We at SNEWS® know that merino and wool apparel is quite the trend. Although we’ve tried a lot of tops for high-aerobic activity – some pretty good, some really not so good – we haven’t found one we truly love…until now.
We love the Icebreaker GT180 long sleeve half-zip top.
It is truly made with intensity in mind, be it running, cross-country skiing, fast-packing or anything else that gets your cardio pumping and the sweat working.
Not only that, it has a true athletic cut – close to the body without being too tight – which is likely helped along by the touch of Lycra (6 percent) that was added.
There is a small stash pocket on the chest which is great for a key, ID or even a sports gel. It’s not only positioned well for men or women but is also stitched down so it doesn’t bunch or bounce.
The flat-seam construction reduces chafing, and we certainly didn’t have any at all. There is a touch of reflective piping on the deep zipper and a reflective patch on the back. The sleeves are long and offer a thumb loop, which we liked for keeping the sleeves tucked down in our gloves to avoid cold-wrist syndrome.
We really liked the ventilation offered under the arms and across the upper back with a slightly perforated look and feel to the fabric. The same “eyelet” fabric lined the collar for additional ventilation. The collar is high (5 cm or 2 inches), which our athletic tester loved, particularly in the way it sat snug on the neck to keep out drafts, although some people don’t really like collars at all – that’s a matter of taste, of course.
We tested the claim of “no stink” — twice wore it 5-6 days in a row for sweaty runs and then just hung it up to dry. Even at the end of the week the shirt didn’t smell and we were able to keep wearing it without offending our workout buddies — or ourselves.
The shirt is also cut long enough to tuck in if you wanted but not so long that leaving it out felt sloppy. And we liked the slight drop to the tail even for running to keep the backside a little warmer – or if you were biking to keep it tucked in or keep your back covered up.
And, yes, we are vain, we liked that it made us look good and sleek.
What didn’t we like? That we can’t tumble dry it. For the guys on our team, easy wash and dry is a must and we just know that one of our testers is going to toss it into the dryer by accident, ruining an otherwise fantastic top.
SNEWS® Rating: 4.5 hands clapping (1 to 5 hands clapping possible, with 5 clapping hands representing functional and design perfection)
Suggested Retail: $95