icebreaker was founded in 1995 by Jeremy Moon with the philosophy that nature has the solution. He wanted to provide natural performance apparel to create a more sustainable future for our species and the planet.
From developing new materials like their Merinoloft(duck down alternative) to using vegetable-based ink to releasing a transparency report that publicly discloses their supply chain, policies, structure, and practices icebreaker has been doing great things to push the envelope on sustainability, transparency, ethicacy for the past 25 years now. After hearing all the wonderful things they are doing as a company I was so excited to give one of their tops a try
- Material: Cool-Lite
- Size: XS – XL
- Length: High Point Shoulder to Hem 70.3cm(size M)
- Fabric Weight: 130gm aka featherweight
- Color: Black Heather, Gravel, Suede
- Price: $75 USD
The Sphere is made from icebreaker’s Cool-Lite jersey fabric, a blend of merino wool and Tencel. In terms of feel, I would say it is equally as soft compared to a high-quality 100% fine merino fabric. Tencel is a fiber made from cellulose found in wood pulp for those who aren’t fabric gurus. In icebreakers’ case, they make it from renewable eucalyptus trees.
Cool-Lite claims to be a super lightweight and breathable fabric designed to wick moisture away from the body to surprise, keep ya cool. If I had to describe Chicagoland’s summer climate with one word it would be humid. So, it’s safe to say I had ample opportunities to put this to the test.
The sphere is definitely lightweight. So much that it’s somewhat see-through. It is designed to be worn as a top, but if you sized down it could probably be worn as a base layer, for reference.
Due to the natural capabilities of wool and Tencel, the top did a great job of pulling the sweat off my body. Combined with their natural quick-drying features and the fabric being spun so thin it performed wonderfully on all my balmy weekend adventures.
Before you stop reading after my last sentence let me go into further detail about the fabric being thin. This is 100% intentional and provides great breathability without skimping on durability. I have had zero issues with the shirt pilling or snagging even after yardwork/trail maintenance hours carrying small branches, twigs, and other rough pokey objects.
The shirt also still holds its shape after hours even multiple days of wear. Some may say ew, but wool is naturally odor-resistant/anti-microbial, and the less you can wash your clothes the longer they last. Plus, you use less water and electricity so it’s better for the environment.
Designed in earthy, muted colorways this shirt is also nice on the eyes. I am wearing the color they call gravel which reminds me of the sky on a beautiful day where it’s not too hot but not too cold and the sun is shining but occasionally hides behind a white puffy cloud.
The drop-tail hem is a small but awesome final detail to note. It gives extra coverage(great for on the bike) and just reinforces that the company cares about the details.
Yayy!! Or Nayy…
It is functional and technical yet casual at the same time. You can wear it while you’re belly breathing through that last interval in the saddle but also throw it on while grabbing lunch with grandma on a hot summer day. Not the most cost-effective shirt your hard-earned money can buy, but protecting our precious planet is worth a few extra bucks. So my answer is Yayy and 4.5/5!!
To get yourself this shirt or check out Icebreaker’s full line-up go to their website: https://www.icebreaker.com/en-us/womens-tops/cool-lite-merino-sphere-short-sleeve-low-crewe-t-shirt-/104680.html?dwvar_104680_color=001
PS – they are currently having an end-of-season sale that you should totally take advantage of! You can try it out with less consequence (even though I know once you put it on you’ll be hooked). I just ordered another top and a pair of bottoms to try out myself!