|Rating:||8.3 / 10|
|Value for Money||1.7 / 2|
|Durability||1.6 / 2|
|Comfort||1.7 / 2|
|Weight||1.8 / 2|
|Versatility||1.5 / 2|
Many years ago I owned a large number of Icebreaker short sleeved tops and at that time, they we very wearable as both as adventure wear, as casual wear and even as work wear. When these tops passed away after, many years of heavy wear, I never got around to replacing them and haven’t tried out the range for a number of years.
Recently I had the opportunity to test out some of Icebreaker’s newer range including the Icebreaker Anatomica SS Crewe Men’s Top. Now the box that this garment came in classes this top as ‘underwear’ rather than the more common but deceptive term of base layer. Either way, this garment really is meant to be underwear rather than as streetwear. This isn’t to say that it looks bad but the black version I wear has whitish stitching down the side of the garment which is fine for hiking but not necessarily for casual clothing.
Being an Icebreaker garment this top is 83% Merino wool with 12% Nylon and 5%`Lycra which is helps in keeping shape when wet. The fabric weight of this garment is 150 GSM meaning that its classed as lightweight which is what you’re looking at in warmer weather and as a standalone top, its my ideal material weight.
While Icebreaker Merino is sourced from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, these garments aren’t Aussie (or NZ) made. I guess you can’t have everything! Having said that, Icebreaker does have a lot information on its website about its ethical and sustainable sourcing of labour and materials.
The feature with this top that surprised me is that the neck which is a strange thing to say. But as someone who ‘lifts heavy weights’ I often find the neck hole to be on the ‘stingey’ size. In addition to size, the neck is marginally oval which isn’t something you notice but what this means is that in hot weather where sunburn can be an issue, it minimises skin exposure.
This top comes in five sizes; S, M, L, XL and XXL. I wear a size XL and as someone who is large chested, this size works really well. The garment body length and sleeve lengths are also good; a feature that some brands skimp on and one of the main reasons I won’t purchase a top.
As a garment sold as underwear, the colour range is limited consisting of Black, Dark Grey, Navy and White – Icebreaker like many companies give their colours fancy names with the white version being called ‘snow’.
Price wise this top sells for AUD$89.99 RRP which is on the lower end of this product sector so is quite reasonably priced.
So is this going to form part of my hiking kit? I’m usually a fan of longer sleeved tops when I hike only ever wearing short sleeved tops during the cooler months when sunburn and biting insects aren’t an issue for hikes or during the early parts of the day in the hotter months before sunburn becomes an issue.
In my case this top won’t displace my preferred long sleeve Icebreaker Men’s 125 Cool-Lite™ Sphere Merino Long Sleeve Hoodie which I wear in all but the hottest or coldest conditions. I realise that many hikers do prefer short sleeved tops for much of their hiking whether as a stand alone top or base later and if that’s you, then this is option is worth considering.
AUD $89.99 RRP
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Icebreaker produces a wide range of both women’s and men’s clothing
Icebreaker Anatomica SS Crewe Top – front view
Icebreaker Anatomica SS Crewe Top – rear view
Icebreaker Anatomica SS Crewe Top showing underarm side view and stitching. The side stitching on the black option I tested was a white colour
Tim wearing his Icebreaker Anatomica SS Crewe Top
This review was done with product provided by Icebreaker for testing