Thursday, March 1, 2012
Ibex Kicks The Snot Out of Cold....Boom!
I am not even kidding, not at all.
Recently I was given the opportunity to wear and review some killer gear from outdoor clothing manufacterer Ibex., namely the Woolie Zip T. The garment was procured by Kyle at Egan and Associates. and I cant thank him enough.
At $85 bucks, this long sleeve baselayer isnt on the cheap side but you can see and feel instantly Ibex is top level quality.
How many times have you been out on the river, in the duck blind or some other cold weather activity and you have to cut your day short because well....you're bloody cold. That my friends registers a big time zero on the fun meter. Keeping warm is the base to a great day outside. Sounds pretty easy right, sounds pretty common sense but truthfully it's only recently that I've begun investing more in the base layer. That's where Ibex came in recently for me.
In fishing circles it's my guess that most dont think about Ibex. Well friends, add it to your list next time your out shopping for a Made in America product that uses natural materials.
Merino Wool make up the foundation of the Ibex line. Here it is 2012 and it's refreshing to rock something that's as natural as wool and get the performance that just flat excells.
Let's break this review down into 3 categories....Fit, Feel, Function and Field Tests
Fit--How's it wear...
At 6'8 and 265 I consistently wear what you might call Double Bubba, also know as XXL. Off the shelf sizing is the bane of my existence. Pants to short, shirt sleeves too short, so on and so forth. So when the box from Ibex showed up, I had a bit of fear that it wouldnt fit. Wrong. Like a glove. Without sounding too weird, it fit where it should and hung loose where it should. Not everything that keeps you warm should fit you like a damn condom. First time I put it on the wifey gave it two thumbs up. Anytime I get domestic approval for my outdoor gear that's just plain gravey.
Feel--No scratchies here...
Old style wool to bare skin= horrible. No way could you be comfortable in that old brillow pad feeling material. Now I know these Merino Wool producing sheep are special but good gawd is it comfortable and there's no ounce of that old school wood feel.
Function--Yep, wear it out...
Here's the deal...I dont like to shop for clothes. I love to shop for fly fishing gear, fine shotguns, good beer...dude stuff. But shopping for clothes ranks up there with getting my teeth pulled. Anytime my gear can pull a Bo Jackson and work for the field and out on the town....guess who gets a big shiny star in my closet. Take a guess. I wore this shirt out for drinks one night and turned around the next morning and fished a cold morning on the Spokane river in 29 degrees. Too bad the Redband Rainbows of the river weren't impressed
Field Tests--Go lay on some dirt and see what happens...
Spend 6 hours in a layout blind in January hunting geese in a field and see how fast you get cold. The normal answer is instantly. This particular morning it was around 15 degees at 6am when we slipped into the field, set up an began waiting for the flights to come in. I swapped out my normal base layer for Ibex and I noticed that honestly, I stayed warmer than usual. Not to say I wasnt really cold, it just kept me a out there sitting in the layout blind for much longer than I would have normally done without sitting up and getting the blood flowing. That's flat big in my book. That day we were marginally successful but I can think many times when you get up to move around and get warm again only to have a massive flight of ducks or geese come over at that moment. it's like they know!
Fishing wise, I like that this gear allowed me to cut down on one layer (sweatshirt) that I normally run on my days on the river in the winter. At the same time, the wicking properties of wool allowed for a regulated tempature that didnt spike way up when I was walking around from spot to spot. More bonus points there as I HATE getting overheated. I think I'm beginning to sound like a big wuss right, I know. haha
There are still some questions that remain...
Over time and washings, how well does the wool stand up?
What are the other lines of the Ibex catelog like? Right now, I only have this one long sleeve base layer. I'd really like to know about the gear for the spring and fall like tempatures that dominate our calendar year.
Other than that, I dont have any reservations in putting the Chucking Line and Chasing Tail Stamp of Approval on Ibex.
In Spokane, here are your outlets as provided by the manufacturer
Two Wheel Transit AND Mountain Gear. Shop local when you can. If ther are others, please email me and I will update this post
Want another reason to like Ibex? They're big supporters of Peak 7, a charity that brings disadvantaged kids into the outdoors.
Go have fun, get outside and stay warm. Consider Ibex for your next your in the market.