Man splitboarding in ibex woolies tech quarter zip and 3/4 bottoms

Ibex Woolies Tech Review

A Guide’s Review of Ibex Woolies Tech

An Ibex and a Canadian in the Rockies. Photo: Jakub D

Merino wool has become ubiquitous to outdoor adventures in recent years but not without a few caveats: stretching, and durability. Ibex solves these issues and more with their new Woolies Tech line of base layers.  Thanks to its durability and flexibility, the Tech Woolies line is a fantastic Merino kit that will fit into anyone’s base layer essentials. 


  • Material: 81% Wool 12% Nylon 7% Elastane 
  • Size Tested:  XL (Quarter Zip) L (¾ Bottoms)
  • Fabric Origin: Australia 
  • Garment Origin: Vietnam 

What is Ibex?

An Ibex above Chamonix, France

An Ibex (Latin: Capra Ibex. French: Bouquetin German: Steinbock) is a species of wild goat found in Eurasia, East and North Africa. They are distinguishable by their large back-swept horns and transverse ridges along them.  

Ibex, the clothing company, is more legendary. The original Ibex was launched in 1997 by John Fernsell. The products they made were incredibly well-built and earned the brand a lot of fans. In 2018, a decision to move to a direct-to-consumer strategy sunk the company by February. 

Fans of the brand were upset, but luckily for us, Flour Fund a NY-based investment group took the company over and hired Bonie Shupe a superfan of Ibex Merino, to take over the helm of Ibex in March 2019. Since then, Ibex has introduced a couple of great new pieces, improving year-by-year,  and this year we got the Woolies Tech line. 

What is Ibex Woolies Tech?


There is a large range of clothing available in the Woolies Tech line, long sleeve crew, boxer shorts, and more. Ibex Tech Woolies are fantastic base layers for cold-season adventures. They look good on their own and are just as comfortable at Aprés as they are under Gore-Tex and could even do triple duty as pajamas they are that soft.  I was fortunate enough to try the ¾ Bottoms and the Wool Quarter Zip so those are the two garments I will focus on in this review.

What makes Woolies Tech is its merino blended material, Pro-Tech.   

What is Pro-Tech?

Pro-Tech is what happens when Ibex listens to the most common complaints about Merino (stretch and durability) and works on an alternative. Ibex begins with a 180 gsm Australian Merino wool and then incorporates Nylon for durability and elastane to help it maintain shape over days of use. 

After putting more than a few weeks into these layers I can say they are built to last, just like the Ibex of old. The longest I wore these pieces was a week solid on a road trip to the Rockies. Morning temps were around -10 Celsius and afternoon temps were +5 Celsius. I started every morning geared up but by midday was down to my base layer, often with the sleeves pulled up to my elbow.  

The shirt maintained its shape throughout the days, and even after being stretched by my forearm, didn’t flap around my wrist afterward.  

Is it still Funk Free?

Even though Ibex has added Nylon and Elastane to the Woolies Tech line the shirt and bottoms retain their famed funk-free merino qualities. These were the base layers I chose to wear on a two-week-long trip to the Rockies. I had planned a washing in the middle, meaning they better hold up to 7 days of constant wear, and they did. I, personally, didn’t notice any funk on the Woolies Tech after seven days of sweating and camping. 

Woolies Tech Quarter Zip?

The neck and zipper garage of the Woolies Tech Quarter Zip

The Ibex Wool Quarter Zip had some big shoes to fill, and it has filled them well. I previously owned two Ibex Hoodies that I loved until death. The shoulders on one had holes in it from too much time under shoulder straps and the other had worn so thin on the back that it was almost non-existent. These shirts owed me nothing so I was keen to see how a new crop of Ibex tops would fair. 

