Gear review – Icebreaker Superfine 150 Zenith Top

About Icebreaker

For my first Out & About gear review I’m going to write about my new Icebreaker Superfine 150 long sleeve Zenith top. For those of you that don’t know about Icebreaker, they produce a range of technical and travel clothing made out of 100% pure New Zealand merino wool. It may seem odd to have travel clothing made out of wool, but I have to admit that I absolutely adore Icebreaker fabric – it’s as light and soft as cotton, machine washable, warm in winter and cool in summer and can be worn time and time again without it stinking. I have a 190 oasis crewe which got me through my winter runs feeling warm and snug at the start, cool at the end and not at all sweaty smelling (unlike my synthetic tops which can be a bit malodorous after one run). The numbers on Icebreakers refer to the weight and warmth of the fabric and range from 150, the lightest, to 380 which is used for coats.

Shopping

For a while I have been considering adding a long sleeved Icebreaker to my modest collection, so I was thrilled when Natureshop asked me to review some of Icebreaker’s travel wearNatureshop is an online store which specialises in premium “nature” inspired products that are friendly to your body and the environment. I really like the fact that the store is carbon neutral and offsets its carbon footprint with carbon credits, especially as my top was shipped over from New Zealand. I also liked the fact that when it arrived it was in biodegradable packaging, which adds to their green credentials. Icebreaker itself produces clothes that are ethically manufactured from merino which is sustainably farmed and conforms to high animal welfare standards. The ‘baacode’ on my top even let me find out which four farms my sheep came from!

Natureshop have a brilliant selection of Icebreaker gear and their range includes a lot of items that you don’t really see very much here in the UK, presumably because it is mainly intended for the New Zealand market. I chose the Superfine 150 long sleeve Zenith top and, although they didn’t have my size in stock they managed to source one from their supplier, which was great customer service. The ordering process was simple too, I received my confirmation email straight away and, despite having two UK bank holidays to contend with, my top turned up in just a week.

What I think

I chose the Zenith because it’s a really pretty top with a much more relaxed fit and casual vibe than many of the sportier Icebreaker items. It has slightly flared loose-fitting sleeves and a little gathered detail on the neck which I really love. The only branding is a discreet icebreaker tag on the side seam.

In terms of fit, I’m a UK size 10-12 and ordered a Small which is perfect. It’s nice and long in the arms and body, which is perfect for a tall-ish girl like me (5’8”), but neat across the bust and shoulders. It’s also a really gorgeous colour and exceptionally light and soft – don’t worry about the wool being itchy because it just isn’t.

In order to really test out my top I’ve been wearing it non-stop since it arrived. I’ve worn it to work, so it gets top marks for versatility as it was smart enough for office wear. I’ve also been wearing it out and about in weather which has ranged from thundery, to sunny, to breezy and a little chilly (as you can probably see from the photos!) and I’ve been comfortable in the whole range of temperatures. After four days of wear it still doesn’t smell at all and looks as if it’s just been laundered. It would be great for holidays and trips away as it packs down to almost nothing and any creases just drop out after it’s been hung up.

My only minor concern about the top is that it’s showing a little bit of loose fibre on the surface of the cloth which could result in bobbling or pilling. However, I’ve read that if you wash your icebreaker with a pair of jeans it will remove any loose fibres so that’s what I’ll do!

In Short

This is a wonderfully pretty and practical top which I can see myself wearing equally comfortably in a city, a field or on a beach. I love it!

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7 Responses to Gear review – Icebreaker Superfine 150 Zenith Top

  1. FYN says:

    I love merino wool & this is a very stylish use of it. Never heard of the brand or shop before but definitely going to see what goodies they’ve got now. Many thanks!

  2. Annie says:

    I have two zenith tops and love them! My family wear loads of icebreaker… Don’t worry about loose fibers they will disappear in washing like u said. Best product! It’s addictive!

  3. Ali says:

    Thanks for the comments! 🙂

    Annie, I think I might be becoming a little addicted too!

  4. Liam says:

    Icebreaker products are absolutely fantastic! I have a long sleeve Bodyfit 260 weight and its brilliant! I wear it as a base layer under my t-shirt when I’m climbing and it keeps me very warm! I bought it in my first year of university and have worn it pretty much every weekend climbing and its still going strong!

  5. Ali says:

    Liam, thanks for stopping by. I bet the 260 is cosy. The icebreakers aren’t cheap, but they do tend to last well 🙂

  6. Andrew says:

    The Icebreaker underwear is pretty good too. I’ve just bought myself a pair of the Beast 150 boxer briefs and have trialled them this weekend. I was initially a bit concerned that with the warm weather they might be a little bit uncomfortable but I’m really pleased to say that they weren’t at all. I’m now looking forward to trying them out in the colder weather.

  7. Liam says:

    Yeah it’s certainly very cosy! I’ve worn it in many different types of weather whilst climbing and even on longer multi-pitch routes that may take a number of hours to complete, it’s always kept me nice and warm. It was quite expensive when I bought it, but I was recommended that it would last a long while and it certainly has! The Icebreaker underwear I have heard to be very good as well, so I think I may get myself a pair and try them out!

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