or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › icebreaker wool any info
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

icebreaker wool any info

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
Hi I am looking at a new shell & some new base layers, I have some patagonia capilene but I am interested in the icebreaker merino wool layers, this stuff almost sounds to good to be true, any thoughts.
thanks bteddy
post #2 of 29
It is in fact, too good to be true .

I love the stuff, I have a couple really thin layers and one rather thick one. The thick one might as well be a sweater, I find it too warm to wear when skiing. But the really thin stuff is amazing. It really does keep you warm when it's cold and cool when it's warm. It wicks amazingly well, you can see the moisture on all the little tiny strands and shake it right off. I love it for ski touring. I also have one of their thin wool hats, which is great for skinning on cold days.

Only problem is, it is kinda pricey, but I've been able to get a few pieces on sale at the end of the year. I also wonder a bit about the durability, the thin zip neck layer I wear the most has a couple small holes in it.
post #3 of 29
It is made down under is NZ, here is their web site

http://www.icebreaker.com/

It does not get smelly, you don't have to wash it much which helps when you are travelling. When the company was starting out they supplied a well known NZ sailor, Sir Peter Blake, with icebreaker to wear on a round the world yacht race. He wore it continually and did not wash it for 3 months and he still had friends - and because of his profile all the kiwis started buying it. Now it is everywhere. There were some kiwis who rode did a motorbbike trip from Germany to Bejing, which included crossing a desert, Icebreaker was one of their sponsors. As well as keeping them warm in the extreme cold of the mountains, and she said it actually kept them cool in the extreme heat of the desert.

I like it cause it is not too bulky and hugs the body, so you get the warmth without tucking bulky items into your ski pants. My top is about over 5 years old now and is still as good as new.

It is pricey, we can't even get it cheap here. Sale prices are only ever about 20% off, otherwise I'd own more.
post #4 of 29
Also if you check the web site they have a couple fo nice stores linked there that will post it out to you ....

I live in the stuff....
post #5 of 29
there is just something about wool that always makes me think it will be heavy and retain moisture, not wick it away !
I know that is not true so will check out some of this stuff in Sydney before I head to Canada.

Off to Lake Louise again and need a long sleeve base garment, normally only ever use a short sleeve one
post #6 of 29
Icebreaker is the most expensive stuff out there but it is also the best. I always hated wool because it would itch but the type of wool they use doesn't at all. Warmer than polypropylene and it doesn't smell as bad.
post #7 of 29
The superfine merino wool they use is much thinnner fibre than normal wool.... also about the same or thinner than poly.....

Whole fibre breathes & it does NOT itch....

NO SMELL either & you can wear it for days on end
post #8 of 29
Also eco-ridge (i think) in NZ make similar.... but cuts are not quite as well thought as the icebreaker (underarm gussets for females so you can move arms without sides untucking because your boobs moved too!)

They are cheaper though.....

Also eco friendly dyes are used - not such a great colour range though
post #9 of 29
Check MEC for their merino, and keep an eye out for stuff by Ibex, Woolistic, Smartwool.
post #10 of 29
The stuff really is very good...I bought the under layers for my wife and I...I love it...my wife prefers more bulk ( I don't understand it myself)...I purchased it online from a store in New Zealand...the first time it was very reasonable however my next purchase was much more expensive due to a combination of a weaker dollar and higher retail prices
post #11 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by bteddy
Hi I am looking at a new shell & some new base layers, I have some patagonia capilene but I am interested in the icebreaker merino wool layers, this stuff almost sounds to good to be true, any thoughts.
thanks bteddy

Funny, I tried this stuff on for the first time this evening as I was exchanging a pair of ski pants. I asked the sales guy if he had any capaline? He told me I HAD to try this stuff on and by the look his face, he thought he was assured of a sale. There was no way I was going to pay $120 for an undie ensemble, so I was determined not to like them. Unfortunately, I really liked them. The fit is amazing and the wool didn't itch. I am told this stuff stays fresh. I still didn't buy them even after the sales guy offered me a 20% off coupon, but I have added them to my Christmas wish list. I forgot to ask if they shrink when washed.
post #12 of 29
Excellent stuff.
Must treat with care, no dryer, light/gentle wash.
If you cannot do that, don't get.
post #13 of 29
Are Icebreaker base layers any different than the merino wool base layer tops and bottoms from Smartwool?
post #14 of 29
Thread Starter 
There is a place in orlando fl called travel country outdoors that sells this product, I was in orlando last weekend & looked at some of this while trying to decide which arcteryx shell I want to buy, I am glad I have a place in florida to look at & try some of these products, they are also one of the online dealers, they also carry the arcteryx shell I am going to buy, they regulary have a 15% coupon in the flyer they mail out plus free shipping plus 20.00 more off for over 100.00 order, now I am trying to figure out what to try, looks like the rock zip-320 weight, hopper short sleave 190-weight & either the slalom zip-260 weight or the long sleave crew-260 weight to start with, it sounds like gentle care in washing is the common thought, gentle drying even more important.
cheers bteddy
post #15 of 29

