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Icebreaker 260 Leggings
I love my new Icebreaker 260 leggings! I did a hike recently in 40-50 degree weather with a bit of wind blowing and I was comfortable all day. The quality is great and the comfort can't be beat.
Great for layering!
I have been a fan of merino wool for a while now and I wanted to get a heavier piece for cold weather activities. The 260 legless is perfect under a shell as a layer for snowshoeing and skiing and does well by itself under hiking pants on cooler days. It's merino so you can go days without washing and not have it stink like a synthetic piece. The fit on the legs is a little looser. but it feels great. The only negative for this piece is the lack of a crotch hole. Not a huge deal, but may affect the ability to quickly take care of business.
Icebreaker vs. Helly Hansen
I bought both the Icebreaker and Helly Hansen 3/4 length pants for a recent trip to Jackson Hole. Both worked well. I'm 6'3" with a 42 inch waist, ordered both in xxl. The seats on both were a little loose and I layered under armour boxers over them. The icebreaker insulated better than the Helly Hansen, but the HH was snugger around my legs. Both got a couple of wears and neither smelled worse for the wear. I did discover that full length ski pants helped hold my socks up; be careful about combining 3/4 length with "quitters", your socks need to support their own weight!
Well made but.......
Received these and I was pretty stoked based on the Icebreaker reputation. Build quality is very good and the material extremely soft; However I had to return them as they have no hole in the crotch!! Not sure how they get things done down in New Zealand but I find this to be very awkward, especially under ski pants. Deal breaker, support our USA manufacturers and go with the Ibex 3/4 Johns.
Feels great against your skin. Merino wool is the way to go for base layers as it's true what they say; it breathes, it feels fantastic, moderates well and doesn't stink after repeated wear !
Tough to beat
I picked a pair of these up before ski season this year. Now that I have 3+ months in them, here's my thoughts;
I've worn them under a pair of Patagonia Powder bowl ski pants for skiing temps from 5 to 50 degF. I have not been hot or cold. Granted, when it was 50 deg and I was skiing hard I did vent my pants a bit. I was initially concerned that these might be a little too warm, but that hasn't been the case. They breathe incredibly well, and when I did get heated up, they wicked the sweat rather effectively.
The legless design is awesome, as you don't have any overlapping under your boots. The only issue being that with a 32" inseam I had to make sure that my socks were pretty long. I had one pair of ski socks that barely overlapped with these and about midday I could feel a cool spot on my shins where the socks and pants were no longer covering. This was easily remedied by not using those socks anymore.
Everyone knows merino wool is king of the funk (if you don't know, now you know). So after multiple days of skiing in these, they still didn't stink, it's awesome. You can go on a ski trip and only pack one pair of long johns/base layers. Not to mention my ski buddies were jealous of the sweet 3/4 length cause they had that classic bunching/overlap of sock and pant in their ski boots.
$75 is a lot of coin to spend on a pair of base layer pants, but I think these pants are worth every penny of it. You could buy 2 synthetics for the price of this pair - but then again, you'd actually NEED to buy two if you're going on a multiday ski trip.
Great product - but a couple of notes
I brought four pairs of this product for the family, primarily for wearing under a waterproof shell skiing. They have been a hit with everyone and we haven't gotten to the snow yet. I notice everyone's wearing them around the house, walking the dog, pretty much most of the time. My impression of the bodyfit260's is that they are as good as advertised, they have a great ability to modulate temperature, you don't seem overly hot or cold at anytime. Given that these are the mid weight 260's they breathe so well you don't seem to overheat at temperatures they probably aren't designed for. The over riding impression is that they are light/comfortable (no itch), and just do their job so well you just forget about them. Which is really what you want in a base/mid layer. Now for the notes, which relate mainly to size. I'm 6ft 1" (220lb) and vary between L and XL. I brought the L and they are a little big, I haven't sent them back but for an M but I think they definitely run large. This seemed true of everyone in the family. So if you are on the border definitely go for the smaller size. This is made more noticeable by the cut, they are not really what I would call skin tight. I know that they aren't meant to be compression style, they are a light skin contact which kind of makes them look a little larger, however, they stay in place well not wanting to fall or ride up. Finally, the boot cut for me is a little short, I think I'd get the regular cut next time and just turn them up which wouldn't be a problem due to the non-compression fit mentioned above. So in summary great product, two thumbs up but be careful with sizing.
Also great as a hiking bottom base layer
I used these as my base layer under a pair of Backcountry.com Overhang pants on a two day 22-mile hiking trip. Temps were in the 50-40 range while on the move and this merino piece excelled in temperature control and moisture management. While at camp, it got down to between 35-25 and the Overhang pants and this Icebreaker piece kept my legs comfortable and not chilly. In other words, my legs weren't as warm as I would have preferred, but they were not cold to my disliking either.
Like all fine merino clothing, this one kept the odors at bay just as well.
I will do another review on this piece after using it this winter season for snowboarding.
Get yours here, backcountry.com will treat you well.
Best base layer. Merino wool is amazing. It truly does not stink. I used my icebreaker 260 bottoms every single day last year (I work outside, even in the winter) and they never stunk. And trust me I did not wash them every day, they were lucky if they were washed once every two weeks. There is a bit of a wear and tear issue. It seems if you wear them all day for around 275 day strait you might start to see some holes in the crotch. Who would have imagined that?
Hey, I'm a 34" waist: should I move up to...
Hey, I'm a 34" waist: should I move up to a L or stick with the "33.5 inch" mediums? Mostly concerned about wool's shrink potential. Synthetics I'd just go with the Med.
I have many Icebreaker articles of clothing and have mistakingly sent them through the dryer and although not recommended, it did not seem to shrink them at all.
It was 2001 that I first discovered the fantastic qualities of Icebreaker Merino wool products. I must admit that I was a little unsure of a natural fibre being as useful on the mountain as a high-tech modern one. The price was also something of a shock. However, I ploughed ahead and now in 2009 I must have around a dozen items of Merino clothing, both from Icebreaker and Smartwool. These bottoms are handy for skiing. They are not too long - getting tangled up in your boots is not an option with these. They also make getting your kit on and off much easier - especially if you are having to wear damp or wet stuff the next day. I have never found that they stink - amazing. Merino wool gear is pretty much the only base/mid layers I wear on the mountain. Highly recommended.
NO SMELL?! FOR REAL? OH YEAH!
These are awesome! I'm an active skier so the mid-weight bottoms I use mostly on the cold to really cold days. These guys do a great job of keeping the stink away, legs warm, and moisture off your skin. I have a pair of the 200's for warmer days which are great as well (similar review for the 200's on its page)! But you gotta love the merino wool. Have no complaints except that if you want to use them for something other than skiing e.g. hiking or camping you'll need to wear ski socks or otherwise you'll likely have a gap between your sock and the leg opening. Also I guess the other drawback is that there isn't a fly but thatâs not a big deal because itâs not too difficult to pull them down to let your natural stream flow. The best thing about them is that they're made of merino wool and that means no stink, awesome warmth, great wicking capability, and very cozy! After multiple days of skiing in them (sometimes without showering for those multiple days) they still don't stink! Unreal! I will never go back to a cap or synthetics after using merino wool. I also love the fact that you don't have to worry about any bunching around your knee or having the need to try to stretch them over your boot. Two words for ya: BUY EM'!