What is the difference between the expensive products offered by Smartwool,Icebreaker,Ibex and the 100% merino wool base layer undershirts of duofold which are less than half the price.
Also curious about the polyester/merino two layer shirts by duofold.
I haven't tried the Duofold, but not all merino wool is the same, I have some from Filson that are more coarse and the fabric is not ring spun but ribknit.
I'd definetly stay away from the wool/poly blends, all the stink of poly.
I cannot recommend Merino for cycling wear strongly enough. Sometimes Mountaingear has smartwool shirts on sale. Ibex always has a websale, I picked up merino jerseys for half price from Ibex this summer.
Well, the road jerseys have that round bead of elastic at the bottom hem like a lot of road jerseys, and the mountain bike styles have a t shirt style soft bottom hem that lays flat and is maybe more comfortable? Otherwise, there's little difference except the individual styling diffs, pockets, etc.
I wore one of the summer weight full zip ones this summer for five days straight on a 450 mile tour with temps ranging from 55-98 + and was comfortable the entire time.
I bought them all out of their web outlet or their weekly sales.
Now, if you haven't tried wool cycling shorts yet, Ibex makes the best cycling short on the planet IMO.
Thanks for your help. I found 100% merino duofold longsleeve henleys on sale for under $20.00, so definitely I'm gonna try those as a baselayer. Still debating on Ibex.
I own both icebreaker and smartwool upper body garments. Here is my personal take on the practical differences between the two product lines:
1. Very stretchy weave.
2. Very soft and fluffy.
3. Cannot be dried in clothes dryer (best to lay it out on a flat surface as the stretchy weave will distort bigtime if you hang dry the items on a hanger)
4. Long and narrow in body.
5. Relatively full cut in arms.
6. Never scratchy.
1. Less stretchy weave, though still stretchy enough for me.
2. Smooth and not so fluffy
3. Can be dried in dryer
4. Slightly fuller in body
5. Narrow cut in arms
6. Very slightly scratchy especially in warm weather
Overall, both are very nice product lines. Both have zip-Ts, crews, etc. I use them interchangably during cold weather - almost never wear them in warm. In winter they are very breathable, warm, comfortable, odor free and very nice to wear (indulgent even). I HIGHLY recommend both company's products - they are like Patagonia capilene made from cashmere!
Thanks,asfried, that's a very helpful comparison. Our local outdoor shop just started carrying Icebreaker and are raving about it. Interestingly the hiking forum people's preferences are pretty much split between capilene and wool. I'll let you know about the duofold when I get it. At some point, I also hope to compare Ibex to Icebreaker.
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