High Gear: Review of Ibex OD Polo, the last golf shirt you’ll ever need
Golf is a gentlemen’s game, but in the High Country, gentlemen dress just a little different than the rest of the world. While everyone on the links at Palm Beach or St. Andrews is decked out in the latest neon, pastel and maybe even Scottish plaid, regulars at Summit County courses tend to show up in Patagonia, The North Face and occasionally lumberjack flannel. Locals are still gentlemen and women — they just do it on their own outdoorsy terms.
Ibex is a relatively new competitor in the mountain clothing market (at least out here in the Rocky Mountains) and I don’t see the Vermont-based manufacturer disappearing anytime soon. I’ve reviewed their men’s hiking tops in the past, including a lightweight T-shirt and hoody combo that I wore for 14.5 miles (and 14 hours) on the Tenmile Range Traverse, and was impressed. It’s now my go-to hiking kit.
Not only does Ibex get how to do wool the modern way — light, soft, breathable, not an itchy fiber to be found — the company’s designers also have an eye for fashion. Just about everything they make comes in solid earth tones or classic blues, reds and greens, with none of the distractingly dumb touches added by Under Armour, Nike and other bigger names. Honestly, does any reasonable person want a shirt that looks like Jackson Pollack’s failed apprentice splattered it with Smurf blood?
But I digress. Earlier this summer, I learned that Ibex also makes casual clothing for wearing to work, around town, out to the bars and everywhere in between. I knew I’d be spending plenty of time on the fairways this summer, courtesy of rehabbing my left ACL, and so I wanted to see if Ibex’s leisurewear was up to par with its performance gear.
Was it ever. I tested the Ibex OD Polo, one of several short-sleeved options in the men’s line. It comes in three colors, all of which are just as classic and just as classy as anything in the performance line, and the fit is almost perfectly proportioned. I’m 5 feet, 9 inches tall and wore a medium, which fell just below my belt at the waist and just above the crook of my elbow on the sleeve. The three-button design on the neck looks thoroughly modern, and unlike some brands, the collar was just right — not too big, not too small, not too floppy, but just right.
The OD Polo’s biggest problem: At $120, the price tag might not be just right for some. I’ll admit that I would have a hard time paying that much for a single polo — that’s almost more than Patagucci polos — but, then again, this just might be the last golf polo I ever need.
On a round of twilight golf at Breckenridge, I stayed perfectly comfortable and sweat-free through the first three holes, when the sun was still bright and the air still warm at 65 degrees, and then stayed perfectly warm and dry through the final six holes as the sun dipped and the air cooled by 10 or 12 degrees. I didn’t even need long sleeves to finish the round. That’s the “art of wool,” as Ibex would say: all-day comfort, no sweat stains required.
If you’re in need of a new work-slash-golf polo — and don’t mind spending $120 on a shirt — this is as good as anything from Patagonia and better than anything cotton from Ralph Lauren.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.