Icebreaker Apparel: Snowshoer Tested, Mother Nature Approved

_______________Sport Snowshoeing

Mother Nature created Icebreaker merino wool to protect the merino sheep from the sizzling New Zealand summers and freezing winters.

Merino wool was integrated into garments for humans instead of attempting to outsmart nature by concocting a synthetic version.

Icebreaker is a lightweight system of all-season garments combining the inspiration of nature with the technology of engineered layers to perform freely in any outdoor pursuit – especially in extreme conditions.

Icebreaker merino wool is grown in the Southern Alps, a rugged mountain range that stretches like a spine down New Zealand’s South Island.

Temperatures soar to 35 °C (+95 °F) in summer and plummet to -20 °C (-4 °F) in winter – when ice and snow rule.

The extraordinary landscape consists of dozens of mountains, thousands of glaciers, ice-carved fjords, forests, alpine lakes and vast snowfields.

Regular sheep could not handle it. Merino sheep have adapted to the highlands by developing a high-tech coat of exceptionally fine wool that is light and breathable in summer and highly insulating in winter.

Merino 101

Icebreaker pioneered the use of merino wool in the wilderness since 1994 by fusing nature and technology to create merino layers for the outdoor enthusiasts, sports performance, and for the city.

Its simplicity is the trademark of its superior benefits and position in the industry. Click the following link to access more details respective to Icebreaker merino wool.,en,pg.html


Traditional wool is itchy because its coarse fibers push into your skin. Icebreaker merino fibers are ultra fine and do not irritate your hair follicles.

No itching or prickling allowed.



In cold weather merino wool uses moisture absorbed from the environment to generate heat [a process called “heat of sorption”].

Its crimped (wavy) fibers also contain millions of air pockets that lock in body heat to keep you toasty.



Icebreaker merino wool keeps your skin cool in warm weather by wicking moisture and vapor away from the skin without making you feel clammy.

Merino Wool versus Synthetics

Find below some benefits of merino wool versus other lightweight outdoor apparel.

  • Dry

Icebreaker merino pulls moisture vapor to the surface of the fabric where it evaporates before the vapor turns into sweat. It can absorb up to 30% of its own weight in moisture before you even start to feel wet – and it dries fast.

  • Lightweight

Our merino has an exceptionally high warmth-to-weight ratio. The fine, lightweight fibers give you all the warmth of a heavy sweater – without the bulk

  • Breathable

Synthetic fibers feel clammy because moisture vapor can escape only through holes in the fabric. Icebreaker merino wool allows both the fiber and the fabric breathe to prevent you from overheating.

  • Odor Resistant

Icebreaker merino resists odor naturally and it is claimed that it can be worn for days — even weeks — without washing if you are so inclined.

  • Fire Safe

Wool is the least flammable of fibers and the safest to have next to your body. It is self-extinguishing and – unlike synthetics – it will not melt to your skin.

  • Sun Safe

Icebreaker merino has a UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Rating) of at least 50 which is considered the ultimate in sun protection. That’s higher than cotton and most synthetics

  • Easy Care

Resilient Icebreaker merino is machine washable, dries quickly (on the line or on the back of a chair – not in a tumble dryer ) and bounces back into shape without ironing which makes it ideal for travel

  • Anti Static

Icebreaker merino is resistant to static electricity.

Icebreaker Layering System.iSM 11.16-3

The warmth of traditional wool was undermined by its heavy, bulky, itchy feel and it took forever and a day to dry.

The 1970s brought leisure suits, bell bottoms and synthetics such as polyester took over.

Artificial fibers are lightweight, easy to clean and mitigate itchiness  but reek once you perspire.

They are highly flammable, petroleum-based, a poor excuse for insulation and clammy against your skin.

The solution is a performance fiber invented by nature and engineered for people. Merino wool combines the best qualities of traditional wool, synthetics and cotton.

It is soft and non-itch, warm in the cold and cool in the heat, it breathes to prevent clamminess, and the miraculous ability to ward off stank – you could probably snowshoe the Vermont 100 and smell as sweet as if you wasted the day on the sofa flipping channels on a remote.

Merino wool is renewable, recyclable and biodegradable because it was made in the mountains rather than a lab.

Merino wool was adapted into a system of lightweight layers that give you the freedom to explore your environment. Wear a next-to-skin layer in warmer weather, then layer up for insulation in the cold.

When Icebreaker garments are layered together, air is trapped in between each fine layer to generate more warmth. Your layers lock together like a single lightweight garment.

Icebreaker uses a unique numbering system to match its innovative layering concept. Find the gist of it below. Please visit for further information.

~Icebreaker GT Base Layer
High performance base layers for active people engaged in snowshoeing, trail running and related outdoor pursuits. Wear underneath Icebreaker GT in cooler conditions.

  • 200 >> Base Layer | Lightweight for cool conditions.
  • 260 >> Base Layer | Midweight for cold conditions.

~Icebreaker GT
High Performance stand alone and insulation layers for people engaged in snowshoeing, trail running or related outdoor sports. Wear these versatile layers in all conditions.

  • 150 >> Stand Alone | UltraLite for warm to cool conditions.
  • 200 >> Stand Alone | Lightweight for cold conditions.
  • 260 >> Insulation | Midweight for cold conditions.
  • 320 >> Outerwear | For cold conditions.

My wife and I absolutely cherish the below products and plan to add more garments to diversify our options.

The warmth and softness make its comfort level unparalleled. The heavy duty zippers make it easy to “zip and go” in a flash.

