- Jan 19, 2014
- Reaction score
Look for an ArcTeryx Fissions AR / SV. In the off season you can usually find sales of prior year model for $300. I commute to NYC in one of these and it's toasty warm.
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Don't know about the difference in quality because everything I have is made in china, I think I started buying icebreaker in 2011. I have a Tech Tlite from last year that feels more delicate than the ones I got in 2012.IB uses 100% merino which is a fairly delicate material, despite what marketing might imply. You'll see IB use quite a few more blended fabrics starting in F14. You can already see the trend as most of their boxers are now using 4% lycra which helps the durability quite a bit. Also the Everyday line uses a rib knit which is less durable than their typical jersey knit products too.
As for the IB taking a dive when moving out of NZ, not in my opinion. The products produced in NZ were much more basic and a lot were a rib knit construction back then too. Since the production moved, the company was able to push things much further (thinner, more materials and finishing techniques) which has changed the way people relate to merino products and the activities they use them for.
IB's quality control is pretty high compared to many other outdoor brands, but what really sets them apart is their customer service. They're great to deal with and are more than fair when looking at defective products.
Sorry if it sounds like I'm drinking the cool-aid, but deal with IB a lot. I find they do actually care about products failing and try to improve things year after year. Of course they're not perfect, but out of the companies I've dealt with the are one of the better ones out there.