Icebreaker Everyday Leggings Review
Our Analysis and Test Results
Standard fare for 100% merino bottoms offering all of the benefits that merino wool brings to the table with an exceptionally comfortable feel against the skin.
This bottom performs in line with the 200g weight of the merino which is the same weight as the REI Co-op Midweight Merino Bottoms. This weight of merino is great because it offers a versatile range of use. It's not so thick that you overheat in warm and cool conditions but offers enough insulation that you can wear it through the winter. If layered underneath an insulated pant, these bottoms will suffice for windy days skiing groomers at BreckenFridge, as we like to call it. But you can wear it alone on a warm summer evening backpacking in the fall or summer, and you're set. It is thin and breathable enough that wind passes through easily so if a cold draft has direct access to your legs, you'll feel it for sure. If you require a pant for deep cold ventures, we suggest the SmartWool Merino 250.
Again, on par with other 200g merino fabric weight bottoms. These do a wonderful job at breathing. They will dump heat when you're huffing and puffing on steep skins or hiking on demanding terrain but wick sweat and stay dry, so you're not stuck with soaking and freezing bottoms when you reach the summit or stop for lunch. They didn't perform any better or worse than comparable bottoms we tested regarding breathability like the REI Co-op Midweight Merino. We dubbed the Outdoor Research Alpine Onset Bottoms the champions of breathability for this weight class.
Comfort & Fit
These bottoms have an exceptionally soft and cozy feel to the fabric. They feel slightly different than the other merino layers. They have a cushy soft flannel-like feel to them which is really nice against the skin. They utilize flatlock seams that are comfortable and a great fitting crotch area that doesn't have any of the awkward sag. When you pull them out of the box, you think, "Are these my girlfriend's tights?". They are significantly smaller than any other brand we tested. They stretch nicely to fit snug against your skin, but the stretchiness also allows for them to stretch out during active use more than we'd like, which can be remedied by washing them.
At 6ft. tall and a 30in waist (aka long and thin) a size small came up real short on the legs leaving the bottom part of the shin exposed. If you are in between sizes, we would recommend sizing up. The other softest feeling merino next to skin is the SmartWool Merino 250.
Ouch, not the proudest category for these pups. We tore a hole in them the first time we pulled the tight legs up over our calves and onto our thighs. Boom, out of the box and we've got a small hole, so it begins… Then the abrasion test again humiliated these bottoms in view of all the other bottoms by burning a hole right through the knee. These bottoms may be versatile for everyday use, but they aren't durable enough for everyday use. We had to take care pulling them up over our legs as we feared another hole or increasing the size of the one we had already created. These seemed to be slightly less durable and a little more prone to holes during use than the other midweight merino contenders.
As a midweight merino bottom these are great for everything from fall backpacking trips to hut trips in the winter to lounging in the backcountry on cool summer evenings. A very versatile weight with great breathability and body temperature regulation.
Ringing in at $70, these are the most affordable merino bottoms but also proved to be the most plain jane as far as performance and lacking in durability. We would spring the extra $10-$20 for a higher quality pair like the Outdoor Research Alpine Onset or SmartWool Merino 150
A good pair of merino bottoms that offer versatility through across all four seasons. Layer them under warm bottoms for winter ski objectives or on their own for mild nights camping. Not the most impressive pair of bottoms we tested but a comfortable and well-constructed pair of merino bottoms that do their job well.
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