Isobaa Mens Merino 200 Long Sleeve Polo Shirt Review: A Versatile Layer That’s Nice Enough for the Office

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The Lowdown

When fall arrives, I expect the Isobaa Mens Merino 200 Long Sleeve Polo Shirt to keep me plenty warm; thanks to its clean, refined lines, I’ll be able to go to the office dressed neatly but casually.

Overall
4

Pros

  • Beautiful, 100% merino wool fabric
  • Contrasting color-liner and buttons
  • Subtle branding
  • Care instructions printed to avoid the need for a label
  • All the benefits of merino wool in a refined, long sleeve polo shirt

Cons

  • Sizing runs small
  • Returns and exchanges will be difficult if you are outside the UK
  • $96 may give some people sticker shock, but it’s in line with the rest of the market
Isobaa Mens Merino 200 Long Sleeve Polo Shirt Review: A Versatile Layer That's Nice Enough for the Office Listen to this article

When I started wearing clothes made from merino wool, it was all about the base layers. In recent months, I’ve come to appreciate that some companies are also using merino wool for more traditional clothing; the Isobaa Mens Merino 200 Long Sleeve Polo Shirt is a prime example.

Merino wool is great for t-shirts, 1/4 Zip shirts, and leggings. A few companies have found a way to make dress shirts from merino wool; I have a few and love them. Then there are companies like Isobaa. Most of their offerings would best be described as base layers, but they also offer some nice casual clothes.

The Isobaa Mens Merino 200 Long Sleeve Polo Shirt falls into this latter category. While it can be worn as a base layer, it can also be worn on its own, making for a great casual shirt on chilly fall evenings that also happens to be refined enough that it can also be worn to the office most days.

The company notes, “this long-sleeved polo top is a versatile addition to your wardrobe, whether you’re heading out into the countryside for a walk or just to your desk.”

Isobaa Men’s Merino 200 Long Sleeve Polo Shirt in shipping box

As we discussed in my review of the Isobaa Merino Blend 200 PJ Shorts, the company ships its products in boxes made from recycled materials that can be further recycled once you receive your product to help keep waste out of landfills.

Similarly, we also discussed that Isobaa sources merino wool from producers who do not participate in the cruel mulesing process. I understand that mulesing reduces the chance of infection or fly-struck infestations, but it is painful for the animal, and I prefer my clothing to be sourced from cruelty-free vendors when possible.

Isobaa Mens Merino 200 Long Sleeve Polo Shirt

The Isobaa Mens Merino 200 Long Sleeve Polo Shirt is made of 100% merino wool; this superfine 18.5-micron material has a rating of 200GM, which reflects the weight of the wool but also indicates its degree of warmth.

For example, merino wool of 200GM or less is ideal for summer, while you will want to look for 280GM or high if you plan to spend a lot of time outside during the winter.

At 200GM, this shirt is ideal for most weather conditions. It might be too hot when it is 95 degrees out, and you might need an additional layer in the middle of winter, but most of the time, the Isobaa Mens Merino 200 Long Sleeve Polo Shirt will likely be “just right.”

Because the shirt is made from 100% merino wool, it has all the properties and benefits that make merino an amazing material for clothing. Merino is thermo-regulating. It keeps you warm when it is cold but breathes and wicks away sweat when it is warm.

Merino wool dries quickly and is a sustainably sourced material. It is also naturally odor resistant; you can wear it multiple times between washing, and it will remain fresh.

Since moving to merino wool, I have done far less laundry than ever before. That’s a huge convenience and is also earth-friendly!

The Isobaa Mens Merino 200 Long Sleeve Polo Shirt’s fabric is soft right out of the package and will become softer the more you wear it.

As with most merino clothing, it arrives fairly wrinkled, but those wrinkles disappear after a few wearings or after you wash it the first time. I rarely, if ever, have to iron merino clothes when they come out of the laundry.

