Ibex’s calling card is its merino wool clothing. But in its most recent apparel launch, Ibex turned to a different fiber altogether.
Wool running apparel might seem counterintuitive. That’s why Ibex designed its Springbok run collection with new fibers: a half-and-half merino-TENCEL blend. The added 45% TENCEL wicks moisture three times as fast and makes it 40% cooler in the heat, the brand claims. We’re intrigued.
We’re interested not just because these layers seem solidly built but because they sound perfect for both hot weather (thanks to the cooling TENCEL) and cooler weather (thanks to the warmth of merino wool). Sticking with that trend, Ibex released three versions of the Springbok tops — tanks, tees, and a long-sleeve sun hoodie — alongside a pair of shorts (for men and women).
In short: I really, really loved some of the pieces in the Springbok collection. The fabric is perfectly light — great for stashing in a small bag, great for changing weather, and great for active pursuits and resting pursuits (i.e., working from home) alike. I also appreciate the simplicity of this collection. The layers aren’t meant to offer tons of technical features, brand-new fabric tech, or weatherproofing; they’re just meant to be light, breathable, and versatile.
Ibex Springbok Collection Apparel Review
It’s hard to not love well-fitting, good-wicking, comfortable clothing. Ibex’s Springbok Collection gets full marks from me with its soft and light construction and versatile choices in layers.
Up first is the brand’s redesigned lightweight sun hoodie, now made with merino wool and, like everything in the Springbok collection, TENCEL. This is the layer that I wore the most by far over several weeks of testing from August to October.
The fabric is fantastic for an against-skin layer. It’s an active fit, so there’s not much room for layering anyhow. If you like a looser fit or have a longer torso or arms, however, definitely size up with this layer.
In terms of features, Ibex kept it pretty simple here, with gussets at the arms, a hang loop for drying, a three-panel hood, and thumb loops. The minimalist thumb loops on the sun hoodie are elastic — comfortable and useful for just a few more inches of coverage when you’re in full sun.
To put the fabric’s performance to the test, I wore this layer in all sorts of weather: walking, running, hiking, camping, climbing, and around the house/at the office. I wore this hoodie in 45-degree weather and 75-degree weather (Fahrenheit). Surprisingly, it was comfortable on both days.
Though, I preferred it not as a sun hoodie but more as a layer for the shade (ironically). When the clouds moved in, the sun set, or the wind picked up, this became one of my top three hoodies I’d reach for.
Tank & Tees
The tank (women’s sizing only) and short-sleeve tees in this collection follow suit as great layer options specifically for running. The Springbok collection is running-specific, after all, and while I used the hoodie for nearly everything, the tops and shorts I tried for their intended use.
The tees have gusseted underarms, and the garments fall nicely and fit true to size. Ibex added reinforced seams on the back of the neck and yoke of the tank top to prevent stretch, which I think is a very nice touch.
Overall, the tee and tank layers are very light and really quick-drying (no need to worry about sweat or stink if running to work). In addition to running, these tees would make great base layers for hiking, and maybe even aerobic activities in winter too.
In the first few days of testing, I was worried I actually wouldn’t like these shorts, for two reasons. One, I’m picky about elastic waistbands (does it sit comfortably? is it too tight? etc.) and two, I don’t always love briefs/liners (again, more elastic).
However, both the exterior short and liner fabric are wonderful. It’s the liner here in the men’s and women’s short that gets the soft, merino-TENCEL treatment. Both the liner and shorts are super breathable. And the merino fabric goes all the way up around and over the waistband, which is a nice width, sits well, and isn’t too tight.
The fabric, liner, waistband, and overall feel of the shorts hit the mark. The added zipper pocket — an essential in any short — is great too.
I do wish the seams on the pocket weren’t as thick or visible (see photo above). For running apparel, and light layers in general, there’s this fine line between utility and looks. Normally, I don’t think a visible seam is the end of the world.
That being said, I love the fabric and feel of these shorts, and I do wish the look from the back didn’t include this rectangular outline of the pocket. But good news: The men’s short pocket is much better hidden.
- Fabric: 45% merino wool, 45% TENCEL, 10% nylon
- Fabric weight: 150 gsm
- Sun hoodie weight: 5.8 oz. (size M)
- Springbok short weight: 4 oz. (women’s size S)
- Springbok tank/tee weight: 2.6-2.8 oz. (women’s size S)
- Origin: Australia
- Price: $80-145
Pros & Cons
Overall, I found all of my Springbok apparel pieces to be durable. There’s been no stray threads and no snags yet, and I’ve worn them each a dozen times, washing them when needed.
If I had any negative feedback, I’d say the hood on the hoodie was slightly too tight. It’s meant to be a snug/active fit, but there’s not a whole lot of extra room in the head/neck.
I don’t think it runs small, either, as the hoodie fits great in the core, arms, and shoulders. The hood is great if you want to wear it under a helmet, but over a ponytail or hat while running, it’s too tight.
Finally, the price.
The Springbok collection is on par with other apparel from Ibex … but other apparel in general, not so much. Would I pay $95 for a running tee? Honestly, even though I love the fabric, no.
This new collection from Ibex strays a little from its former apparel, but I love that the Springbok was designed with runners and very active people in mind. I liked the shorts and hoodie best from the collection. The shorts were best for running and great in both warmer and cooler weather. And the hoodie was great for running, hiking, climbing, and beyond.
On top of the fabric performance, the fabric look is stellar too. Ibex’s color palette of Amethyst, Charcoal, Beetroot, and Gold marries perfectly with the autumnal colors gracing my local trails.
For those that are torn between buying 100% synthetic, 100% wool fabrics, or a blend, here’s an argument for the latter. Ibex has found a sweet spot with its 50/50 wool-TENCEL varieties.
A lighter-than-heck, perfect-for-running, breathable and UV-protective fit that screams fall? Yeah, I’m not mad about it.