Icebreaker Baselayers Review and Giveaway

Well, our Christmas series is quickly coming to a close.  Today, for day 11, we’re excited to feature Icebreaker merino wool baselayers.  When Icebreakers asked us to review their products, we were so excited.  We’d been hearing about how great their clothing was, but had yet to get some of our own.  Luckily for us, they were willing to share some with the whole family so we could all share our thoughts on how well they performed (men’s review will be posted later).

In the past few years, we’ve been able to get away with lots of layering of mediocre clothing to keep Mason warm.  However, we knew that this year was going to be different.  Mason can now easily ski for several hours straight meaning that he was to the point where he really needed good clothing to keep him warm.  (that also means Chloe will need better gear this year too since it will just be me and both kids a lot of days).  When it comes to layering, you have essentially three options.  Synthetic fibers (like polyester), cotton, or natural fibers (like hemp or wool).  Synthetic fibers are good at wicking, but smell can start to build up after a while and are flammable.  Cotton is great for staying at home, but once you start to sweat, you will understand the saying “cotton kills” quite intimately, as you begin to freeze.  Natural fibers like merino wool are breathable, non-itch, non-flammable, and won’t retain smells.  Although there can be a big price difference between synthetic and natural fibers, we recommend going with natural fibers, if your wallet can handle it.  Here’s what we thought of Icebreakers merino wool.


Images from Icebreaker.com

Well, right off the bat, Mason and Chloe were in love with the tops that they got.  Masons had a skater on it and Chloe’s had butterflies – the designs alone where enough to win them over.  I was thrilled that they actually didn’t itch the kids at all.  Mason is pretty particular about what he wears and I knew that if it itched him at all, it would be a long time before I could get him to wear it again.  Thankfully, they are nice and comfortable.  The other feature that the kids love is the hoods on both their tops.  These hoods really are great.  Unlike most hoods, they’re not bulky or awkward to wear.  The hoods on the Icebreaker tops are very generously sized and lightweight, which made it easy to throw their warm hats on top of them for a little extra neck warmth (okay, it was really because Mason refused to take his hood off, but the neck warmth was an added bonus).  We were also very impressed with how warm the kids stayed.  The tops that we got them are actually pretty thin, but still did a good job of keeping the kiddos warm.  One fun thing that we really liked about Icebreaker is that all their clothing comes with an ID number, the Baacode (how fun is that name?).  Then you go to their website and it will tell you about the sheep that the wool for your shirt came from.  Yes kids, see, your shirt really is made from sheep’s wool.  What, warm and educational?  WAHOO!  Overall, I think that these will become a must-take item for all of our skiing trips.  Oh, and you have to check out this video.  When we learned that Icebreaker wasn’t flammable, our first thought was “wow, this is the perfect shirt for playing with fire”.  Well instead of tossing the kids in the fire-pit, we thought it would be a little safer to just share this video here (sorry, I can’t get it to upload right today so you’ll have to click)

In addition to the kids tops, Icebreaker sent me their women’s cornice top.  Simply put, I love it.  It’s soft, super thick and warm, and comfortable.  Also, I love that it’s really LONG.  I’m 5’9″ and so it’s often hard for me to find tops that are long enough that they won’t ride up my back when I bend over.  However, this top is plenty long to accommodate a full range of movement.  It’s really one of those shirts that I could wear almost every day (which I totally could since it doesn’t retain smells…as long as I don’t spill on it).  It’s much warmer than any shirt I’ve ever had.  A few weeks ago, I wore it skiing with just a thin shirt under it and my shell on top.  I wasn’t roasting, but I stayed nice and comfortable.  Like Mason and Chloe, I also love the design on my top.  It’s a tough top, but the print on it gives it a nice feminine touch.  Would I recommend this top, definitely.  However, you will need to be willing to pay for this kind of quality.  Not having tried out much merino wool in the past, it’s hard to compare Icebreakers to other brands.  However, it appears to be the top of the line.  I could easily get by with this as my main skiing shirt for a long time.

Overall, here are our thoughts:

Pros:
–  Warm
–  Breathable
–  Comfortable
–  Well-made
–   Stink-resistant
–  Anti-itch
–  Best hoods we’ve ever had for kids shirts

Cons:
–  Expensive
–  Line dry only (I’m totally paranoid I’m gonna throw them in the dryer and shrink them right up)

Well, you readers are in luck (actually your kids are). Icebreaker is giving one lucky reader their choice of one of these kids tops and coordinating bottoms to go with them.


Here’s how to enter the giveaway:

1.  Leave a comment telling us one aspect of parenting you would like us to address on Bring The Kids.

For one additional entry, ‘like’ Icebreaker on Facebook, OR ‘follow’ them on Twitter and come back and leave a comment that you did.

Good luck, this giveaway will be open until Friday December 9th at 11:59 pm MT.

Also, watch for our Mens review and for sock reviews for the whole family, coming soon.

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