Icebreaker Body Fit Long Sleeve Crew
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It may be a lot of money to spend on a baselayer but the Icebreaker Body Fit Crew is difficult to beat. The quick drying merino wool will keep you cool in summer and cosy in winter.
Icebreaker Body Fit Long Sleeve Crew Reviews
Reviewed by Simon Harry (Inverness) on 2006-02-02:
General comments: I picked up one of these Icebreaker Body Fit Crew base layers whilst in New Zealand some years ago. i had never heard of Icebreaker before and they were all the rage out there (P.Jackson on completing filming Lord of the Rings bought Icebreaker clothing for EVERYONE in the crew and extras involved).
Do believe the hype..these things DO NOT smell even after extended use (i wore my Tech -T for 48 days none stop). I usually cannot even go near wool due to me finding it V.V.V.V itchy...not these beauties, soft as a babies bot... they are supa warm so much so that i find my Bodyfit slightly to warm for major hiking...ok if its just that and a mid layer.. they have cool thimbloops at the end of each arm (where else!) which, yep, keep the tops of your hands warm.
i have had mine now for a few years and it shows no sign of wear and tear. Its great to find some clothes that 'feel' quality and you know you wont be buying another one next year when it wears through. i now have a number of Icebreaker clothing inc the Sport range whichis slightly thicker...you will become addicted to them once you have one.
Pros: all, wool you can wear, no smell, longevity, oozes quality
Cons: price, but hey i dont mind forking out for this stuff, was made in N.Z when i got mine (now think they have gone to....CHINA to get produced...who hasn't though)
Reviewed by Geoffrey Neill (Scotland) on 2006-02-03:
General comments: Icebreaker have had a big role in making merino popular again. They have a good range and their items are certainly very well made. Merino is warm, even when wet, and is supposed to wick well and dry quickly.
The Icebreaker "Body Fit" range is thicker and heavier than the "Skin Fit" range so it seemed a good choice as a base layer for a winter weekend in the Cairngorms. I wore it on the second day when the temperatures rose from -5 to +8. I soon started to feel pretty damp so I had to stop and change into a spare shirt I had. I was surprised how much sweat it held and it took a good while to dry out in the drying room that night.
So, I'm not too confident in this items technical abilities but I'm going to give it another go in colder conditions. I have used it a fair bit as a casual wear item and it's been excellent. It's very comfortable and has kept me warm during the walk home form the pub!
Pros: Warm. Feels lovely! Looks smart and stylish. Very stink resistant.
Cons: Doesn't wick very well. Does not dry quickly.
Reviewed by Gordon McIntosh (Glasgow) on 2006-02-12:
General comments: My first impression for a base layer was - how much!? And - does it get you to the top of the hill for that price as well! For the first time ever the sales assistant in the shop somehow managed to sell me the benefits of this top and that I should buy it, as I work in sales talk about role reversal! The Icebreaker Body Fit Crew has a nice fit on the body and feels fantastic against the skin. Performance levels are fantastic as it is a natural fibre there is no smell from the wool so its ideal for an expedition where weight is important. The wool has very quick drying properties so it is ideal, I have found for all year use, even when not on the hills. Over the time I have found that the benefits and durability of merino wool does go someway to justify the price.
Cons: Price, but the benefits balance this.
Reviewed by tomthumb (Orrible London) on 2006-02-13:
General comments: I was given one of these Icebreaker baselayers as a Christmas present two years ago and it is still going strong. Icebreaker was a new company to me at the time but has been growing in strength as more and more people get converted to the benefits of Merino wool. The Bodyfit 260 line is a 260grmm weight Merino wool and is branded as 'the warmest thermal underwear in the world' and I must agree. The top is a constant companion on may walks from autumn through to spring and has seen the odd foray into the hills as a stand alone top in the summer. I have found that in winter, I can get away with this top, and just a softshell on some of the milder days, if the weather is lightly colder a light fleece (100 weight) will add enough warmth to see me through the day. I also now am the proud owner of the heavier weight sport range which I can replace the fleece with if need be. The big plus point with Merino wool is that it doesn't itch like traditional wool and keeps bodily smells away from week's on end - Icebreaker also claim that their products don't catch fire like traditional fleece but I wouldn't like to try that. There are thumb loops to keep the arms down and flatlock seems to keep abrasion away. My top has been very well used and doesn't look warn in the slightest, go and get one if you cope with the cost.
