Merino wool is usually thought of as a winter garment, but the Ultralite series of merino garments from Icebreaker are also perfect for trail running in the warmer seasons. The natural fiber of Superfine merino wool from New Zealand breathes and insulates incredibly well, and has a luxurious feel next to your skin. The natural fibers don’t become smelly either – a big plus for active users.
The two styles of Tee I tried were the Tech T Lite and the Dash Crewe. The Tech T Lite is a simple Tee with a great fit, and is very versatile. The Dash Crew is more stylized and has ventilated sections under the arms for even more breathability. I found the Tee styles worked well for cool to warm days, and was surprised at how comfortable they kept me. For hotter days I would probably switch to one of Icebreaker’s sleeveless styles.
An interesting program set up by Icebreaker is called Trace Me: Use the “Baacode” tag inside your garment to trace your individual item back to highlights of how and where the item was produced. The multimedia interface provides photos, video, data, statistics, and other information on topics ranging from profiles of the people involved, humane animal treatment, sustainable farming practices, and facilities involved in production. Icebreaker has put a lot of effort into this program to showcase the operations, procedures and practices they use (and are justifiably proud). It’s a fun way to think more about where our stuff comes from.
The fit, style and colors of the Icebreaker line are all great. Although each piece is slightly more expensive than similar technical Tees, they’re a good choice for people who want to invest in a quality, versatile, long-lasting, and responsibly-made garment that travels well. If needed, Icebreakers can be worn multiple times between washings without offending the people around you. According to the Icebreaker website, the known record for wearing one of their pieces non-stop is 196 days. The care and washing instructions are surprisingly simple, too.
For a trail run, multi-day fastpack, camping trip, or any type of travel, consider treating yourself to an Icebreaker even beyond the winter months.