UNDERSUIT Icebreaker Bodyfit 260
NEVER ONE TO PASS UP AN OPPORTUNITY to get myself photographed in my underwear, I enthusiastically welcomed a set of Icebreaker Bodyfit 260 long-sleeved crew and leggings to try for DIVER Tests.
     The packaging was marked with the extravagant claim that this was the most comfortable, best-performing underwear in the world. It also had testimonials from the likes of round-the-world sailor Sir Peter Blake, and Daniel Pringle, an Antarctica-based scientist.
     Icebreaker underwear is made in New Zealand from Merino wool. I have extolled the virtues of the fleece of the unique sheep from New Zealands Southern Alps before, writing about a woolly-lined wetsuit from that chilly part of the world.
     Merino wool is soft, has no odour even when wet, dries quickly and is extremely warm by weight when compared to artificial fibres. It is highly breathable, which makes it a good base layer under your drysuit undersuit.
     Its biodegradable, so you can feel good about using it, and its fire-resistant, so you can huddle with your hot chocolate close to the fire without danger of going up in flames.
     The other plus I found, when using it with a drysuit that proved less than dry, is that it feels warm when wet. I carried out this experiment on finding that I had a dump-valve that was not watertight.
     Pure Merino wool also has good wicking properties - it draws sweat away from your skin so that you feel dry. Its a luxurious base-layer to wear under your C-bear or Weezle undersuit.
     Some mountaineers and Antarctic explorers claim to wear their Merino wool underwear continuously, day and night, for three months at a time.
     Im not sure Id like to test their claims, but I felt slightly reluctant to throw it in the washing machine after only a couple of outings, diving in the cold water.
     I can tell you that I wore it without any complaints of the itchy and scratchy kind after a six-hour drive back to London from diving in Capernwray, so theres no question of masochism about it.
     So what more do you need to know about my habitual use of underwear Any more will risk me delving into the area of too much information.
The Icebreaker Bodyfit 260 is mid-weight in the manufacturers range and costs around£50 per garment. Thats£100 for the set. No wonder those Antarctic guys wear their Icebreakers for three months at a time. They cant afford more than one set! Theres also a lighterweight Skin 200 range available.
  • Icebreaker, www.icebreaker.com

  • Divernet
    + Lightweight.
    + Extremely soft.
    + Very warm.
    + Bio-degradable.
    + Not S&M.

    - More expensive than M&S