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Reviews > Clothing > Jackets > ISIS Slipstream Down Jacket > Test Report by Katie Montovan


ISIS Slipstream Jacket

ISIS Slipstream Jacket
Picture from www.isisforwomen.com

Test Series by Kathryn Montovan

Tester Information

Name: Kathryn Montovan

Biography:

I have been backpacking, climbing, kayaking, canoeing and winter camping for over 10 years. My excursions are mostly weekend and occasionally weeklong backpacking and kayaking trips in the wooded and often wet, rolling terrain of western New York. I usually tarp camp with a small to large group and love to cook fun and delicious foods on my trips. In general, I strive for a compact and light pack and value well-made and durable gear.

E-Mail: sull0294(at)gmail(dot)com
Age: 29
Location: Groton, New York USA
Gender: F
Height: 5' 5" (1.65 m)
Weight: 150 lb (68 kg)

Initial Report

Product Information and Specifications:


Manufacturer:

ISIS

Year of Manufacture:

2012
Manufacturer's Website: www.isisforwomen.com
Model:
Slipstream Jacket
Color: Vixon. Current colors include: Dusk, Vista, Emerald, and Grape
Materials:
1.3 oz. anti-static ripstop polyester w/DWR (Durable Water Repellent) finish shell; 800-fill goose down; riptstop polyester lining
Size:
8 (Sizes 4 - 14 available)
Listed Weight:
Not listed
Measured Weight:
14.4 oz (408 g)
MSRP:
$229 US

slipstream
Wearing the ISIS Slipstream jacket on a hike in the snow.

Product Description:

slipstream The ISIS Slipstream jacket is a lightweight down jacket with a durable water repellent shell fabric. The collar is lined with a soft synthetic fabric. There is a sturdy loop under the tags for hanging the jacket on a hook.

The zipper works smoothly and is nicely protected by the "no-snag draft flap." The ribbon that is sewn onto the draft flap makes it stiffer and smoother and so far has been truly no-snag. It is a delightful detail that is decorative and very functional. At the top is a "zipper garage" which is basically the draft flap folded over to protect the chin from getting snagged by the zipper (not visible in the pictures). Near the top of the zipper is an elastic loop which I have been unable to find a purpose for (visible in the left photo).

The jacket has a nice shape, which tapers in at the waist and is a great length (even for my long torso). The variable-width one-to-two inch wavy baffles are attractive and look like they will keep the down in place through extended use.

The collar of the Slipstream Jacket.
The no-snag draft flap.


There is a mesh zippered pocket on the inside of the jacket. The pink snowflake in the photo has a hole in the center which is plenty large enough to accommodate by headphone cord for an MP3 player. This is a nice feature which does not add much weight or bulk, and which it unobtrusive (almost unnoticeable) when not in use.

At the base of the jacket in the hem is an elastic drawcord with a toggle at both side seams. The way the toggle is constructed there is flexibility in where the jacket is tightened (back, left front or right front).

Slipstream Jacket has elastic cuffs on the sleeves that gently tighten the sleeve around the wrist. They are loose enough that I didn't initially notice them, but tight enough to prevent most drafts from going up my sleeves.

Zippered interior mesh pocket
Drawcord hem

Care Instructions:

The following care instructions are printed on the liner of the Slipstream Jacket:
  • Secure all Velcro and zippers
  • Machine wash in warm water with a mild detergent using the gentle cycle
  • Use mild detergent
  • Do not use bleach or fabric softeners
  • Tumble dry low with clean tennis balls to fluff up the down
  • Do not iron
  • Do not dry clean

The care instructions printed
on the liner fabric

Initial Impressions:

This is a very nice, lightweight jacket and has been designed with great attention to the small details. It is a flattering style with a nice fit and a good length (both aesthetically, and for active outdoor use). When it first arrived I was a little surprised by how thin and bright the jacket is. Online photos of this jacket don't always capture how pink it is, but I have quickly come to love the color. It is bright and visible in the snow or deep woods, which is something that I like in outdoor clothing for safety reasons. My other down jacket is at least four times as thick as the Slipstream Jacket, but I think that the two have a similar level of warmth. I imagine that this comes from the combination of the 800-fill goose down, the shell and liner fabrics.

