Icebreaker Oasis Longsleeve, 200gram

Icebreaker Oasis Longsleeve, 200gram

REVIEW OF THE ICEBREAKER BASELAYERS

Icebreaker baselayers are commonly described by how much they weigh, in grams. This tells you how heavy the material is going to be. When I first looked at these, I was specifically looking for the lightest layer possible for riding in 90+ degree weather. I already have the perfect winter outfit and baselayer system (see Schampa). When I contacted Icebreaker, I was surprised when they sent me 2 tops, the Oasis and Siren. I was so impressed by the Siren that I had to buy another one and a pair of the matching lightweight leggings because I really wanted bottoms.

It's important to note that these pieces are from their previous line of layers, and if you visit their website you'll see update designs and color options. You can still find my specific pieces on online retailers such as Amazon.com.

This review covers the following 3 pieces from Icebreaker:

1. Oasis Long Sleeve (200grams)

2. Siren Long Sleeve (150grams)

3. Lightweight Leggings (150grams)

1. Icebreaker Oasis Long Sleeve

icebreaker oasis long sleeve crew womens
icebreaker oasis long sleeve crew womens
  • Prices: vary, depending on color/size and availability
  • "Bodyfit 200 (gram)", merino wool
  • Moisture-wicking; thermo-regulating for superior performance
  • Crew neck; gusseted for ease of movement; raglan sleeves
  • Fits close to the body
  • Flatlock stitching for chafe-free comfort; forward side seam
  • Merino wool is renewable, recyclable, and biodegradable
  • Item provided by Icebreaker for review
  • Size worn: Medium
  • Review Date: September 2013

The Oasis top is their 200gram, year round layer. Year round, as in Fall/Winter/Spring. Living in San Francisco, the always foggy, always cooler than warmer town, a layer like this comes in handy.

Although I found this layer to be a little too warm for 80+ degree weather, it works well when we have our average 50-60 degree temps in the middle of August. One of the things you'll find in reading reviews about various Icebreaker topics, there will be lots of mention about the itch factor. Yes, this is merino wool, so sadly it will have a slight itchy feel to it.

I would consider myself a fairly sensitive person when it comes to itchy materials. If something doesn't instantly feel comfortable/soft when I put it on, I just won't wear it. But I had to give these a try. Initially, I didn't wash it after wearing it the first time, just to see how it felt. It definitely felt better after washing (sans fabric softener, per the instructions) but after you put it on you do feel a slight twinge of itchiness. But it goes away quickly and it isn't so bad that I don't want to wear it. I think your skin just has to get used to the material at first. (this applies to all 3 pieces)

I really like the Oasis fit overall because it isn't as narrow/skinny as the Siren. Even though the model below makes it look like you have to be a skinny, long and lean girl to wear this. I am short waisted, with more of a box cut through the torso. Wearing the medium is perfect because it's not skin tight but snug enough to keep me warm. The sleeves are only a couple centimeters too long, nothing that gets in my way. And wearing this underneath my gear doesn't feel bulky or heavy either.

icebreaker oasis long sleeve womens amazon sale
icebreaker oasis long sleeve womens amazon sale

I would order a size larger than you normally wear if you want a little bit of room for this top. I would normally order a small. I think I'd probably be ok in small but the medium feels good too. When I ordered another Siren, I definitely had to go down a size due to the sleeve length.

2. Siren Long Sleeve

icebreaker siren long sleeve 150 gram baselayers
icebreaker siren long sleeve 150 gram baselayers
  • Prices: vary, depending on color/size and availability
  • "Bodyfit 150 (gram)", merino wool
  • Moisture-wicking
  • Crew neck; gusseted for ease of movement; raglan sleeves
  • Fits close to the body
  • Flatlock stitching for chafe-free comfort; forward side seam
  • Merino wool is renewable, recyclable, and biodegradable
  • Item provided by Icebreaker for review
  • Size worn: Medium (but I ordered a small one also)
  • Review Date: September 2013

As you can see from this up close and personal photo of myself, it's a much lighter and slightly see through top. I usually wear a tshirt over because it's too sheer.

I was definitely excited to wear this for the last two 90-100 degree weekend rides that I went on recently. I've been looking for the best baselayer for heat and I had heard many good things about wool, particularly about this brand.

After reading reviews, the Siren seemed like the style I was looking for. Ultra lightweight, snug fit and the most breathability. Because the Siren is lighter, it definitely doesn't have the same itch factor as the Oasis. I really like this one the best because it's lighter. I can wear it under any sweater or tshirt and it still does its job.

In my photo above I'm wearing a medium. Because the material is lighter, it was a little bigger than I liked. Still snug enough to work well under hot conditions but when I ordered another one (in black) I went for the small and was glad I did. It's so light that it's somewhat stretchy and fits well without feeling restrictive. I still have plenty of room to move and it still feels like I'm not wearing anything.

Especially after my last trip to Hawthorne, NV, which I think is the longest time I've ridden in 90+degree heat (6+ hours), the Siren really came in handy. Of course I was still sweating but the material worked as it should, absorbing enough sweat and keeping my comfortable so that my body could still cool itself.  I was also wearing a cool vest since I was wearing my leather jacket and pants. I think I was able to stay as cool as possible, given the heavier outer layers and the temperatures I was riding in.

3. Lightweight Leggings

Icebreaker lightweight leggings
Icebreaker lightweight leggings
  • Prices: vary, depending on color/size and availability
  • "Bodyfit 150 (gram)", merino wool
  • Moisture-wicking
  • Fits close to the body
  • Flatlock stitching for chafe-free comfort
  • Merino wool is renewable, recyclable, and biodegradable
  • Item provided by GearChic for review
  • Size worn: Medium (but I ordered a small one also)
  • Review Date: September 2013

After wearing the Siren top for a few days, I knew I had to try the leggings. The best part about the 150 gram outfit is that under gear, it feels light and doesn't add volume underneath my armpits, the inside of my elbows, or the back of my knees. Which typically is where you might feel pinching from wearing extra layers. If you're looking for the lightest, breathable fabric for extreme heat you will love the 150gram weight layers.

That's the nice thing about Icebreakers overall. The materials are lighter but work so well to keep you comfortable. Riding or being active in extreme heat is difficult, but wearing an exceptional baselayer will help you survive without overheating (assuming you're staying hydrated and wearing a ventilated riding outfit).

Of course, these aren't limited to riding motorcycles. Think of any outdoor activity that you enjoy, whether it's walking your dog or gardening. I like wearing these when I'm out walking or running errands, especially in warmer weather because they help manage the volumes of sweat pouring out of my body without making me uncomfortable.

Although you might find these a little pricey, and high maintenance because they recommend washing these without fabric softener, you won't be disappointed by the performance and added comfort.

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