Icebreaker Merino 200 Oasis Crewe - Women's Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Great thermoregulation, exceptional at wicking, impressive durability, least itch factor of all wool tops tested
Cons: Not very cozy
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Icebreaker 200 Oasis is a tried and true 100% merino base-layer. While it has a 200-g fabric weight, it offers a lightweight build that is easy to layer and performs well all-around. We seriously considered it as our Editor's Choice Award winner given it's all-around great performance amongst all metrics. A great alternative if you're not a fan of Smartwool and prefer merino wool that doesn't even show a hint of itch.
Built with 100% merino wool that is tightly packed into a lightweight and thinner shirt, it resembles more of a lightweight merino wool layer than a midweight (as the 200-gram fabric weight would otherwise indicate). It still offers enough insulation that, when worn alone, will keep you warm in cool weather. Layered in a system, its a perfect wicking piece with a bit of insulation that doesn't hold moisture. Overall, it thermoregulates well both alone and in a system, providing a good amount of relative warmth.
This top breathes incredibly well. While running and hiking uphill, we never found ourselves heating up too much that actually warranted moisture build-up. When wearing upper layers didn't breath, this top did good work moving moisture away from the skin and didn't hold it in its fabrics. It breathes and wicks well for great thermoregulation in both winter and summer months.
Comfort & Fit
Thin and easy to wear, it offers just the right amount of stretch to wear all day. The fabrics aren't super plush or cozy, but they are far from itchy or uncomfortable. In fact, testers that found lightweight Smartwool fabrics to be a little itchier preferred this top because of its more comfortable design and a relatively similar level of thinness. The fit is regular without the arms being too long or short for a woman who is 5'7". If you've got longer limbs, you might find that there isn't enough length in this top.
Layering over the Oasis is very easy. The fabrics aren't too thick, and it is knit in a way that doesn't grab onto layers sliding overtop. While the face fabric isn't frictionless, it's easier to layer than most midweight tops we tested. It doesn't have any thumb loops to aid in this process. It can fit thinly underneath any jacket or fleece comfortably. We found that putting a thin tank top underneath is fine, but a t-shirt with sleeves is too much. The fit is quite close to the skin and not loose.
Even with a 100% merino construction, we are surprised at how well the fabric is holding up. After about ten washes, it hasn't pilled or showed any signs of wear and tear. We've tested it for just a couple of months while carrying backpacks, running, hiking, and climbing. Through it all, it still looks good. Online reviews confirm that this is a very durable product that has lasted many years.
An amazing price, especially for such a quality product! You definitely get bang for your buck on this one. While its construction is thin, it is quite warm and very durable. How can you go wrong?
It's hard to find anything wrong with this amazing all-around performance. The Icebreaker 200 Oasis almost wins our Editor's Choice award for an amazing all-around performance. While it's not as thick and cozy as other heavier tops tested, it offers impeccable thermoregulation that performs well while skiing, hiking, or camping in the summer. If you're not a fan of the wool used by Smartwool, Icebreaker is a great alternative.
— Amber King