Reviewer Info: 5’2”, 120 lbs
Size Tested: Small
Material: 99% GT320 Merino wool, 1% Elastane
- 2 hand pockets, 1 chest pocket
- Offset zipper
- Watch window in internal cuff
Test Locations: Alta Ski Area; Wasatch backcountry; Everywhere.
Days Skied: 30
Days Worn: 60
The Icebreaker Carve is a very stylish and practical mid-layer for a variety of active outdoor and leisure activities. Made with merino wool, the Carve provides both warmth and breathability, while also having a soft and comfortable feel.
Fit / Sizing
I have been wearing a size small, and I would say the sizing runs true. I wear size small in nearly all my tops and jackets, including my base layers, the Arc’teryx Atom LT Hoody, and my North Face down jacket.
In general, the Carve fits exactly how I want a mid-layer to: form fitting, while allowing enough room to wear comfortably over base layers. I can easily wear a short- or long-sleeve shirt under the Carve without it bunching or feeling crowded, but it’s still small enough that I can comfortably wear layers on top of it.
The fit of the Carve has a feminine shape to it and naturally hugs the different area of the upper body: chest, waist, and hips. At the same time, the fit is also athletic, so there is a little room everywhere and thus no restriction of movement. Plus, the Carve is made of GT320 merino wool, meaning Icebreaker incorporated Lycra fibers to add stretch for comfort and mobility.
The bottom of the jacket extends just shy of the widest part of my hips, allowing it to cover the top of my pants but not sag down my bottom. When skiing in the Carve, I generally tuck it into my pants to prevent snow from getting into my under layers should I happen to tomahawk down the mountain. The base of the Carve fits comfortably under the pants, with no excess material to get bunched up.
The sleeves are also a good length, extending past my wrist but not covering my hand, and they’re a good length for the thumb holes to fit comfortably. I also like that the sleeves are snug but not so tight that I can’t push them up above my forearms when I want to.
The Carve also incorporates what I think is a cool looking offset zipper that runs just right of center, the whole length of the piece. It gives the mid-layer a different look than most standard zip-up mid-layers, and it helps with layering (which I love to do), preventing a pile of zippers from forming on top of one another.
My one complaint about the fit of the Carve is that, when I have the front zipper all the way up, it feels restricting and uncomfortable on my neck. I have a small neck (about 12 inches around), so it seems this could be an issue for some other women, too. I’d like to see either a slightly larger circumference, or a slightly thinner and more flexible material used around the neck. In either case, I would definitely wear it zipped up all the way more often if it felt lest restrictive.