All the seams look well-constructed and do not have any noticeable defects. The one problem that I found was that when I first received the jacket there were several feathers poking out of the baffle stitching. I pulled these out and have not seen any more since. I will keep an eye out throughout the test for more feather loss.

Trying It Out

It was snowing when this jacket arrived and I promptly headed out to a local trail to do an initial test of the jacket. It was about 30 F (-1 C), and I was toasty in just the slipstream and a wicking t-shirt. Later that night I wore the Slipstream jacket while I shoveled in a heavy snow storm. It kept me very warm with only a t-shirt underneath despite a strong wind and temperatures around 15 F (-10 C). I did have to go back in for a scarf/neck gator because the collar is not snug enough to keep my neck warm in inclement weather.

When I came in from shoveling, my hat and scarf were covered in snow and the jacket was covered in beaded up melted snowflakes. It looked like they had melted from my body heat while I was outside but that the water repellent shell fabric was repelling the water and keeping me warm and dry.

Summary

This is a surprisingly warm jacket for its thickness and weight. It is attractively designed and fits great. I can see it becoming a favorite jacket/layer for all my cold weather adventures. I am excited to put this jacket to the test in all the cold conditions I encounter over the next few months. I will pay particular attention to its durability, functionality, warmth, and water repelling capacity throughout the test.

Field Report

Field Conditions

Field Conditions: 5 day-long hikes and snowshoeing trips near Ithaca, New York. Conditions included rain, snow, sun, wind, with temperatures between 10 and 40 F (-12 to 4 C).

I have also found reasons to wear this jacket nearly nearly every day between when it arrived at my house, and the arrival of warm spring weather to my region.

Field Report

Active use in temperatures between 10 and 20 F (-12 and 7 C): This jacket is too warm for me to use it during heavy activity even when it is cold. Initially I experimented with it to figure out what temperatures made it an appropriate layer for active use. I found that I generated too much heat while snowshoeing or vigorous hiking in temperatures down to 10 F (-12 C) (which were the coldest conditions I was highly active in this year). I found that the jacket was appropriately warm for less rigorous hikes in temperatures between 10 F and 20 F (-12 to -7 C). When shoveling, I usually grabbed this jacket and by the end of my shoveling would have it at least partially unzipped to help regulate my temperature.

Resting use in temperatures between 10 and 40 F (-12 and 4 C): I found this jacket was a really excellent way to keep warm when I am inactive outdoors in the cold. This included breaks (making hot drinks) on snowshoe or rigorous hiking adventures, waiting at busstops, meandering around town, or watching the stars on a cool spring evening. It is small enough to fit easily into my day pack, and keeps me very warm in all of the conditions I have encountered.

Snow: This jacket did well in the snow. One time when I was shoveling I noticed that snowflakes that rested on the jacket melted fairly quickly, demonstrating that a significant amount of heat was making it through the insulation, but this moisture did not make it through the durable water repellent fabric to the down insulation.


Rain: One day I got caught for a 10 minute walk in an unexpected just above freezing rain shower (37 F/3 C), and put the water repellency to more of a test than I had intended. I remained dry and the down remained lofty, and the jacket shell dried fairly quickly after going inside. Overall, it was a successful test, but it was nerve racking and, in the future, I will try to avoid getting caught without a rain jacket to throw over this jacket when rain is expected.

Hoodlessness: My only wish is that this jacket had a hood. I love down hoods because they are so wonderfully warm, and hoods in general help keep drafts off my neck and rain and snow from ending up down my back. That being said, this is one of the only jackets that I love that does not have a hood. The soft collar and the warmth of the jacket more than make up for the inconvenience of needing to wear a neck gator, scarf, and hat to keep my neck, face and head warm.

