Icebreaker’s 200 Oasis Legless base layer bottoms are a 100% Merino Capri-length pant. The below-the-knee design reduces bulk around your lower legs. They feature a brushed elastic waistband and flatlock seams for comfort. The Merino wool offers great warmth, breathability and odor resistance. The Oasis is made of light 200 weight fabric. It is machine washable, but do not use fabric softeners, and do not machine dry it.
Specs at a glance
- Fabric: 200 weight 100% Merino wool
- Available in men’s and women’s sizing
- Weight: 8 oz for women’s, 6.7 oz for men’s
- Best as a base layer
I tend to run hot when hiking. It takes a very cold day for me to even consider wearing a bottom base layer under my winter softshell pants. I find that with the softshell pants plus gaiters and heavy wool socks below the knee, an additional base layer there is really unnecessary for me. People new to winter hiking often underestimate how warm they’ll be and tend to overdress. It’s best to experiment with different layering schemes to better understand your metabolism and how different weather conditions, such as cold wind, can affect your layering system.
For me, my butt and thighs only get cold on really frigid or windy days. To stay warmer, I experimented with a couple of different options to insulate that portion of my body in an unobtrusive and inexpensive way as possible. At first, I tried cutting off some old polypro long johns below the knee, but they wouldn’t stay in place and had a tendency to ride up above the knee. I thought of trying some of my gym clothes, but I know how sweaty those can get. A little bit of searching last year led me to the Icebreaker Capri length bottom base layers. I already owned some Merino wool full-length long johns and plenty of shirts, so another Merino base layer seemed like a natural fit.
My experience with the 200 Oasis has been good so far. They give me a little extra warmth where I need it on really cold days. I’ve worn them a couple of dozen times, and so far, they don’t seem to show any failures or signs of wear or shrinkage. At the time I purchased them, I took the advice from some online reviews and sized up to a medium. I was glad I did. Although I would take a small in most clothing items like this, the medium in the Oasis was a perfect fit. They hold their shape well while worn despite the lack of Lycra. Give them a try, especially if you generate a lot of heat in your calves and tend to sweat there on winter hikes.
About the AuthorWanda Rice has been backpacking since the late 1980’s. She has climbed the New Hampshire 48, the New Hampshire 48 in winter, the New England 67 and is working on the New England Hundred Highest and the Four-Season 48. Wanda also teaches for the Appalachian Mountain Club’s (AMC) Mountain Leadership School, the AMC New Hampshire Chapter Spring and Winter Schools as well as the AMC NH Winter Hiking Series. She leads day and overnight trips for AMC NH year round and loves mentoring new leaders. She is a gear junkie, a self-proclaimed Queen of Gear Hacks and loves sharing her tips and tricks with others. Wanda lives in southern NH and is looking forward to moving closer to the mountains in the next few years.
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