IceBreaker Natural Merino Wool Apparel Review

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IceBreaker Natural Merino Wool Initial Thoughts

For this review, what I have here is an assembly of some impressive apparel products from IceBreaker. I intend to discuss the pieces and versatility of the IceBreaker product line. Some of these products are hot off the shelves, and a few I have assembled and enjoyed the past couple of years. Thus far, what I like is the all-natural approach to its materials, and the warmth provided especially by the base and mid layers. IceBreaker Natural Merino wool, and its New Zealand heritage is a very strong image and branding that comes to mind for me.

***Model Photo above = not me!  ***Photo below = me (Trying to be a model, but not succeeding).

Everything I am wearing, but my belt and shoes, are IceBreaker. Socks, underwear, pants, and top. In my working world, this suffices as a casual, but dressed up enough to meet clients.

On a few of these products, the names tend to get kind of long and techie. I smile at that a little bit, because I get where they are coming from. IceBreaker wants to shout out loud all the wonderful qualities their products possess. I do like simple and catchy when it comes to naming, but so be it.

The Quantum III Long Zip Hoodie

I think this is my new favorite piece of gear. It has seen action while alpine skiing, nordic skiing, running, snowshoeing, and as a casual top. It is certainly a multi-purpose piece. This Quantum Hoodie really packs a punch when it comes to warmth. I would consider this a mid-layer albeit on the lighter and thinner side of things. That said, with the Merino wool qualities, it will perform warmer.

Depending on the day, conditions, and activity, the Quantum over top of a base layer will certainly suffice. For skiing, I would throw a jacket over top which worked great for ski conditions into the 20’s. When’s its colder, I would add another mid-layer as the downhill wind needs to be blocked. For my more active sports like running, snowshoeing, and nordic skiing, the tendency to overheat is real, so then I open the zippers for some air flow.

MSRP $220

Check it out HERE for more information.

Snowshoeing along the Continental Divide on Loveland Pass.

Icebreaker Anatomica Boxer Briefs

My boxers have been a favorite for several years. In the summer we experience 90 plus degree temperatures, and I’ve been bike commuting quite a bit. Hence the Temperature Control + Cool-Lite really caught my eye. Cool-Lite is a combination of Merino wool with Tencel which is a sustainably sourced natural wood fiber from a Eucalyptus tree. Now, ‘bare’ with me, because wool and fiber from trees don’t necessarily inspire visions of blasts of cool air. That said, the Icebreaker Merino is very comfortable and super soft. The breathability factor is what’s helping these undies live up to their name. There are “zones” or pockets of material to allow each to function separately based on the anatomy of the person wearing them. I like it, and they really look good.

MSRP: $45

Find way more options at ICEBREAKER

Icebreaker Persist Commuter Pants

The Icebreaker Persist are probably the lightest commuter pants of all the ones I’ve ever tried and worn. They made a very versatile pant out of Merino Wool. Definitely great for hot summer days, or in the warmer Southern climates. The cuff was only slightly wider, but when pedaling would fold in, so as to not get close to the chain ring.

My first thought was that these would not pass the office test, but with some dress shoes and a button down, they fooled everyone. The lightweight and naturally odor resistant Merino material is smooth and soft to the touch. The added zipper on the side leg is big enough for a wallet or phone. In the end, depending on your office dress code or personal taste, the IceBreakers Persist could easily swing from casual to dressy slacks. I’m sure at some point, these will get put to the test on camping and hiking trips, but for now I’ll keep them pressed and looking good.

MSRP: $160

For all the details, please check out IceBreaker PANTS.

IceBreaker Natural Merino Wool Dress Socks

Fancy and comfy in style. Let’s be honest, reviewing a sock isn’t necessarily a thing that I can write a whole lot about. What can you truly say?  It’s not being tested in an athletic setting where sweat, friction, or cushioning plays a factor. So be it, I like the look, and they are comfortable. Again, the Merino Wool and its natural features are front and center. I am usually a strictly black socks kind of guy, but I am making an exception here. Plus, they work well with some of my dress shoes. Icebreaker has a wide variety of socks to choose from, and it wouldn’t hurt to pick up a pair or two if you are in the market.

Price varies, but check them out HERE.

Men’s Merino 200 Oasis Long Sleeve Half Zip Thermal Top

As mentioned, I’ve come to realize that icebreaker makes it a point to name all their products with as much detail as possible. It’s a mouthful to properly label this base layer top. It has served me well on various outdoor winter adventures. From cold weather running, skiing, snowshoeing, and Nordic skiing, I’ve worn this piece in conjunction with various other pieces based on weather conditions. Effort also plays a rather big role as to what goes over the Thermal Top. Downhill skiing is usually less of an endurance effort whereas running, snowshoeing, and cross country skiing require some serious heat transfer for that sweat to work itself away from the body.

These fit great, and work well for many of my winter sports ventures. Certainly a valuable addition to your wardrobe.  At $115 they are priced above average on the base layer scale, but in this case, spending a few extra bucks will be worth it for the warmth, longevity, and quality.

MSRP: $115

Check it out this and other BASELAYERS

Underneath my outer ski layers are the Quantum III Long Zip Hoodie and the Oasis Long Sleeve Half Zip Thermal.

Final Thoughts On The IceBreaker Natural Merino Wool

Icebreaker is a solid brand created in the beautiful environs of New Zealand which I am planning on visiting this coming summer. Maybe IceBreaker will be so kind to give me a tour of the facilities in Auckland. Only kidding, of course, but I will be sure to pick myself up another piece of gear from the source. IceBreaker Natural Merino wool is certainly a step up in price, but you get a lot of bang for your buck. Quality, warmth, style, and durability lead the charge and make these a worthwhile investment. Take a look at their product offerings, and see for yourself. As they say in NZ, “Kia Oro”.

For more info on these and all of the other icebreaker products, visit

Niels Oomkes: I am a multi-sport endurance athlete, and love to get out into the great outdoors to push the body to its limit. Most of my weekend expeditions, adventures, trips, or vacations are planned around running, biking, snowshoeing, camping, or anything else that will allow me to enjoy nature's exquisite beauty.
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