Reviews You Can Rely On

Icebreaker Merino 200 Oasis Crewe - Women's Review

The most comfortable wool was used in this lightweight base layer
Icebreaker Merino 200 Oasis Crewe - Women's
Credit: Backcountry
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $105 List | $76.00 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Great thermoregulation, exceptional at wicking, impressive durability, least itch factor of all wool tops tested
Cons:  Not very cozy
Manufacturer:   Icebreaker
By Amber King ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 8, 2019
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
75
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#6 of 17
  • Warmth - 25% 8.0
  • Breathability - 25% 7.0
  • Comfort and Fit - 20% 8.0
  • Layering Ability - 20% 7.0
  • Durability - 10% 7.0

Our Verdict

With amazing performance, the Women's Icebreaker Merino 200 Oasis Crewe is a classic base layer that offers fantastic comfort and warmth for all seasons. The merino wool used by Icebreaker has no abrasive qualities, making it the least itchy wool we've tested thus far. While this base layer has a weight of 200 grams, it feels much lighter and on par with the fabric thickness of our lightweight award winners. It also offers great warmth on its own or in a layered system. Functioning well as a wicking layer that doesn't absorb water, we'd wholeheartedly recommend it for backcountry skiing and any other winter aerobic sport. It's light enough to perform throughout all the seasons, so don't be afraid to wear it at night while camping in the summer either. Almost winning our Editors' Choice Award, this base layer is amazing across all the metrics.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award  
Price $76.00 at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
$130 List$66.00 at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
$50 List
$54.99 at Amazon
$50 List
$49.95 at REI
Overall Score Sort Icon
75
78
76
74
63
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Great thermoregulation, exceptional at wicking, impressive durability, least itch factor of all wool tops testedCozy fleece interior, easy to layer, warm, versatile, stash pocket, tight fitStylish and functional design, excellent durability and fit, comfortable, no odorWarm, durable, breathable, thumb loops, 1/4 zip design vents well, excellent value, no odorExcellent wicking power, breathable, super cute design, comfortable fabrics against the skin
Cons Not very cozyMore expensive, not super breathableExpensiveNeed to size up on fit, shorter torso and arm lengthPoor durability, requires specific maintenance, see-through with lighter colors
Bottom Line The most comfortable wool was used in this lightweight base layerThis high performance synthetic layer is ready for pretty much any adventure you dream upThis base layer offers an excellent, slim fit and a wide range of thermoregulation thanks to strategically placed ventilation panels that release excess moistureA good looking blended polyester and merino wool top that outperforms its price tagA super cute silk base layer that requires care
Rating Categories Icebreaker Merino 2... Arc'teryx Rho LT Zip Smartwool Intraknit... Carhartt Force Heav... REI Co-op Silk V-Neck
Warmth (25%)
8.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
3.0
Breathability (25%)
7.0
6.0
7.0
7.0
9.0
Comfort and Fit (20%)
8.0
9.0
9.0
7.0
7.0
Layering Ability (20%)
7.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
Durability (10%)
7.0
9.0
7.0
8.0
3.0
Specs Icebreaker Merino 2... Arc'teryx Rho LT Zip Smartwool Intraknit... Carhartt Force Heav... REI Co-op Silk V-Neck
Fabric Weight Midweight (200 g/m²) Midweight Midweight Midweight Silkweight
Measured Weight 5.8 oz (size small) 7.1 oz (size small) 6.2 oz (size small) 6.8 oz (size medium) 2.4 oz (size small)
Material 100% Merino wool Torrent 190 with Polygiene (84% polyester, 16% elastane) 53% Merino wool, 45% polyester, 2% elastane 80% polyester, 20% wool Ribbed silk
Avaliable Cuts Crew, 1/2 zip neck 1/4 zip Crew, 1/4 zip neck 1/4 zip V-neck, cami
Odor Control Fabric Naturally odor resistant Polygiene Naturally odor resistant Naturally odor resistant None
Thumb Loops? No No No Yes No
UPF (sun protection) No No No No No
Length Medium Medium Short Medium Medium
Fit Fitted (not tight), true to fit. Trim fit Trim fit Fit is small, size up Loose and fitted, true to size
Accessory Pocket? No Yes No No No
Flat-lock Seams? Yes Yes Yes Yes No

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Icebreaker 200 Oasis is a tried and true 100% merino base-layer. While it has a 200-g fabric weight, it offers a lightweight build that is easy to layer and performs well all around. We seriously considered it as our Editor's Choice Award winner given its all-around great performance amongst all metrics. A great alternative if you're not a fan of Smartwool and prefer merino wool that doesn't even show a hint of itch.

