Search over 55.000 Camino Questions

A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it


Advertisement
Peaceable Projects Inc.
Peaceable Projects Inc. is a U.S.-based non-profit group that brings the vast resources of the wide world together with the ongoing needs of the people who live, work, and travel on the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail network in Spain.
Camino Maps
A collection of Camino Maps from the Camino Forum Store

Icebreaker Merino Shirts - Now a Blend - Alternatives?

Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
I have been a fan of Icebreaker Merino shirts for years.
I wear the long sleeve half zip style a lot!
Not just on Camino, but I use the heavier weights as casual shirts in the winter.

But for a few years now, the fabric have been changing.
I think the business was taken over a little while back?

I tend to use the really light 'featherweight' for Camino.
100% merino.

These have not been available for a while now, as the lighter weights are now a blend of Marion, Tencel and Nylon.
The 100% Merino is only available, as a long sleeve, half zip, in the heavier weights.
Perhaps the lighter weights in 100% Marino were not robust enough?

To make sure I had enough shirts for future Caminos, I have been stocking up in the sake over the last few years.
Not easy, as I was quite a bit overweight, so was picking up a range of sizes, not really knowing what weight I might be 'on the day'.

As I'm refining my gear list and checking things through I was sorting out all the shorts today.
Heavyweights to one side.........light weights to another.
And to my horror!

The only lightweight shirt that is 100% Merino is an XXL and way too large for me now.
All the others, XL and L, are 'Cool Lite' fabrics, which are only 51-51% Marino.
And they feel like it sadly :( Very sweaty in hot weather and they don't 'wick' as well as 100% Merino, if at all.

The only available long sleeve half zip, is 200 weight (too hot for a Camino) and in one color, black. :(

Well done Icebreaker. 'Product Improvement' at it's best. I suspect the changes were to reduce cost.

So.

Can anyone recommend a company that makes 100% Merino, very lightweight, long sleeve, half zip shirts?
Because Icebreaker, the market leader, no longer does! :mad:

100871431_1.jpg
 
Last edited:
Holy Year Credential
Get the HOLY YEAR Camino Credential (Passport) here.
Camino Magnets
A collection of Camino Fridge Magnets

SabineP

Camino = Gratitude + Compassion.
Year of past OR future Camino
some and then more. see my signature.
Is 80 % Merino and 20 % Polyamide also ok for you? Then I can highly recommend you Swedish Woolpower.
I changed Icebreaker years ago for this brand.


And Smartwool of course, although I only have socks from this brand.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
Is 80 % Merino and 20 % Polyamide also ok for you? Then I can highly recommend you Swedish Woolpower.
I changed Icebreaker years ago for this brand.


And Smartwool of course, although I only have socks from this brand.

Yes, I just found Smartwool. 87% Merino. Better than 51% ! :)
https://www.rei.com/product/124719/smartwool-merino-150-quarter-zip-top-mens
Not quite a 120 or 130 weight, but getting closer at 150.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
Boil wash it, it will shrink to fit. 😁

Are you watching my house ! :eek:

I have 3 old (XXL) shirts in the washing machine now at a very high temperature wash :)

I reckon a session in the dryer after that might help......
 
Donation to the Forum
A donation to this forum helps it continue to exists and also removes all ads for you.
Camino Masks
12 different designs, shipped world wide from Santiago.
Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
Is 80 % Merino and 20 % Polyamide also ok for you? Then I can highly recommend you Swedish Woolpower.
I changed Icebreaker years ago for this brand.


And Smartwool of course, although I only have socks from this brand.

Just had a look at woolpower. they look good. though I'm not good with crewe necks for some reason.
Just don't like the feeling of the fabric on hr front of my neck. Hench the half zips.
I see the half zips with Woolpower are 200 weight.
 

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
Are you watching my house ! :eek:

I have 3 old (XXL) shirts in the washing machine now at a very high temperature wash :)

I reckon a session in the dryer after that might help......
If that doesn’t work I can ask Mrs Henry the Dog to wash them and treat them with care. Guaranteed to come back two sizes smaller in a fetching shade of pink as a non-colourfast red item will be included in the boil-wash at no extra charge.

It’s a good job I’m comfortable with my sexuality (I also have a long memory) as I’ve been travelling in various pastel shades for years.
 

SabineP

Camino = Gratitude + Compassion.
Year of past OR future Camino
some and then more. see my signature.
Just had a look at woolpower. they look good. though I'm not good with crewe necks for some reason.
Just don't like the feeling of the fabric on hr front of my neck. Hench the half zips.
I see the half zips with Woolpower are 200 weight.
Not a big fan of crew neck either but this one is comfortable and not too " clingy ".
 
Camino Masks
12 different designs, shipped world wide from Santiago.
Casa Ivar Pin
Custom hard enamel pin badge with silver coloured locking pin. Size: 30 mm.

wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2012
Up until the dreaded B word I got all my merino T's and boxers from EDZ's in the UK. The import duty will push them out of my range now.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
Robo part of the secret of hot wash wool shrinkage is as soon as its out of the tumbler wear it allow it to cool down naturally on your frame.

Great tip!

Will I be able to get it off though?

