New in for review is the Icebreaker Bodyfit 200 Leggings for women. The leggings are also available in a men’s version and in two other weights — 150 and 260. Our 200 version falls in the middle.
Packaged in a biodegradable box on its arrival, the leggings are designed to be worn as part of an ecological clothing system. Made from pure merino wool — derived from sheep in the Southern Alps of New Zealand — the leggings have a long list of natural properties, including anti-odour, quick drying. a high level of insulation, breathability, UV protection and flame resistance. As with all Icebreaker garments, the Bodyfit 200 leggings have a ‘Trace Me’ code where you can find out where the wool in the garment comes from.
The leggings have been designed for mountain biking, hiking, snow sports and every day use for cold to warm conditions. In terms of features, the Icebreaker Bodyfit 200 Leggings have flatlock stitching to reduce chafing and a gusset for ease of movement, making it deal for such activities.
As a base layer, one of the key functions is its temperature regulation properties, in particular its insulation properties. The leggings respond the climate, and keep you cool in warm conditions and warm in cold conditions.
To test them out, I wore these leggings under a pair of walking trousers on a walk in the hills. Its been quite warm of late so after about the first half an hour or so, the insulation properties really started to prove their worth and, if anything, were too hot to wear.
I also found that the leggings were very comfortable to wear. During the walk, I walked uphill and climbed over a few boulders. There was no chafing and the leggings were soft against the skin. The leggings are tight fitting but at the same time, they allow a lot of freedom of movement.
The leggings are also comfortable enough to wear at night as improvised pyjama bottoms,which can be particularly useful for backpackers travelling and camping in colder countries.
The Inca Trail test
One of the best things about the Icebreaker Bodyfit 200 Leggings is the fact that they can be doubled up as a normal pair of leggings and an alternative for pyjama bottoms. This was perfect for the Inca trail as we had to carry everything ourselves unless we hired a porter (which we did not). This meant that I could save space in my backpack.
Once we arrived at camp for the day your body temperature quickly drops and it gets pretty cold in the mountains. As soon as I put on the leggings, you can immediately feel warmer. At night it also gets pretty cold with the second night being the coldest. The Icebreaker´s certainly made a difference, and a couple of the nights, I actually got too hot.
In terms of a general backpacking garment, the Icebreaker leggings are perfect for South America. Currently the winter season, the days are hot yet the night´s are bitterly cold. Not all hostels are that warm which is where they have come in most handy!