Made from the finest New Zealand merino wool, Icebreaker clothing is known for its natural softness, warmth, and moisture wicking ability. The fiber comes directly from the mountainous environment of the South Island, where sheep must endure hot, dry summers and especially cold winters. This amazing fiber keeps the sheep cool in the summer and warm when faced with a long, frigid winter. Icebreaker uses this incredible natural fiber to produce some of the most versatile, comfortable, and stylish outdoor lifestyle clothing available. And taking only the best of the best, Icebreaker tests every bale for length, purity, fineness, and strength.
Icebreaker combines the best that synthetics have to offer (easy care, quick drying) with the natural benefits of wool (warm, breathable, odor resistant, biodegradable, natural stretch) for comfort no matter where it's worn. Many pieces offer a mix of fashion and function that make them ideal for backcountry or urban wear.
And yes it's true, unlike that old wool sweater hanging in your closet, Icebreaker clothing doesn't itch, and it's machine washable too. When compared to traditional wool the merino fibers are much smaller in diameter. The scales on each fiber, which look like a series of roof tiles when observed under a microscope, are therefore much finer on the merino wool and subsequently feel smooth against the skin.
Furthermore, Icebreaker merino wool fibers are both hydrophobic and hydrophilic, meaning that they both resist and attract water, which ultimately translates to comfort that you just can't find in a synthetic piece. The scales on each fiber repel about two thirds of the moisture vapor that comes its way, while the interior actively absorbs the remaining third. In an amazing natural process, the fiber's interior then releases this moisture to regulate your comfort when the temperature climbs.
Altrec.com carries a wide selection of Icebreaker pieces, many of which work together as comfortable layering systems. The base layers feel great against the skin, while insulating layers add an extra layer of breathable protection that makes the system feel like one piece, just like the winter coat on a South Island ram.