Icebreaker Merino T-shirt $90
Used by: Odour-resistant roving editor Shaun Barnett
Used for: Five years
When I first started tramping, wool was dominant and I remember horrible old white long-johns that soon developed great baggy knees and discoloured to a dirty cream-grey. By the late 1980s, we’d abandoned wool in favour of polypropylene, which seemed to be lighter, easier to dry, and warmer for the same weight. But boy did it smell – especially after a week or more in the hills. Some of the modern synthetic fabrics have resolved the smell issue to a degree, but for keeping odour away, nothing beats wool.
That’s why I’ve returned to it – for at least some of my outdoor clothing. Icebreaker merino t-shirts are comfortable, stylish, and come in many colours and designs.
I use mine to sleep in at night, to wear around camp, and to serve as back-up. But I still wear synthetic fabrics while I’m actually tramping. The main reason for this is they are simply better-wearing. Merino is too expensive to be worn beneath a pack which will soon wear holes in it. But for around camp – wool is perfect.
Verdict: Warm and comfortable, Icebreaker Merino Tees are just the thing at the hut and for sleeping in.