Pros: Non-itch, longevity
Cons: Price and may be too warm for some.
Reviewed by Ben.D (Aberystwyth) on 2006-03-01:
General comments: Like most of Icebreakers clothing the first thing that grabs you is the price. £50 for a baselayer, you must be joking. Well if you are after a very warm, none smelly top that will provide you with many years of service go for this one. The fabric is 260gram merino and is a halfway house between the skin range and the sport range. It is just a tad heavier than a helly hanson base layer. This is a warm baselayer, If you run hot I would recommend you head for the lighter Skin layer as this will be too warm for you on an average winter day on the hill. I wear mine under a sofshell most of the time as I find it just enough. The fit is good and my 5ft 7 frame is a size small, I am usually a medium so try one on first before you buy. Most of the 260 range have thumbloops which are a good idea for stopping the arms rolling up and for keeping your hands warm. The merino wool does not itch at all and becomes much more softer the longer you have it and the more you wash it.
Pros: fantastic fabric that is very warm and non-itch. it keeps oudour at bay for days.
Cons: can seem a little pricy for a baselayer but well worth the investment.
Reviewed by Craig Wilson (Edinburgh) on 2006-03-15:
General comments: Some people may feel that the price of this Icebreaker Body Fit crew is enough to discount it, but look carefully at what you're getting and you'll see that it actually represents good vale for money. For starters this long-sleeved Body Fit top is very warm for its weight. It has a great collar which can be zipped right down for ventilation or pulled right up to keep your neck nice and warm in the wind. The exothermic properties of the merino wool means that you won't feel cold when this top gets wet (which won't be from sweat as it wicks well, but not as well as synthetics). The thumb loops are great at keeping the sleeves in place, however, if you're not into thumb loops then the design of them means you can just ignore them. Like all Icebreaker garments this top really does not smell after several days wear - brilliant!
Pros: Very warm, breathable, high wicking, non-itchy and very versatile base layer. Can be used in many situations including the pub and round the town.
Cons: Great as this top is, it still hurts a bit when parting with £40 plus for what is still a t-shirt.
Reviewed by DREW MORRIS (SUNDERLAND) on 2006-04-08:
General comments: On bike rides, the Icebreaker body fit crew baselayer has been reasonably comfortable and worn with another couple of layers has kept the wind at bay. Although I never really felt warm, I never really expect to on bike rides this time of year, particularly as the weather has sometimes been bitingly cold. Its comfortable and non restrictive, but the problem on bike rides has been that I would prefer a longer sleeve as the cuffs ride up quite a bit and leave a gap between them and my gloves. Good as a base layer, its feels really cosy under my fleece and a winter jacket. Good warm long sleeve shirt. Colours have faded quite considerably after a few washes.
Pros: comfortable nice and tactile
Cons: cuffs ride up, dont seem to fit well.
Reviewed by Rich L (Aberdeen) on 2006-04-25:
General comments: This is the second Icebreaker top I own, (see my review of the Icebreaker Original Zip T) However, this one I bought for myself. I have used this item as a baselayer for winter climbing in Scotland and the Alps under a Rab Vapour Rise Jacket and it performs brilliantly. There are times when it doesn’t shift the sweat as quickly as a synthetic such as a Helly Hansen LIFA, but mainly it keeps up with my perspiration. It dries quickly when you stop, provides excellent insulation and is the most comfortable baselayer that I have ever worn. I suffered badly as a child with exczema and in extremely hot, humid conditions it can return on my arms as a light, but irritating rash. I have in the past had this when wearing synthetic baselayers on prolonged alpine ascents. The Icebreaker tops do not cause this rash and I attribute this to their natural fibres and great breathability. As wool is absorbent, unlike a synthetic yarn, this probably means no surface sweat is left on the skin, helping with comfort. The 260gm weight of icebreaker is better than the 360 in my opinion as it can be used in more situations and is plenty warm enough.
Pros: comfortable, warm
Cons: Price, durability, it isn't going to last as long as my 10 year old lifa.