Icebreaker Atlas Ultralite 150 L/S T
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Kenneth Puentes
(pue397) - F

Locale: Southern California
Icebreaker Atlas Ultralite 150 L/S T on 02/28/2008 11:42:14 MST Print View

After reading all of the glowing reviews of Icebreaker garments on these boards, I purchased the Atlas 150 baselayer, billed as "The lightest and finest all-purpose base layer available for cool to hot conditions". I've tried it on and it feels itchy and not exactly comfortable, kinda like a regular wool shirt.

Will this have a softer feel after washing? Or am I just a sensitive whiner?

Dan Kouba
(BeyondDan) - F
With all due respect on 02/28/2008 12:00:22 MST Print View

Your skin just may be too sensitive. My friend Kristin cannot wear any sort of new merino wool from any manufacturer....no matter how long I shout the positive attributes of products like the Icebreaker Atlas Ultralite 150 l/s t.

Jason Shaffer
(PA_Jay) - F

Locale: on the move....
Re: Icebreaker Atlas Ultralite 150 L/S T on 02/28/2008 12:59:08 MST Print View

Tough call, since only you can say...

The Icebreaker and Smartwool shirts I've owned both started out feeling slightly coarse to me, but softened after a very minimal amount of wear (one or two days, even before washing). This was even more noticeable with Smartwool liner socks - literally one day of wear made all the difference. I have reasonably sensitive skin, and the Icebreakers are now my favorites.

Kenneth Puentes
(pue397) - F

Locale: Southern California
Icebreaker Atlas Ultralite 150 L/S T on 02/28/2008 13:08:40 MST Print View

Dan: you may be right

Jason: thanks for the feedback - I'm hoping it'll settle in after some wear.

Thanks,
-Ken

Adam Rothermich
(aroth87) - F

Locale: Missouri Ozarks
Re: Icebreaker Atlas Ultralite 150 L/S T on 02/28/2008 13:33:28 MST Print View

My Icebreaker shirt almost always feels a little itchy when I first put it on. It goes away after a few minutes though. You could always pass it on to one of the fine members here if it doesn't start feeling better ;).

Adam

Edited by aroth87 on 02/28/2008 13:34:13 MST.

Rod Lawlor
(Rod_Lawlor) - MLife

Locale: Australia
Shipping to Australia on 02/28/2008 18:38:49 MST Print View

So Kenneth,

I heard you had a shirt you wanted to get rid of. Yeah, those Icebreakers are terrible, but I know a bloke in Australia you lives in a cave and likes to wear scratchy stuff. I'm sure he'd take it off your hands.

Seriously though, drop it in the wash a couple of times. It should soften right up. If not, you know where to find us!

Rod

Peter Sullivan
(petesull)
Merino on sensitive skin on 02/28/2008 20:10:13 MST Print View

I had the same problem. I purchased the lightest versions of both Icebreaker and Smartwool (long sleeve crews). I also have extremely sensitive skin.

The Icebreaker does get better with wear. I washed mine in Nikwax Wool Wash on gentle cycle, and it felt much softer afterward. Your skin also gets used to it pretty quickly as well.

I had no problems with the Smartwool, even from the start. I also like the Smartwool fit--it's regular sizing, rather than Icebreakers extremely small sizes (I'm XXL in Icebreaker). After washing the Smartwool in Nikwax Wool Wash after a few days of wear, I swear it's even softer than my cotton Tshirts.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Icebreaker:mens vs womens on 02/28/2008 20:30:52 MST Print View

Being a lady I have only bought their ladies stuff and all of it has been like soft butter draping on the skin from day 1. So...guys, is there a difference in the fabric 'feel' between the genders?

I have to say though: I love their socks and undergarments. Wow. The store in Portland, Or is amazing!

Joshua Mitchell
(jdmitch) - F

Locale: Kansas
Re: Skin should adapt... on 02/29/2008 07:49:05 MST Print View

"The Icebreaker does get better with wear. I washed mine in Nikwax Wool Wash on gentle cycle, and it felt much softer afterward. Your skin also gets used to it pretty quickly as well."

Okay, this story of skin adapting is a bit more harsh than simply wearing Merino...

While getting my BS Chem Eng degree, I did a 9-month co-op for, of all things, a fiberglass insulation plant. Talk about itchy skin... get too close to the machine and you pick up itchy fibers just from 'overspray' in the air. Anyhow, after a month of working there, I could shove my arm elbow-deep into a mound of poor quality insulation (poor quality is much more ithcy than good quality) and not be ithcy at all..

Anyhow, you skin should adpat as long as it's the fibers than are causing problems and not the lanolin (but that should be a different feel, more rashy than itchy). I would suggest wearing the shirt regularly (say every friday as an undershirt) to get and stay used to it. If it still itches after a month or so, you may be too sensitive, but I bet you'll adapt.

