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Chris Benson
(roguenode) - F

Locale: Boulder
have a favorite merino wool top? on 07/24/2009 20:22:58 MDT Print View

I'm hoping to pickup a merino wool top as soon as possible. Looking for:

* hot temp/summer weight long-sleeve, crew neck
* athletic fit, but not but not tight baselayer fit
* decent looking as it'll be worn around town between trail sections

Anyone have a favorite they'd recommend? Any good sales/online stores you'd recommend? I tried basegearoutlet, but most of the stock there is not available in my size (L).

Thanks!

David Drake
(DavidDrake) - F - M

Locale: North Idaho
Re: have a favorite merino wool top? on 07/24/2009 20:38:33 MDT Print View

I just bought a long sleeve zip neck wool 2 from patagonia 30% off sale (thru 27 July). Has good reviews there and here. Looking forward to trying it--I'm tired of the synthetic stink.

Sean Walashek
(caraz) - F

Locale: bay area
if your fit enough on 07/24/2009 23:04:59 MDT Print View

The oasis crew from icebreaker is one stylie shirt. Its formfitting so some might find it too revealing. It personally gofo short sleeves in summer but if you need long its close to the lightest shirt you can find. While I love smartwool and have bought a lot of their shirts in the past I can tell you that for me they haven't held up as well as the icebreaker stuff I have.

Amber Ambrosius
(onetwotree) - F
Re: have a favorite merino wool top? on 07/24/2009 23:13:39 MDT Print View

Have you checked out Icebreaker? I'd been ogling it for awhile and found some discounted items (~25-30% off) on Altrec.com (great website, by the way for lots of great outdoor gear/clothing that you would rarely find discounted elsewhere.)

While I can't speak for the men's apparel, I found the women's to fit more true to size than either Patagonia or Smartwool which tend toward the form-fitting. My Icebreaker fits well for active movement and is still classy enough to go out in.

Plus it absolutely shattered the smell test: after cycling Portland for two days in 90 something degree heat this shirt still passed the direct-contact-nostril-to-pit test without a hint of BO. During that time I never once felt clammy, sticky, or gross. The wool is very light and breathable.

The price is still gonna be wool-worthy, with tops ranging from $40s to $100 even on discount, but it's definitely worth it. Altrec cycles through their stock relatively often, so if nothing else keep them in mind for the future.

Do note, however, if you're a stickler about color there is some variation between the picture provided online and the product's true color.

Chris Benson
(roguenode) - F

Locale: Boulder
Re: have a favorite merino wool top? on 07/24/2009 23:17:53 MDT Print View

I'm thinking the merino 2 line might be a bit hot for summer high activity stuff. The merino 1 line might work, but at that price I'm likely to go icebreaker.

As for the Oasis, I am currently thinking of going with a s/s tech t lite and an atlas l/s. The long-sleeve is for summer higher altitute hikes and areas where the extra length sleeves are a plus for bug protection.

Any opinions on the atlas vs the oasis?

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: Re: have a favorite merino wool top? on 07/24/2009 23:22:00 MDT Print View

this shirt still passed the direct-contact-nostril-to-pit test without a hint of BO

Not quite my experience. My icebreaker certainly makes a big difference to the stink factor, but does not totally eliminate all smell from the armpit area. It helps to air it out, but after a day of wear if I shove the armpit area right up under my nose I can still smell BO. Greatly reduced however. Much much better than cotton or synthetics. And if I've given it a bit of air overnight there's no real smell to worry about because not surprisingly I don't walk around with my nose right in my arm-pit.

I use the icebreaker 150 short sleeve t-shirt (can't remember what it is called exactly). It's a great fit... athletic but not fitted.

EDIT: just remembered it is the tech tee mentioned above

Edited by ashleyb on 07/24/2009 23:22:53 MDT.

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: Re: have a favorite merino wool top? on 07/24/2009 23:25:47 MDT Print View

Any opinions on the atlas vs the oasis?

Depends on the temp. If it's for hotter conditions you would want the 150 which is the atlas. The oasis is 200 and also "bodyfit" style. The atlas is a slightly looser fitting style I think, like the tech tee.

I would definitely go for the atlas.

ps. I really like my tech tee. Fits well and looks pretty good. Not as soft as cotton, but I only really paid any attention to the "feel" the first day I was wearing it. After that I forgot all about it.

Edited by ashleyb on 07/24/2009 23:27:15 MDT.

Chris Benson
(roguenode) - F

Locale: Boulder
icebreaker.com on 07/24/2009 23:26:22 MDT Print View

After checking around the net, and deciding I wanted specific colors, it looks like I'll need to buy direct from icebreaker. I'll give it a day or two in case something else comes up or I find a sale with the colors I'm seeking.

Kicking myself for not realizing I'd want this stuff earlier in the year when I bought a bunch of socks during the "kiwi" coupon code sale.

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
GT ultralite 150 on 07/25/2009 00:55:57 MDT Print View

I have been pleased with my GT from Icebreaker in 150 ultralite weight. It has a nice long zip and some large mesh areas. I haven't used it in hot weather yet though.

Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Re: Re: have a favorite merino wool top? on 07/25/2009 08:53:05 MDT Print View

FWIW, I regularly wear my wool 2 for hot summer high activity endeavors. In terms of thickness & fabric weight, it's about the same as the Icebreaker stuff... 165 g/m2 for Patagonia as compared to IB from 140-180 g/m2. I haven't tried the wool 1 yet, but w/~35% poly content, I foresee it being roughly equivalent in terms of warmth as w.2. I like the Patagonia wool more... However, if you want one to look good for around town, too, the Icebreaker (and maybe some of the Ibex?) have (sometimes much) more stylin' looks. Be careful w/cut on the Icebreaker stuff; some of it is compression fit, kinda like Body Armor done in merino wool. 140 weight from IB is looser fit, 150 weight is tight.

Nathan Moody
(atomick) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Icebreaker Superlight 140 on 07/25/2009 11:18:01 MDT Print View

Icebreaker Superlight 140 FTW! I own two and they're the bee's knees. Way tougher than my Patagonia Wool 2, superb hand in the fabric, looks great in-town too. Still a bit hot for my tastes, even in white, when >80°, in which case longsleeve white synthetic shirts become my preference...

Sean Walashek
(caraz) - F

Locale: bay area
atlas vs. oasis on 07/25/2009 15:07:17 MDT Print View

I've got a couple of the tech-t lites, oasis, and an atlas. I like em all. For summer I will either bring the tech-t or an oasis. The atlas with the zip and neck collar is a bit warm. In winter I like to wear the tech-t and layer with the atlas however.

Chris Benson
(roguenode) - F

Locale: Boulder
thanks all on 07/25/2009 16:30:46 MDT Print View

I'm going to go with a 140 tech t and a 150 atlas (long-sleeve crew neck - not a zipper fan on shirts). E-OMC has the sizes and color's I want in stock at $49 each. Not a huge sale, but less than direct from icebreaker.

Can't wait to see how they work out on my trip next week!

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: thanks all on 07/25/2009 19:36:38 MDT Print View

It looks like the 150 line is actually bodyfit too... which means that it is going to be fairly 'hugging' in your normal size.

They do seem to make a looser fitting long sleeve in 140 weight: Icebreaker Solo SF 140. Doesn't seem to be available many places but you can get it at tahoemountainsports.com. $70 though, so might be worth seeing whether the atlas from e-omc works out first.

Chris Benson
(roguenode) - F

Locale: Boulder
Solo SF 140 on 07/25/2009 20:05:36 MDT Print View

Thanks Ashley, the solo sf 140 looks more like what I want for fit over the atlas. I saw the atlas was from the bodyfit line and was thinking of going a size larger to compensate a bit.

I hate to be shallow, but I really wish they had the solo sf 140 in the heron or ink colors they have in other lines. It would make the extra $20 a bit easier to deal swallow. :-)

It's also odd that the only place on the net that has that shirt is Tahoe mountain sports, which has zero reseller ratings.

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
have a favorite merino wool top? on 07/25/2009 20:19:21 MDT Print View

It may be that it is an older line which has been renamed. Which might explain the colours too.

You could also check out the Icebreaker Inca which is 140 and non-bodyfit I believe. Available at e-omc too.

Edited by ashleyb on 07/25/2009 20:20:01 MDT.

Chris Benson
(roguenode) - F

Locale: Boulder
Purchase made on 07/26/2009 17:24:36 MDT Print View

I ended up ordering a long-sleeve inca from the superfine 150 line and a velocity crew from the GT 150 line. I had no idea how many different product lines icebreaker has out there. Between the current line and the last year or so still in stock it was a bit more involved than I anticipated to find what I wanted.

Reminds me of running shoes. If you find one you really like, buy a few pairs before they change them for the next season. :-)

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: Purchase made on 07/26/2009 18:51:11 MDT Print View

Cool, well report back here when you get them. Like I said, I have the tech-tee 140 but I've been thinking of getting a long sleeve version. So I'm interested in the general "fit"... I like slightly athletic/fitted t-shirts (as opposed to loose and baggy) but don't want the total body hugger look or feel. The Inca looks like the way to go, but it would be nice to hear what you think once you've tried it on.

ps. you'd think they would make a long-sleeve equivalent of the tech-tee and label it as such!

Chris Benson
(roguenode) - F

Locale: Boulder
fit... on 07/29/2009 16:41:37 MDT Print View

The shirts have arrived. The Velocity Crew (short sleeve 150 wt from GT line) is what I'd term athletic fit, not body hugging all around, but close fit, hugs here and there. The Inca long sleeve (also 150 wt) fits a bit more loosely. I would consider it "European" fit. That is, not necessarily athletic, but definitely not intended for those of generous proportions.

Overall, the quality looks good and they wear/fit as I had hoped. The colors are a bit off from the website, but not too terrible. Both blues are brighter than on the website.

I fully expect to be able to sweat buckets day after day in these and come into town smelling like a spring mountain breeze. This expectation will be tested next week.

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: fit... on 07/29/2009 19:17:12 MDT Print View

Thanks for reporting back Chris!

I fully expect to be able to sweat buckets day after day in these and come into town smelling like a spring mountain breeze.

lol. Magic it ain't!