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Gear review: Icebreaker Swift pants

Icebreaker Swift pants - for running, cycling, skiing, yoga, lounging, just about everything that would break a sweat

Icebreaker Swift pants


There is a looks-are-deceiving element about the Icebreaker Swift pants (99.99).

Icebreaker’s midweight GT260 fabric insulates without bulk. Although made with 97 percent Merino wool, they are soft and comfortable. They aren’t baggy, but they aren’t “tights”.

The last point is a biggie for two reasons. First, the slim bagginess allows me to add a base layer (I used a pair of Terramar Thermawool TXO 4.0) for extra warmth when running on single-digit days. With two layers of Merino wool swaddling my lower extremities, only my eyeballs were cold. On double-digit days, like from ten degrees to the high thirties, the Swift pants worked very well on their own.

Second, because they’re not tights, they’re multi-functional. I use the Swift pants for cross-country skiing, with and without an added base layer. The slight flair at the bottom of the legs fits snugly over ski boots. I have added a chamois and used them for winter cycling. I’ve even spent several yoga classes in them.

I also like Icebreaker’s commitment to responsible and ethical sourcing and their high standards in human and animal rights (sheep dogs included).

Icebreaker tags many of their garments with a unique the Baacode that enables you to trace the fiber from the sheep stations in New Zealand's South Island all the way to the factories that knitted, dyed, sewed and shipped the garment.

My Baacode traced the origin of the wool of my Swift pants to the Middlehurst Station, Walter Peak Station and Ta Akatarawa Station. I got to “meet” the farmers and watch video of the sheep.

My only “complaint” is that it needs more reflective detailing. They have a six-inch strip of detailing on one leg. Yes, one leg. Not both, just one. Why? I don’t know. But it would be nice to have it on both legs.

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