx 45 lb (20.4 kg)
Sky and Air Conditions: Cloudy   
Precipitation: 0.02 in (0.05 cm) Snow
Temperature Range: 34 F to 20 F (1 C to -7 C)
Wearing the Slipstream Jacket underneath a lighter down sweater
During my backcountry winter camping trip I wore the Slipstream with a wool t-neck underneath and sometimes with a lighter down sweater over it (the reason the down sweater was worn over the jacket is that the former is a larger garment so the combination gave me maximum warmth with little compression of down).

Cold-to-cool weather has prevailed well into spring here. I cross country skied, snowshoed and backcountry skied through the first week of May. Morning temps were often below freezing (32 F/0 C) or just above. The Slipstream Jacket has been worn to and from the trailhead as well as for any outing that wasn't highly aerobic. For example on day treks including all of the aforementioned sports I would start with the jacket on and then stow it during the duration of the activity. If it was a long outing I would pull it out during breaks so that I wouldn't get chilled.

This spring the waterfalls have been especially great with the massive amounts of melting snow so I have enjoyed many treks into the backcountry to see them. While there I would always take at least a  fifteen minute-to-half hour break at each one to enjoy the sounds and sights. The jacket felt very comfy while fending off the mist from some of the waterfalls. The jacket has also been worn about town in this highly outdoors community.


Care and Durability

I washed the jacket right at the beginning of the long term period. I machine washed it (top loader..non-commercial machine) and then tumble dried it with a dry bath towel (to aid in drying) on low. It came out beautifully even though the areas around the sleeve edges had been rather soiled. The jacket is still cosmetically beautiful although there are a few popped stitches due to more than one dog jumping on me at various times. It made me cringe every time and I am surprised that there isn't more damage.
The zippers still function as great as ever.

The jacket continued to be exposed to wet weather including sleet and snow on more than a few occasions. The jacket never got noticeably wet.


Final Thoughts


My opinion of the Slipstream Jacket since the Field Report has not changed. I love the length, sleek style, warmth, cozy inner collar and the durability of the jacket. It will be a standard go-to item for all the cooler months of the year (which is most of the year here).


Tester Remarks 

Thanks to ISIS and BackpackGearTest for this opportunity to test the Slipstream Jacket. This concludes my  Long Term Report and the test series.

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