“Hey, come here and smell this!”   That’s not exactly the way my wife likes me to initiate a conversation, but in this case the invitation was justified.  With Icebreaker’s merino wool products, the odor resistant quality never ceases to impress.

Icebreaker GT Run Ace Crew Features:

  • 100% merino wool construction
  • Side venting panels
  • Back stash pocket
  • Cord management loop at neckline
  • Reflective side piping
  • New for Spring 2011
  • MSRP $70

Icebreaker GT Run Ace Crew Review

The occasion of asking my wife to smell my shirt happened on my way out the door for an afternoon run through the neighborhood.  We then had the following exchange:

Her: I don’t smell anything – what’s the big deal?

Me: I wore this same shirt on my 12-mile trail run yesterday morning, and then it sat in my car all day while I was at work.  It hasn’t been washed since.

Her: Awesome.

Awesome indeed.  Icebreaker’s merino wool products are famous for their natural odor resistance and temperature regulation, but prior to this year, most of their performance apparel has been form-fitting.  If you happen to prefer loose fitting clothes (as I do) for trail running, you were kind of out of luck – but that’s changed with the release of Icebreaker’s GT Run apparel, new for spring/summer 2011.

The Ace short sleeve crewe combines the high-performance qualities of merino wool with the comfort of a traditionally cut garment.  It’s made from Icebreaker’s 150 fabric, the lightest and most breathable in the company’s product line.  Considering that it’s made of wool, the fabric feels remarkably comfortable against the skin, although it’s not quite as plush as some of the softer tech fabrics out there.

Merino wool main panel (L), small media pocket (center), merino wool vented mesh side panel (R)

A few extra conveniences are built into the shirt, such as a small stash pocket at the right rear that’s big enough for a flip phone or mp3 – although if you run with the shirt untucked there’s going to be some bouncing – and a cord loop at the neckline to keep your media cord in place.

Ventilation is enhanced by wide panels that run the length of the trunk on each side.  Merino wool is naturally breathable, but I find that moisture tends to be retained a bit longer in the fabric prior to evaporation, and this was evident with the Ace crew as well.

Darkened areas of moisture in process of evaporation

When you buy merino wool, what you sacrifice in moisture management you gain in convenience and high utility thanks to its odor protection.  Sometimes it’s great to wear a shirt over and over again without needing laundering, especially if you’re traveling light and need to minimize your gear requirement.  The investment in one Icebreaker shirt can take the place of 2 or 3 tech shirts in your wardrobe, making it an overall better bargain than similarly-priced shirts on the market.

Good Ace Crewe

  • Outstanding odor resistance
  • Loose cut ideal for long trail runs
  • Convenient pocket for small cargo

Bad Ace Crewe

  • Slightly coarse feel against skin
  • Retains moisture somewhat

Bottom Line: Icebreaker GT Run Ace Crewe Short Sleeve

If you like merino wool apparel but want a looser fit, Icebreaker’s Ace crewe is a very welcome addition to its product line. It’s comfortable enough for multi-hour runs, and ready to run again as soon as you are.

Buy Now: Icebreaker GT Run Ace Crew at Backcountry.com

About Author

Donald is a physical therapist, ultrarunner, barefoot aficionado, and father of three with more than 20 years of experience in endurance sports. When he's not training for ultramarathons, he enjoys hiking or slacklining with his family in Monterey County, CA.

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