Or will it shrink onto me like a wooly 2nd skin ! :eek:
 
Donation to the Forum
A donation to this forum helps it continue to exists and also removes all ads for you.
how to successfully prepare for your Camino
This book's focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared.
Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
I know you didn't ask, but I like the blends, and much prefer them especially for the lighter weights. Have you tried them?

I have some Icebreaker blends. The 'cool lite' fabrics. 51% merino.
They don't breathe or wick very well and end up soaked in sweat :(

Which ones have you tried and liked?
Happy to try a blend as long as they breathe and wick well
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
For light-weight, pure merino (it's only in one of their lines, so make sure which one you are getting) I have switched to Arc'teryx. It's pretty costly so I check thelasthunt.com for deals. Not sure if you have something similar -- a sporting goods discounter online.... but if you do: I've been super happy with this alternative (and yeah: super miffed about the Icebreaker decline in quality!).
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I also saw this one on the US Decathlon site, but couldn't find it on the Australian site. It's 98% wool.

 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
If you have someone in your life that sews you can buy merino fabric from a couple of places in New Zealand. Even with shipping costs to the US it is reasonable priced for me. Shipping to Australia should be even less.



I have noticed both of these site carrying more blends lately.
 
Casa Ivar Pin
Custom hard enamel pin badge with silver coloured locking pin. Size: 30 mm.
2021 Camino Guides
Most all Camino authors have decided to use 2020 guides for 2021, with free PDF files with updates coming in the spring. Get yours today.
Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
If you have someone in your life that sews you can buy merino fabric from a couple of places in New Zealand. Even with shipping costs to the US it is reasonable priced for me. Shipping to Australia should be even less.



I have noticed both of these site carrying more blends lately.

Could be a business opportunity hear @trecile

'Real' Merino shirts :)
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
I also saw this one on the US Decathlon site, but couldn't find it on the Australian site. It's 98% wool.

Certainly worth looking at, though quite heavy.
More than happy to pay the International postage for the right product.
I might try one.
 

MikeyC

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF - September 2016
CF - April May 2017
Shikoku - October 2017
Kumano Kodo - October 2017
CF - 2019
This might explain the product changes

"Icebreaker ..... has been acquired by VF Corporation, which owns The North Face, Timberland and Vans brands. No price has been disclosed. Icebreaker founder Jeremy Moon said the deal was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to expand into new markets.3 Nov 2017"

Thanks Jeremy.

I have now changed to Decathlon for my merino tops and vouch for their price/quality.
 

Pilgrim9

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPdP-SdC (2017)
SdC-Muxia-Fisterra-SdC (2017)
Lisboa-SdC (2018)
Ferrol-SdC (2018)
Boil wash it, it will shrink to fit. 😁

Boiling or hot washing will ruin a wool garment.

I have had oversized cycling jerseys downsized by a storefront seamstress. She made sounds to the effect that what I requested of her was an extremely easy job, and the result was fine.

Based on that, I believe that almost any reasonably competent tailor or seamster/ess can make a knit shirt-like garment smaller, especially if it does not feature difficult-to-alter cuffs and collar. I suggest you take the garment in question together with a properly-sized garment to your local competent seamster/ess and ask him/her if size reduction to match the properly-sized one can be accomplished, what will the resulting seam(s) look like, and what it will cost.

Be sure to tag the properly-sized garment "Do Not Alter" and tag your name and address on both garments.

Edit: In Post #47 below, Trecile correctly points out that the shoulder areas of garments require greater skill to alter.
 
Last edited:
Unique engravings about the Camino de Santiago from Gabriel and other art objects.
Original artwork based on your pilgrimage or other travel photos.
Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
Even though my post above was tongue in cheek, washing at a higher temperature and tumble drying does work, its risky but I have done it. 😊

I can report success!
60C wash for an hour followed by tumble dry.
They seem to have reduced by about a full size. :)
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
Further to Icebreaker fabric debate I've been reviewing my 'stock'.
THese are all long sleeve, half zip, lightweight shirts. 120-130g fabrics.

My oldest shirts, marked Merino, from about 2015, are the best without a doubt. But only 1 lightweight shirt remains. Now downsized with a hot wash and tumble dry.
(The markings on these are printed directly onto the fabric inside the neck at the back, not on a label).

The next batch bought, maybe around 2017, feel very different. but they are also marked Merino.
But they are quite obviously a blend, though maybe not as 'blended' as current shirts.
At a guess, I would say maybe 65-70% merino, going by the feel of them.
(Here they have switched to a printer label inside the neck at the back, but still marked merino)

The latest shirts, bought during 2018-21 are marked Cool Lite. not merino.
These have quite a blended / synthetic feel to them and are 51-52% Merino.
I don't think I would wear these on Camino, as they don't breathe or wick anything like the older models.
(Here they still use the printed label inside the neck at the back, but now clearly marked Cool Lite)

Hopefully amongst my stock, I can find 2 shirts worth taking on my next Camino.

But I think I'll trial a couple of other brands in the meantime.
 
