Icebreaker Women’s Descender Long Sleeve ½ Zip Reviewed

Text by: Altitude Sports Collaboration

Icebreaker. Icebreaker Women’s Descender Long Sleeve ½ Zip Reviewed

I first picked up the Icebreaker Descender Long Sleeve 1/2 Zip because the beautiful Merlot colour worked for me. Then, I felt the fabric and was blown away by the softness to the touch. If, like me, you’re looking for a warm base layer or a light mid-layer for your cold-weather activities, you’ll find the Descender long sleeve does it all.

Shop Icebreaker

Our review of this product
9 / 10

The pros are:

  • Superfine Merino wool fibres feel ultra soft on the skin
  • Provides just the right degree of warmth for cold days
  • Love the zippered back pocket to stash cards and snacks

The cons are:

  • A little tight around the neck when zipped all the way up
  • Advertised as a slim fit but I would consider it a bit on the loose side


I tested the Descender long sleeve as a base layer while skiing on the resort, during a week of ski touring in the backcountry and as a mid-layer layer for winter trail running and it was absolutely perfect for all of these activities. I found that it trapped my body heat in while I was skiing in cold weather but allowed enough breathability that I was never sweaty.

The Descender long sleeve 1/2 zip regulated my temperature brilliantly, managing moisture and letting out excess heat while I was working hard skiing uphill. Also, the offset shoulder seams are in the perfect location to ensure they don’t rub against backpack straps.

Material and design

Mostly composed of Icebreaker’s finest Merino wool with an added touch of LYCRA® this layer will keep you warm, regulate your temperature and allow freedom of movement throughout all of your high energy activities like skiing, climbing, hiking, or winter running.

Overall opinion

The Descender added just enough warmth as a breathable mid-layer for a winter run. All in all, the Icebreaker Descender Long Sleeve ½ zip has become a staple in my adventure wardrobe and even when I’m just lounging around the house. I have no doubt it’ll become a favorite of yours too.

Shop Icebreaker

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *