Ibex 24 Hour Short Sleeve Crew
Ibex's 24 Hour all-merino wool crew has all the benefits of sustainable, natural construction paired with excellent design. The light/medium weight short-sleeve top is designed for both casual use and as a next-to-skin layer for active outdoor activities such as hiking in cold to warm temperatures. Initial testing has shown that although not ideal for hot temperatures, this crew is well suited for all other temperature ranges.
- Durable, high-quality construction
- 100% natural material
- Many color options
- Itchier than other 100% merino wool products
- Not ideal for hot weather
- High price point for a short-sleeved shirt
- "Regular" fit is actually a trim-fit/Consider sizing up
The world’s opinion isn’t objective. On the outside, gear companies often boast having the "first," the "best," or the "original." Sometimes people can peer through the gimmick, through the subjective "opinions" that appear in headlines. Fortunately, there are resources consumers can utilize to educate themselves about what may be best, or what may be best for them.
Since Ibex’s revival in 2018, the company has been incorporating both old and new designs to keep them separated from the rest of the "merino wool herd." Although not too much changes with a crew shirt, the 24 Hour Short Sleeve Crew pairs the benefits of merino wool with high quality construction to create a versatile product worth considering. In addition to men's and women's short sleeve crews (the women's is called the 24 Hour Short Sleeve Scoop Neck), other 24 Hour 100-percent merino offerings include a men's polo shirt, women's tank, and long-sleeve crew / long-sleeve scoop-neck crew.
For background, other merino wool brands I've tested over the last five years include Icebreaker, Smartwool, Ridge, Black Diamond, Kora, Terramar, and others.
Fit & Comfort
The 24 Hour SS Crew in men’s medium fit snug for my 5'10", 160-pound frame. While described as a regular fit, this is definitely a "trim fit" if following Ibex’s size chart, which is otherwise accurate. One may consider sizing up for a "regular" fit.
Ibex designed this crew with a curved hem for a little more coverage, or to "tuck into your favorite jeans."
Ibex uses the slogan "Ditch the Itch," however my initial impressions were a bit questionable in regard to comfort. After a few uses and couple of wash cycles, it appeared that the shirt had a "break-in-time." After a couple months of regular use, the shirt still did not have the smoothest wool touch though.
People with sensitive skin may want to consider other options; however this is entirely subjective. If you prefer to avoid 100-percent merino, Ibex offers other merino wool blend options.
There are many benefits to merino wool for outdoor clothing: great breathability, odor resistance, lightweight insulating capabilities, and superior thermoregulation.
Like most merino wool products, the 24 SS Crew offers great breathability, and temperature regulation. Moisture rapidly transports from the skin level to the outer portion efficiently.
Ibex’s "MeCool" fabric employs a proprietary steaming process "that makes the material feel cooler to the touch, increasing versatility in various climates." Outside of merino wool’s regular natural function, I didn't notice an additional "cooling effect."
While the 165g (wool weight) of this crew tends to be classified as lightweight, this shirt feels somewhere between lightweight and midweight. It provides a bit too much warmth during summertime in the mid-Atlantic USA. However outside of summer heat and humidity, this shirt and its warmth should be just fine year-round. Keep your own comfort level, climate, and activity level in mind. Temperatures during my testing ranged from approximately 70° to 100°+F.
Layering on top of the Ibex 24 Hour SS Crew works great, both for comfort and transporting sweat moisture from one's skin. This is to be expected as a first/next-to-skin layer. Layering underneath would be impractical without sizing up.
overnight backpacking trips in the mid-Atlantic summer the shirt takes hours to dry.
Construction & Durability
Testing over the course of the last three months has shown little to no wear. No pilling on the face fabric is evident, and no wear in high friction areas such as the shoulders and hem from backpacking. From regular daily use to hard handling on the trail, no pulls or tears have been noted.
The overall durability of the shirt appears built to last for several years at minimum. All stitching and seams are flawless, and no irregularity was found in the main fabric. Ibex mentions a "100% satisfaction" guarantee on its website, showing long-term commitment to its products.
Ibex says its "MeCool" fabric is designed to not only provide a "premium shine," it is also intended to have "improved pilling resistance & a cool touch for year round comfort." This proprietary process does seem to add additional durability, but the "cool touch" feels like most other merino shirts I've worn in the past.
More can be read on Ibex’s construction process here.
Cleaning and care for this garment are a breeze, unlike wool of the past. Simply machine wash in the cold cycle, and air dry. After three washings, no shrinking or wear has been noted.
The Ibex 24 Hour SS Crew has been tested regularly in the mid-Atlantic USA area since late May 2022. Temperatures have ranged from the 70°F mark clear into the lower 100’s. This shirt has seen use on summer overnights on the Appalachian Trail, leading daytime outdoor adventure groups for 10- to 13-year-olds, performing trail maintenance, taking multiple day hikes, and daily use around town.
For those searching for a durable, breathable, midweight, wool layer that can be worn day-in and day-out for most seasons and temperatures, the Ibex 24 Hour Crew is a worthy layer for many outdoor activities!
Many thanks for the opportunity to test the Ibex 24 Hour SS Crew for the Trailspace Gear Review Corps!
I’ve been testing different naturally-sourced technical base layers for nearly ten years, and hiking/backpacking for around 35 years. Wool-based products have been found to be the best option for me personally. From sustainability to naturally odor-resistant properties and durability, there is no contest comparing to synthetic constructed fabrics.
Source: received for testing via the Trailspace Review Corps
(Sample for testing and review provided by Ibex)
Where to Buy
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Current Retail: $61.60-$90.00
100% Merino Wool / 19.5 Micron / 165 gm2
31 in / 79 cm back length (size L)