A good plain tee is a timeless wardrobe essential. Sian put icebreaker’s Women’s Merino Tech Lite II Short Sleeve T-Shirt to the test at work, on adventures, and on one too many naps.

 

The climate has been all over the place lately. Lots of rain, some hot days and some unseasonably cold ones. I feel like I’ve been dressing all wrong, wearing long sleeves, shorts, sandals, and socks. This merino tee couldn’t have arrived at a better time. I was keen to see if I could feel the so-called ‘temperature regulation powers’ of merino wool. 

I’ll be straight with you. I also thought I’d have a hard time reviewing a T-shirt. I mean, how much can one really say about a shirt? 

Turns out, quite a bit!

Versatility

My hands-down favourite thing about this shirt is its versatility. I already own a few plain tees that I wear a lot with jeans. I know I’m a fashion revolutionary.

I’ve tried to wear my regular tees while exercising, going on hikes and other adventures, but they’re just sweaty and I end up stretching and ruining them. 

The Women’s Merino Tech Lite II T-Shirt is fantastic to wear while exercising, but also doesn’t look weird and sporty when I wear it out as a regular shirt. Ticking the boxes. It’s also uber comfy to wear to bed, to work, and on outdoor adventures.

I actually can’t believe I haven’t invested in such a quality and versatile basic before now. 

 

Breathability & Comfort

The Tech Lite II is very lightweight and breathable. It feels nice and airy while hiking and out in the elements. 

I also noticed a big difference compared to my regular shirts when layering. Boy does it warm up your core when you chuck a jumper over the top! 

However with the benefits of a lightweight shirt also come the downsides of less durable and thinner material. I’ve noticed a small hole developing at the bottom of my shirt, which may have been from a cheeky dog claw, but the culprit wasn’t caught in the act so I’ll never really know.

Either way, merino wool is thin which means holes, whether from wear or tear, can occur more easily.

I find the feel of merino takes a bit of getting used to, but this tee is pretty soft and comfy. The women’s shirt has a feminine fit, so I sized up for a boxier shape and it worked a treat. I’ve even been wearing the Tech Lite II to bed! Which brings me to my next point.

 

Stank…

It must be mentioned! Merino wool is supposed to be odour resistant and give you longer wear time before you need to wash it. I wore the Tech Lite II to work, on a hike and then threw it back on to go to bed. My partner was definitely questioning this last decision! 

If you really whiffed the armpits there was a smell, but nothing crazy. I would never be able to do this with a regular shirt so I’m definitely pleased, but I’ll still be washing my shirts after exercising in them.

Read more: I Wore the Same Icebreaker T-Shirt for a Week Straight – Here’s What Happened

 

Ethics & Sustainability

Buying ethical products is pretty important for me these days. A lot of companies claim they have some green initiatives in place or use a portion of recycled materials, but icebreaker has sustainability at the heart of their brand. 

The Tech Lite II is made from 100% ethically sourced merino wool, so there are no microplastics that leach out in the wash over the years.

In fact, icebreaker is aiming to be completely plastic free by 2023.

Read more: Icebreaker’s Revealing the Uncomfortable Truth About Plastic in Our Clothing

The company published an ethical transparency report on the website that deep dives into its whole production process, from the dyes used, down to how it helps growers monitor and improve biodiversity on their land and champion animal welfare. Pretty neat.

Read more: The Intriguing History and Exciting Future of Hiking Clothing

 

 

 

Price

Coming in at $99.99 a pop (who am I kidding, it’s $100) for icebreaker’s Women’s Merino Tech Lite II T-Shirt, the price is a little steep for a single piece of clothing, which may not make it accessible to everyone. But considering its versatility, it’s definitely good bang for buck!

I also often pay the same for a regular shirt, and this has a lot more functionality. Plus you can sleep well at night (I did!) knowing that you’re investing in an ethical and quality product. 

 

 

Icebreaker Women’s Merino Tech Lite II T-Shirt – Review
'The Women's Merino Tech Lite II T-Shirt is fantastic to wear while exercising, but also doesn't look weird and sporty when I wear it out as a regular shirt.'
Versatility
100
Breathability/Comfort
90
Odor Resistance
80
Ethics & Sustainability
100
Pros
Super versatile, one shirt to rule them all!
Ethically made and sourced
Excellent performance on adventures
Cons
Not a huge range of colours in the women’s range
Price may be a barrier for some people
The Tech Lite II is a lightweight material and may develop holes more easily
93