Here are the full test reviews of our #COOLTEST winners – discover their stories:

 

Scot - Mountain Biking & Camping

 

1. Which activities did you undertake while testing the Cool-LiteTM shirt?

I took the t-shirt on a mountain bike/ camping trip to the Dalbeattie trail centre, part of the 7 Stanes network of trail centres in southern Scotland. The forecast was for temperatures in the mid-20s. I had a pack, full of various items of clothing, but it turned out that I wore the Sphere SS for the majority of the time.

 

2. Comparison to ordinary sports-shirts:

I have long been a fan of merino products. As someone who is active outdoors as part of my job, using clothing that helps, rather than hinders me is something I look for in most things I buy. However price is also a factor. I am acutely aware of the old adage, “You get what you pay for”, but in today’s market this doesn’t always refer to quality; branding can boost prices of items that don’t really deserve a premium price tag.

 

I had this in the back of my mind when my Icebreaker Sphere crew arrived. Out of the packet it felt extremely light and thin. I tried it on immediately and checked myself out in the mirror (performance is one thing, but style has to factor in there somewhere too, otherwise you are never going to wear the clothing). I was impressed as to how good the top looked.

 

It fitted very well and had a good length without being baggy. The lightness of the fabric was also apparent wearing the item and it was hardly noticeable against my skin.

 

Later when I was wearing the t-shirt out and about I noticed the freedom of movement that this brought. Normally where I would find myself pulling at the shoulder of a t-shirt where the friction of the material was rubbing against my arm. With the Icebreaker Cool-Lite material the t-shirt moved with me and I felt no restrictions to my movement (a real plus when out and about).

 

This included on the bike where it wicked away sweat and kept me cool and then afterwards at the camp it didn’t look out of place worn around the tent. As the temperature dropped into the evening I even found myself wearing it in my sleeping bag.

 

3. What did you like best about the Cool-LiteTM shirt?

Perhaps one of the most impressive aspects of the t-shirt was that despite being worn for almost 24 hours a day for three days when I eventually took it off it still smelt as fresh as the first time I had put it on. For someone who sweats a lot this was a big surprise, so much so, even my wife commented on the fact, wondering if I had a supply of two or three of the t-shirts.

 

So, the Icebreaker Cool-Lite Sphere SS impressed me so much I went out the following week and bought two more. It is not often that I so readily part with my hard-earned cash, but these items were fantastic and I am looking forward to taking them on my next trip of cycling for three weeks in France.

Claire - Medical Doctor, Dermatologist, Obsessed by Hygiene & Serious Hiking

 

1. Which activities did you undertake while testing the Cool-LiteTM shirt?

My #COOLTEST review the Sphere SS Low Crewe Stripe T shirt in Panther/Snow. What an amazing piece of kit - essential in every girls wardrobe or backpack, winter or summer. I have worn my shirt on a cold day in the UK and up to 45C in the Spanish summer. It has been worn on the beach and in the Pyrenees for 2 weeks solid.

 

2. Comparison to ordinary sports-shirts:

The best features are firstly the confidence when you feel the quality of the fabric. You can tell is not going to let you down half way through your trip. True to size and a good fabric cut that enabled the fabric to hang in a complementary shape. It’s light and easily packable yet can be pulled out and worn and look smart as the fabric does not hold any creases.

 

I put it to the test on a 7 hour walk with a backpack in the mountains. The temperatures started at 10C and reached 35 a midday. Amazingly the fabric combination seemed to breath much more easily than other comparable cotton or synthetic technical tops and did not make me feel sticky at any point. I know I was sweating but the fabric aided my bodies temperature regulation by never getting wet with sweat. When I stopped hiking or running and rested I was more comfortable.

 
I subjected it to a campsite washing machine after 10 days - for test purposes only, as amazingly it still did not smell. It went through a tough 40C wash and came out looking fine. The fabric was not affected by the spin and was semidry on leaving the machine. It took just a few minutes to dry on the washing line and I could wear it again.


Again, giving me confidence in the fabric and justifying the cost. Other cheaper merino tops I have worn have easily become misshapen after one wash. There was no evidence of bobbling or chaffe in areas where my backpack had been.

 

3. What did you like best about the Cool-LiteTM shirt?

The colour and design was simple and classy and could be dressed up to pop into town and not feel like the mountain goat you were a few moments before! This makes it a really versatile piece of kit when you can only carry a few items. The sizing was true to size and no shrinkage when washed.


