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Icebreaker Merino Flexi Chute

photo: Icebreaker Merino Flexi Chute neck gaiter

This neck gaiter is a winter companion that will keep you warm (and happy) for years! Made of soft/non-itch Merino wool, this accessory is an easy way to adjust your internal thermostat in moments. Combined with headwear, a neck gaiter is a great alternative to a balaclava.

Pros

  • Simple
  • Versatile
  • Odor resistant
  • Not too restrictive
  • Can be used as a blindfold

Cons

  • Small learning curve for proficiency
  • A little long when unfolded

Now that I have had this neck gaiter for a second year, I found it time to write a review on this little goodie… 


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I typically wear the neck gaiter folded in half, lengthwise.

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Here is the neck warmer not folded. 

I personally find making small adjustments to my head/neck, wrists/hands, and torso the easiest ways to regulate my internal temperature, and therefore prevent sweating. This neck gaiter can easily be modified in a number of ways to keep you warm, without getting too warm.

I have used this neck warmer countless times, fall through spring, from daily use to dayhikes, and approximately 6-8 backpacking trips along the East Coast Mid-Atlantic region.

Specs:

  • 100% Merino Wool
  • 200 weight g/m2 (grams per meter squared)
  • Machine Wash Cold/Air Dry
  • Dimensions: 10”x20” Rectangular Tube


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Icebreaker has a great link describing product information; you can find it here: 

http://us.icebreaker.com/en/customer-service/product-information/service-product-information.html

Here is another link showing merino wool's performance qualities, from warmth/cooling to flammability:

http://us.icebreaker.com/en/why-icebreaker-merino/how-does-icebreaker-merino-perform.html

Icebreaker has been one of the leading brands in providing a superior product while adhering to sustainability, and a high quality of life for the merino sheep, and their factory workers.This comes at a price, so sticker-shock frequently drives consumers away from this kind of product.

I personally feel like you ‘get what you pay for’ when purchasing into high end products like Icebreaker, Ibex, and Patagonia. After several washes, I have found this neck warmer to stay in very good condition, despite many tugs and pulls (even with two-day stubble).

I have many jackets that I have scuffed up with less use and washing than this gaiter. There has been minimal pilling, with no loose threads at all. The elasticity is still like new. From my experience with this product, construction, durability, and abrasion resistance is absolutely top-notch.

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Close-up of the outer weave, after about six washings.


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Close-up of the inner weave, after about six washings.

This neck warmer is very comfortable against the skin, which is especially important when wool is coming in contact with one’s neck.

A little side story here: My wife, who still has not accepted comfortable wool in her wardrobe, ‘borrows’ it frequently. She happens to have very sensitive skin (and no I still haven’t told her she’s been wearing wool on her neck for a year). The elasticity of the weave is perfect; it is not too tight if it’s pulled up on one’s face, or down over one’s head. It has just enough slack when solely worn on the neck, even when doubled over. The 200 weight fiber is thin enough that it doesn’t bother me when I have it pulled it up over my nose and mouth. Bonus points for the great breathability.

Note: With a beard, I usually never cover my face when I’m up and about, but it seems to do a good job when it is really cold out. In this scenario, I would wear the gaiter over my nose and mouth (one layer to allow the moisture out), and then a bandana. And yes, I prefer to act like a bank robber. Thankful to the natural fibers of this product, it is quite odor resistant even with significant exposure to body oils, sweat, and breath. I find these combinations with layering several hats less restrictive than wearing a balaclava.

Another hidden benefit of this product: a blind-fold. I frequently like to fold it two (or four) times over, and down over my eyes and cheeks. This still allows me to vent the moisture from my respiration, help keep me warm, and allow me to get those last valuable moments of sleep in the morning!

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Another variation for use. 


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Getting used to a neck gaiter really doesn’t take long, and one can use it in so many ways. The versatility with adjustment and layering is unparalleled. If you just need to keep your ears warm? Headband. If you feel like your core is getting too high? Pull it up on top of your hat. The warmth of this accessory can really make somebody a whole lot more comfortable, especially when something like this gets moist from breathing, thanks to being 100% wool.

The Take-Away: Whether you’re looking for a stocking stuffer, or to improve your winter outings, the Icebreaker Flexi Chute Neckwarmer is a great way to go, without breaking the bank!

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $20

This small, lightweight bit of clothing makes an amazing difference in warmth and comfort in all outdoor situations. High quality merino and versatility of use make this a great dependable item.

Pros

  • Warmth, comfort, quality
  • Lightweight, versatile

Cons

  • Expensive

I wear  an Icebreaker merino neck gaiter in many outdoor pursuits—backpacking, skiing, trekking, biking, and post cold water swimming.

I have used it in the BC Coast range, the Yukon, the Himalayas, and around town when it’s cold, It provides an almost miraculous level of warmth. It is versatile; can be worn as hood, a hat, bandana style, or as neck warmer. It is ultralight, packable in a pocket, and utterly cozy.

It has become an essential piece of kit.

Experience

I love this product. I have also used Buff gaiters, which are also great, but the Icebreaker is my favourite. A good balance of resiliency, and warmth. I use it all the time.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: 30 Canadian currency

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Specs

Price Current Retail: $21.00-$30.00
Historic Range: $12.98-$30.00
Reviewers Paid: $20.00
Product Details from Icebreaker »

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