Published On: April 6th, 2022Categories: Product ReviewsTags: ,

(Or, More Specifically, Why Icebreaker Merino?)

As summer approaches, the MTNX team is getting excited to shed the layers and get out on the trails, and we’ll be reaching for our tried and true 100% Merino Icebreaker Tech Tees for hiking, biking, climbing, camping, and any and all apres.

But why is this workhorse of a shirt our pick to get us through summer storms and heatwaves? Isn’t wool for winter?

Icebreaker Merino is

  1. Technical
  2. Ethical
  3. Environmentally Conscious & Renewable


Icebreaker Merino MANAGES MOISTURE

The key to any high performing layer (winter or summer) is the ability to manage moisture. Icebreaker Merino pulls moisture away from the skin, and the fibres can absorb up to 35% of it’s weight in water before feeling wet! This means that Icebreaker Tees don’t feel clammy, event on your sweatiest adventures. And if they do feel wet, they’ll still thermoregulate (see below), so if you get caught in a sudden summer storm or stop to take in the view on a windy summit, you can be confident that this tee will still help keep you warm.

Icebreaker Merino is THERMOREGULATING:

Icebreaker Merino is a technically active fibre, which has the ability to gain and release heat depending on the wearer’s next-to-skin environment and the external conditions. As merino absorbs moisture it releases a small amount of heat (google adsorption for the techy details here), and in hot conditions the reverse effect occurs (since the wool pulls moisture from the skin and allows it to evaporate, unlike cotton which holds moisture next to skin). This means you stay warmer in cold conditions and cooler in hot conditions.

Icebreaker Merino is SOFT

Icebreaker Merino is a much finer material than traditional wool. In fact, merino fibres are so fine that they bend when in contact with skin, making Icebreaker Merino clothing soft and comfortable, not itchy!

Icebreaker Merino is ODOUR RESISTANT

Merino wool is naturally anti-microbial, meaning that it resists the growth of bacteria, mold, and mildew that can make your clothing smell.  This allows you to wear it day in and day out – less clothing to carry on a trip, and fewer washes for your clothing at home!

Icebreaker Merino is FLAME RESISTANT

Merino wool is naturally flame resistant, which means you can confidently wear it on the work site or around the campfire (note that not all Icebreaker products are 100% merino – be sure to check the tag!)


From the sheep in New Zealand to your local outdoor shop, Icebreaker ensures a transparent and ethical supply chain. To start, Icebreaker Merino comes from stations in New Zealand where the sheep are well cared for. The practice of Mulesing is banned, and Icebreaker and their growers commit to the ‘five freedoms of the flock’


Icebreaker was the first company to develop deep, long term relationships with New Zealand merino farmers. These long term contracts provide the growers with the security to invest in their businesses, land, animals, and people. It also secures Icebreaker’s supply of consistent, high-quality merino.


Icebreaker merino is processed and sewn with trusted partners and factories around the world to the highest standard.

Each year Icebreaker releases their TRANSPARENCY REPORT to detail where and how they operate, from the sheep to the store. You can access the transparency reports HERE.


Icebreaker is founded on the principle that merino fibres are the best way forward in terms of technical performance and lifestyle clothing. They’ve committed to becoming Plastic Free for 2023, and as of 2021 are 91% of the way there, with many core styles including the Oasis Base Layer, Tech Tees, and Sphere Tees now 100% merino or plant based fibres.


There are many reasons that we should be questioning the use of patroleum based fibres in our apparel, ranging from their performance to their environmental impact. Icebreaker merino is renewable, doesn’t release microfibres into our environment, is biodegradable at the end of its life cycle, and as we’ve seen, is a practical and performance focused alternative to synthetic fabrics.

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