The Ibex Wool Quarter zip is a mock neck base layer that features, according to Ibex,  a quarter-length zipper.   In reality, it is more of a third zip as the zip that goes from the collar to just above the stomach. When up, the zipper has a small garage to hide in and stay out of the way. I mostly wore the shirt this way as the neck comfortably rolls out of the way and does not bother my neck or chin. Should you need to vent, the zip is plenty deep enough.

The shirt is light while worn and after the first wash, there is no wool itch whatsoever. It is warm down to -10 Celsius and has been fine up to 5 Celsius on its own. I have worn it in the sun and not had a burn underneath though this shirt is not UPF rated. 

The sleeve length is appropriately long for me. I am 6’1” with long arms and the sleeves didn’t ride up above my wrist in any position. Nothing annoys me more than short sleeves and these sleeves are the perfect length for me. 

What’s a Baste stitch thumbhole?

I threw on the Ibex Wool Quarter Zip and immediately thought, “Hey, where are the thumb holes?” The stitching on both sleeves looks like Ibex intended for there to be thumbholes but someone forgot to cut them out. Well, forgetting is the wrong word, intended is the correct one. 

At the end of each arm is Baste Stitch Thumbholes. Apparently, not everyone likes thumbholes so Ibex does not cut them open. For those of us who like thumbholes, a quick few clips with a pair of scissors open the thumbholes as the original Capra intended. 

Once open the thumbholes are comfortable. Like almost every other seam on the shirt, the seems are flatlock. With your thumb through the hole, the sleeves sit mid-back of the hand.  I’m a huge fan of thumbholes, especially once the gloves come off, so I was stoked to use these but think the BAste Stitch is a great idea. 

Woolies Tech ¾ Bottoms

Ibex says, “Bootcut is back.” I say, “Where has this been all my life?” Why are you tucking your LJs into your boots or scrunching them above your socks? Not only is it uncomfortable it is not functional. The ¾ Bottoms end just below your knee, negating the need for tucking or scrunching. Let your socks handle Merino duties for your feet. 

Just like the rest of the Woolies Tech line the ¾ Bottoms feature flatlock seams throughout to avoid any chaffing, which I find is most important in bottoms. The waistband is a covered elastic which holds firm and doesn’t slip while wearing. They neither rode up nor slipped down. This is especially important when wearing bibs like I do. 

On the men’s version, there is a Two-Way Fly for pit stops. Not so with the women’s ¾ bottoms. 


When the Ibex package arrived at my door I was excited. My old Ibex pieces were fading and in desperate need of replacement. Sitting at the top of the box was the Wool Quarter Zip in Ginger Bisquite color (dark orange) my favorite color.  I immediately put the shirt on and got itchy. I was worried. Was this already the end of the review? I knew to give the shirt a wash to see if that helped, and boy howdy did it. Whatever happened in that washing machine worked as the shirt now feels merino soft and lacks any itch. 

Both pieces were comfortable layered under gore-tex and the Quarter Zip was nice when worn alone once the layers were off. I didn’t notice any sunburn while wearing the Quarter Zip but it is also not UPF rated. There is an Ibex Sun Hoody for that specific duty though it will not be as warm as the Woolies Tech. We hope to be reviewing this summer so check back for upcoming reviews. 

Never mind saying Bootcut is back, Ibex is back. Overall, this is a fantastic Merino kit that will fit into anyone’s base layer essentials. If your budget can include Ibex Woolies Tech, don’t hesitate. I’m stoked to see what Ibex cooks up next.  

Who is Ibex Woolies Tech for?

The Ibex Woolies Tech is for lovers of Merino wool that lasts a long time but were fed up with their wool stretching out or getting holes too quickly.  

Cover me in Merino!

Stoked on the Ibex Woolies Tech. Here are the Woolies Tech ¾ Bottoms here and there are the Woolies Tech Long Sleeve 1/4 Zips.  

Black Sheep Adventure Sports received a free sample of the Ibex Woolies Tech ¾ Bottoms and Woolies Tech Long Sleeve ¼ Zip.  This in no way affected our opinion and review.