Words by Robert Johnston  |  Photos by Sam Howard

Ibex is an activewear company whose mission is to harness the performance of Merino wool to provide comfort for sporting activities, with tailoring to make them suitable as more casual items for urban adventures and day-to-day life. With a key focus on sustainability and the proper treatment of their workers – both human and sheep – Ibex wants to enhance the experiences of their customers without leaving a trail of destruction from their manufacturing. We’ve been putting a few of their Merino wool items to the test over the last six months, and it’s safe to say their claims of durability and quality ring true.


  • High Quality

  • Merino benefits

  • Indie Hoodie versatility

  • Tranquil Jogger comfort


  • High prices

  • Merino isn’t perfect for everything


All of the Ibex activewear products on test are produced with wool from Australian Merino sheep. Merino wool touts many benefits, from antimicrobial properties to natural thermoregulation that should keep your body temperature at a more comfortable level than a synthetic fiber. Merino is also fire and stain resistant, and offers up to UPF 50 sun protection depending on the fabric thickness.


The Indie Hoodie is a lightweight hoodie designed to be used as a first layer or on its own, with a versatile regular fit. It’s made using the 100% Merino Wool fabric called “Merino Edge Cool”, which is designed to feel cool to the touch and pack all of the Merino benefits in a lightweight and easy-to-pack garment.

The Scuba hood is sized to be worn on its own without falling down when active, or worn under a bike helmet. Ibex fitted a quarter zip on the front which can be used to open up the hoodie to allow for some increased airflow, with Raglan sleeves used to offer some increased space under the arms to let you move easier. The entire Indie Hoodie uses Flatlock stitching to prevent chafing when moving, and there are no tags to further boost this comfort. Down on the sleeves there are thumb holes which can be used to keep them pulled down when being used as a layer.

The Ibex Indie Hoodie is offered in sizes S-XXL in Men’s or XS-XL in Women’s, in a variety of colors, at a retail price of $170.


The Ibex Woolies Tech Long Sleeve is a slim-fitting base layer designed to harness the properties of Merino Wool but add some synthetic materials to boost durability and comfort. The 180gsm Ibex Pro Tech Merino fabric consists of 81% Merino wool from Australian sheep, with 12% Nylon added to the core to improve durability and 7% Elastane to improve the flexibility and ensure it recovers back to its original shape. Pro Tech is designed for activities in cool to cold conditions, offering efficient insulation as a base layer with the properties of Merino allowing it to be worn for multiple days without washing.

The Woolies Tech Long Sleeve has Raglan sleeves to improve movement, with Baste stitch thumb holes to allow for their use to keep the sleeves in place without impacting the fit if not used. The seams are all Flatlock to prevent any chafing. Ibex offers the Woolies Tech Long Sleeve baselayer in sizes S-XXL in Men’s and XS-XL in Women’s fit, in a selection of colors for $115 as standard.



The Ibex Tranquil Jogger is not so much of a performance product as a friend for the more chilled pursuits, with a relaxed fit. Made from a 70% Organic Cotton; 26% Merino Wool and 4% Elastane blend, the Tranquil Jogger has a layer of Merino Wool on the inside to offer its moisture wicking and odor management properties, with the Cotton and Elastane on the outside for a soft feel while retaining breathability.

There are two hand pockets and a rear zip pocket to store the essentials on the move. Gussets are featured to allow for extra mobility, and the waistband is elastic with a drawstring to offer supreme comfort and movement. Ibex offers the Tranquil Jogger in sizes S-XXL for men in a choice of two colors or XS-XL for women in four colors, with a retail price of $145.



I’m a big fan of the versatility and performance of Merino Wool. In Scotland there’s a large portion of the year where conditions are hard to dress for: overdo it and you become a sweaty mess; but underdo it and you can be left cold enough to be seriously uncomfortable, especially if you’ve sweated too. Merino Wool products have an ability to manage these scenarios better than their synthetic equivalents, avoiding getting overly chilly when wet. Layering up Merino items is interesting, as they tend to hold onto moisture keenly if not exposed to direct airflow. On higher effort days this can lead to highly saturated garments below the more insulating items, but they still retain considerably more comfort and heat when wet than if the same occurred with a synthetic equivalent, until temperatures and airflow is sufficient to chill this moisture.

The 100% Merino Indie hoodie is an item I found myself using across a wide range of conditions, both on its own (from 9-15 C / 48-60F) and as a layer below a more insulating item on colder days. Going above that 60F mark, the lesser abilities of the Merino Wool to wick moisture and provide the cooling effect that you may desire to keep your body temperature from climbing too high make the Indie hoodie difficult to wear. The tailoring on it makes for a comfortable fit in the saddle, but with a casual aura that left me comfortable wearing it for times off the saddle – both active and relaxed. Though the extra warmth the hood can provide was welcomed on a few of the colder days, I didn’t find myself often wearing it up under my helmet, but off-the-bike it worked well and stayed in place without too much fuss. Much to my surprise, the Indie hoodie shrugged off some on-bike abuse from tree scuffs to a barrage of mud and still cleans up good as new.


The Woolies Tech Long Sleeve baselayer came into its own as temperatures dropped, making for an efficient insulating layer with minimal bulk for its heat. The fit is typical of a base layer – sitting close to the skin – but it’s got enough stretch in it to allow it to move with you. Baselayers usually struggle for length when it comes to using thumb loops to keep the sleeves down, but the Ibex base layer has just enough length to be comfortable for me, which was much appreciated. I found that on days I was pushing particularly hard it would end up wetting through quickly and staying wet, which could leave me with a bit of a chill if I stopped for too long. A good compromise was to add a thin synthetic base layer below the Woolies Tech LS, which provided a sort of best-of-both-worlds compromise for mid-to-highly strenuous, colder days. So far I’ve not managed to produce any signs of wear and tear, through many wash cycles, and there’s not once been a smell coming out of the jersey.

As for the Tranquil jogger, they’re a seriously comfortable item that sits in a strange place for me – active loungewear? The look of them is somewhat pajama, somewhat hippie-esque, but if you can make them work for you visually then you’ll be rewarded with an insanely comfortable set of joggers. You can go from a run through the local park to the ultimate comfy item for long travel days or to stick on post-ride for a car journey home or chill by a fire. They feel like sheer quality and their longevity after a good six months of traveling, chilling and van-lifing in them shows that they’re in it for the long haul.

The Wolf’s Last Word

Testing these Ibex products has been a pleasure, and as Merino items go they are some of the nicer I’ve been lucky to use. The Indie hoodie is a very versatile item that I find myself reaching for a lot. The Woolies Tech Long Sleeve base layer is a fine example of a Merino-powered base layer with some synthetics brought in to boost performance. And the Tranquil jogger has proven to be a perfect item for the tranquil times off the bike. Prices are high – especially for the Indie Hoodie – but the performance, quality and longevity is high to match them.

Indie Hoodie – $170
Woolies Tech Baselayer – $115
Tranquil Jogger – $145

Website: Ibex.com


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