Jackson Hole-based Iksplor is a unique women-owned company that designs and sells adventure-inspired Merino wool apparel and accessories, specializing in Merino wool clothing for babies, kids and grown-ups.
For this Iksplor Adventure Zippy review, my baby boy and I have been testing out the Iksplor Adventure Zippy. The size shown in this review is the baby 3-6 month.
As well as its key features, I go through the pros and cons of the zippy, as well as my experience with my son wearing his virtually every other day since it arrived – including why it received an Editor’s Choice Award and a deserved place on our guide to the best baby products for travel and adventures.
We’ve also been using the Baby Iksplorer Set, which is essentially a Merino wool baselayer set in baby sizes (yes, it’s very cute).
Although this review focuses on baby clothing, it’s worth knowing that their range includes apparel for nursing moms too, such as their long sleeve Merino nursing top.
About the Iksplor brand
Iksplor’s baby and toddler clothes are particularly popular among parents who love to take their babies and kids out on adventures and layer their clothing the right way for colder weather, just as you would for yourself.
In a world where there are thousands of baby clothes companies, Iksplor stands out as being very focused on Merino Wool as their core material, as well as targeting people who love to spend time being active outdoors, and want to bring the littlest family members along, too.
A quick note on ‘layering’
Wearing layers helps you manage your temperature and comfort levels when being active outdoors, especially in colder weather. Layers are much more versatile effective than one single, bulky layer.
If you’re new to the layering game, here’s what it means: when dressing to head out in cooler weather, you should generally plan for three layers, a baselayer, midlayer and top or outer layer.
- For the baselayer, always start with an insulated, comfortable, sweat-wicking and breathable item of clothing that will help keep your temperature regulated, and you (or your baby, in this case) comfortable and dry.
- Your midlayer provides more warmth and insulation.
- Your top layer is usually a windproof or waterproof jacket (and possibly, pants).
In warmer, milder weather, of course you can drop the midlayer, or simply just wear the baselayer. If you’re already into activities such as running, skiing or hiking, then you’ll be used to doing this.
The Adventure Zippy at a glance
Newborn, 0-3, 3-6, 6-12 and 12-24 months
The zippies come in a long length to provide extra room for growth.
Grey with yellow zipper, purple with pink zipper
- 100% Merino wool
- Machine washable
- Mid-weight – for cooler weather
- 2-way zipper
- Handmitts for cold or sun protection
When would you use it?
As a baselayer when layering your baby up for colder weather, or on its own for milder weather (as shown in the pictures throughout this review).
As temperature-regulating sleepwear for your baby’s naps and nights.
Things I love about the Iksplor Baby Adventure Zippy
To understand the core of what makes this baby onesie so great, you need to understand and appreciate the properties that make Merino wool, the material it’s made from, so special when used to make apparel that’s worthy of everything from hiking adventures to a sweat-free night’s sleep.
The Merino wool used to make it
Essentially, Merino apparel is ideal for when you need a durable, thermal-regulating layer of clothing that provides insulation and UV protection while still being breathable, sweat-wicking and naturally odor resistant.
Plus, Merino wool is a natural, sustainably-sourced fiber, that doesn’t itch like regular wool.
It also has more stretch and flex to it than cotton, so clothing made of Merino should fit for longer than a fitted cotton zippy (you know, those cotton zippies that fit perfectly for a couple of weeks before you can no longer comfortably get it onto your baby!).
Nice fit and thoughtful sizing
I like the fit of the Adventure Zippy on my baby, who is a pretty ‘average’ sized infant.
It’s not too snug around his waist, crotch or legs, and he has room to move.
The wrist and ankle cuffs stop his hands and feet from hiding inside the extra length, although until he was at the larger end of the size range, I folded the ankle cuffs up to make the legs less baggy.
The baby Adventure Zippy comes in ‘typical’ US baby clothes sizing – including newborn, through to 24 months. From age 2+ there are other Iksplor Merino clothes to shop from for your toddler.
