Gear Review: Icebreaker Base Layer

icebreaker base layer, paddlexaminer

Paddling in the cooler temperatures requires the right set of gear. A solid base layer under your drysuit is just the ticket; enter Icebreaker! PaddleXaminer meet up with Icebreaker rep Anna at the Summer Outdoor Retailer convention this past summer in Denver. Icebreaker was started in 1995 with the objective to create outdoor garments with less reliance on petrochemicals. They combine nature and technology to create a great, sustainability minded product. While paddlers don’t always wear more than boardshorts or a wetsuit, base layers can be good options under a drysuit.

The Merino Base Layer short-sleeve shirt with BodyFitZonetm technology is an extremely light-weight base layer. The shirt comes with zoned body mapping technology which helps regulate the users temperature based on the different body areas. It feels super soft to the touch with 150 gm corespun merino wool. There is mesh in strategic locations to help ventilate your body heat, or as Icebreaker calls them “heat dumping zones”! 

PaddleXaminer tested the Icebreaker base layer while paddling this winter under a drysuit. The shirt is very comfortable and feels increadibly soft on the skin. 

Pro Tip – it’s best to wash it once before use; this helps break in the garment. 

Paddling with the base layer on was a breeze. It kept my body warm, but not too warm. Some people have complained about the shirt being itching; I didn’t encounter this issue.

The Icebreaker BodyFitZonetm base layer is a great addition to any paddlers repertoire!


  • Corespun fabric for durability
  • Lycra for stretch and mobility
  • Strategically placed mesh for ventilation
  • Flatlock seams to prevent chafing
  • Underarm gusset for comfort and mobility

Retail price $85

Michael Chebatoris
Michael is a Denver, Colorado-based CPA, marathon runner, alpine skier, and white water paddler. He grew up in Nebraska paddling Marathon canoes with his brother on the lake behind their house. That led to a summer job leading canoe tours on the Platte River for Nebraska State Parks. Now a Colorado resident, Michael is the co-founder of the financial services firm Flagship Consulting. When he's not crunching numbers he can be found enjoying the abundant opportunities for outdoor exploration throughout the Rocky Mountain State and beyond.


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