Last edited:
Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
For light-weight, pure merino (it's only in one of their lines, so make sure which one you are getting) I have switched to Arc'teryx. It's pretty costly so I check thelasthunt.com for deals. Not sure if you have something similar -- a sporting goods discounter online.... but if you do: I've been super happy with this alternative (and yeah: super miffed about the Icebreaker decline in quality!).
Checked their site. they have some good stuff. But didn't see any long sleeve, half zip, lightweight merino.
Only this one which is not merino.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I have some Icebreaker blends. The 'cool lite' fabrics. 51% merino.
They don't breathe or wick very well and end up soaked in sweat
I have no idea of whether the shirts are breathing or wicking or what. The only thing that matters if whether they "feel good" on your skin when you are wearing them, and that is a highly personal evaluation. On a very hot day, my base layer will get wet, but it dries quickly and I am happy with my shirt.
Which ones have you tried and liked?
I have some Icebreaker shirts - very light (150?) that I believe are about 85% wool. (I can't be sure because I cut the labels out, but I'm quite sure they were more than 50%.)
 
Unique engravings about the Camino de Santiago from Gabriel and other art objects.
Original artwork based on your pilgrimage or other travel photos.
Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
I have no idea of whether the shirts are breathing or wicking or what. The only thing that matters if whether they "feel good" on your skin when you are wearing them, and that is a highly personal evaluation. On a very hot day, my base layer will get wet, but it dries quickly and I am happy with my shirt.

I have some Icebreaker shirts - very light (150?) that I believe are about 85% wool. (I can't be sure because I cut the labels out, but I'm quite sure they were more than 50%.)

They might be a few years old?
or a different design? crewe neck, short sleeve?
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
They might be a few years old?
or a different design? crewe neck, short sleeve?
This is my 83% wool base layer (to be worn under a button-up sun shirt). Sure, it gets sweaty in hot weather, and I wash it daily on the camino.

Here's a men's long sleeve one of similar blend.

I notice on icebreaker.com that there are still 100% merino shirts, and that the Cool-Lite is 65% wool.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
This is my 83% wool base layer (to be worn under a button-up sun shirt). Sure, it gets sweaty in hot weather, and I wash it daily on the camino.

Here's a men's long sleeve one of similar blend.

I notice on icebreaker.com that there are still 100% merino shirts, and that the Cool-Lite is 65% wool.

Yes, that mens shirt is 85% merino but a crewe neck and no zip.
It must depend heavily on the garment and design, as my cool lite shirts are 52% merino.
And this design in a high % merino now only comes in 1 colour and a heavier weight. lightest now is 200g.

My issue is, they no longer make a lightweight (now called featherweight) long sleeve, half zip, 100% full merino shirt. And they used to :(

The lightweight and half zip are an important element to me in regulating body temperature.
The high % merino is important to me in terms of comfort and wicking properties.
The long sleeves are important to me for sun protection.

If I want to stick with Icebreaker with 100% merino, , I have to change to heavier fabric, or crewe neck, or short sleeve, .......

And as you suggest, a crewe neck and no zip, and at least get down to a 150 weight.

So I either use my old shirts, that I am trying to shrink, or buy another brand.

I think moving to another brand makes sense, rather than compromising. :(

Don't you love it when brands update and improve the range? :mad:

Same with my hiking pants, (Mountain Designs) they now only make that design in a fabric that is over 100 gms heavier..... :rolleyes:

I guess at the end of the day it's a commercial decision.

  1. Making the product from cheaper materials.
  2. Discontinuing the less popular items......
  3. And a consistent drive to 'innovate'
 
Last edited:
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances(2006) Portugues(2013)
San Salvador (2017) Ingles (2019)
Aldi and therefore possibly Lidl sold a merino jumper for half nothing a couple of years ago. I put it in the wash when I find it in the washing basket. It comes out without damage, at 40 degrees. I will get one for myself if ever I see them again and if the shops ever open again...I was feeling very envious of Australian and New Zealand people - I would have thought you could access proper woollen garments so easily.
Oh for the olden days... 😁 (wait for the onslaught!!!)
 
Holy Year Credential
Get the HOLY YEAR Camino Credential (Passport) here.
Unique engravings about the Camino de Santiago from Gabriel and other art objects.

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
And a consistent drive to 'innovate'
Manufacturers want us to keep spending our money on "the latest and greatest". Our favorite items often get discontinued or supposedly improved, but sometimes they should leave well enough alone.
 

Bend

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2014/15)
Finisterre (2014)
Le Puy (2017/18)
Portugal (2019)
I have been a fan of Icebreaker Merino shirts for years.
I wear the long sleeve half zip style a lot!
Not just on Camino, but I use the heavier weights as casual shirts in the winter.

But for a few years now, the fabric have been changing.
I think the business was taken over a little while back?

I tend to use the really light 'featherweight' for Camino.
100% merino.

These have not been available for a while now, as the lighter weights are now a blend of Marion, Tencel and Nylon.
The 100% Merino is only available, as a long sleeve, half zip, in the heavier weights.
Perhaps the lighter weights in 100% Marino were not robust enough?

To make sure I had enough shirts for future Caminos, I have been stocking up in the sake over the last few years.
Not easy, as I was quite a bit overweight, so was picking up a range of sizes, not really knowing what weight I might be 'on the day'.

As I'm refining my gear list and checking things through I was sorting out all the shorts today.
Heavyweights to one side.........light weights to another.
And to my horror!

