Smartwool Smartloft 120 Jacket Reviewed

Text by: Ted Morton

Smartwool. Smartwool Smartloft 120 Jacket Reviewed

I’m going to start this review off with a very bold claim. This jacket be one of the best-constructed clothing items I’ve ever owned. I think this item is something everyone should have in their wardrobe, and while you bock at the price tag, just know, this jacket is worth every penny if you’re seriously into the outdoors.  Honestly, Smartwool is one of those brands that I always thought was a little overpriced. This is not true, this item holds no limits.

Shop Smartloft 120 Jacket

Our review of this product

The pros are:

  • Warmth 
  • Breathability
  • Softness – can be worn next to your skin
  • Construction
  • Fit

The cons are:

  • If you don’t like things that are a bit snugger around your butt/back, this isn’t for you.


The garment I’m reviewing is the Smartwool Smartloft 120 jacket, it curtails on the last jacket I reviewed, the Smartloft 60 Sweater/Jacket.  The 120 jacket is meant to be worn either next to your skin, or with a tight moisture wicking base layer.  This jacket has all of the small details taken care of, it’s thoroughly thought out and constructed for strength, packability, and protection from weather, while you sweat. 


There are a ton of features listed from Smartwool, but here’s my take on the key features from a users perspective – and no, I’m not paid to do this.
  • The Zipper is backed by a wind-stop lip – And it doesn’t get stuck in the zipper!!!
  • The inside of the jacket is lined completely with merino wool – they even lined the back of the back of the pockets, and they cut excess material from all of the flat seams!
  • The collar – Finally, a collar that sits high enough to block wind, but is also lined in merino wool, so you don’t ruin your jacket with sweat!
  • Thumbholes that aren’t awkward. This jacket has thumbholes, and while you may not ever use them, consider this – I often use the thumb holes when I’m biking or skiing as a way to keep the wind from nipping at my wrists, they also double as the best snot wipes you can ever imagine.
  • The zipper – OMG – I’m a bit of a zipper connoisseur because I work in the outdoors, I’ve seen it all, and I’ve used some pretty high-tech jackets and what’s always the one thing that breaks, in the worst moment possible – the zipper. This zipper, is the YKK Vislon, why is this important? The Vislon zipper is a marine zip, it’s tight construction slows wind and, are you ready for it? The materials that construct this zip don’t promote mildew growth.  Here’s a test – Find your oldest jacket that you sweat in a lot or wear in the rain > go smell the zipper. Yeah, smells funky eh!? Think about, when zipped up, this zipper is being sweated on, breathed on and snotted on…Like I said, they thought of everything!
  • The fill of the jacket is Merino Wool/Poly and is 50% recycled. Why is this important? Unlike down (which when it gets wet, it packs down), wool doesn’t pack down, it also handles moisture 100x better, it absorbs, breathes and doesn’t stink!


The jacket does fit quite tight to your body, while the arms a bit looser. This jacket does pass the “throw your hands in the air” test. You can move freely in this jacket because it’s been constructed with elastine patches in all the right places.
It’s tight in the back to wick your sweat and a little looser in the front – I chose a medium and have quite a bigger chest, with small arms.


Lots of fall and winter biking in up to -5°c, running and a few meetings.

Overall Opinion

This jacket is an everything jacket, wear it running, biking, cutting wood, around town or under another jacket.  The best use of this jacket is for high/medium aerobic activities, where there’s a potential for you to sweat and then stand around or will face some wind. It’s perfect for mountain biking because the back is open and breathes so well, yet on the descents, you have lots of wind protection and your warmth is retained.

So, ugh, honestly – a 10/10. You won’t regret this piece. I’ve been eyeing up some more Smartwool items, as this brand has converted me for life.

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