Anyone who reads this blog knows, I am a Merino wool fanatic. It is an undiagnosed addiction. The only thing that quenches the desire is to purchase more wool and add to my collection. I am realizing that I have gone from one piece a year and a half ago to more than 20, a variety of socks, underwear, performance apparel and casual clothes. It is quite an investment in my comfort and I am quite happy with the returns.
One piece in particular that I look to for a majority of my activities is my Tech Top, by Icebreaker. With its long sleeves, thumb loops, drop tail hem, zip neck collar and cuddly soft mid weight Merino fabric, it has the best of all worlds. This top isn't flashy. It has been around for a very long time, dating back to the early years of Icebreaker. It is available in mens, womens and kids. Icebreaker offers the top in several colors. None of the colors are flashy. This is a no nonsense piece of apparel. Don't expect people to comment on the shirt, unless the person also owns one. The conversation will inevitably turn to how great this garment is.
My Tech Top has followed me on bike tours, back packing, hikes, wild mushroom picking, shopping, and casual dinners out. It is cut in such a way that it is form fitting, but without the "gut sucking" that I would have to do with some other athletic apparel. Stuff it into a backpack for an emergency layer and it will not take up to many liters of capacity and come out looking great, thanks to Merinos ability to resist wrinkles. Worried about sparks while lighting a beach fire in a remote bay on Northern Vancouver Island melting your fleece. Get rid of that dinosaur DNA and wear Icebreaker. It naturally will snuff sparks. If your cautious about hiking and sweating while on a backpacking trip, this garment will keep you warm while wet, and drys in a hurry. Plastic clothes will make you sweat and make you smell. Synthetic fibers have no place in the outdoors, wear what the high mountain sheep of New Zealand wear. Wear a Tech Top. It will keep you warm, cool, wick sweat, and safe.
I know that Icebreaker isn't the most affordable clothing in the world. It will never be sold in a box store. Please consider the true cost of more traditional synthetic fibers. The base ingredient in these synthetics is oil. Yes the same stuff we put in our engines. It is manufactured with chemicals, heat, pollution, and destruction. It leaves little plastic fibers in the environment just from a person wearing it, potentially killing fish and amphibians. Icebreaker Merino wool is natural, bio-degradable, produces little pollution(except sheep droppings).
If you can have one Icebreaker garment I would suggest the venerable Tech Top. Not flashy, but it gets the job done, and you can feel good about it.