Ibex Woolies Pro Tech Crew Baselayer Review
The Ibex Woolies Pro Tech Crew is a groundbreaking addition to the world of baselayers. This merino wool baselayer is designed with optimal performance in cool and cold conditions in mind. Whether you’re a hiker, skier, backpacker, or outdoors enthusiast, the Pro Tech Crew claims to offer next-to-skin comfort and impressive durability.
I was curious to see just how many temperature fluctuations and outdoor activities I could put this baselayer through before it stopped keeping me warm, showed signs of wear, or started smelling funky.
In this review, we’ll delve into the key features, testing circumstances, and overall value of this innovative baselayer.
- MSRP: $115.00
- Weight: 4.2 ounces
- Material: 85% fine-gauge merino wool, 15% Nylon
The Women’s Woolies Pro Tech Crew is ideal for those seeking a lightweight baselayer for adventures in colder conditions. With its Nuyarn technology, it’s particularly suitable for active individuals, providing superior thermal efficiency, elasticity, and durability. Backpackers and hikers, especially those engaging in sweat-inducing activities in chilly weather (think the Appalachian Trail in March), will find this baselayer a valuable companion.
Why Merino Wool?
Merino wool boasts some of the most impressive benefits in fiber technology, which is why you will often see long-distance backpackers pushing this fabric on you so intensely. The wool’s natural crimp allows the fabric to be elastic and durable, while moisture-wicking and heat of sorption properties work to thermoregulate your body.
In short, clothes made from merino wool will keep you warm — even when wet — but still help to cool you down in hotter environments.
READ NEXT — Gear Wars: Merino Wool vs. Synthetic Base Layers
Circumstance of Review
I rigorously tested the Women’s Woolies Pro Tech Crew during a variety of outdoor activities. And, when I say rigorous, I mean rigorous.
I took this baselayer out on the mountain for two days of skiing, up above treeline for a cold day of winter hiking, out for a trail run in the sun and snow, and then to a cozy, indoor gathering with friends. And, I did all this without washing the shirt to test its odor resistance.
Through diverse weather conditions, this baselayer consistently proved its worth. Its versatility became apparent in fluctuating temperatures and challenging terrains, making it a reliable choice for various outdoor adventures. And, if I may be so bold, it is super cute.
Ibex Woolies Pro Tech Crew Features
- Nuyarn Technology: Ibex’s twist-free spinning method enhances thermal efficiency, providing exceptional warmth in cool and cold conditions.
- Durability: The Pro Tech Crew withstood the rigors of a week of intense, outdoor activity without showing any sign of wear. Additionally, the odor resistance allowed me to wear it multiple times without washing, which will serve to expand the lifespan even more.
- Design Elements: Raglan sleeves, flatlock stitching, and thumb holes contribute to the baselayer’s comfort and performance, allowing for unrestricted movement.
- UPF 25: Despite being incredibly lightweight, the baselayer offers sun protection so that only 1/25th of the available sun radiation penetrates the fabric. I felt comfortable wearing this as my only layer, even when running under the intense Colorado sun.
- Snug Fit: I typically fall somewhere between a women’s small and medium in most clothes, and received this baselayer in a size M. It is rather form-fitting and snug so, if you are between sizes or prefer looser baselayers, I recommend sizing up.
How’d It Do?
Thermal Efficiency and Moisture-Wicking
From 5°F in the mountains to 60°F on a Denver run, this baselayer kept me shockingly warm and comfortable. While not incredibly effective at blocking wind, combining a shell and a mid-layer fleece with the Pro Tech Crew kept me toasty warm through two days of skiing. The baselayer with a wind-breaking layer was all I needed for a hike on a 28°F, overcast day. And, the baselayer alone was perfect for a run in sunny Denver.
Even during the run, I did not find myself overheating. And afterward, when the shirt was nice and sweaty, I didn’t get that familiar chill while stretching and cooling down. This fabric really does stay warm while wet and did an excellent job keeping me at a comfortable temperature through varied conditions.
I will say, I find merino wool to dry a lot slower than other fabrics. After a day of skiing, especially when sealing in the sweat with my shell, it took hours for the baselayer to lose its sogginess. While it continued to keep me warm, you should prepare for the long drying time or bring a change of shirt.
Fit and Comfort
It’s hard to make an uncomfortable baselayer, yet comfort is where the Pro Tech Crew truly did shine. The fabric has excellent elasticity for merino wool, ensuring freedom of movement during all activities. The thumbholes are amazing and the flatlock stitching prevents any discomfort along the seams.
By Day Four of wearing this baselayer, the fabric started to be a little itchy. I have very sensitive skin and, while this is a very soft and comfortable next-to-skin layer for merino wool, I will always have a bit of a reaction when I have wool directly on my skin. However, this is the least-itchy merino wool baselayer I have tried, and it will absolutely become a staple in my winter and shoulder season outdoor activity kit.
Ibex Woolies Pro Tech Crew Pros
- The thermoregulation and moisture-wicking properties do an incredible job of keeping warm in cooler environments and cool in warmer ones.
- The baselayer is built to last, with its durability and ability to go multiple wears without a wash ensuring it will be many, many years before it sees a landfill.
- This is the only baselayer I own that offers sun protection, which I really appreciate. I care a lot about sunscreen application, and knowing that my baselayer has my top covered gives me peace of mind.
- Thumbholes in a baselayer. Enough said.
Ibex Woolies Pro Tech Crew Cons
- The price tag, while comparable to similar items, is high. If you don’t spend a lot of time in cool to cold environments, a merino wool baselayer is probably not a necessity for you. Save your money, and use the gear that better fits your environment.
- The baselayer does not do the best job at blocking wind. If you plan to use this as your only layer while venturing above treeline, or in an equally windy situation, I would suggest bringing a lightweight shell to pair with it.
- Wool takes longer to dry than synthetic materials, despite doing a good job of keeping you warm. If you hate that feeling on your skin, consider a synthetic baselayer.
The thumbholes really enhance the comfort of the fit, the fabric is stretchy and cute enough to wear socially, and it works to keep me warm throughout multiple days in below-freezing conditions. While I would not bring this on a thru-hike, or any longer backpacking trip in warmer weather, this will be my go-to baselayer top for outdoor activities during the winter months.
Check out more specs and the four additional colors here:
|Ibex Woolies Pro Tech Crew
|85% Merino Wool, 15% Nylon
|REI Co-op Merino 185 Long-Sleeve Base Layer Top
|100% Merino Wool
|Smartwool Classic All-Season Merino Long-Sleeve Base Layer Top
|88% Merino Wool 12% Nylon
|Icebreaker 200 Oasis Long-Sleeve Crewe Ski Tracks Base Layer Top
|100% Merino Wool
|Patagonia Capilene Air Crew Base Layer Top
|51% Merino Wool 49% Polyester
Disclosure: The Ibex Woolies Pro Tech Crew was donated for the purpose of review.
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