Performance Comparison


Icebreaker Merino 200 Oasis Crewe - Women's base layer - as a comfortable and warm top with amazing wicking abilities, the...
As a comfortable and warm top with amazing wicking abilities, the Icebreaker Oasis almost won our Editors' Choice Award. It performs well across the metrics with a thinner construction than you'd expect.
Credit: Amber King

Warmth


Built with 100% merino wool that is tightly packed into a lightweight and thinner shirt, it resembles more of a lightweight merino wool layer than a midweight (as the 200-gram fabric weight would otherwise indicate). It still offers enough insulation that, when worn alone, will keep you warm in cool weather. Layered in a system, it's a perfect wicking piece with a bit of insulation that doesn't hold moisture. Overall, it thermoregulates well both alone and in a system, providing a good amount of relative warmth.

Icebreaker Merino 200 Oasis Crewe - Women's base layer - layer it up with some insulating layers while skiing and adventuring...
Layer it up with some insulating layers while skiing and adventuring for optimal warmth. A great option for skinning uphill on the mountain or while exploring trails by foot.
Credit: Amber King

Breathability


This top breathes incredibly well. While running and hiking uphill, we never found ourselves heating up too much that actually warranted moisture build-up. When wearing upper layers didn't breathe, this top did good work moving moisture away from the skin and didn't hold it in its fabrics. It breathes and wicks well for great thermoregulation in both winter and summer months.

Icebreaker Merino 200 Oasis Crewe - Women's base layer - testing out overall breathability. turns out it will keep you warm...
Testing out overall breathability. Turns out it will keep you warm, even while sweating. Perfect for snowy runs or skiing in the backcountry.
Credit: Amber King

Comfort & Fit


Thin and easy to wear, it offers just the right amount of stretch to wear all day. The fabrics aren't super plush or cozy, but they are far from itchy or uncomfortable. In fact, testers that found lightweight Smartwool fabrics to be a little itchier preferred this top because of its more comfortable design and a relatively similar level of thinness. The fit is regular without the arms being too long or short for a woman who is 5'7". If you've got longer limbs, you might find that there isn't enough length in this top.

Icebreaker Merino 200 Oasis Crewe - Women's base layer - the icebreaker 200 offers a fitted design. our main tester is 5"7...
The Icebreaker 200 offers a fitted design. Our main tester is 5"7 and 145 lbs. She wears a size Medium.
Credit: Amber King

Layering Ability


Layering over the Oasis is very easy. The fabrics aren't too thick, and it is knit in a way that doesn't grab onto layers sliding overtop. While the face fabric isn't frictionless, it's easier to layer than most midweight tops we tested. It doesn't have any thumb loops to aid in this process. It can fit thinly underneath any jacket or fleece comfortably. We found that putting a thin tank top underneath is fine, but a t-shirt with sleeves is too much. The fit is quite close to the skin and not loose.

Icebreaker Merino 200 Oasis Crewe - Women's base layer - its thinner construction layers easily under wind layers or fleece...
Its thinner construction layers easily under wind layers or fleece jackets.
Credit: Amber King

Durability


Even with a 100% merino construction, we are surprised at how well the fabric is holding up. After about ten washes, it hasn't pilled or showed any signs of wear and tear. We've tested it for just a couple of months while carrying backpacks, running, hiking, and climbing. Through it all, it still looks good. Online reviews confirm that this is a very durable product that has lasted many years.

Icebreaker Merino 200 Oasis Crewe - Women's base layer - thin fabrics that are incredibly durable.
Thin fabrics that are incredibly durable.
Credit: Amber King

Value


An amazing price, especially for such a quality product! You definitely get bang for your buck on this one. While its construction is thin, it is quite warm and very durable. How can you go wrong?

Conclusion


It's hard to find anything wrong with this amazing all-around performance. The Icebreaker 200 Oasis almost wins our Editor's Choice award for an amazing all-around performance. While it's not as thick and cozy as other heavier tops tested, it offers impeccable thermoregulation that performs well while skiing, hiking, or camping in the summer. If you're not a fan of the wool used by Smartwool, Icebreaker is a great alternative.

Icebreaker Merino 200 Oasis Crewe - Women's base layer - heading out for a climb in red rocks, nevada. wearing the...
Heading out for a climb in Red Rocks, Nevada. Wearing the lightweight Oasis 200 while hiking up to the base of the climb proves to be a great place for this versatile base layer.
Credit: Amber King

Amber King
You Might Also Like

Ad-free. Influence-free. Powered by Testing.

GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.

Learn More