Feb 5, 2013 at 5:56 pm #1298892Feb 6, 2013 at 9:32 am #1951356
@balrogLocale: New England
I have purchased least 10 Ibex items, using them since 2007.
Where do you live? Here in the coastal and western Maine mountains, I take an ultralight down jacket all year round. You must be out west? If we throw soaked shirts of any kind in the corner of the tent in the Northeast, they will NEVER dry, but start mouldering- there's too much humidity here.
I have used Ibex base and mid layers on three thru-hikes, but the base layer was torn to shreds mid way though both the longer hikes. I also found that I preferred a very thin short sleeve synthetic fabric over the lightest Ibex merino in the So. Cal desert where the wool was overpowered by the heat.
I agree that Ibex gear is good, but for the past year have been replacing worn items with Patagonia merino. The small amount of synthetic fabric that is now part of their wool line renders the garments much more durable than pure merino, which I find tears too easily. I have actually torn the lightest Ibex merino tights just putting them on after a shower, if I am not super careful. I agree that thumb slots are awesome, and have a Wool Patagonia hoodie that is teaching me to appreciate the hooded portion, as you outline.
I would have liked to see a comparison of the Ibex products you describe against similar Patagonia merino items, rather than referencing the synthetic lines but can understand your reasoning behind your choices. I have had excellent customer service from Ibex, an important consideration if you are too quick and your legs are too sticky after a shower.Feb 6, 2013 at 10:01 am #1951370
@justinmcLocale: Southern California
Thanks for the review and bringing attention to Ibex Brad! My Ibex Indie hoodie is my go-to next to skin piece during the colder months.Feb 6, 2013 at 12:51 pm #1951438
The older version of the woolies were a bit too lightweight, I think something like 16.5? Now they stick to 17.5 or 18.5 microns and the tighter baselayers are a lot more durable. I got a pair of bottoms for christmas and they're totally great. About an ounce heavier than my old wool bottoms, but you can feel the difference in thickness if you compare them side-by-side. At any rate, if you happen to find some really light-weight wool base layers, consider sizing up!Feb 6, 2013 at 2:30 pm #1951467
jim loganBPL Member
Thanks for the article. I have been a woollie since the 80s, when it was very hard to find in any weight. A couple of years ago I tracked down my most essential piece of clothing: an Ice Breaker short-sleeved zip-necked tee, and I pair it with Smartwool arm warmers for a base layer for any season. The zip and warmers give a lot of control for temperature variation (I think I have a comfort range of about 1/2 degree and it's not always the same degree!). Of course, Ice Breaker has discontinued the shirt (fortunately I got a second) and I have located no similar garment elsewhere. Does anyone make such a thing anymore?
The Ibex hoodie intrigues me and I am glad to see your observations. I hope others will chime in to nudge me into getting something else I probably do not need. But it has sounded sweet for sooooo long that I seem to be heading in that direction.
Thanks for the wool report, even if it is totally about one brand when there are now many to choose from. It is remindful of the recent article on the sleeping bag that sounded more like an advertisement, but this happens to be about a subject I am glad to see discussion about.Feb 6, 2013 at 11:23 pm #1951675
Robin McKayBPL Member
@rlmckayLocale: Wanaka NZ
Check out Icebreaker Sonic – Us Kiwis live in merino – after all we supply it to the world! You may want to try the Icebreaker outlet store – not too sure if they sell on line. I get all my Merino gear there. Not cheap but super quality comes at a price!Feb 7, 2013 at 9:32 am #1951756
@vdealLocale: West Virginia
"A couple of years ago I tracked down my most essential piece of clothing: an Ice Breaker short-sleeved zip-necked tee, and I pair it with Smartwool arm warmers for a base layer for any season. The zip and warmers give a lot of control for temperature variation (I think I have a comfort range of about 1/2 degree and it's not always the same degree!). Of course, Ice Breaker has discontinued the shirt (fortunately I got a second) and I have located no similar garment elsewhere. Does anyone make such a thing anymore?
Check out the Minus 33° Tarleton Men's Lightweight S/S 1/4 Zip at
Should be what you're looking for.Feb 7, 2013 at 10:16 am #1951770
Tjaard BreeuwerBPL Member
@tjaardLocale: Minnesota, USA
If I understand you correctly, you were looking for a touch more warmth in the evening/morning when not hiking? Over your lightweight hiking baselayer?
How about using a windshell? At 3-6 oz certainly a lot lighter, and more likely to be worn during hiking if it gets cold or windy.
The wool shirts have one big benefit you didn't mention: if you are having a campfire, small sparks won't ruin them as much.Mar 8, 2013 at 10:51 am #1963159
Ben PearreBPL Member
Hi! Thanks for the article. I'm a huge fan of Icebreaker–I have had mostly good luck with sizing–with occasional forays into Ibex-land for things that they do better.
"Newsflash: If you put something on, it will be warmer than wearing nothing."
Under some conditions, cotton is cooler than nothing. Is this true when it's bloody hot out? I can't really tell because everything gets clammy and uncomfortable, but if we're talking actual thermal regulation, then I believe it's useful…? I presume that linen has similar properties, and may be better?
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