Ibex Woolies 1 Baselayer Review
Ibex continues to make strides in its outdoor clothing offerings and has recently released a limited-time run of its discontinued-but-popular Woolies 1 baselayer. Made from 100% Merino rib-knit wool, it’s their lightest baselayer offering and aims to keep you warm and dry on cool days.
Ibex Woolies 1 Crew At-a-Glance
Weight: 6.6oz for Men’s Medium
Material: 100% Merino wool at 180 gsm
Intended Use: Light or Midweight baselayer
Women’s version here
How To Choose a Baselayer
We have written about the Best Backpacking Baselayers before, and some of the information bears repeating since it can be confusing and there are large disparities between material type, cost, and application.
Many qualities make up a good baselayer, and what is appropriate for one application may not be adequate for another. The most common fabric types for baselayers are Merino wool, silk, and synthetic.
Merino is soft, warm (even when wet), naturally anti-microbial, and moisture-wicking.
Silk tends to be lighter than alternatives and warm for its weight, but not exceptionally durable or breathable—and it’s also expensive.
Synthetic garments made from materials like polyester or nylon are durable, breathable, and less expensive than either merino or silk but are less comfortable and tend to hold on to smells more than the aforementioned options.
In addition to material type, baselayers are offered at various fabric weights depending on their intended application. Merino baselayers are often categorized by their weight in grams per square meter (gsm). Baselayers typically range from 100-250 gsm, with 100 being the lightest and 250 being the heaviest and most appropriate for colder conditions. Silk and synthetic baselayers usually do not have a weight categorization system of this type but are usually labeled as lightweight, midweight, or heavyweight.
Though there are performance advantages to higher-priced baselayers, such as better quality materials, more features, and a better fit, even the mid-range items found at major outdoor retailers will work well when implemented appropriately in a layering system under appropriate conditions.
Let’s see where the Woolies 1 falls within these categories.
Circumstances of Use
I wore this baselayer in a variety of wintry conditions in Maine, including a weekend where we had temperatures of down to -42 degrees Fahrenheit with windchill. Commonly, though, this was worn underneath additional layers for dayhikes, fatbike rides, and runs.
Ibex Woolies 1 Features
- Ibex’s lightest weight 100 percent merino base layer
- Raglan, cuffed sleeves for unrestricted mobility
- Flatlock seams with wide sleeve cuff detail
Woolies 1 Crew Pros
Minimalist design: The Woolies 1 Crew features a minimalist design without thumb loops, pockets, or zippers to add extra weight—it’s a straightforward, no-frills baselayer with high-quality touches.
Cuffs: The wide cuffs have just enough compression to keep the sleeves in place to avoid bunching under additional layers without being too restrictive.
Comfort: The tagless design and flat seams make the garment exceptionally comfortable to the point where I often forgot I was even wearing it.
Warmth: I found the piece to be incredibly warm for its weight. Though less than 200 gsm, I was often unzipping or taking off other layers to dump excess heat that the baselayer was keeping in.
Woolies 1 Crew Cons
Price: At $105, this piece is at the top of the price range for modern baselayers. For less than half the price, good quality baselayers can be had from reputable manufacturers such as REI.
Availability: Ibex only brought the Woolies 1 back for a one-time run, so once they’re gone, there’s no telling when you might be able to pick one up again. This seems like an odd choice for a flagship-level product in their line, but perhaps it’s a marketing choice.
After using the Woolies 1 baselayer for the majority of winter, I find myself reaching for it again and again. Though I have found it a tad too warm for high-intensity activity, it’s the perfect piece for warmth on cool days of skiing, hiking, or even just working outside. As previously mentioned, the wrist cuffs have just enough compression to keep the shirt in place without sliding—a feature I didn’t know I needed until I had it—and the soft merino hugs your body like a warm blanket.
I hope Ibex is bluffing when they say the Woolies 1 is a limited-time release because it could easily be the standard in lightweight baselayers.
- MSRP: $85
- Weight: 175 gms
- MSRP: $79.95
- Weight: 185 gsm
The Ibex Woolies 1 was donated for purpose of review.
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