Speaking in my other role as a medical doctor and dermatologist obsessed by hygiene - Due to the breathability of the top and wicking of sweat I suffered no irritation after 5 straight days of wear. No spots and no smell.


Could be really good if you made underwear in the same fabric. If I had to summarise the key points: This top breathes better than my lungs, has no smell, feels great to touch and wear and I am not afraid to wash it! A confidence inspiring top and essential piece of kit.


Please feel free to ask me any questions. Thank you for letting me test it for you.

Kate - Hiking & Climbing Mt Kilimanjaro to Raise Money for Research of Guillain-Barre Syndrome

 

1. Which activities did you undertake while testing the Cool-LiteTM shirt?

Hiking around Dartmoor.

 

2. Comparison to ordinary sports-shirts:

Firstly, it's important to note the material of this item. When hiking or exercising I always want clothes which will keep me dry, along with warm/cool based on the time of year, so Icebreaker gear is always a great choice.

 

Merino wool is known for being really gentle on your skin, very breathable and as an active fibre it reacts to the change in your body temperature, keeping you warm when the breeze picks up and cool when the sun decides to come out. This is very important on Dartmoor as the weather is known for being extremely changeable. The remainder of the fabric is made up of Tencel, which is a sustainable fabric.

 

3. What did you like best about the Cool-LiteTM shirt?

This t-shirt was amazing, and I don't say that lightly. It wicked away all moisture and kept me both warm and cool when required.
I'm also a sucker for the colour (Tasman), so thanks Icebreaker (are you psychic?!)

Unfortunately, as I said the weather on Dartmoor is changeable so at one point at the top of High Willhayes I did have to stick on another layer! As well as being a fantastic base, it did layer really well and it was just so, so comfortable.

Based on the time of year I will generally alternate between base layer materials, but in the summer I go for more breathable clothing. This t-shirt does more than deliver on all of the above, and it will definitely be coming up Mt Kilimanjaro with me!

 

4. Anything you were not completely satisfied with?

I'd like to give you a negative of this t-shirt for it to be a more rounded review, but I just couldn't find any. The label didn't even scratch. I have zero negatives from this, or from my hike (except making the rookie error of being somewhat wind burnt)

 

Icebreaker: For those who would like to get more info on Kate`s fundraising climb, please refer to: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/KatesClimbingKilimanjaro

Lawrence - Wore Cool LiteTM 3 Days Straight while Working Out, Sleeping & Working

 

ICEBREAKER COOL-LITE SPHERE SHORT SLEEVE CREW Bias, why yes i am! I love Icebreaker products and when they asked me to review their latest Cool-lite Sphere short sleeve crew, i was like f**k yeah! So there are many perks of being an explorer, blogger and reviewer, other than the obvious: countries, people, food and the like, is being asked to test out new gear!


I've been an avid user of Icebreaker gear for years. In fact the underwear and base layers i'll be living with during my New Zealand adventure will be theirs. So when they asked me to review their new Cool-lite T-Shirt, i was stoked! OK less swooning and more reviewing.


The Cool-Lite Sphere Short Sleeve Crewe is Icebreaker's attempt to get into the more of the summer T-shirt on the beach, but still being true to its technical wicking thanks to...you guessed it, premium merino wool. The Cool-Lite material is made by combining 65% merino with 20% TENCEL® and 15% Nylon. This gives you the same old properties we're used to: stretch, comfort and quick drying, however now with a twist and it's down to the added TENCEL®.

 


TENCEL® is a plant wonder fibre that absorbs moisture like a boss, drys quicker than Merino and polyester, but remains dry to the touch! Now what you have been waiting for, does all the PR crap on the website work?

 

I am pleased to announce, Icebreaker, you are safe for another reviewing as IT WORKS! I have been using the Cool-lite for three days straight...and i mean straight! For the past three days, i have been sleeping, eating and working out in the Cool-Lite Sphere tee. Day to day tasks like going to the shops are a breeze, especially in the current summer heat. It doesn't look out for place in the pub and keeps me cool as a cucumber while on my weekly jog. 3 days! you must stink i hear you say! Sadly not my friends, even after heavy use, the odear repelling properties of merino have saved the noses of my fellow train passengers.


The construction of the tee is of the highest quality and is soft against the skin. am one of the unfortunate folk that suffers from Eczema. Wool doesn't agree with us usually, but Merino is the exception and the Cool-Lite tee doesn´t disappoint, no breakouts after 3 days.


