Icebreaker kodiak long sleeve hood

By Pat Kinsella August 18, 2014
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Part of Icebreaker’s new water-repelling range, kodiak will keep you warm in any condition

Sat in my snowcave in the Cairngorms – a seriously wild corner of the Scottish Highlands – in the middle of a proper winter, I am experiencing feelings for my Icebreaker Kodiak long-sleeve hoody that transcend any emotional response I’ve ever had to any other item of clothing. Pretty much everything else I have with me got wet through when I was digging the snow-hole I will call home for the night. And when I stopped digging I cooled down. Fast. Diving into the embrace of this 320-weight merino wool top saved my life. Perhaps not literally, but it feels like it.

It is toasty, but that’s not all. It’s also water resistant – so the occasional drips that fall from my lovingly carved ice-palace ceiling just roll away like water off an Arctic duck’s back. Yep – I don’t know what they’re feeding the sheep in New Zealand these days, but this top repels water. Instead of soaking in, liquid simply beads up on the surface of the wool, and then rolls off.

The Kodiak is part of Icebreaker’s new water-repelling range, which uses super-clever nanotechnology (a fibre-level treatment, apparently) to make the garment water-resistant. Clever. And stylish too. Beyond its fantastic thermal properties, it boasts shaped cuffs and hood to keep ears, head and wrists warm, plus stretchy side and back panels and raglan sleeves for ease of movement while adventuring.

Like all merino garments it’s odour resistant, so you can (as I did, in the womb of my snow-cave) curl up and sleep in it, and then work up a sweat
on the hills during the day without stinking out the cave (or car, or whatever closed space you might find yourself in). It also has a zipped chest pocket with a media cord loophole for keeping your car keys safe – because a snowdrift in the middle of the Cairngorms plateau is no place to lose your keys.

While the Kodiak is keeping me warm even in these rather extreme conditions, it’s a versatile piece of gear – as you’d hope, considering the hefty price tag – which is equally useful in those moments when it becomes a little chilly on a breezy summer’s evening.

RRP $349.95