Whadaya mean no plastic fibres? icebreaker’s new Shell+ Merino jacket uses new technology to create an outer layer that holds up to bad weather while using the natural merino fibres the company prides itself on.


Remember the first time you held an iPod? Or the feeling of receiving a phone call and not having the dial up internet disconnect (am I showing my age?). That’s the feeling I had the first time I held the Shell+ Merino jacket from icebreaker.

We humans are pretty good at adapting (read: taking for granted) new technology, but every now and then something takes a leap forward that changes the game, that makes you think ‘Phwoar, we might be on here’.

Optim Spinning Technology

Traditional waterproof breathable jackets use synthetic membranes that allow water vapour to escape from inside the jacket, while not letting water (rain) enter. They also shed water to avoid ‘wetting out’ using a DWR finish that repels water.

So how do you get around this with a fibre like wool? Optim Spinning Technology. The process pre-stretches the fibres of the merino wool before they’re spun into a yarn and then woven into a dense fabric.

The stretch is then released which makes it even denser. icebreaker then apply a PFC-free, environmentally-friendly DWR finish to help the jacket shed water.



How good is it? icebreaker can’t tell you that it’s waterproof, we’re not there yet.

But they can say that it’s water repellant, as well as highly wind resistant, very breathable and, like all merino wool products, naturally odour resistant.

The jackets still use plastic in some zippers and trims, but they’re working on it!

Natural From Top to Toe

The dream that icebreaker is working towards is a 100% natural layering system. Why should heading into the outdoors require a bunch of petrochemical-based apparel? Sheep don’t need it.



By stealing wool from sheep (actually they grow it in a very wholesome fashion) icebreaker are doing just that. In fact, if you’re really down for the detail, you can dive into their impressive sustainability efforts by reading their transparency reports.

By pairing the Shell+ Merino jacket with something like the Oasis base layer or even grabbing the matching Shell+ Merino pants, you’ll be able to get out in cold, wet, and windy conditions without any landfill stuffing in sight.

Just don’t forget your reusable cup.