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   Icebreaker Original Zip T

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This is the top that made Icebreaker famous (and rightly so) before they went crazy and started making merino everything (I half expect them to release merino walking boots soon!). That aside, this is a great top for all types of outdoor pursuit. The Original Zip is the kind of top you pull on every weekend regardless of what you've got planned. It's very comfortable, feels nice against the skin and won't stink if you wear it for a week non-stop. Yes, Icebreakers are expensive but they're extremely versatile and last for ages.

Icebreaker Original Zip T

   Icebreaker Original Zip T Reviews

  Reviewed by Ben.D (Aberystwyth) on 2006-03-01:
General comments: Firstly I’d like to inform everyone that Icebreaker WAS originally made in the Southern Alps of New Zealand but if you now look at your inside label it states ‘designed in New Zealand, made in China’. I have one that was made in New Zealand but after buying some Bodyfit 260 I noticed that all Icebreaker are now made in China. This is a big shame because these are expensive garments and you feel you are paying the premium for the little shops in N.Z that make them – not any more. This aside, Icebreaker Merino is one of the best midlayer / baselayer garment you can buy. Merino wool is fantastic and does do everything it claims. It does not smell even after extended use (a cheaper way to test this is buy a pair of smartwool sock, wear them all day and then take a good sniff – see, told you!). My original zip si the other mainstay top I wear for walking, it is reasonably light, and the Merino wool is so comfortable and does not have any ichy properties whatsoever. There are thumbloops to keep the tops of your hands warm and the collar is just high enough to fend off the weather. Mine is now about 3 years old and has seen some use but still looks good enough to wear to church (If I went).

Pros: fantastic material, great fit and good thumbloops

Cons: now made in the far east. Companies locate production to the far east to reduce costs, shame Icebreaker is still as expensive as when it was made in N.Z

  Reviewed by Daniel Winter (Bangor) on 2006-03-01:
General comments: Unlike most synthetic base layers you only need one set of these compared with 2 or 3 synthetic ones that will start to smell after only a day . so when you see the high price tag just think that you only need to buy one set so you are actully saveing money. The material is a high quality merino wool from New Zealand . The material is great as wicking moisture away from the skin so that it does not cool you down when you stop moveing . The fabric keeps you really warm due to the natural properties of the wool trapping air in the fibres . I really like the zip neck that allows you to vent out some heat quickly and easily once you start walking and building up a bit of heat . It also comes up nice and high on the neck . The other nice feature is the thumb loops that stop the sleaves rideing up your arms when yoiur climbing so you dont get cold wrists ,

Pros: Does not start to smell untill after a few days , Thumb loops stop sleaves rideing up , Zip neck allows easy venting

Cons: Slightly more dificult to wash than synthetic base layers but no real problem.

  Reviewed by Banjo Jimbo (New Forest) on 2006-03-01:
General comments: Icebreaker... the name alone does it for me. And the website simply bowls you over with images of bronzed half man / half sheep (well, it is from N. Zealand, where they may be more common), holding an enormous pair of shears rather too close to the groin area for comfort. But Icebreaker is one name which lives up to the hype and more importantly, the price, which is no small feet when they clock in at £80. The Zip t can comfortably be worn next to the skin without being scratchy, or alternatively with a thin wicking layer underneath. Its remarkably warm given the weight, and can be worn a few times without smelling too bad (although I'd imagine this depends on quite how much you sweat!). Colors are good too - my black one has not faded at all after many washes, which is a gripe about other Nut-logoed brand zip t's I could care to mention but won't. The thumb loops are an Icebreaker staple, and although are a bit gimmicky, make you feel warmer, even if they don’t add much cover for the hands. All in all a classic already I feel, and I will definitely be getting another one soon.

Pros: Don't fade easily with repeated washes.

