I have spent the last few months wearing some remarkable merino wool items by Icebreaker. I have been hooked the last few summers on wearing merino wool throughout the dog days of summer and Icebreaker has impressed. I was provided a Tech T Lite, Tech Polo, and Distance Short.
The Tech T Lite feels super lightweight and super soft. The merino wool pulls any sign of moisture right off the skin and transfers away. The breath ability and quick dry natural fiber is amazing in this tee as well as all the Icebreaker items. After many washes the shirt remains form fitting. Range of use is ridiculous from any highly active workout to lounging in a soft, comfortable t-shirt.
As far as versatility the shirt has been an ace in the hole all summer. The feel of the Tech Polo is that of a lightweight tee shirt with a collar which makes for the best golf shirt I have probably ever worn. This is a casual shirt that can be worn at the golf course, BBQ, the office and on the trail.
The only thing about this Ultralite 150 and it’s SuperFine weight is it’s durability. I have found this not only with Icebreaker but with other wool clothing companies that make a more lightweight blend of merino. Little holes began to appear near the bottom of the shirt about after three-four months of (a lot of) wear and wash (all items laid flat to dry). Any issues are quick to be resolved at any company providing top quality merino products which provides confidence in the product and future purchases. This is a great shirt for weekend travel in the summer as it can be worn multiple times without the stink and wear of cotton.
Of all the merino wool product I have worn or reviewed I have never tried out shorts. The Distant Short is made for primarily for running, but I found them great for a routine at the gym or time on the mat at the yoga studio. They came with a liner but I still felt the need to where a my underwear. Anyway, they performed just as any merino tops and exceeded expectation as who would think wool shorts become the go to for an any highly active pursuit.
With all the synthetic alternatives out there they still can’t beat nature’s gift of merino wool.
Mother’s Day is rapidly approaching and falls early this year on the 8th of May.
While I propose some gear thoughts for the active Mom I also believe traditional gifts are appealing as much as I like to think gear, gear, gear.
A great gift for the Mother of your child is a charm necklace. This can be built upon with additional charms for future Mother’s Days, birthday’s and other gift giving times of the year! My recommendation is checking out Helen Ficalora. Upon getting the chain, you can start with an Alphabet charm with the initial of your child. This is a sure win for Dad!
I might also recommend snapping up gift certificate (ummm…Groupon) for a facial, massage, or pedicure/manicure. Flowers are always welcome as well on Mother’s Day and should be standard in your mix of giving on Mother’s Day!
Now for the gear gift perspective…
I am sure the Mother you are buying for already has a watch or two but why not give her a watch that will help engage her while on a run or walk. A great watch that would meet fitness related goals would be an Ironwoman Sleek 150 Lap with Tapscreen.
Does she have a go to rain jacket for weekend away or a rainy walk with the dog? If not I can highly recommend the Outdoor Research- Palisade Jacket. My recommendation for Outdoor Research is based on knowing that anything they produce does the job intended and is also backed by their Infinite Guarantee.
An Ibex Hooded Indie is a lighter weight merino long sleeve that is great for layering in the colder months but also a year round piece of clothing suitable for any weekend bag. The beauty of the merino wool is it’s temperature range in which it can be worn. The Indie could be a great cover up from the sun while sailing or watching the sunset from your favorite beach.
For an everyday top in the hot summer months pick up the superfine, premium merino, Reef Tank Top from Icebreaker. You will be thanked many times over because of the ultimate comfort the soft merino provides on the hottest of days.
You can’t go wrong with a new pair Chaco Flips which are all flip and no flop. The comfortable Chaco footbed will keep her feet happy all day long.
I wish you well in your hunt for the ideal Mother’s Day gift!
The gift giving season is upon us and I’m here to throw out some gift ideas for those that will be playing in the cold. You can expect merino wool products to be included.
I tend to review all products that I have used and these gifts are no exception; although I have not tried the Mayfair Jacket from Icebreaker as of yet. The Mayfair looks like the ultimate winter coat for occasions that call for more than your go-to softshell.
Speaking of go-to pieces, if I was to recommend one merino wool product to invest in for versatility and comfort look no further than the Ibex Full Zip Classic. I have never had a better mid layer then the Shak and my existing Shak has lasted 6 years with no sign of wearing down. Okay so the cuffs are worn a bit after years of abuse from cold weather rides, endless days on the slopes, to nights out on the town. The range of temperature that merino wool can be worn is truly amazing and a far cry from Grandpa’s itchy scarf. You will see the full zip Shak’s newest relative…the Hooded Shak (pictured below). I would also highly recommend investing in a pair of mid weight merino bottoms, Ibex Woolies, as an essential for aerobic Winter activities.
Practical gifts that last a lifetime are also high on my list of gifts to give. I bought a pair of Sorel’s for my Dad many years ago and it’s crazy to say but these boots will outlive you. I happen to be a big fan of the “Caribou” but I recently came across a pair of Sorel’s with the old school cool factor….1964 Premium T CVS. However, the bottoms do look like they could be a little slick as opposed to the lugs on the bottom of the Caribou. Sorel also makes a Women’s 1964 Premium that is one good looking winter boot.
For those days when the sidewalks become hardpack and icy, reach for pair of YakTrak to instill confidence on slick surfaces.
For the active person who goes on regular longer excursions through the woods this winter, a Steripen is a great product for those days when weight matters and you don’t want to carry too much water. The Steripen works as advertised and can be recommended for international travel, backpacking, or wherever your adventure may take you.
The GSI Halulite Ketalist is perfect for those cooking a lot of dehydrated meals on the trail and is a great gift for a backpacker who spends a lot of time logging miles in the woods.
Not sure if anyone else has noticed, but the resurgence of hoods has been a welcome sight over the last couple of years. Cloudveil has rolled out new colors for their Hooded Enclosure Jacket which is a great jacket that will compress and easily stash away in your boot bag. They use Primaloft fill as opposed to down which is great for those days it might get wet but still keep you warm. I’m a big fan of Primaloft, as it makes for better layering if you need to throw a storm shell over it on the really nasty days on the mountain.
These are just a few ideas to get the brain focused on Holiday gift giving! Please feel free to comment or provide other suggestions.
$160 – ems.com
$23 – ems.com
$110 – amazon.com
$30 – gearbuyer.com
$100 – ems.com