Gear, gadgets & gizmos: Ibex Hooded Indie
May 23, 2011
Everybody has one. Or should. You know, the hoody you reach for over and over again. Well this shirt, the Ibex Hooded Indie, has quickly become my new favorite base layer. I’ve worn this shirt, made from 100 percent New Zealand merino wool, fishing, hiking, and out for drinks and it works well in any scenario. It’s semi-fitted and stylish, but with the hood up, can be pretty warm when it’s cold outside. Flattering and functional at the same time? Woo hoo! And since the wool wicks moisture away from your body, it doesn’t become unbearably hot the minute the sun comes out. Case in point, I wore it over a T-shirt while hiking up West Lake Creek last weekend (FYI there’s a ton of snow still, but it’s possible to hike the trail in waterproof tennis shoes without too much post holing) and it was the perfect weight. It kept me warm when the sun ducked behind clouds, and it’s very breathable, so I didn’t sweat when the sun was shining down full bore.I had to retire a similar shirt I had, which I used in a similar manner – skiing in the winter, hiking in the summer, and whatever fell in between – because it got to the point where washing it didn’t really get out the stink.Thankfully, wool, along with being soft and lightweight (it’s about the same weight as a good T-shirt and not even remotely itchy), is naturally odor resistant. I wore it for a few days without even thinking about washing it. And once I did, it did have an interesting odor when I pulled it out of the washer -I suppose it’s akin to what a wet sheep smells like -but the scent was gone as soon as it dried, which, should be noted, was faster than any of the cotton shirts I washed it with. The shirt fits well over a tank top, and with its thumb holes, is easy to wear as a base layer and the sleeves don’t ride up when you try to pull a jacket on over top. There’s a nine-inch zipper on the front, which zips up nearly to my chin, which I really like. The only con I can see is the price. A hundred bones might be a bit steep for many people, but I’d rather have one really good go-to hoody, then 10 cheap ones that don’t function nearly as well. This is one piece of gear I’ll be reaching for often this summer. If summer ever arrives, that is. Have a gear, gadget or gizmo you think we should review? Email High Life Editor Caramie Schnell at firstname.lastname@example.org.