Now let's talk styling. The shape of the T-shirt is very straight, i would have prefered a slight taper towards the hips. I am a size medium, but i would say the medium in the tee is a little baggy on me, so definitely try them on first and possibly go for a smaller size, especially if you are using it for sport, to increase its wicking properties. The Cool-Lite features a very cool looking stitched Icebreaker logo and side label, which gives the Tee a slight technical look...I approve!


The range comes with a variety of bog standard colours. I would say they could do with introducing a few more colourful or possibly patterned options to spice things up. As usual Icebreakers brand has preceded it and the usual high price tag has been applied to the Cool-Lite tees. You do pay for quality, however Icebreaker is usually the highest price against its competitors. You can however find places selling them cheaper.


Conclusion: Icebreaker´s new Cool-Lite Sphere Short Sleeve Crewe has all the properties of a technical tee, with the added wicking thanks to TENCEL® and doesn't look out of place going shopping in town. I am very impressed with the cooling properties, quality and styling of the tee. I would say the range needs a styling spice up, but im sure thats already on Icebreakers to do list. Another good product from Icebreaker!

Kaisa - Running, Chasing Kids & Mountain Biking with Trailer

 

1. Which activities did you undertake while testing the Cool-LiteTM shirt?

I was testing my Cool-Lite T-Shirt for 3 days in a row in temperatures between 25-31C. As an active mother of four I did my usual running around after the kids, and also went for a MTB ride in our local forest with 2 kids in a trailer.

 

2. Comparison to ordinary sports-shirts:

Even after such a ride I was able to wear the T-Shirt for another 2 days, which would definitely be a no-no if I was wearing my usual cotton or polyester T-shirts.

 

3. What did you like best about the Cool-LiteTM shirt?

The Cool-Lite felt very soft and breathable, even though the conditions were rather humid. Another positive aspect of this T-Shirt is its colour and pattern - it conceals the dirt very nicely!

Huw - Serious Hiking, Cycling, Running & Travelling

 

1. Which activities did you undertake while testing the Cool-LiteTM shirt?

I get outside most weekends, either hiking, cycling or running. I get pretty sweaty & usually wash my stuff after one or two outing.

 

2. Comparison to ordinary sports-shirts:

Now, it might be a bit disgusting but I decided to try and put the new Cool-Lite T-shirt to the test. Over a three week period I went out every weekend on long hikes and ran about seven times during the week. I didn’t wash the Cool-Lite T-shirt once… ewwww (or baaaaa) I hear you say, well it is super special wool! Not stinky & still lovable after weeks of wear haha.

 

Even my fiancée hasn’t noticed that it’s not gone in the wash since I started wearing it.

 

I want to lose some extra pudding pounds, so I’ve been getting more and more active. One of the major differences I find with my Cool-Lite T-shirt is that I barely notice that my wearing a T-shirt. It’s fantastic.

 

3. What did you like best about the Cool-LiteTM shirt?

When hiking and cycling, I feel the breeze all over. When running, the t-shirt gets wet, but, unlike other t-shirts, it just doesn’t matter. It doesn’t feel uncomfortable at all. It feels like being wrapped in a thin cloud layer. Then after getting damp, light lightning, it’s dry again. Not only is it dry again, but it feels like it’s been washed as the material doesn’t feel disgusting unlike cotton once drenched. This has been especially useful when hiking.

 

After a long day carrying a 18kg pack, after setting up camp I hung my Cool-Lite up and it was dry within an hour, maybe sooner. I didn’t check as I assumed, like other t-shirts it would take at least a few hours.

 

Cool-Lite is simply phenomenal! After an eight our hike with tent, I would often find that sometimes the sewing on the shoulder and under the armpits would rub due to the backpack straps. However, with the usual Icebreaker quality, this just doesn’t happen.

 

Another thing which I give the Cool-Lite a huge bonus for is sweaty backpack syndrome. Even if your back usually gets hot and sticky, the Cool-Lite manages to keep you cool and fresh all day long.

 

I’m a traveller at heart and I know that next time I go wandering the world for a few months, I can confidently put two Cool-Lite t-shirts in my backpack and be happy for months.

 

The cut, fit and colours are great, meaning I won’t look out of place sitting in a bar in Shanghai, nor on a mountain in New Zealand. I’m often happy with the products I buy, but once in a while magic happens. The Cool-Lite is like a light weight wizard! It’s insanely comfortable, looks cool and helps keep you cool and happy!