Icebreaker Dart Long Sleeve Half Zip Review
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The Icebreaker Dart Long Sleeve Half Zip is a versatile merino wool sports top designed for women. The days of wool being itchy are long gone as it has made its way into the mainstream as a go-to material for high quality active gear.
Icebreaker Dart Half Zip Material
As mentioned, the Icebreaker Dart Long Sleeve Half Zip is made primarily of 200gm merino wool, specifically, 96% merino and 4% elastane. This top has ultra fine fibers that are extremely soft against the skin and not itchy in the least. The Merino wool regulates body temperature and the breathable fibers pull moisture away from the skin so it evaporates quickly. While many technical fabrics (mostly synthetics) pull moisture away from the skin, they can often leave you feeling clammy still. The Icebreaker Dart Half Zip top remained dry or dried so quickly I didn’t notice it was ever damp. This feature was most noticeable when I was working up a sweat ascending while mountain biking or backcountry skiing then quickly transitioning to descending requiring a lot less effort. In both situations I did not get chilled from being damp during the descent which allowed me to stay out longer without getting cold.
Not only was the material of the Dart Half Zip highly breathable and moisture wicking, it is also naturally water resistant. To be honest, I doubted how resistant the merino would be, and it quickly turned me into a believer. Whether I was caught in some drizzle, got hit with backsplash while spraying down my bike, or dribbled a bit of water while hydrating, the water would bead up and roll right off of this top.
The Dart Long Sleeve Half Zip is a lighter weight wool top, so it was warm, but designed more for high intensity activities and breathability than for insulating. I used this top in near freezing temperatures while running, chilly fall days mountain biking, and then as a base layer skiing and it worked perfectly for each type of outing.
Dart Long Sleeve Half Zip Style & Fit
A fairly simple style, the Dart Half Zip has a flattering contoured cut with mesh inset panels down each side which provide added breathability and ventilation as well as some flattering lines. The mesh side panels also feature a large floral-like print giving this top a bit of a feminine touch. The neck is about a two inch stand up collar with a zipper down the front. It seems the zipper is close to quarter zip length than half zip, but it seemed just right.
The Dart Half Zip fits true to size, but don’t expect it to be fitted. It is a regular cut and fits close to the body, but not skin-tight like some baselayer or workout tops can be. This makes it extremely comfortable for easy movement and for extended wear.
Added Features of the Icebreaker Dart Long Sleeve Half Zip
While the material is probably the biggest feature of Icebreaker’s Dart Half Zip, it has thoughtful additions. It features comfortable, lined thumbholes, a soft zipper protector at the neckline, a electronics compatible zipper pocket, flatlock seams, and small reflective details.
Most of these features are pretty standard, but I would note that the zipper pocket is located slightly left of the neck zipper and seems to be a bit awkwardly placed. It has a hole to feed a headphone cord through, but anything larger than a very small (iPod nano) sized device would be tough to fit and may cause the top to sag a bit.
A much appreciated feature not necessarily the thumbholes themselves, but that the edges of the holes were finished with a fold over hem, not just a stitched seam. This kept them from chaffing or cutting into the webbing on the inside of my thumb.
The Icebreaker Dart Half Zip is a versatile lightweight merino wool top perfect as a stand alone piece or layered for high-intensity activities. It regulates body temperature, keeps you dry and can easily be worth through three if not all four seasons. The Dart Half Zip has washed extremely well, dries quickly, and shows no sign of wear after more than a dozen wears and washes.
The Dart Half Zip is available in sizes XS through XL and is currently available in three colors for women. For more information on the Dart Half Zip and other Icebreaker products, visit www.rei.com/icebreaker or www.amazon.com/icebreaker.