"Merino" is the breed of New Zealand sheep found in higher altitudes and colder weather.. Icebreaker is a brand from New Zealand that was founded in 1994. The company believes "nature is better than plastic" and embraces sustainability. Each piece of clothing has a 'Baacode" which links you to the actual sheep back in New Zealand your wool came from. Pretty cool, huh?
Icebreaker recently launched their GT line for technical sports (such as running) which are designed to be "itch-free, odor-resistant, breathable, adaptable to any temperature and protect you from harmful UV rays."
I was lucky enough to receive the LS Pace Zip, Rush V, Quantum vest, and SS Quest crewe to product test (note, the colors I received might not be available in all areas).
Let me start with the LS Pace Zip. This is a fantastic mock turtleneck. I found it versatile, wearing it both as a base layer for a chilly evening spring time run and as a mid-layer over a t-shirt and under my rain coat. It is extremely soft and has perfectly situated thumb holes. The zipper has material behind it (I am sure there is a technical term, but I don't know it) to prevent a draft and material over the top of the zipper to avoid chaffing/cold metal on the skin. I loved the color (sort of a berry) and it stayed bright after many washes. The cut was flattering with a little bit of shape in the middle, but not so much that it was tight on my midsection. The top was also long enough to cover my waistband on shorts, jeans, and running tights. Nothing is worse that your belly flashing others in a workout (both the sight of it and the draft of cold air!).
|Note the zipper|
|LS Pace Zip on me|
|Back of shirt w/ mp3 pocket|
The Quantum vest also has reflective piping all along the zipper and on the back of the neck collar. I love that the zipper has plastic-covered pulls and be adjusted from the top and bottom. On bike rides, this is great as it helps avoid buckling in the front. Like the LS Pace Zip, the zipper top has material over it to avoid rubbing against your skin. Zippers also are featured on the side pockets to keep your things from falling out. The pockets are large enough to put in your entire hand or hold a wallet and phone. The vest is heavier/thicker than the LS Pace Zip but I like that as it is meant to keep your core warm with layering. My test vest was grey and had a fabulous hot pink zipper for a touch of color (I do love pink!).
Overall, merino wool is wear it is at. After trying out Icebreaker, I am a convert to these technical pieces. Normally, I wouldn't spend very much money on a t-shirt to sweat in. But the temperature control, anti-stink, vibrant colors, and great cut of fabric make the GT line worth every penny. An added bonus of being machine washable (line dry though) makes it easy to incorporate into your fitness regime.
Icebreaker did not pay me for this review. They graciously sent me these products and all opinions are honest and my own. If you have a product you would like me to review, please contact me firstname.lastname@example.org