The apparel is packaged in small sustainable boxes and each is easy to roll for storage in your backpack until needed. Each garment is surprisingly lightweight in texture yet performed like a heavyweight in the elements.

We heartily recommend the versatility and style of these New Zealand products which represent added bonuses to its incredible functionality.

~Icebreaker Men’s Merino Wool Sleeveless Quantum Vest
GT Technical 260 Mid Layer – $130

You will  find a million uses for the new Quantum Vest, a super-comfortable, snug sleeveless top that offers lightweight insulation on cold days.

In essential black, with eyelet panels for even greater ventilation..

Special design features:

  • Two-way, center front zipper;
  • Interior chin guard;
  • Bust darts for shaping;
  • Eyelet panels for increased venting;
  • Zippered front hand pockets;
  • Drop-tail hem;
  • Icebreaker logo and GT ‘wordmark’
Ideal for these weather conditions


~Icebreaker Men’s Merino Wool Sierra Hood
‘RealFleece’ 260 Mid Layer – $200

We challenge you to find a warmer, softer and more
luxurious winter jacket than the Sierra Hood,image
made from our new’ Realfleece’ fabric – nature’s alternative to a synthetic fleece.

Special design features:

  • Interior zipper guard;
  • Articulated raglan sleeves;
  • Zippered front hand pockets;
  • Zippered stash sleeve pocket;
  • Printed inner hood lining;
  • Icebreaker embroidered logo;
  • Hem wrap label
Ideal for these weather conditions


~Icebreaker Women’s Merino Wool Long Sleeve Oasis Henley
‘Bodyfit’ 200 Active Base Layer -$90image

The flattering v neck, cozy fit and versatile style of our Oasis Henley will be your second skin – everyday comfort for exploring the world.

A close-to-body design in no-bulk merino wool lets you layer for style and  extra warmth on cooler days.

Raglan sleeves and no-rub ‘flatlock’ stitching let you move freely and effortlessly.

Special design features:

  • V neck;
  • Deep placket with button closure;
  • Raglan sleeves;
  • Fits close to the body;
  • ‘Flatlock’ stitching;
  • Drop-tail hem;
  • Icebreaker tonal embroidered logo;
Ideal for these weather conditions


~Icebreaker Women’s Merino Wool Long Sleeve LS Express Zip
GT Multi-Sport 260 Technical Base Layer – $120

With a chill-deflecting zip neck collar, thumb loops, an athletic fit and
sleeve gussets for even greater imageease of movement, the new long sleeved
Express Zip is built for action.

Wear one on your next cold-weather run – you will never want to take it off.

Special design features:

  • Trim, athletic fit;
  • Crew neck;
  • Raglan sleeves;
  • Sleeve gusset for ease of movement;
  • Shaped hem;
  • Contrast ‘flatlock’ stitching;
  • Reflective Icebreaker logo and GT ‘wordmark ‘
Ideal for these weather conditions


~Icebreaker Women’s Merino Wool Leggings Express Legging
GT 260  Technical Base Layer-$110

Made for speed, the Express Legging has a trim, athletic fit and a gusset for ultimate freedom
of movement.

So comfortable you will forget you are wearing them. These new leggings are perfect
for outdoor action in colder weather.

Special design features:

  • Trim, athletic fit;
  • Gusset for ease of movement;
  • Contrast ‘flatlock’ stitching;
  • Icebreaker GT ‘wordmark’
Ideal for these weather conditions

Icebreaker Guarantee

Go wild without the risk. Order all the sizes, colors and styles you want – just send back the stuff that does not meet your standards.

Return shipping is free and Icebreaker pays the tab for the original standard shipping. Love it or send it back under the Icebreaker 100% comfort guarantee.

“We guarantee Icebreaker to be the world’s most comfortable and best performing merino clothing.”

If you’re not completely satisfied with your Icebreaker return it within 90 days to wherever you bought it and Icebreaker will replace it.

Icebreaker Sustainability

Icebreaker has a deep commitment to animal welfare and the environment. Icebreaker is committed to a sustainable business model that does not put profits ahead of the environment.

Your unique ‘Baacode’ will let you see the living conditions of the high country sheep that produced the merino fiber in your Icebreaker garment, meet the farmers who are custodians of this astonishing landscape and follow every step of the supply chain.

Icebreaker hopes you find it as inspiring as it does to validate its commitment.

Enjoy your journey back to the source.

Add precision to your  layering system with exceptional Icebreaker merino wool apparel.
Visit; or dial 1.866.363.7466.

To purchase Icebreaker gear, visit

About the author

Jeff Kildahl, Wellness Editor

Jeff Kildahl is a writer, author, wellness consultant and philanthropist advancing preventive health care by synthesizing primary source nutrition and fitness as the principal components of the practice of medicine.

Kildahl is a sponsored vegan ultra-endurance athlete credentialed in bioenergetics, biomechanics, metabolic efficiency™ testing, sport nutrition, and natural medicine. He is a dynamic member of CUBE™ ~ a professional speakers group ~ empowering others to harmonize the "Keys to Living in the Song of Life."

He is the wellness editor at Snowshoe Magazine, United States Snowshoe Association columnist, and contributor to health, fitness and wellness sites, blogs and publications. He is a US-based ultra-endurance athlete and philanthropist for the 100 FOR 100 Movement ~

Kildahl is the creator and president of The Wholistic Edge® ~ a visionary firm providing synergistic solutions to transcend health, performance, and potential in life and sport from the inside out via the principles of Performance Medicine™ ~

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