When you think of wool, you probably think of layering up on cold winter nights, surrounded by cosy campfires. But there is a company out there that is now producing woollen garments designed specifically for the summer months.

Merino wool is famous for being some of the best insulating wool from New Zealand Merino sheep. Icebreaker are fronting the way in which Merino wool can be used, not just in Winter to keep you warm, but also in Summer to keep you surprisingly cool.

With the scorching summer weather we’ve been having here in the UK, Dani decided to test out the Icebreaker Merino cool Lite technology to see how it fared in the extreme UK summer weather.

Who are Icebreaker?

Icebreaker is a merino wool outdoor and natural performance outdoor clothing brand headquartered in Auckland, New Zealand.

Words from Icebreaker

Now, after more than 20 years, Icebreaker is available in over 40 countries, but our simple idea remains the same: to take a fibre from nature that is designed to keep an animal alive – a merino sheep – and to transform it into a high performance natural clothing system to keep humans alive in nature. People need nature. Nature is the antidote to our crazy city life. It balances our soul and rekindles our spirit. Nature has the answers.

For more information on Icebreaker, the founder, the history, the merino wool farmers please visit https://uk.icebreaker.com/en/our-story/our-story.html

Icebreaker Merino Wool womens t-shirt

Putting the Icebreaker Merino wool to the test

Feel and Fit

Putting on the Merino wool it does at first feel a little itchy, similar to a wool jumper. But that does recede and you do get used to it. The material is very lightweight and airy and the top has good quality stitching, which feels secure. The top is my usual size and fits well thanks to the stretch fabric. If you are unsure of correct sizing you can go to the Icebreaker website and put in your height and weight details into the fit finder app on the website.

It can get a little stuffy under the arms but that is my personal choice, (I don’t usually wear too tight under my armpits). Out hiking in the Icebreaker top in the UK summer, (for those who aren’t from the UK it’s unusually hot up to about 29°C) the top felt very airy. Sweat from the back area does gradually dry out as the top allows cool air to circulate well. Being by the coast I could feel the cool breeze but I was never fully dry on my back.

Merino wool is famous for its anti-odour properties and after spending the day in this top I felt very clean and the top didn’t pick up any smells. You probably could get away with wearing this for a few days in a row, depending on the weather and the activity you are undertaking.

As the top is for summer it is also great to have the option of the long sleeve version. This helps to protect you from the sun but still feels light.

I also wanted to do a wash and dry test. I put this top into the washing machine and also through the tumble dryer and it did not shrink. I have also washed it and dried naturally and it is very fast drying, which would be great on trails or if you get stuck in the rain.

Colourways

The Icebreaker Merino wool comes in some very beautiful summery colours of Lagoon Heather, Meatl Heather, Prussian blue heather, Sorbet Heather and Waterfall Heather. So there is something to fit everyone’s tastes.

Conclusion

Before this review I always thought of Merino wool as something you wear in winter to keep nice and warm, but trialling the Icebreaker Merino wool top in summer has definitely changed my perception of wool as just a winter accessory. Overall it was a great fit and lovely lightweight feel, easy to move in and I love the colours. The only downside is if you are not familiar with wearing wool, it can be a little itchy on the skin.

Thinking about trying out merino wool in the summer? Check out Icebreaker’s website.

 

Tech specs

  • FEATURES: Updated design and fabric. Cool-Lite™ fabric for comfort in warm to hot conditions. Corespun fabric for enhanced durability. Soft open neck. Forward set side seams for comfort. Drop tail hem for added coverage. Center back length: 70.8cm / 27¾” size M. Icebreaker pip label.
  • FABRIC WEIGHT: 130 Featherweight
  • FABRIC: 52% Merino Wool, 35% TENCEL®, 13% Nylon
  • PRODUCT WEIGHT: Medium = 104 g / 3.67 oz