Kenneth Puentes
(pue397) - F

Locale: Southern California
Icebreaker & Itchiness on 02/29/2008 08:15:39 MST Print View

Thanks to all for input - I'll wear it and wash it and hopefully adapt (Rod's devious plan notwithstanding...).

-Ken

Stuart Burke
(burkest) - F

Locale: Collegiate Peaks Wilderness
Re: Icebreaker & Itchiness on 02/29/2008 11:43:51 MST Print View

One other thing to keep in mind is that the 150 weight stuff is slim fit. I have a 200 weight shirt that is slim fit and it is more itchy feeling than my 190 and 140 weight shirts that have a regular fit (but the superfine stuff is a little softer to begin with).

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
Icebreaker IS more itchy then.. on 03/02/2008 06:12:31 MST Print View

I thought it was just my imagination.. My Icebreaker seems more noticeably itchy than my Smartwool and Montbell merino. I attributed it to the tighter fit of the same sized Icebreaker, but maybe it is a different blend, or not 100% merino? I wore my Smartwools almost every day this winter, and I'm sold on merino. On last weekends ski trip my base later was wool, from feet up to my hat.

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Another dubious icebreaker owner!! on 04/10/2009 20:56:18 MDT Print View

I recently acquired a new S/S icebreaker tech tee 140 weight.

I've only tried it on for a few minutes, but was surprised to find that it did feel a bit rough and itchy. Not sure why it has so many fans. I showed it to my GF (who is a fashion designer for a high-end label) and she was unimpressed with the quality of the wool (she says top-quality wool is really soft).

So... I'm considering whether to put it on Gear Swap for someone less sensitive than I am, or should I give it a couple of washes and wears and hope that it becomes softer?

It feels a little warmer than cotton, but I really like the idea of having a tshirt that I can wear for several days without it stinking from sweat.

Whad'ya reckon?

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Another dubious icebreaker owner!! on 04/11/2009 08:10:10 MDT Print View

"It feels a little warmer than cotton, but I really like the idea of having a tshirt that I can wear for several days without it stinking from sweat."

Hi Ashley,
Have you considered a synthetic with an anti bacterial compound? There are a number of them on the market: Patagucci, Under Armour, et. al.

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: Re: Another dubious icebreaker owner!! on 04/11/2009 18:50:20 MDT Print View

Hi Tom,

Thanks for the suggestion. I haven't tried anything with anti-bacterial properties yet. Is it a permanent effect that won't wear away with time?

I think I'm going to wash the wool tshirt a couple of times and see how it goes. No big deal I guess if I still don't like it, I'm sure there will be a few takers on gear swap.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Another dubious icebreaker owner!! on 04/11/2009 19:06:13 MDT Print View

"I haven't tried anything with anti-bacterial properties yet. Is it a permanent effect that won't wear away with time?"

Hi ashley,
The treatments come in 2 varieties, as I understand it. One is a chemical compound that binds to the garment material; The other is a very small silver thread that is interwoven with the garment material. In both cases, the treatment is advertised as long lasting/life of garment. I have been using an Under Armour base layer during the fall/winter/spring at home for about 8 months now and there is a little odor build up, but very little, over the course of a week between washings. I have used Capilene in the backcountry for up to 11 days, and there is odor, but not enough to offend me to the point of rinsing out said garment. I think most of it is on my body anyway.

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: Re: Re: Re: Another dubious icebreaker owner!! on 04/11/2009 19:07:54 MDT Print View

OK thanks Tom I'll check them out!

Rick Cheehy
(kilgoretrout2317) - F

Locale: Virginia
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Another dubious icebreaker owner!! on 04/11/2009 19:22:40 MDT Print View

I vote you'll get used to it. I found all wool itchy at first; now it's all I'll wear.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Another dubious icebreaker owner!! on 04/11/2009 19:28:52 MDT Print View

Ashley:

I've had pretty good luck with silver-treated X-static socks. It's not a miracle fabric, but it does cut down considerably on the stink factor as compared to ordinary synthetic socks.

MontBell also has a line of anti-microbial synthetic tops and bottoms. No experience with those but I trust MontBell products.

Finally, have you tried blended materials -- e.g. 80/20 poly/cotton? They work wonderfully for me. I can wear the same tee for 5-6 days -- sweating profusely every single day -- and then dining at restaurants at the end of my trips without anyone noticing any difference.

I should note that sweating aside, I do try to keep myself fairly clean throughout a hike -- e.g. wiping down with anti-bacterial wipes at night.

Edited by ben2world on 04/11/2009 19:30:01 MDT.

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: Re: Another dubious icebreaker owner!! on 04/11/2009 19:38:08 MDT Print View

I actually don't mind wool in socks, and I suspect I may get used to it in a tshirt too. But I'll try some poly/cotton tshirts too if I can track some down locally.

"and then dining at restaurants at the end of my trips without anyone noticing any difference."

They're just being polite ;-)