Interesting question.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ElkMountainSkier
Are Icebreaker base layers any different than the merino wool base layer tops and bottoms from Smartwool?
Icebreaker: the Yellowtail of merino?:

http://www.icebreaker.com/stories/moonstruck.aspx

http://www.woolnews.net/news_item.php?ID=654

http://www.woolnews.net/news_item.php?ID=416

Even Nike is getting into the act with the 100% Superwash merino "cycling inspired" apparel.
post #16 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElkMountainSkier
Are Icebreaker base layers any different than the merino wool base layer tops and bottoms from Smartwool?
Icebreaker: the Yellowtail of merino?:

http://www.icebreaker.com/stories/moonstruck.aspx

http://www.woolnews.net/news_item.php?ID=654

http://www.woolnews.net/news_item.php?ID=416

Even Nike is getting into the act with the 100% Superwash merino "cycling inspired" apparel.
Is that a Yes or a No?
post #17 of 29
It seems to me, from reading those articles, that Icebreaker is simply Merino wool. It would, therefore, be the same, indeed.

The articles say, basically, that Icebreaker has been buying a lot of merino wool, and seem to suggest that this is the same merino wool as other companies buy. Its really not all that clear, though, so I can't say for sure. I would really like to know.

I am about to head out and try some of this stuff on.

James
post #18 of 29
I'd also like to know. Smartwool has had two different thicknesses of wool base-layer pants and tops for two or three years now. They retail for $60-80 per piece. I've been looking at them, several times, and came very close to buying, but never did.

Any of the textile gurus on here care to explain if/why the two brands would have differences in odor resistantce?
post #19 of 29
Quote:
have differences in odor resistantce?
in short: different additives while making the tread.
In general if there no silver tread added to the main tread it will smell after you wash it several times.
Merino wool is way better then regular wool in a sense of not staying wet. But it is still way worse then synthetic materials (polypropylene/polyester)
Let's put it this way, if you sweat a lot while skiing or doing other winter activities. Stay away from natural materials.
post #20 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by moresnow
in short: different additives while making the tread.
Without specific details of Icebreaker or Smartwool washing/scouring processes and dye fixation we can't point a specific finger at any one step as being overwhelmingly different. I did get the sense from wool.net that Icebreaker bought the majority of the 18.4micron-20.4micron clip, and that most of Smartwool's purchase was 20-24micron, but I may have been reading that wrong. Please check if you have the patience.

Quote:
In general if there no silver tread added to the main tread it will smell after you wash it several times.
I agree with this.
Quote:
Merino wool is way better then regular wool in a sense of not staying wet. But it is still way worse then synthetic materials (polypropylene/polyester)
Let's put it this way, if you sweat a lot while skiing or doing other winter activities. Stay away from natural materials.
I very much disagree with this. I have been using Smartwool socks instead of DeFeet in high-exertion summer and winter activities and find merino far better for temperature management at approximately equal levels of moisture transport.

What synthetic is a lot better at, I find, is shedding external debris/dust/dirt.
post #21 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElkMountainSkier
I'd also like to know. Smartwool has had two different thicknesses of wool base-layer pants and tops for two or three years now. They retail for $60-80 per piece. I've been looking at them, several times, and came very close to buying, but never did.

Any of the textile gurus on here care to explain if/why the two brands would have differences in odor resistantce?
I sent all of my SmartWool products back (taking advantage of their 100% satisfaction guarantee). I'll stick to the synthetic fibers.

I didn't like the feel of the wool on my skin nor did I like how "loose" the the fabric fits. It wasn't a relaxed fit, but it didn't have the firmness in the elasticity that I've come to expect.

