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Ibex Woolies Tech Bottoms

rated 5 of 5 stars
photo: Ibex Woolies Tech Bottoms base layer bottom

Versatile lightweight merino blend layer, perfect for winter backcountry use, chilly nights in camp, and just lounging around at home on cold days.

Pros

  • Soft
  • Good fit
  • Breathable
  • Warm, but not too warm
  • Stretchy
  • Reasonably quick drying
  • Easy to care for

Cons

  • It would be nice to have an option for a shorter inseam

I’ve been a huge fan of Ibex clothing for many years. The Ibex Indie hoody I bought probably twenty years ago, is still one of my favorites. I was sad when they announced that they were closing a number of years ago and have been pleased to see that they have returned. I was eager to give these bottoms a try.

I received the Woolies Tech Bottoms in late spring when our Northern California weather was generally too warm to use them much initially, but with colder and wetter weather descending on us this winter, I’ve been wearing them a lot. 

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Campground fashion statement
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rearview

Fit and Comfort: The fit of the Woolies Tech Bottoms is as would be expected. The XL fits my size 38-inch waist comfortably. I have short legs (30" inseam), so they are a tiny bit long for me, so tend to bunch up a little at the cuff. It’s not a big issue, but it would be nice to have a short inseam option. 

These come in six different size options from SM to XXL. The women’s model also has six size options from XS to XL. Ibex also offers the same bottoms in a 3/4 length version—Woolies Tech 3/4 Bottoms—for both men and women, advertised to prevent “excess bulk inside of ski or snowboard boots.” The same sizing options apply to the 3/4-length version. 

The covered elastic waist keeps these bottoms nicely in place, but never feels overly tight. The merino/synthetic blended Pro-Tech fabric Ibex uses is super soft and smooth against the skin. I’d happily wear these all day long on cold winter days. 

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Glad to have Ibex back in the game
The Pro-Tech fabric is wonderfully snug and stretchy, and I’ve found myself wearing these bottoms for early morning living-room yoga sessions. The fully functional fly in the men’s version is a nice touch, though it makes it awkward to wear them alone in public (for instance, if one was a runner and wanted to wear just this layer).
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fully functional fly... PG version

Warmth and Breathability: The Pro-Tech fabric wraps 180 gsm merino around a nylon core (with just a touch of elastane for stretch). This provides a nice amount of warmth, without being too much.

Ibex describes the Woolies Tech Bottoms as being "designed for high aerobic activities in cool and cold conditions." When pushing my body heat on snowy uphills in the Tahoe Sierra (temps in the high 30's/low 40's), I never found myself overheating.

Breathability and moisture control is excellent... I was able to stay warm and dry all day long, whether pushing the aerobic activity, or sitting down for a quick snack. Even while working up a lather shoveling snow from my driveway (temps in the mid 40's), I was comfortable without being too warm or too cold.

Layering: For snowshoe outings, I layered these underneath a pair of Beyond Fleece soft shell (Schoeller Dynamic) trousers. They worked symbiotically to keep me warm and dry all day long. On a chilly fall Sierra camping trip (night time temps in low 40's), I layered them under a pair of MontBell UL Down Inner pants, and was cozy all evening long, before climbing into my bag at night. Again, their low profile worked well under that insulating layer.

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Layered nicely under a soft shell

Construction and Care: The Pro Tech blend is 81% merino wool, 12% nylon, and 7% elastane. Construction is first class all the way through. After a number of washings, the fabric shows no pilling, and the stitching is still good as new.

These are machine washable (gentle/cold) and can be line dried or machine dried on a delicate cycle. The elastane in the fabric provides a good amount of stretch; after many uses and wash cycles it doesn't show any signs of stretching out of shape.

Ibex has a full range of Woolies Tech clothing for men and women made from this Pro Tech material: 3/4 Bottoms, long-sleeved tops in crew or zip neck, boxer briefs, and a beanie.

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Machine wash & dry for easy care

Conclusion: I find myself wearing the Woolies Tech Bottoms much more often than I anticipated. From campground night wear, to winter backcountry fun, lounging around the house, shoveling snow from the driveway, they are super comfortable. I recommend these Ibex bottoms without hesitation!

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Chilling by the ”campfire”

 

Background

Nighttime wear for summer and fall camping trips. Baselayer for winter snowshoeing in the Sierra (temps in 30s and 40s). Shoveling snow in the driveway. Lounging around the house on cold Sierra foothill days and nights. Living-room yoga.

Source: received for testing via the Trailspace Review Corps (Sample for testing and review provided by Ibex)

About the Author

David Link is a cathedral musician, hiker, backpacker, road cyclist, husband, grandpa, dad, and coffee/wine/beer drinker (though not all at once). His favorite places to hike are the High Sierra, Southern Cascades, and Trinity Alps, and he has begun exploring the Pacific Northwest. David climbed Kilimanjaro via the Western Breach in 2004, and thru-hiked the High Sierra Trail in 2010.

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Specs

Men's
Price MSRP: $115.00
Fabric Weight 18.5 Micron / 180 gm2
Inseam 30.25 in / 79 cm (size L)
Weight 0.41 lb / 0.186 kg (size S)
Fit Next to Skin
Women's
Price Current Retail: $80.50
Product Details from Ibex »

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