The only lightweight shirt that is 100% Merino is an XXL and way too large for me now.
All the others, XL and L, are 'Cool Lite' fabrics, which are only 51-51% Marino.
And they feel like it sadly :( Very sweaty in hot weather and they don't 'wick' as well as 100% Merino, if at all.

The only available long sleeve half zip, is 200 weight (too hot for a Camino) and in one color, black. :(

Well done Icebreaker. 'Product Improvement' at it's best. I suspect the changes were to reduce cost.

So.

Can anyone recommend a company that makes 100% Merino, very lightweight, long sleeve, half zip shirts?
Because Icebreaker, the market leader, no longer does! :mad:

View attachment 94023
Hello, have you tried Alpkit,
or Kathmandu, https://www.kathmandu.co.uk/. I’ve bought pure merino from both of these in the past - assume they have men’s shirts as well as women’s!
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
Hello, have you tried Alpkit,
or Kathmandu, https://www.kathmandu.co.uk/. I’ve bought pure merino from both of these in the past - assume they have men’s shirts as well as women’s!
They both look like they might have what I need. Many thanks.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
A couple of years ago I bought a lightweight merino tee from REI that was their brand so I checked their website. Most were other brands and the weights seemed to bottom out at 150. Anyway, here are a few to look at. For ones without zips you could possibly slit them and sew in one from an old shirt. I did not check size availability.

A thought: Maybe check out a heavier weight silk shirt. I've bought some cheap. I haven't worn any hiking though.






 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2015, 2017, 2019) and plans for 2021 (Sept, Oct)
I was very disappointed to learn of this. My wife and I are devoted fans of Icebreaker apparel. Over the years, we bought many short and long sleeve shirts, fleece jacket, and lots of pairs of socks. They are just perfect for the camino. In fact, I "save" my shirts and fleece jacket for the camino, by not wearing it between caminos. I just went up into my closet and found that the older the item is, the higher the merino wool content. My fleece jacket and a few of the shirts I wore the first camino in 2015 are 100% merino. A few of the others that are newer are 85 to 87% merino. The good news is that these are in good shape so I'll plan to bring these with me this fall. Bob
 
Silver Oxide Camino de Santiago pendent
Camino de Santiago pendant that has a shell on the front, and "Camino de Santiago" engraved on the back. Comes with a black cord. Pendent is slightly larger than a 50 euro cent coin, about 25mm.
Donation to the Forum
A donation to this forum helps it continue to exists and also removes all ads for you.

Bend

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2014/15)
Finisterre (2014)
Le Puy (2017/18)
Portugal (2019)
I’m in the UK - Alpkit is based here in the UK while Kathmandu is an NZ company but has online outlets in many countries. I’ve worn merino from both these companies as well as old Icebreaker tops on Caminos in France and Spain. Good luck!
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I think that @Robo's biggest problem will be to find a lightweight 1/2 zip long sleeve shirt, as most shirts in that style are meant to be used for warmth, and are thus heavier weight.
If you can find a good sewist they can make you exactly what you are looking for. I'd do it for you, but I'm a little far away!
 
Donation to the Forum
A donation to this forum helps it continue to exists and also removes all ads for you.
Camino Way Markers
Original Camino Way markers made in bronze. Two models, one from Castilla & Leon and the other from Galicia.

Carol06

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (May 2012)
Frances (May 2015) all going well and with my husband this time.
I have been a fan of Icebreaker Merino shirts for years.
I wear the long sleeve half zip style a lot!
Not just on Camino, but I use the heavier weights as casual shirts in the winter.

But for a few years now, the fabric have been changing.
I think the business was taken over a little while back?

I tend to use the really light 'featherweight' for Camino.
100% merino.

These have not been available for a while now, as the lighter weights are now a blend of Marion, Tencel and Nylon.
The 100% Merino is only available, as a long sleeve, half zip, in the heavier weights.
Perhaps the lighter weights in 100% Marino were not robust enough?

To make sure I had enough shirts for future Caminos, I have been stocking up in the sake over the last few years.
Not easy, as I was quite a bit overweight, so was picking up a range of sizes, not really knowing what weight I might be 'on the day'.

As I'm refining my gear list and checking things through I was sorting out all the shorts today.
Heavyweights to one side.........light weights to another.
And to my horror!

The only lightweight shirt that is 100% Merino is an XXL and way too large for me now.
All the others, XL and L, are 'Cool Lite' fabrics, which are only 51-51% Marino.
And they feel like it sadly :( Very sweaty in hot weather and they don't 'wick' as well as 100% Merino, if at all.

The only available long sleeve half zip, is 200 weight (too hot for a Camino) and in one color, black. :(

Well done Icebreaker. 'Product Improvement' at it's best. I suspect the changes were to reduce cost.

So.

