A staff favorite, this brand offers some mighty fine merino wool, obtained from family farms in New Zealand. Before you scoff at the idea of wearing wool, read on, because once you try this stuff on, you'll never want to take it off.
The merino is one of the world’s most ancient breeds of sheep, as well as one of the toughest. Very different from a regular sheep who chews grass in the lowlands, Icebreaker's merino live in the extremes of New Zealand’s Southern Alps. Regular sheep would freeze to death up there. But the merino’s fleece is built for extremes – breathable in summer, insulating in winter, yet exceptionally soft and lightweight.
In the 1970s, synthetics such as polyester took over. While artificial fibers are lightweight, easy care and usually non-itch, they’re also clammy, stinky, poorly insulating and highly flammable – and they’re all petroleum-based. You could choose cotton instead, but you’ll freeze to death when you get wet in the cold. The solution? A performance fiber invented by nature and engineered for people. To top that off, Icebreaker is committed to a sustainable business model that doesn’t put profits ahead of the environment.
Icebreaker's merino combines the best qualities of traditional wool, synthetics and cotton. It’s soft and non-itch, it’s warm in the cold and cool in the heat, it breathes to prevent clamminess, and it has a miraculous ability to warn off stinkiness – you can run a marathon and still smell as sweet as if you’ve spent the day on the sofa.And because it was made in the mountains, rather than a lab, merino wool is renewable, recyclable and biodegradable.
All merino is not created equal! Icebreaker buys the world’s best merino wool, knowing that New Zealand produces the longest, strongest, purest, whitest merino fiber on the planet. This means it's more durable, stays softer for longer and is less likely to pill.
Icebreaker has 3-year contracts with their growers, which allow them to take responsibility for every step of the process, from the quality of the wool to how the animals are treated. And growers can lock in long-term price security, which gives them a certain future.
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.
In cold weather, our merino uses moisture absorbed from the environment to generate heat (a process called “heat of sorption”). Its crimped (wavy) fibres also contain millions of air pockets that lock in body heat to keep you toasty.
In warm weather: Icebreaker merino keeps your skin cool by transporting moisture vapour away from the skin to be evaporated. And because Icebreaker merino breathes beautifully, moisture vapor escapes without making you feel clammy.
It keeps you 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.
It's lightweight: Icebreaker's 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.
It's breathable: Synthetic fibers feel clammy because moisture vapor can escape only through holes in the fabric. But with Icebreaker merino, the fiber as well as the fabric breathes to prevent you overheating.
Stink-resistance: Icebreaker merino resists odor naturally, and can be worn for days — even weeks — without washing.
Fire safety: Wool is the least flammable of fibers and the safest to have next to your body. It’s self-extinguishing and, unlike synthetics, it won’t melt and stick to your skin – so it’ll keep you safe around the campfire.
Anti-static: Clingy? Ugh. Comfy? Oh yeah. Icebreaker merino is resistant to static electricity build-up, which means it won’t cling or rustle.
Only about 3% of the population has a true wool allergy, so more than likely, you're just thinking of how itchy and uncomfortable traditional wool sweaters make you feel. Icebreaker is so confident that you'll love the way their merino feels against your skin that they offer a 90 day satisfaction guarantee. If you don't love your new piece for any reason, just bring it back to Fin & Feather with your receipt, and we'll happily refund your money.
Icebreaker has tons of nifty and informational videos on Youtube. You can find out lots more about how your Icebreaker was made, and how well it performs on their channel.