Ibex Shak Lite 1/2 Zip Review
If you like getting behind Made in the USA products, then you should check out the Ibex Shak Lite 1/2 Zip. The product’s fibers are raised here, the fabric is knit here, and the products are assembled here. Ibex is an outdoor clothing company that stands behind more than just cheap products for profit (or for that matter expensive products for profit).
The Ibex Shak Lite 1/2 Zip is a merino wool pullover that works well for many different activities: from cool to warm weather workouts or as a baselayer/midlayer on colder days. The Shak fabric (a mainstay of Ibex) has been adjusted slightly for the Shak Lite, with a lighter weight and more breathability.
Fabric and Fit
The Ibex Shak Lite 1/2 Zip is 100% Rambouillet wool, sourced from sheep that are raised in Montana. Rambouillet is a specific breed of sheep that falls into the merino category. Ibex believes in its fibers, which are not synthesized but all-natural.
One of the benefits of this fabric is that it doesn’t retain sweat and odor like a cotton shirt or tech tee. I have worn it for full-day outings that consist of long runs followed by afternoon hikes, and still managed to get away without a wash afterward (you can keep your own opinions on when a wash is necessary but either way it didn’t smell later). It is machine washable, so no worries there.
The shirt is stitched with flatlock seams to prevent chaffage.
The Ibex Shak Lite 1/2 Zip has an athletic, snug design that fit my body perfectly. I am 5’11” and 170 pounds, and wore a size medium. It is cut high and tight at the waist, which is perfect when layering underneath any additional garments.
Performance of the Ibex Shak Lite 1/2 Zip
As is expected from a wool shirt, the Shak Lite performs well in many different conditions. This is a mid-weight shirt, and I was comfortable in temps ranging from 40 to 60, and also while using it as a baselayer below 45.
The merino wool does a fantastic job of wicking away sweat. I have noticed very few instances where the Ibex Shak Lite 1/2 Zip retained any moisture, even while performing tempo runs on warmer days. Sometimes it is just hard to beat all-natural products. Also, the 12.5″ front zipper extends to the bottom of the chest, allowing for additional ventilation once you get moving. This is a solid three season pullover.
The Ibex Shak Lite 1/2 Zip includes a zippered pocket on the upper arm, which is just large enough to fit an iPhone 5. I assume the intention of this pocket is to fit a phone (and possibly a credit card and ID), so I would have preferred to see a built-in hole to allow the headphone cord to sneak out. (Editor’s Note: on new versions of the Shak Lite 1/2 Zip, Ibex moved the pocket to the chest and have adjusted the seams.)
One issue that is common with wool products: the dreaded itchiness. The reason you no longer wear your grandpa’s old sweaters. Well fortunately wool fabrics have come a long way in the last 50 years, and the Shak Lite is no exception. There was only one time that I experienced any itchiness, which was on the inner elbow while sweating. Keep in mind this was when the shirt was right out of the box. Since then, I have worn the Shak Lite directly against the skin, and have not had any discomfort.
And if anything goes wrong, Ibex offers a lifetime warranty.
If you are looking for a good multi-purpose base/midlayer, the Ibex Shak Lite 1/2 Zip is a great choice. It is comfortable through varying conditions, and still looks good enough to wear around town. Whether you are new to wool, or consider it a go-to fabric, the Shak Lite will not disappoint.
Priced at $155, it won’t be the cheapest garment in your wardrobe, so just mentally tell yourself that it does the work of 3 or 4 separate shirts.
Read more at Ibex.com.