I'm sure for many of you Icebreaker will require no introduction. For the past 21 years Icebreaker having been using Merino wool from New Zealand to produce some of the highest quality base layers you can buy.
The Tech top is the warmest of the base layers Icebreaker produce using the heavier 260 weight fabric.
With base layers the number used describes the amount of stitches per square inch of fabric. More stitches means more wool in the same space so the higher the number the warmer the material.
The merino wool Icebreaker use has a number of advantages. Wool is an excellent insulator but importantly for a base layer, it retains it's thermal properties even when wet. When you sweat you base layers absorb the sweat meaning your base layers can often be slightly damp. If you use a material like cotton which gets cold when wet, your base layers could actually make you colder. When wool gets wet it will be just as warm as dry.
Another advantage and the one I like the best is how resistant to smell the top is. Bacteria have a hard time getting trapped in the wool fibers and this means you can wear an icebreaker layer much longer between washing then any other base layers. In practice this means you can wear the top much longer without it getting nasty and I find myself wearing it almost constantly in winter. I will wear it to ski in the morning but I can still wear it under my shirt at work in the evening.
Wearing something so often means it has to be durable and the tech top is a serious piece of kit. I have probably put about 300 days into my current one wearing it for absolutely everything and other then one small hole in the front and a little fraying on the bottom it looks pretty good, more importantly it stills functions perfectly.
Some people claim the 260 weight is to hot for everyday use and for those people there is the 200 weight Oasis crew. I have both and will vary depending on the conditions but it always seems to be the 260 Tech top I come back too.
Icebreaker are not cheap but they are the very best base layers in my opinion and purchasing them can be seen as an investment. They will last for years and more then likely become a part of your everyday clothing.