Durability/Wear: This jacket shows very few signs of wear even with the hard, daily use I have put it through. There were multiple times where I caught the fabric on a thorn, stick, or something and worried that the fabric would be damaged and found that it was surprisingly resilient. I have regularly found a feather or two sneaking through a seam, but the problem has not worsened with use and is not happening too often. There is one thread on one of the baffles on the back of the coat (where it looks like the thread was changed) that is starting to pull out and when I gently pulled on it to see it it was stable, the baffle stitching started to pull out. I will do what I can to tie this thread off and limit the damage this thread can do.

Loose thread from a baffle
on the back of the jacket

Summary

I love the ISIS Slipstream jacket. It looks like it is about time to wash my Slipstream Jacket, so I will soon wash it according to the manufacturers directions and report on how it fairs in the wash in my long term report

Likes

  • Warmth
  • Comfort
  • Water repellency
  • Length, style, and fashionable details
  • Trim design

Dislikes

  • Occasional loose feathers come through seems
  • With use the zipper protector (the ribbon reinforcement to keep the zipper from catching) has started to soften and occasionally catches in the zipper.

Long Term Report

Field Conditions

Field Conditions: a 2-night car camping trip in the western Adirondacks (near Lowville, NY). Daytime temperatures were around 60 F (16 C) with nighttime temperatures getting down to 38 F (3 C). There was no rain on this trip.

I have not used this jacket as much during this phase of the test because it has, for the most part, been too warm to need it. Any time it dips below 40 F (4 C), I find reasons to wear it, but otherwise it is too warm for me to comfortably wear this jacket if I am being at all active.

Performance

Trip performance: The ISIS slipstream performed beautifully on my trip. In the evening when I was starting to get chilly I put it on and was comfortably warm until it was time for bed. It packed well into a stuff sack, and worked well as a blanket for the dog at night (which is the usual nighttime fate of my down jackets). Overall I was pleased with its performance.

Washing according to the manufacturers directions: I closed all zippers and washed the jacket in my top-load washer on gentle, with warm water and a mild detergent. Then I dried the jacket on low with 4 wool dryer balls (which perform the same function as the recommended clean tennis balls). It came out clean and fluffed and the only mishap was some additional feathers caught in the seams half-way out. The jacket has worked well since washing with no significant changes in any of the features due to washing.

Durability: The ISIS Slipstream has held up extremely well to 4 months of testing. The early portion of this test involved 2.5 months of daily use in varied conditions, with very little noticeable wear on the jacket. There were a few times that I snagged the jacket on a thorn or stick and was afraid that I had caused damage, but found that in all of these cases I was unable to find the hole or snag in the fabric. The fabric is durable and help up to my abuse throughout this test. The baffle seams were a little less durable, with minor problems with escaping feathers through the seams and some problems with a couple of baffle seams starting to come out (see picture above). I tied off these seams by hand and did not have further problems with them.


Likes

  • Soft interior fabric
  • Incredible warmth in a non-bulky jacket
  • Color and decorative touches (wavy baffle lines, pretty zipper pulls, contrasting zipper-protector flap)
  • Style and fit
  • Durable water repellent finish

Dislikes

  • Occasional loose feathers through the seams
  • Zipper occasionally catches on the zipper-protector.

Summary

I love this jacket! When I camp (in seasons other than the hot part of summer), I usually bring along a puffy down jacket for extra warmth in the late evening. This jacket is far nicer than the other two down jackets I have owned because it's cut keeps it close to my body, the jacket and collar linings are very nice and soft, it is incredibly warm, and it packs relatively small and is not bulky. In addition, I can wear it confidently in moist conditions without fear of the feathers getting wet. My only complaint about this jacket is the loss of feathers through the baffle seams. The fabric and side seams do a good job at keeping the feathers in, but somehow the baffle construction made large enough holes for the feathers to sneak out. This was a minor issue throughout the test. Overall, the ISIS slipstream is a great jacket that makes me look forward to times when I get to sit outside in the cold (which is not something I can say about many things).

Thank you to ISIS and BackPackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test the Slipstream Jacket.


 



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Read more gear reviews by Katie Montovan

Reviews > Clothing > Jackets > ISIS Slipstream Down Jacket > Test Report by Katie Montovan



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