Merrell Big Sky Mens Jacket
I've been wearing the Merrell Big Sky Jacket for two months on a daily basis. The Big Sky combines Merrell's AeroBlock wind resistant fleece, with a stylish blended wool exterior. I get the look and warmth of wool, with the softness and wind protection of performance fleece. The Big Sky has held up well after a number of washes, (I let it air dry) and outdoor excursions. It's a great coat for cool autumn mornings followed by warm sunny afternoons. It breaths better than a down jacket and has a lot less bulk.
Hanging Out on the Snake River in the Merrell Big Sky Jacket
Here I'm relaxing at Wilson Beach outside of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. (Notice the Grand Teton in the distance?) It's a cool 50 degrees, but the sun is shinning. I'm comfortably warm in jacket, and it's blocking the occasional wind gust off the Tetons. I received a lot of complements while wearing the jacket. I call it sophisticated casual. You can were it to the office, then out on river.
Merrell Big Sky Jacket Pockets and Sleeves
The Big Sky Jacket has two front zippered pockets. There are ribbed gussets under the arms to provide a greater range of motion in the sleeves. Merrell included a heavy duty YKK zipper, with a large under lap of AeroBlock fabric to keep the wind from coming through the zipper teeth. I also like the fleece lining around the collar. This helps keep the wool from itching your neck.
Hiking in the Merrell Big Sky Jacket
The Big Sky is much warmer than a traditional fleece. I only have a light baselayer under the jacket on this hike. The jacket breathes fine with moderate exertion. As I picked up the pace, I started to sweat too much and removed the jacket.
Merrell Big Sky Jacket Fleece Backing
As you can see from the picture, the exterior of the Big Sky is wool and the lining of the jacket is fleece. You'll also notice the flexible ribbing under the arms which allows you to move with ease. The two front pockets are also lined with fleece which is nice to warm your hands on a cold morning.