I have ARKO and Hot Chillys stuff now and I couldn't be happier with it.
post #22 of 29
Patagonia also has a Capilene/Merino line called Auxwool.
post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by moresnow
In general if there no silver tread added to the main tread it will smell after you wash it several times.
.

Are you very smelly? ie do not wash ever in your life or use any soap deodarant etc?

Because I have been using the icebreaker thermals non-stop for over 5 years and they DO NOT SMELL!!!! Similarly my friends who are back country guides have had theirs for years & no smelling problems... Thye will wear the stuff for a week at a time while xc-skiing with full packs in up to 15C temperature.... (in synthetics wife will force them to strip OUTSIDE the house on return)

Washing - I wash in machine on wool cycle with approved wool detergent stuff... Dry in drying room or ski lodge
post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex
Without specific details of Icebreaker or Smartwool washing/scouring processes and dye fixation we can't point a specific finger at any one step as being overwhelmingly different. I did get the sense from wool.net that Icebreaker bought the majority of the 18.4micron-20.4micron clip, and that most of Smartwool's purchase was 20-24micron, but I may have been reading that wrong. Please check if you have the patience.

.
Smartwool feels less silky on the skin to me - so I would back this.... the finer merino feels less scratchy & more slippery.... I once worked in a town that bred indoor sheep for extra super dooper fine merino fibres - sheep had to have coats on if let out of their air conditioned house... small vAriations affect wool

There are comparable fibres from other houses....
The ecoridge fibre feels similar or even finer on the skin....
There is an italian fabric (made from australian wool I believe) that is very fine (from memory) but lacks stretch (the weave is funny)
there is an Oz company making the stuff - no colour range last I saw & cuts are not as well researched
There are other NZ companies as well - Macpac have similar - Again not so well cut IMHO....

OK - I suffer from Raynauds & so I am always looking for wool - NOTHING compares for warmth!!! (My fingers & toes say so)... but my eczema does not like scratchy stuff....

Synthetics do breatha tad better IMO - but only marginally .... I STILL prefer fleece as my midlayer - somehow I feel they distribute the moisture better so it makes it out of the goretex membrane better????

To whoever had the wife wanting thicker layers - the 260 weight thermals from icebreaker are VERY thick ..... much more so than the 180
post #25 of 29
Picked up a thin long sleeve crew yesterday after reviewing this stuff. One thing that surprised me was that I went down a size. The knowledgable shop assistant took one look at my normal size, that seemed okay, and said...nope need smaller to hug better.

Good for the ego if nothing else

Any yes, they are really comfy and don't itch. Can't wait to try 'em out
post #26 of 29

And we're worried about CHINESE flu. . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by disski
I once worked in a town that bred indoor sheep for extra super dooper fine merino fibres - sheep had to have coats on if let out of their air conditioned house...
:
post #27 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex
I very much disagree with this. I have been using Smartwool socks instead of DeFeet in high-exertion summer and winter activities and find merino far better for temperature management at approximately equal levels of moisture transport.
Unfortunately my experience cannot confirm your disagreement . My current socks have 20% of merino wool but if I had a choice between wool/no wool I would've chosen no wool.
post #28 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex
:

Oh yeah - the star sheep(ram I think) was very good at PR shots.... they would take his photo in sports cars & fast boats etc etc etc - all in his little jacket....

I gather the remaining group had to stay inside - they had special floor to let all the dirty stuff wash away & keep their wool nice & clean....

For Prince William's birth the sheep gave wool & it was spun & knitted into a baby wrap shawl thing - the thing was huge & it went through a wedding ring (IIRC)....

these are MEGA expensive sheep..... (Ok - I was friends with farmers that had normal merinos etc - the cost of a ram etc was not low as we were in one of australias better sheep farming areas - these indoor sheep things were worth many times more than a GOOD sheep that these guys would look at - the icebreaker sheep are not in that league - but still finer than normal)
post #29 of 29
http://www.aswga.com/informact.htm

superfine wool growers there.... superfine is by definition <19.5 micron

and the info on breathability
http://www.merinoinnovation.com.au/a..._breathable_en

wicking & socks stuff
http://www.merinoinnovation.com.au/a...oof_wicking_en
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Gear Discussion
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › icebreaker wool any info