Icebreaker Flexi Chute Ripple Neck Warmer

Icebreaker Flexi Ripple Chute, Blister Gear ReviewIcebreaker Unisex Flexi Chute Neck Warmer

Fabric: 100% merino wool, 200 g/m2

Length: 19 in.

Width: 9-3/4 in.

Color: Gulf Ripple

Test Location: Alta Ski Area; Elsewhere in the Great Outdoors, as well as Indoors

Days Skied: 15

MSRP: $25

I have to admit, I have always been a user of fleece neck gators. I’ve loved them because they keep my neck warm—well, until they become wet from breath condensation, snot, sleet, or snow.

And there was always the dilemma of wanting to protect my nose and/or mouth from the frigid cold or gusting winds, but also wanting to see out of un-fogged goggles.

Still, despite their drawbacks, I love neck gators and have used them for the past fifteen years, so I was interested to see what the Icebreaker Flexi Chute would be like. It’s longer than most neck gators, which makes it a little more versatile, while the material is both warm and incredibly thin and breathable.

Warmth / Breathability

I tend to be a very optimistic person, but I was a little pessimistic when I first felt the Flexi Chute. It seemed excessively long (more on that in a minute) and entirely too thin and lightweight, so I was a little concerned my first day wearing it—the high temperature was a balmy 20 degrees Fahrenheit, and the wind was gusting up to 60 mph.

Icebreaker Flexi Chute, Blister Gear Review
Stella Selden in the Icebreaker Flexi Chute, Atla Ski Area.

But I was pleasantly surprised to find that in addition to being warm, the Flexi Chute is also unbelievably breathable. I could pull the Flexi Chute over my nose and mouth without feeling like I was suffocating; on other cold and windy days, I could tuck the top of the Flexi Chute under the very bottom of my goggles for maximum protection, and no matter how hard I skied, I couldn’t get my goggles to fog up.

A big reason for this is the material. The Flexi Chute is made of 100% merino wool and lightweight 200 g/m2 yarn, so even though the Flexi Chute is extremely thin and breathable, it blocks wind and retains warmth. (Icebreaker also makes the Chute neck warmer with 320 g/m2 yarn.) The other nice thing about the merino wool used to make the Flexi Chute is that unlike most wool, it is both soft and not itchy.

Unfortunately, just because you are wearing a Flexi Chute does not mean you are no longer susceptible to the same moisture that terrorizes fleece neck gator users. With enough condensation, sleet, or snow, the Flexi Chute does become wet. But unlike fleece neck gators, which become cold when they are wet, the Flexi Chute remains warm.

The Flexi Chute’s merino wool dries quickly, and has not absorbed the typical ski gear funk smell. Also despite getting wet and drying countless times the past several weeks, the Flexi Chute has not gotten the crisp/crunchy texture most clothing gets after going through this pattern several times.


1 comment on “Icebreaker Flexi Chute Ripple Neck Warmer”

  1. I picked up one of these neck warmers last week on a particularly cold and snowy (as in, coming in sideways) day at Alta. I had never actually tested my jacket’s hood to see if it would both go over my helmet AND (this is the critical piece) zip all the way up while doing so. The jacket failed that test leaving my neck exposed. After a few lift rides pondering how long I might be able to go before getting frost bite and what the first symptoms feel like, I decided to head into the lodge shop to look for a neck warmer. I was about to get a fleece one (which I loath for all the reason listed in the review above) when I spotted the Icebreaker. The Icrebreaker was the way to go for sure. It is comfortable, warm (including, as the reviewer points out, when wet), can be pulled up to various points on your face depending on your needs, and folds up compactly and so takes up little room in your pocket when conditions improve. Thanks for the review – this is a great little product.

Leave a Comment