Can anyone recommend a company that makes 100% Merino, very lightweight, long sleeve, half zip shirts?
Because Icebreaker, the market leader, no longer does! :mad:

View attachment 94023
I live in NZ, the home of Icebreaker and love it dearly, but I stopped buying the pure merino because it kept developing holes at the wear points. I complained to them about it and they said to buy the blend which they developed after so many complaints. It is just as nice to wear and does not develop holes. I would say give it a go.
I was not on my own. On my first Camino a man in the next cubicle at Roncavalles was growling because his had developed holes under his pack buckle just as mine had.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Based on that, I believe that almost any reasonably competent tailor or seamster/ess can make a knit shirt-like garment smaller, especially if it does not feature difficult-to-alter cuffs and collar.
Actually, I think that the most work would probably be altering to fit the shoulders. For this the sleeves would have to be completely removed and altered, and the body of the shirt would have to be cut to fit the shoulders, then sleeves reattached.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
@Robo's biggest problem will be to find a lightweight 1/2 zip long sleeve shirt, as most shirts in that style are meant to be used for warmth, and are thus heavier weight.
Although inserting a zipper would not be difficult, the delicate fabric would be subject to more stress, and might not stand up to the zipping and unzipping action. - maybe that's why they stopped making that style in the very light weight.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
I live in NZ, the home of Icebreaker and love it dearly, but I stopped buying the pure merino because it kept developing holes at the wear points. I complained to them about it and they said to buy the blend which they developed after so many complaints. It is just as nice to wear and does not develop holes. I would say give it a go.
I was not on my own. On my first Camino a man in the next cubicle at Roncavalles was growling because his had developed holes under his pack buckle just as mine had.

Yes I kind of get that. I had one develop holes.
But 52% merino is just too synthetic for me. And they feel it sadly :(
 
Casa Ivar Pin
Custom hard enamel pin badge with silver coloured locking pin. Size: 30 mm.
Camino Socks
Browse the Camino Socks collection on the forum shop
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy-SJPDP 2014, VDLP 2014,
Arles-SDC 2015, Lisbon-SDC 2017, Part Ruta de la Lana 2019, VDLP 2019
Yes I kind of get that. I had one develop holes.
But 52% merino is just too synthetic for me. And they feel it sadly :(
Try untouchedworld.com. Beautiful stuff but expensive.
Yes, you are right about Icebreaker - they sold out and now the fabrics have been dumbed down. Recent colour ranges have been second rate as well - dreary.
As to the recommendation to wash your overlarge stuff in hot water to shrink it, it didn't work on my Icebreaker teeshirts (100 per cent merino) when I inadvertently washed them in hot washes and dried them in hot dryers.
 

Marie_pri

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018 Camino Frances
I have been a fan of Icebreaker Merino shirts for years.
I wear the long sleeve half zip style a lot!
Not just on Camino, but I use the heavier weights as casual shirts in the winter.

But for a few years now, the fabric have been changing.
I think the business was taken over a little while back?

I tend to use the really light 'featherweight' for Camino.
100% merino.

These have not been available for a while now, as the lighter weights are now a blend of Marion, Tencel and Nylon.
The 100% Merino is only available, as a long sleeve, half zip, in the heavier weights.
Perhaps the lighter weights in 100% Marino were not robust enough?

To make sure I had enough shirts for future Caminos, I have been stocking up in the sake over the last few years.
Not easy, as I was quite a bit overweight, so was picking up a range of sizes, not really knowing what weight I might be 'on the day'.

As I'm refining my gear list and checking things through I was sorting out all the shorts today.
Heavyweights to one side.........light weights to another.
And to my horror!

The only lightweight shirt that is 100% Merino is an XXL and way too large for me now.
All the others, XL and L, are 'Cool Lite' fabrics, which are only 51-51% Marino.
And they feel like it sadly :( Very sweaty in hot weather and they don't 'wick' as well as 100% Merino, if at all.

The only available long sleeve half zip, is 200 weight (too hot for a Camino) and in one color, black. :(

Well done Icebreaker. 'Product Improvement' at it's best. I suspect the changes were to reduce cost.

So.

Can anyone recommend a company that makes 100% Merino, very lightweight, long sleeve, half zip shirts?
Because Icebreaker, the market leader, no longer does! :mad:

View attachment 94023
I don't know a company, but I have been finding a lot of 100% at op shops. Keep an eye out at your local op-shop and you will always find discarded merino tops.
 

Becky 59

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (May 2018)
Camino Ingles (Aug 2019)
I have some Icebreaker blends. The 'cool lite' fabrics. 51% merino.
They don't breathe or wick very well and end up soaked in sweat :(

Which ones have you tried and liked?
Happy to try a blend as long as they breathe and wick well
There’s a company called Woolx that sells 100% merino wool wear, I recently bought a woman’s v-neck short sleeve T and found it softer than Icebreaker stuff. Sounds like they are a small start-up so far, but I am impressed so far!
 
Unique engravings about the Camino de Santiago from Gabriel and other art objects.
Camino Magnets
A collection of Camino Fridge Magnets
Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
Icebreaker still carries 100% wool on the site. Is this the style you are looking for? https://www.icebreaker.com/en-ca/me...hermal-top/104484.html?dwvar_104484_color=427

Interesting.
Yes, that's certainly the style, though a 175 fabric weight is getting a bit on the warm side..... I generally wear 130 weight. I might try one though.

But what is weird, is when I look at the website from scratch............
and search for 100% merino, long sleeve etc, this one doesn't appear.
Only the 260 and 320 weights. Which is why I discounted them as options, being too heavy/warm.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2019, 2020)
Yes, I just found Smartwool. 87% Merino. Better than 51% ! :)
https://www.rei.com/product/124719/smartwool-merino-150-quarter-zip-top-mens
Not quite a 120 or 130 weight, but getting closer at 150.
I wore Smartwool 150 short sleeve and long sleeve on a Sept/Oct Frances. And I've worn them for two more years. I don't throw them in the dryer, but they seem to be indestructible. Although I don't buy the zip styles, I can attest to the quality (and quick drying quality) of the fabric.
 