As mentioned earlier in this Iksplor review, the baby Adventure Zippy is intentionally designed with a longer length, to allow room for growth. That’s apparent when you look at the length of the legs.
This is a nice touch, because let’s face it, if you’re going to buy any clothing for your baby, let alone spend this amount on this one item, you want to make sure they can wear it as much as possible before it gets out-grown.
Also, as I mentioned above, this wool clothing has more stretch in it than other similar baby clothes that are cotton or man-made (polyester) fiber material.
Speaking of wear, it’s worth noting that while Iksplor is marketed to people who want to take their babies out on adventures and dress them appropriately for that, your baby could theoretically wear this zippy every day. It’s a great sleep suit they can wear as pajamas, or during the day in cooler weather.
More thoughtful design details
You can tell these zippies were designed by parents by the thought that’s gone into them. Here are some extra design details that I like:
- There’s a zipper garage at the neck to ensure the closed zipper doesn’t chafe your baby’s chin or neck.
- Hand mitts that you can fold over to protect baby’s hands from the elements (or prevent them from scratching their face)
- A double zipper makes diaper changes easier because you don’t have to take the whole thing off to access that area.
It’s machine washable (and can go in the dryer)
You can wash it on a cool wash – I put it in with our other regular clothes – and either line or tumble dry.
Iksplor’s resale marketplace
Iksplor has a ‘pre-loved’ marketplace where you can list and sell your Adventure Zippy or other Iksplor gear when you no longer need it.
This is a great way to ensure your purchases have a longer life and find their way to a new home. Plus, of course, you get some money back.
You can choose between getting cash (less a 20% fee), or Iksplor credit, in which case there is NO fee, and they’ll give you an extra 10% credit, so if you sell items for $100, you’ll get $110 in store credit to spend. That’s a great deal!
Things I feel could be improved with the Iksplor baby zippy
This is a very well-designed and durably made Merino baby onesie so It’s hard to pick faults in what is simply a great product. That said, here are a few things I wanted to point out that are worth knowing about.
There’s no foot covering
A personal preference is that I like my baby’s full-length apparel to cover the feet, or have that option. It saves me putting socks or booties on him, which I’ll inevitably have to do if it’s cold enough to wear this type of garment.
Limited color options
Not a big issue as the color options are nice, but there are currently only the two options available. It would be nice to have a few more to choose from.
It’s worth noting, however, that the baby Iksplorer Set, which is Iksplor’s baby baselayer top and bottoms set, comes in a wider choice of colorways.
We have the Baby Iksplorer Set in bright blue, as shown in the pictures in the gallery at the bottom of this review.
There’s no getting away from the fact that at $89, this is a very expensive item of clothing that may only get worn for 2-3 months until your child outgrows it.
The price is understandable when you consider the materials, design and manufacture quality that has gone into it, but it’s still a lot of money – you may be able to more easily justify it if you plan to:
- use it for multiple babies, or
- take advantage of Iksplor’s resale program when your baby doesn’t fit it any longer.
To get the best value (as many wears as possible so your $ per wear goes down…) I would suggest this item is best suited to families like us, who prefer to buy minimal, premium quality clothing for their baby (and do more regular laundry loads) than have loads of baby clothes to work through and accumulate between laundry days.
It’s also worth remembering that your baby could potentially wear their zippy every day, for sleep or daytime, and you don’t have to keep it ‘special’ for hikes and outdoor excursions.
Are Iksplor baby clothes worth the money?
If you can justify enough wear, and you love the idea of being able to dress your baby in natural Merino wool, then the Iksplor Adventure Zippy is a fantastic outfit for them.
This is especially true as your baby gets older and you would like to dress them appropriately for the outdoors in winter and colder temperatures.
I could totally justify one based on all the great features and pros, and the amount of use and enjoyment we’ve had out of ours. This is why it has earned a well-deserved Trail & Kale Editor’s Choice Award, which we don’t hand out lightly!