Isobaa Mens Merino 200 Long Sleeve Polo Shirt's collar

My Isobaa Mens Merino 200 Long Sleeve Polo Shirt review sample is charcoal but has an orange collar liner and matching orange buttons with the Isobaa logo. The pops of orange add a bit of visual interest to an otherwise conservative design.

ThermoWorks Thermapen Mk4

Isobaa Mens Merino 200 Long Sleeve Polo Shirt Review: A Versatile Layer That's Nice Enough for the Office

The Isobaa logo is embroidered on one of the sleeves.

Isobaa Mens Merino 200 Long Sleeve Polo Shirt Review: A Versatile Layer That's Nice Enough for the Office

A tag with their logo can also be found in a folded hem label at the bottom. I appreciate that none of the branding is overly obvious or obnoxious.

Isobaa even thought to print the care instructions right onto the fabric to avoid needing a scratchy label. Those small details make it clear that this company takes its products and customer satisfaction seriously.

The invisible man's back in the Isobaa Mens Merino 200 Long Sleeve Polo Shirt

Some merino shirts feel a bit scratchy before the first time they are washed, but that isn’t the case here. Right out of the packaging, the Isobaa Mens Merino 200 Long Sleeve Polo Shirt feels wonderful.

The seams are tight, and there wasn’t a loose thread to be found on the shirt despite it being far more intricate than the shorts I recently reviewed. In other words, at every turn, this shirt screams quality.

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Isobaa Mens Merino 200 Long Sleeve Polo Shirt Review: A Versatile Layer That's Nice Enough for the Office

Features:

  • 200gm 18.5 micron Superfine 100% Merino wool
  • Drop tail hem for additional coverage
  • ISOBAA engraved logo buttons
  • Naturally soft, moisture-wicking, odor resistant, and breathable
  • Can be worn on its own or as part of a layering system for added warmth
  • Embroidered ISOBAA sheep logo
  • ISOBAA folded hem label
  • Printed care instructions directly onto the garment to avoid scratchy labels
  • Easy care & quick drying
  • Non-mulesed merino
  • Recycled & recyclable packaging
  • Made in China by an internationally audited factory to confirm working conditions are fair, safe, and environmentally sound.

Model wearing the Isobaa Mens Merino 200 Long Sleeve Polo Shirt

I think the Isobaa Mens Merino 200 Long Sleeve Polo Shirt looks as good as it feels.

My only issue with it is the sizing. I’ve had some merino t-shirts in Large that fit perfectly. I’ve had shirts from other companies that were cut a bit smaller and required me to go up to an XL. On a few occasions, however, I’ve purchased a garment in XL, only to find that it was huge! In other words, there is little standardization from one company to the next.

Based on its slimmer fit, I assumed an XL would be the right size, but I was wrong. For the first time since I’ve moved to merino wool, an XL was still too tight. That’s not the end of the world, but it does mean that I’ll likely wear this shirt as a base layer under a vest or a 1/4 Zip shirt.

Since I’m so impressed with this shirt, I’ll likely purchase it in XXL.

My point here is to pay close attention to Isobaa’s sizing guidelines when deciding which size to order. Because Isobaa is based in the UK, returns and exchanges could get rather pricey.

When fall arrives, I expect the Isobaa Mens Merino 200 Long Sleeve Polo Shirt to keep me plenty warm; thanks to its clean, refined lines, I’ll be able to go to the office dressed neatly but casually.

The Isobaa Mens Merino 200 Long Sleeve Polo Shirt sells for $96; it is available in Charcoal & Orange, Petrol & Lime, and Navy & Denim directly from the manufacturer.

Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample

What I Like: Beautiful, 100% merino wool fabric; Contrasting color-liner and buttons; Subtle branding; Care instructions printed to avoid the need for a label; All the benefits of merino wool in a refined, long sleeve polo shirt

What Needs Improvement: Sizing runs small; Returns and exchanges will be difficult if you are outside the UK; $96 may give some people sticker shock, but it’s in line with the rest of the market

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About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.