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Photo credit: Icebreaker.com.

Icebreaker Bodyfitzone™ 200 leggings and crewe base layers review

11-Oct-18

Last updated: 11-Oct-18

By Alice Morrison 

Thunder and lightning crack over my house and the torrential Autumn rain freezes and turns to snow on the Atlas mountain peaks that surround me.

It’s just as cold inside the house as it is out, and frankly I am rubbing my hands in glee because there could be no better weather to try out my Icebreaker base layers, or long johns as we used to call them back in the day when the world was young and our thumbs had not yet mated with the smart phone.

These base layers come in men and women specific.

Features

  • FABRIC: Body: 96% Merino Wool, 4% LYCRA®. Eyelet: 98% Merino Wool, 1% LYCRA®, 1% Nylon
  • Updated design, LYCRA® content for stretch and mobility, strategically placed merino mesh for ventilation, flatlock seams prevent chafing, Icebreaker branded brushed elastic waistband, gusset for comfort and mobility
  • Heat dumping zones
  • Heat retention zones
  • Merino wool for odour management
  • RRP: Leggings £75, crew £75

PROS: What’s good about the Icebreaker Bodyfitzone™ 200 leggings and crewe base layers

What I want in a base layer is:

  1. Warmth
  2. Comfort
  3. Breathability and the ability to dry out
  4. Looks

I got all the above in this combination of top and leggings. As I said in the intro, we have just headed in to some pretty changeable and cold weather at home, so I got to try these out in the house and not moving (colder than outside) and then out on the hills.

First of all, let’s look at how they did out on the hills. I went off for a brisk hike/jog up my nearest peak early in the morning when it was cold and I felt toasty from the start.

When the sun came out to full force, I was definitely on the hot side and had to shed layers and by the end of the morning, I had sweated right through. 

No problem there as  sweat is an inevitable concomitant to effort but what I was interested in was how fast did they dry out and how cold did I feel while they did it. It took about forty minutes (I was in sunshine by that time) and I really didn’t feel cold at all. Definite tick.

I then managed to catch the flu and was laid up in bed with the usual hot/cold fever etc for four days. My house is a Berber house and so has large gaps in the doors and no heating. It is also built of concrete which means it is boiling in summer and freezing in winter.

I felt like I was dying but like I was being pulled back from the brink by the base layers. They kept me warm in Arctic conditions and they helped regulate my temperature as I went through the different stages of fever - incredibly, they didn’t stink even after three days.

One of the features of the Bodyfitzone™ 200 is the heat dumping and insulation zones. Basically, the material at heat spots like your underarms has tiny holes in it to let out excess warmth, whereas it is tightly woven over the areas that you need to keep warm.

Merino is sometimes accused of being scratchy but I did not find that at all with the Bodyfitzone™ 200 leggings and top and the incorporation of lycra keeps them in shape better and avoids the dreaded soggy gusset.

Not many are going to argue that long johns are sexy, but actually I think the Icebreakers look pretty good. Mine are in a deep plum colour (Velvet/Prism) and I am definitely feeling it as I prance around in them.

CONS: What’s not so good about the Icebreaker Bodyfitzone™ 200 leggings and crewe base layers

The only improvement I could think of was one that only applies to the women's version. I would like to see a heat dumping zone just under the boob area as that is always a really sweaty place.

They aren’t cheap but the quality is excellent.

Conclusion

I would wear these if I was facing a really cold day out in the mountains with some serious time standing in cold temperatures. They absolutely keep you warm. I also really like them for if you are on a multi-dayer and you need something for night time. 

They pack away light and small and the warmth to weight factor is excellent.

Score  
Design 9.5/10
Features 8/10
Performance 10/10
Value 8/10
Total 8.8/10

 

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“They kept me warm in Arctic conditions and they helped regulate my temperature”

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