Plataman

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances: (2009), (2013), Via de la Plata; (2016)
I have been a fan of Icebreaker Merino shirts for years.
I wear the long sleeve half zip style a lot!
Not just on Camino, but I use the heavier weights as casual shirts in the winter.

But for a few years now, the fabric have been changing.
I think the business was taken over a little while back?

I tend to use the really light 'featherweight' for Camino.
100% merino.

These have not been available for a while now, as the lighter weights are now a blend of Marion, Tencel and Nylon.
The 100% Merino is only available, as a long sleeve, half zip, in the heavier weights.
Perhaps the lighter weights in 100% Marino were not robust enough?

To make sure I had enough shirts for future Caminos, I have been stocking up in the sake over the last few years.
Not easy, as I was quite a bit overweight, so was picking up a range of sizes, not really knowing what weight I might be 'on the day'.

As I'm refining my gear list and checking things through I was sorting out all the shorts today.
Heavyweights to one side.........light weights to another.
And to my horror!

The only lightweight shirt that is 100% Merino is an XXL and way too large for me now.
All the others, XL and L, are 'Cool Lite' fabrics, which are only 51-51% Marino.
And they feel like it sadly :( Very sweaty in hot weather and they don't 'wick' as well as 100% Merino, if at all.

The only available long sleeve half zip, is 200 weight (too hot for a Camino) and in one color, black. :(

Well done Icebreaker. 'Product Improvement' at it's best. I suspect the changes were to reduce cost.

So.

Can anyone recommend a company that makes 100% Merino, very lightweight, long sleeve, half zip shirts?
Because Icebreaker, the market leader, no longer does! :mad:

View attachment 94023
 

Plataman

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances: (2009), (2013), Via de la Plata; (2016)
If you live in North America, you might keep an eye on Costco in the early fall, they usually sell a long sleeved Merino wool shirt in various sizes and colour for anywhere from 20 to 30 dollars. I have been buying them for years, and they are excellent. Made of New Zealand wool, they stand up well, and I wear then all winter. At a fraction of the cost of icebreaker or smart wool, they are a bargain.
 

Robert Nystrom

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2016, SJPP-Santiago),Portuguese Central (2017, Lisboa-Santiago),Camino Primitivo (2018)
I have been a fan of Icebreaker Merino shirts for years.
I wear the long sleeve half zip style a lot!
Not just on Camino, but I use the heavier weights as casual shirts in the winter.

But for a few years now, the fabric have been changing.
I think the business was taken over a little while back?

I tend to use the really light 'featherweight' for Camino.
100% merino.

These have not been available for a while now, as the lighter weights are now a blend of Marion, Tencel and Nylon.
The 100% Merino is only available, as a long sleeve, half zip, in the heavier weights.
Perhaps the lighter weights in 100% Marino were not robust enough?

To make sure I had enough shirts for future Caminos, I have been stocking up in the sake over the last few years.
Not easy, as I was quite a bit overweight, so was picking up a range of sizes, not really knowing what weight I might be 'on the day'.

As I'm refining my gear list and checking things through I was sorting out all the shorts today.
Heavyweights to one side.........light weights to another.
And to my horror!

The only lightweight shirt that is 100% Merino is an XXL and way too large for me now.
All the others, XL and L, are 'Cool Lite' fabrics, which are only 51-51% Marino.
And they feel like it sadly :( Very sweaty in hot weather and they don't 'wick' as well as 100% Merino, if at all.

The only available long sleeve half zip, is 200 weight (too hot for a Camino) and in one color, black. :(

Well done Icebreaker. 'Product Improvement' at it's best. I suspect the changes were to reduce cost.

So.

Can anyone recommend a company that makes 100% Merino, very lightweight, long sleeve, half zip shirts?
Because Icebreaker, the market leader, no longer does! :mad:

View attachment 94023
Woolly Clothing Company (Seattle) - their tips (long & short crew, v-, and henley shirts are still 100% merino. Some of their other clothing items may have a blend. Check ‘details’ fir any product. Shirts are 2 or 3 weights, ultralight, everyday, heavyweight. Sometimes stocks are low (after sales) but always renew in a couple months.
 
Peaceable Projects Inc.
Peaceable Projects Inc. is a U.S.-based non-profit group that brings the vast resources of the wide world together with the ongoing needs of the people who live, work, and travel on the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail network in Spain.
Camino Cups
Browse our selection of Camino Cups on the forum store
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
I've been using ISOBAA 100% merino tops for a while now. You can buy in a range of weights from 150 gm upwards in long or short sleeve etc. They appear to wear well and great for walking. I buy from a company called SPORTPURSUIT and from their website they deliver to lots of countries.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)

Rodney Kent

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
I have been a fan of Icebreaker Merino shirts for years.
I wear the long sleeve half zip style a lot!
Not just on Camino, but I use the heavier weights as casual shirts in the winter.

But for a few years now, the fabric have been changing.
I think the business was taken over a little while back?

