Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018

Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018
On the Archduke's Path in Mallorca
Showing posts with label Icebreaker. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Icebreaker. Show all posts

Friday, 11 March 2011

Gear Review: Icebreaker Bodyfit 200 Men’s Oasis Crewe – time to turn down the central heating

Ascending Base Brown on 2 March 2011 - the Icebreaker Bodyfit200 Men's Oasis Crewe kept me warm 
[Note that on 5 September 2012, Webtogs Limited went into liquidation, but its business has been continued in the name of Dorset Mountain Sports Limited, t/a Webtogs, with whom I have had no contact whatsoever, nor did the liquidator of Webtogs Ltd respond to my enquiry as to whether any members of the public had lost money as a result of the liquidation.]

I was delighted, on return from Canada a month ago, to receive this superbly made garment from Webtogs for review.  Whilst it’s a shame I didn’t have it in Canada, where it would have been worn in anger on most days, I’ve now had a chance to wear the garment for long periods in various conditions.

Here are my first impressions:

Icebreaker Bodyfit 200 Men’s Oasis Crewe

The manufacturer’s product description is provided at the foot of this posting.

Icebreaker Bodyfit 200 - out of the box

First impressions:
Out of the box – it feels a little heavy compared with my regular long-sleeved t-shirt. Because it is – 200gm vs 155gm (TNF Polartec®).
This long sleeve Merino base layer garment appears to be a product of NZ, but was actually made in China – that’s a surprise – but it’s very well made and has a ‘BAACODE’ that traces the wool back to four ‘stations’ (farms) on NZ’s South Island.
It sells for £49.95 RRP, currently £40 from Webtogs (March 2011).
First day out – v comfy under NF fleece. Arms just a little on the long side.

Fit and Finish:
  • the medium size fits my 38” chest – it’s snug but comfy
  • the length is just right – long enough to tuck into trousers, but equally wearable outside them without it looking too long
  • I have heard that when Icebreaker first started to use Chinese manufacturers they encountered quality problems; there is no sign of any such problem with the well finished garment in my possession
  • the garment exudes ‘quality’, with the flatlock stitching and  seamless underarm reducing friction from internal seams, making it extremely comfy (I should know by now – I’ve lived in it for the last month)
Icebreaker Bodyfit200 Icebreaker Bodyfit200
  • in addition to the features mentioned above, the integrated raglan sleeve design also features a highish neck that helps trap in the heat when you need it most
  • the sleeves are generously long; I believe that this is a feature of Icebreaker clothing
  • at 200gm, this garment is about 45 gm heavier than the equivalent Polartec® garment that I am used to wearing, but it’s definitely warmer.  Ideal for winter use, but probably too hot for most people as a summer base layer, when the 150gm version may be a better choice
Practical Use:
  • I’ve enjoyed wearing this base layer, indoors and outdoors, for the past month.  It has certainly resulted in a reduction in our household heating bill, and has meant that in the outdoors, an extra windproof layer over the Polartec® fleece that I use as a second layer has rarely needed to be deployed
  • in warm weather most people will find this garment too warm
  • I’ve worn this Merino wool top for days on end, including some ‘vigorous activity’, without it becoming noticeably smelly.  This is a big advantage over Polartec® polyester clothing.  On the other hand, if you do need to wash the Merino wool garment, it takes longer to dry than polyester
    [Apparently someone has worn one of these garments non-stop for 196 days in extreme conditions – so there’s no need to try to repeat that particular test!]
  • it’s a smart top that can be worn underneath a shirt or v-necked sweater as casual wear, as well as it’s obvious usefulness in The Great Outdoors
  • numerous manufacturers make similar products, with leading producers charging similar or slightly lower prices, Icebreaker being an acknowledged market leader in this field
  • there are cheaper alternatives; I suspect that they are ‘cheaper’ in more ways than one
  • for really cold weather, Icebreaker offers heavier duty Merino wool base layers such as this one, that may be the choice of readers with poor circulation or a tendency to venture out in extreme conditions 
  • this base layer is ideal for winter use for walking and backpacking.  Some backpackers may wish to deploy it all year round for use around camp and on cooler evenings 
  • if you work from home in the winter months, you’ll find that wearing a Merino wool base layer such as this one may have a dramatic effect on your heating bills
  • I’ll be using it for winter walks, and for general casual wear, all winter, and I may even take it on the two week ‘TGO Challenge’ backpack in May if the forecast is for cool weather
That’s it for now.  I’ll add to this review when I have been using this base layer for a longer term.
Icebreaker’s own product description is reiterated below

Icebreaker Men's Oasis Crewe 

Icebreaker Bodyfit200  

Product Description:

Designed to fit close to the body, this raglan long sleeve top has a higher neck to trap in the heat when you need it most. Flatlock stitching and a seamless underarm reduce friction from internal seams, which will make this top one of the most comfortable pieces of clothing in your wardrobe.
  • Crewe neck
  • Raglan sleeves
  • Gussets for ease of movement
  • Forward side seam
  • Fits close to the body
  • Flatlock stitching
  • Icebreaker tonal embroidered logo
For Icebreaker’s Size and Easy Care guides, click here

Note: Whilst the gear was provided by Webtogs, this review, over which I have total editorial control, is totally independent of that on-line retailer.