The challenge and terms were simple: wear a few merino wool Icebreaker items for two days and do not take them off. Challenge accepted. I was sent three items to test out: Men’s Hike + Light Crew socks, BodyFitZone shorts, and Escape shorts.
As someone who travels frequently, this would be an ideal find. Moving from city to city without knowing when the next time you’ll see a laundromat makes packing a chore, so finding something with a longer shelf life, is functional, and that actually looks good would be a big win.
However, I was skeptical. Usually when it comes to wool items and sweat I end up smelling like a wet sheep. It was time to put it to the test.
Day One was a “low impact day”. Full on rain kept me from doing any of the outdoor activities I had planned, but I can tell you that the shorts held up as I bounced from coffee shop to coffee shop avoiding the rain. Finished out day one with some bouldering indoors. The Escape shorts weren’t ideal (but likely not designed) for that type of movement, but I just wanted to get a sense of how they would end up after some activity. At the end of the day there was nothing negative to report.
Day Two was full of bike commuting, training sessions (taught and participated in), and happy hour. Still no stench! This was the day I was most pleased with. To be able to exercise in these and then go directly to happy hour is perfect!
- True to claim they did not smell! Went through the first two days, and then just for good measure, kept wearing them for another day.
- Subtle colors and look make these perfect for easy hiking followed by a beer downtown.
- Comfort! Extremely soft and breathable.
Room for Improvement
- The fit may be something to consider. While I found that all fit me in the waist, the legs were either too big or too small. Socks fit true to size, no problem.
- While it’s easy to wear the shorts for multiple days in a row, the one drawback are wrinkles. While you won’t smell after living in these for a few days, you will have to get creative to make sure you can manage a the wrinkles you’ve accumulated.
The Final Word
Coming in to this challenge from Icebreaker I had the feeling this review would end up odoriferous. I’m happy to report, neither I nor my review of the Icebreaker apparel stinks.
Mike Thurk is a photographer and fully certified Gym Jones trainer at the Alpine Training Center in Boulder, CO. His photography is focused on outdoor pursuits portraiture, and training.