I tend to use the really light 'featherweight' for Camino.
100% merino.

These have not been available for a while now, as the lighter weights are now a blend of Marion, Tencel and Nylon.
The 100% Merino is only available, as a long sleeve, half zip, in the heavier weights.
Perhaps the lighter weights in 100% Marino were not robust enough?

To make sure I had enough shirts for future Caminos, I have been stocking up in the sake over the last few years.
Not easy, as I was quite a bit overweight, so was picking up a range of sizes, not really knowing what weight I might be 'on the day'.

As I'm refining my gear list and checking things through I was sorting out all the shorts today.
Heavyweights to one side.........light weights to another.
And to my horror!

The only lightweight shirt that is 100% Merino is an XXL and way too large for me now.
All the others, XL and L, are 'Cool Lite' fabrics, which are only 51-51% Marino.
And they feel like it sadly :( Very sweaty in hot weather and they don't 'wick' as well as 100% Merino, if at all.

The only available long sleeve half zip, is 200 weight (too hot for a Camino) and in one color, black. :(

Well done Icebreaker. 'Product Improvement' at it's best. I suspect the changes were to reduce cost.

So.

Can anyone recommend a company that makes 100% Merino, very lightweight, long sleeve, half zip shirts?
Because Icebreaker, the market leader, no longer does! :mad:

View attachment 94023
I have been a fan of Icebreaker Merino shirts for years.
I wear the long sleeve half zip style a lot!
Not just on Camino, but I use the heavier weights as casual shirts in the winter.

But for a few years now, the fabric have been changing.
I think the business was taken over a little while back?

I tend to use the really light 'featherweight' for Camino.
100% merino.

These have not been available for a while now, as the lighter weights are now a blend of Marion, Tencel and Nylon.
The 100% Merino is only available, as a long sleeve, half zip, in the heavier weights.
Perhaps the lighter weights in 100% Marino were not robust enough?

To make sure I had enough shirts for future Caminos, I have been stocking up in the sake over the last few years.
Not easy, as I was quite a bit overweight, so was picking up a range of sizes, not really knowing what weight I might be 'on the day'.

As I'm refining my gear list and checking things through I was sorting out all the shorts today.
Heavyweights to one side.........light weights to another.
And to my horror!

The only lightweight shirt that is 100% Merino is an XXL and way too large for me now.
All the others, XL and L, are 'Cool Lite' fabrics, which are only 51-51% Marino.
And they feel like it sadly :( Very sweaty in hot weather and they don't 'wick' as well as 100% Merino, if at all.

The only available long sleeve half zip, is 200 weight (too hot for a Camino) and in one color, black. :(

Well done Icebreaker. 'Product Improvement' at it's best. I suspect the changes were to reduce cost.

So.

Can anyone recommend a company that makes 100% Merino, very lightweight, long sleeve, half zip shirts?
Because Icebreaker, the market leader, no longer does! :mad:

View attachment 94023
There are some companies in New Zealand that make pure wool clothing and pure silk or silk blends.

https://www.glowingsky.co.nz/collections/mens-tops-tees/products/merino-long-sleeve-tee-1
The information says 100% merino. I’m not sure of the weight.

Both of these next companies have pure silk, pure merino, bamboo and various blends. Silk is expensive. I’ve got the silk thermals from Nznature and they are brilliant. I find merino just too warm except when it’s really cold. I live in Dunedin. Silk body is more a fashion brand, but they have a t-shirt and long sleeved hoodie that could be durable enough for on the track.


 

Introibo

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances ( March 2015 )
Camino Portugues ( September 2015 )
I've been using Janus merino wool tops for sailing and walking for 15 years now. Very hardwearing. The long sleeved tops with zipper fastening at the neck are excellent. They're Norwegian. I'm luck to have a Norwegian shop nearby in Keswick which carries them. Not cheap, but the first one bought all those years ago is only now starting to hole out.
 
Silver Oxide Camino de Santiago pendent
Camino de Santiago pendant that has a shell on the front, and "Camino de Santiago" engraved on the back. Comes with a black cord. Pendent is slightly larger than a 50 euro cent coin, about 25mm.
Create your own ad
€1,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.

Bogong

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
First, March 2014
I have been a fan of Icebreaker Merino shirts for years.
I wear the long sleeve half zip style a lot!
Not just on Camino, but I use the heavier weights as casual shirts in the winter.

But for a few years now, the fabric have been changing.
I think the business was taken over a little while back?

I tend to use the really light 'featherweight' for Camino.
100% merino.

These have not been available for a while now, as the lighter weights are now a blend of Marion, Tencel and Nylon.
The 100% Merino is only available, as a long sleeve, half zip, in the heavier weights.
Perhaps the lighter weights in 100% Marino were not robust enough?

To make sure I had enough shirts for future Caminos, I have been stocking up in the sake over the last few years.
Not easy, as I was quite a bit overweight, so was picking up a range of sizes, not really knowing what weight I might be 'on the day'.

As I'm refining my gear list and checking things through I was sorting out all the shorts today.
Heavyweights to one side.........light weights to another.
And to my horror!

The only lightweight shirt that is 100% Merino is an XXL and way too large for me now.
All the others, XL and L, are 'Cool Lite' fabrics, which are only 51-51% Marino.
And they feel like it sadly :( Very sweaty in hot weather and they don't 'wick' as well as 100% Merino, if at all.

