Icebreaker Baselayers Review for the Whole Family

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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:

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

–  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.

79 thoughts on “Icebreaker Baselayers Review for the Whole Family”

  1. Hi! I am a huge fan of merino wool. I have my own merino wool base layer that I never go hiking without! Everything you say about it is true warm, keeps you from getting smelly and my favorite part is that it retains its ability to insulate, even when wet!

    I started following a month or two ago so I don’t know if you’ve talked about kids survival kits. I’m a personal believer in having kids carry a kit tailored to their age and ability and training them how to use it in emergencies (separated from the group while hiking, etc.)

    Thanks to Icebreaker for this great giveaway!

  2. How do you address your kids not wanting to try something new, putting up a big stink or giving you attitude when you are on an outing. This can range from I don’t want to walk anymore to I don’t want to try it.

  3. Looks like a great blog. I’m glad to see you have maintained your outdoor enthusiasm. Life is more fun with the family. I’d love to see some ideas for involving kids in the planning process.

  4. My lil guy is still young (almost 2), so I appreciate any posts on how to get young kids outside doing things that are fun for mom but not too much for the kid.

  5. Because I have EXTREMELY picky kids when it comes to food, I would love to see different kid friendly menus for camping!

  6. Andrea beat me to it – I was going to ask the exact same thing. How do you snow shoe with kids? Drag them in a sled? Or can the oldest do it? Think ages 6, 3, 1, respectively. Or how about cross country skiing? Is that something we are going to have to wait until are kids are older?

    1. Emily,
      We snowshoe and x-country ski with our 2 year old. We have a ski pulk that we pull our son in. He’s warm and usually happy. We are also getting him his own skis for Christmas so he’ll be able to get out and try it on his own for short sections too. They make snowshoes too that strap on over their little boots (same as the skis) so we might look into that too. You can see photos of our ski adventures on my blog at http://familyadventuresinthecanadianrockies.blogspot.com/2011/12/makings-of-polar-bear-kid.html

  7. I would also like to hear your opinion on snow shoeing, Mark and I have our own and when McKinley was young we would take her in the pack. But now she is almost 7 and we have Denali, almost 3. Ever tried it with your kids?

  8. The get out the door routine. I need to be quicker but I feel like I have to pack a bunch of stuff i.e. food, water, hats, baby supplies, the right shoes for the activity, etc. in order to just get out the door. HELP!!!

  9. Wow, these shirts are amazing! I think I need to order myself some, for all of the time we spend outdoors. So cute, too.

    I absolutely loved the post about hiking with kids, I would like to see more posts about this (like with pictures and examples). It reminded me of how you kept the kids moving forward with “surprise” games when we went hiking with you guys. Such great ideas. And surprisingly, not at all instinctive for many of us. 🙂

    Also I like to hear thoughts on healthy eating/the incessant need for children to eat/how you manage the food process. One of the main things I deal with with having a family on the go so much is that I have to be on top of the food thing or everyone is miserable. I’d like to hear your ideas and thoughts!

  10. I would like to know how you guys handle discipline (with the children) in the car on those long road trips to those excellent outdoor adventures you’ve posted about, as well, what kinds of things do you do in the car to keep them entertained?

  11. I agree with many of the posts above; snowshoeing with kids, trail food for the picky eater, and what to do when your kid flat out refuses to do something. (for us it’s riding on the toboggan right now).

    Would also be interested in discipline in the back-country. What do you do during a tantrum or melt-down?

  12. What are your tips on getting the parents excited about going outdoors? Sometimes I feel like I am destined to never take my kids camping, because neither my husband nor I went as kids, so we aren’t “camping people.” I should change this, but I feel like you are born a camper or not, haha. And I would definitely put myself in the “not.”

  13. I don’t have kids… but I work in the schools and a lot of parents seem to struggle with discipline with young children, especially when on vacation or a fun trip in a different environment. You should tell them some of the tips and tricks you use! 🙂

  14. We love our wool clothing for our kids and for the parents. The best thing we ever took with us to China last witner for our 3 year old was a Icebreaker top. It was warm and it stayed clean. It is expensive, but it’s an investment.

    Would love to hear about international adventures with kids.

  15. How do you handle tantrums or just, plain negative behavior when you’re in the middle of an adventure? These outings are usually planned and away from home. I want everyone to have fun, but an over-tired kid or just someone having a bad day can ruin the enjoyment for everyone.
    ohmiss14 at yahoo dot com ☮

  16. I would love some hints on ways to get kids to want to be more active. I have one child that would rather be inside reading or on-line than doing anything active. She tends to like things for a short time but then tire of them.

  17. I agree with Cami…I’d love to hear more about streamlining the “getting-out-the-door” process.
    It always seems to take forever; I usually pack what we need, but then the “essentials” list seems to be getting longer….

  18. I’d love you to talk about extended family outdoor activities (multiple generations . . . ). Keep up the great work!

  19. As someone who has lived in New Zealand and being extremely familiar with the Icebreaker brand, I can tell you that this stuff is the real deal. I am addicted.

    Raffle entry: Am I crazy for thinking my 16 month old boy will be skiing with me in the spring? I want to get him out there early, but is 20 months too early?

    Keep up the good work!

  20. Holly J Cunningham

    I’d like to see you address the Mother-in-law/Daughter-in-law factor… I sometimes feel like I’m treading on thin ice w/my Dtr-in-law, not wanting to step on toes or hurt her feelings. I’m a Nurse, so sometimes there are things I’d like to tell her, but don’t want to seem “Pushy”!!! My OWN Mother-in-law was a FABulous role-model, but unfortunately we lost her 2 yrs ago. ((1955nursehjc4me(at)myway(dot)com)) TY!

  21. Holly J Cunningham

    I LIKE’d IceBreaker (HollyCunningham) on FB (91955nursehjc4me(at)myway(dot)com)) Thanks for the chance….

  22. Well, I just found your blog so I am still seeing what you blog about (I love it so far). But I like reading about creative activities you can do with your children that is free or cheap! I am really frugal!
    [email protected]

  23. I’d like to hear more about scheduling and what your typical day looks like. Also how often you try to go on adventures with your kids. I’m sure you try to make every day an adventure, but away from home adventures and stuff you would blog about. Thanks! :O)

  24. I would like some info on differnt activities that we can do as a family & keep all the kods interested & able to do. My problem is my kids are 18,17,16,13 & 2. So i find it a little hard to find fun things for all the teens but that we can also take the 2yr old & everyone have fun. Thanks! I’m pretty new here so not sure if this has been a topic already 🙂

    [email protected]

  25. I’m new to the blog, via OutsideMom, but I’d love to hear how you keep close-to-home adventures new and exciting. We’re blessed to be surrounded by lots of state forest and we hike in them a lot, but our boys are starting to recognize the same old hikes after a while. We don’t want to give up outdoor-time during the week, but also don’t want them to get bored either. Help!

  26. What to do when the kids have a meltdown…I would love the advice of what others do for these. Sometimes they are a result of a tired or sick child. But do you have any surefire ways that are gentle that you have used…

    We have 4 children, but I love to learn others ideas!!!

  27. I don’t know if you have this problem, or have addressed this in a past post, but my little one (4, so maybe not so little) has been this way since she was born: If she doesn’t get a regular nap, she will meltdown without fail. If she has that nap, she is a happy little girl. This can be pretty inconvenient. How do you work around this? Did I mention she won’t nap anywhere but in her bed? Even in her car seat when I know she’s exhausted? We have tried to go on vacation exactly once since she was born….

  28. Yeah, how do you handle diapers on those backpacking trips and how do you teach little girls to go potty in the woods without making a mess?

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