A reliable foundation for both winter layering and year-round, breathable comfort, the Icebreaker 200 Oasis long sleeve and 200 Oasis leggings are lightweight baselayers primed and ready for everything from far-flung travel adventures to a week skiing in the mountains.
I tested both in the French alps on a weeks skiing in the cold and snow.
The first thing I noticed about both the top and bottoms was how soft they felt in my hands when I picked them up. I have tied out a few merino wool baselayers and other products made with merino, and in those previous experiences I have always found it to be a little itchy. This is not the case here. Both the top and bottom layers felt super soft and comfortable against my skin, which is exactly what you want a baselayer to feel like.
Secondly, the quality of the garments is great. The Flatlock stitches help to keep things looking clean, as well as minimising chafing when wearing them. The popping red colour of the top I tested was a nice change from the norm of black or muted baselayer colours. That alongside the line graphics made the top feel like it had been designed and made with care and consideration.
Wear and tear on the slopes
I love skiing, like, really love it. But I have pretty bad blood circulation, especially to my hands and feet. I have found in the past though that base layers make me feel too hot and therefore sweaty while skiing. This is the worst.
Thankfully, this was not how I found these Icebreaker baselayers. They kept me warm, without the sweat. I was cosy, comfortable and able to focus on my skiing rather than thinking about if I was too hot or cold (and it was pretty cold in the Alps this year, on average -15 to -20).
Featuring 100% merino wool jersey fabric, I felt confident layering this long-sleeve top. It’s high level of breathability and natural odour resistance from the merino wool meant I stayed warm, dry and smelling great all day!
Decent underarm gussets on the raglan style sleeves are designed to improve your range of motion while skiing, hiking or climbing. This was useful when you have a couple layers of clothing and a ski jacket.
Couple that fit with the slightly offset shoulder seams and flatlock stitching and you have a winning combo that I found helped to eliminate any chafing, even when wearing a backpack.
Colour and sizing
The top I tested comes in three colours. Black, Chilli red or Prussian blue, all three with original line artwork by Daman Waters.
The bottoms come in two colours. Black and Gritstone Heather/Monsoon.
Both the top and bottoms are designed to sit close to the skin. Overall sizing I found to be good. Snug, but not tight in any areas and fitting true to the size you order.
Top – £75
Bottoms – £65
Top and Bottoms: 100% Merino wool
Top: Medium = 218 g / 7.68 oz
Bottoms: Medium = 205 g / 7.23 oz
I was actually fairly blown away with how nice these base layers were. My previous experience with base layers is that they are either too hot or uncomfortable. These were neither of those things. They helped to keep me warm, but not overly hot, all day long – even when the weather really blew in and the temperature dropped.
I was happy and comfortable with these baselayers on, able to move around freely with no chafing or itchy materials. That allowed me to focus on my skiing and the beauty of the mountains.
After a week wearing both the top and bottoms alongside my other ski gear I still felt comfy and the baselayers had not odour. Which is great.
Once I returned, they were easy to wash, with little to no colour run on the first one, making these garments simple to care for.
Over all, I am really impressed by these baselayers. I will certainly make them a part of my ongoing ski wear, as well as other winter activity clothing.
You can find out more about these baselayers and buy your own on icebreaker.com or share your experience with Icebreaker on their social channels @icebreakernz using the hashtag #originalnaturalbaselayer