The only available long sleeve half zip, is 200 weight (too hot for a Camino) and in one color, black. :(

Well done Icebreaker. 'Product Improvement' at it's best. I suspect the changes were to reduce cost.

So.

Can anyone recommend a company that makes 100% Merino, very lightweight, long sleeve, half zip shirts?
Because Icebreaker, the market leader, no longer does! :mad:

View attachment 94023


G,day Robbo,

For some years now the Aldi winter sales here have included a range of pure Merino wool ware including long and short sleeved T-shirts and pullovers. Some of their motorbike stuff sales have also had lightweight jumpers and pullovers. I've bought quite a bit of this stuff and have found it of excellent quality, durable, doesn't shrink when you chuck it in the wash, and relatively cheap. Made in China and I suspect some people have unconscious xenophobia when viewing Chinese stuff which is a pity. More broadly, the quality of things generally from anywhere in the world is of a varying standard ( some of the very worst automotive tools I have are German and British, and they were expensive, and some of the very best from India and they were cheap, but I've had good and dreadful stuff from both Europe and Asia) but this stuff was good.

De colores

Bogong
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
@Robo there are Australian made pure merino products instead of Icebreaker (boy was that a bit of marketing genius - considering Australia produces more than half of the world's merino wool, far more than NZ!).

Here are some places to look. http://merinogold.com.au, https://www.merinocountry.com/collections/shirts-and-singlets, https://www.smittenmerino.com/collections/mens-merino-wool-tops
https://merinoandco.com.au/menswear/merino-knitwear
https://www.woolerina.com.au/collections/mens-tops


Much the cheapest (not necessarily woollen, they do all kinds of stuff), particularly woollen socks - this family run business is the best value ever! A clunky website, I simply ring them and order over the phone.
 
2021 Camino Guides
Most all Camino authors have decided to use 2020 guides for 2021, with free PDF files with updates coming in the spring. Get yours today.
Camino Maps
A collection of Camino Maps from the Camino Forum Store

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Have you checked thrift/charity shops? I've found lots of amazing deals in them over the years. Some items are never worn before they're donated.
My favorite local "go to" stores and quite a few of my Camino items come from them!
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Sorry to rehash this older topic, @Robo, but I made a similar post a week or so back. If you want to get back to the fully lightweight merino, the 150wt Woolly brand & 170wt Woolx are exactly what you are remembering before all the blends came into vogue. They are on amazon. I'm not sure if I'm permitted to link them but drop these in the search:

Woolly Clothing Men's Merino Wool Crew Neck Tee Shirt - Ultralight​

 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Sorry to rehash this older topic, @Robo, but I made a similar post a week or so back. If you want to get back to the fully lightweight merino, the 150wt Woolly brand & 170wt Woolx are exactly what you are remembering before all the blends came into vogue. They are on amazon. I'm not sure if I'm permitted to link them but drop these in the search:

Woolly Clothing Men's Merino Wool Crew Neck Tee Shirt - Ultralight​

I think that Robo's problem in finding lightweight merino shirts is that he wants a partial zip front shirt - a style which typically is only made in heavier weights.
 
John Brierley Camino Frances Guide
This guide is one of the ones that has been around for over 15 years. Updated yearly. Please read the reviews.
Camino Maps
A collection of Camino Maps from the Camino Forum Store

Theresa Brandon

Artist, photographer, dreamer
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Inglés (2018), Camino Ingles (from La Coruña, 2019), Camino Portugues (2020)
I use the Icebreaker Cool Lite blend (merino and tencel), 1/4 zip, on my Caminos.
 

BombayBill

Still Learning
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I see that Icebreaker now offers merino wool / linen blends. I could go on and on about why, if you decide you want one nice shirt in your load, it should be linen.
 

Rodney Kent

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
Robo, I'm not sure if these are the type of merino shirts you are after, but they could be worth a look. From MJ Bale. The product description says lightweight and they have a half zip.
 

Did not find what you were looking for? Search here

Popular Resources

“All” Albergues on the Camino Frances in one pdf ivar
  • Featured
“All” Albergues on the Camino Frances in one pdf
4.95 star(s) 100 ratings
Downloads
14,997
Updated
A selection of favorite albergues on the Camino Francés Ton van Tilburg
Favorite Albergues along the Camino Frances
4.83 star(s) 35 ratings
Downloads
7,659
Updated
Profile maps of all 34 stages of the Camino Frances ivar
Profile maps of all 34 stages of the Camino Frances
4.88 star(s) 24 ratings
Downloads
7,515
Updated

Similar threads

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Updates on YouTube

Camino Conversations

Most downloaded Resources

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 16 1.1%
  • February

    Votes: 10 0.7%
  • March

    Votes: 62 4.3%
  • April

    Votes: 212 14.9%
  • May

    Votes: 348 24.4%
  • June

    Votes: 104 7.3%
  • July

    Votes: 27 1.9%
  • August

    Votes: 31 2.2%
  • September

    Votes: 414 29.0%
  • October

    Votes: 173 12.1%
  • November

    Votes: 19 1.3%
  • December

    Votes: 11 0.8%

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store
Top