Icebreaker Sprite Leggings
Material: 100% merino wool
Weight: 150g/m2 (Ultralight)
Reviewer: 5’2”, 120 lbs.
Days tested: 50
Like the LS Siren Crewe I reviewed last week, the Sprite Leggings are also part of Icebreaker’s underwear collection. They are made of the company’s lightest material, 150 g/m2, are are 100% merino wool. (The crewe was made from 96% merino wool, 4% elastane.)
The small Sprite Leggings are very comfortable and they fit me well. They are slim and body fitting (not skin tight), but they don’t feel tight or restricting. Since they’re made from 100% merino wool, the material is a little less stretchy than that of the crewe, but I haven’t noticed this to be an issue.
The length in the legs is appropriate for me (I’m 5’2″ and weigh 120 lbs.), although if anything it’s a hair too long. The width in the legs also fits me well, as does the waist band. For reference, I have a 25 inch inseam, a 33 inch outseam, my waist is 26 inches around, and my hips are 33 inches. Based on those measurements, I could have gone with the extra small, but I’m happy with the small since I like my base layers to be a bit looser.
While many people think of wool as being itchy, merino wool is not. Instead, it is very soft and, in the case of the 150 g/m2, it’s also very lightweight.
I have worn a variety of other long underwear bottoms including ones from Patagonia, Medalist, and Columbia that are made of nylon or polyester. I can say that the Sprite Leggings are more comfortable and more breathable. I have a pair of polyester long underwear that’s a bit thicker than the Sprite Leggings and, while it is warmer, it isn’t as breathable as the Icebreaker leggings. I tend to overheat while wearing the polyester tights, and I often can’t cool down.
Not so with the Sprite Leggings. I wore the bottoms on a snowy hike last fall up Mount Raymond with temperatures around 40 degrees. As soon as I started walking uphill, I worried that I would overheat, as I’m sure I would have if I’d been wearing the polyester tights. But I found that the Icebreaker leggings breathed so well, I never got too hot, and they stayed dry so I didn’t get cold on the way down.
In temperatures between 20-40 degrees, I typically wear the Sprite Leggings under my insulated Scott Rockell snow pants. The only time I’ve been too warm in the Sprite Leggings was indoors when I wore them under another pair of pants. And if it’s colder than 20 degrees, I usually add fleece pants.
So while the Sprite Leggings may not be the warmest long underwear option out there, they are very, very breathable. And if you’re doing high-output activities, breathability is key. If you do want a warmer layer, Icebreaker offer similar products in heavier fabrics.
I also found that the Sprite Leggings work well for indoor activities—I often wore them under pants for added warmth or under a skirt.
While I haven’t noticed any durability issues with the Siren Crewe, there’s been light pilling on the Sprite leggings. The material just looks fuzzier compared to when I first got them. Granted, I have worn them 50 days, so I think a little pilling is to be expected.
The only other point I should note is that the area from the waist band to the butt has stretched out a little, but this hasn’t affected how they fit.
The Sprite Leggings are a great option if you’re looking for a comfortable, breathable base layer that’s also decently warm. They are a great layering option for any high-output outdoor activity. If you are looking for a long underwear set, I would definitely recommend the Siren Crewe and Sprite Leggings.