Icebreaker Clothing: Staying Warm with Wool!
Thinking back, I’ve owned a few bits Icebreaker clothing in my time and they’ve all be worn to death. I bought my first Icebreaker top nearly 12 years ago and there have been a few others since then. I’ve still got my favourite one; a veteran of two trips to India and survived multiple ramblings around Europe. When not on me, it’s even doubled as my camera case!
Icebreaker clothing has forged an outstanding reputation for creating amazing, performance clothing for the adventurous types. At its core, functional, clean design fused with natural New Zealand merino wool has given Icebreaker the dominant edge in a market dominated by brands pushing synthetic materials.
I have always been impressed by their adherence to ethical manufacturing practices (extensively detailed on their website) and environmental stewardship. The introduction of the BAACODE gives customers a unique insight into the supply chain that helped create the garment you’re wearing; detailing where the wool was grown and background to the farm itself.
Made from super-fine merino wool they’re incredible light for the amount of warmth they give. And unlike clothing made from synthetic materials, Icebreaker has an almost uncanny ability not to get smelly; a huge advantage when you’re just not in a position to do washing.
Icebreaker clothing is naturally more breathable because merino fibres are incredibly fine. Being completely itch free and extremely low bulk, they’re the ultimate travel companion. The basic clothing range is as follows:
Used for their baselayer garments, Ultralite is a super-soft, all-season fabric suited to warm to cool conditions. For cold winter travel, these are great when teamed up with a 260 Midweight layer.
Suited to cooler conditions, 200 Lite is perfect for outdoor activities such as skiing, hiking, mountain biking and adventure travel. Wear as a baselayer in cold climates, combine with heavier Midweight layers or wear it on its own when things start to warm up.
Billed as the original Icebreaker, the 260 Midweight is the warmest of the baselayers. I’ve had a few of these; my favourite top is over seven years old and still going strong! They are seriously hardwearing and warm, especially when teamed up with a lighter baselayer.
Designed to compete with synthetic fleece, 320 Sport is the seriously warm and natural alternative. Best suited to winter activities and travel, they deliver great performance and are low in bulk. Many tops using the 320 Sport fabric have a high zip-up collar or hood for extra warmth.
Wind resistant but with the ability breath, two layers of merino are combined with a stretch knit interior fabric. This creates a highly durable fabric for Icebreakers range of outerlayer jackets.