Cons: Price, dodgy website.
This review has 1 comment(s):

Jude responded : Icebreaker is no where near as good as it was. Couldn't care less about fancy website and advertising. Its just not the real thing anymore and the quality is much lower. If you want decent merino gear thats still made in New Zealand go to Chocolate Fish. (2010-10-06)

  Reviewed by Craig Wilson (Edinburgh) on 2006-03-15:
General comments: I was lucky enough to get my Origional Zip whilst on holiday in Prague, this brought the price down to something much more appealing. That said, I'd have no hesitaion in buying another one at UK prices because it's just so damb good! Very warm but breathable, not too heavy, no iches, easy to care for, hard wearing and the best bit the IS true - non smelling even after several days of use. The technical features are great too: nice high zipped neck means you can open it right down for full ventialtion, or zip right up for excellent warmth and wind protection. The thumb loops are great too, but be warned - they are in an odd position on this shirt, more like 'small finger' loops than thumb loops. This is fine but has the effect of twisting the sleeves round when you stand naturally with your thumbs to the front.

Pros: Warm for the weight, breathable and wicking, no ichies and no smelling after extended use. You could easily get a weeks wear out of this shirt, including wearing it at night in the pub with no strange looks. Styling means it can be worn around town as well as the hills.

Cons: Nothing really major. The thumb loops are a bit wierd though and it's worth trying one of these on in a shop before you buy it in the web! ;o) Price is still a little hard to swallow in the UK.

  Reviewed by Pete Baars (Merseyside) on 2006-04-03:
General comments: I had the good fortune to come across icebreaker equpment back in 2002 whilst on a trip to NZ. Combining a very helpful exchange rate with a bit of 'mates rates' at the shop (Basecamp) in Christchurch, meant that this very desirable and functional underwear could be afforded by mere mortals with a normal job like me, The fit on this top is great, it's defintely designed with climbers in mind, there's plenty of length in the sleeves, even at full stretch. It feels very soft worn next to the skin, which is not the way that my memory of any woollen product should be. The zip lasted very well, the fabric DOESN'T start to stink after the first 24 hours. It's warm when its wet (like when you've been flogging uphill for a few hours sweating and then stop). It's comfortable when it's wet (I've used it as a base layer for climbing, walking, snowboarding, caving and kayaking, leading to different levels of saturation). Personally, I find that it's just the job for most winter walking worn under something like a Marmot Dri-clime smock, or Rab VR Trail Smock, and the thumb loops even make it easy to put on and take off with other layers.

Pros: Pretty much everything except...

Cons: the price

  Reviewed by Rich L (Aberdeen) on 2006-04-25:
General comments: I was bought an Icebreaker Original Zip T for Christmas last year by very generous relatives. I didn’t realise quite how generous until I was chatting to a friend about how great it was and he said ‘I wouldn’t pay £80 quid for it!’. Sure enough they are hellishly expensive, and that seems a bit cheeky considering they are made in China now rather than New Zealand. However, they are warm, comfortable and look good enough to wear out, unlike a lot of technical outdoor gear. What I particularly like about the 2 pieces of Icebreaker kit I own are that they are natural fibres. I am sure we all can identify with that fantastic feeling of putting a pair of jeans and a cotton t-shirt back on after being out in the hills swathed in nylon and polyester. These Icebreaker tops have that same great feeling…something I can’t put my finger on….but the body likes it. I know of a friend who recently cycled around Cambodia and wore synthetic tops and shorts all day. He wore icebreaker merino tops in the evening to just let his body breathe and he claims it stops nasty skin rashes etc… This top is a very warm layer and would replace a full weight 200 fleece.

Pros: lovely fabric, they don't smell, they look great

Cons: HOW MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!

  Reviewed by Jude Bland (Yorkshire) on 2008-12-14:
General comments: This company is breaking the Trades Description Act by continuing to state that Icebreaker is made in New Zealand when it is in fact made in China.
This review has 1 comment(s): responded : Dear Jude - this product description was originally supplied by the manufacturer 3 years ago when the product was first conceived (i.e. when it was still made in New Zealand). Thank you for bringing this inaccuracy to our attention - we have updated the product description accordingly. (2008-12-14)


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