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#150966 - 10/05/08 04:50 PM Re: Icebreaker merino underwear question [Re: ]
comms Offline

Registered: 07/23/08
Posts: 1502
Loc: Mesa, AZ
Under Armor is my current favorite only because its a black mock turtle neck, long sleeve and I wear it under my cycling tops. UA is okay but nothing special.

To touch on the Walmart angle, I agree that you can find products there that as good as name brand. I bought a pair of Starter running socks and realized they were identical to my Nike. I researched and found that Starter is only sold in that store and Nike owns Starter. It is just the Nike low-budget brand.

+1 on Patagonia and I would add REI to that list.

I am very interested in the lightweight wool tops that have been coming out the last two seasons. I personally think wool is the best but hasn't been light enough for me to wear all day.
Don't just survive. Thrive.

#150991 - 10/05/08 10:53 PM Re: Icebreaker merino underwear question [Re: ]
BruceZed Offline

Registered: 01/06/08
Posts: 298
Loc: Canada
In my opinion for what its worth, I would not travel into a cold climate without a good wicking layer. Either Marino Wool or Polypropylene both work find.

Yes you still need to regulated by removing/adding layers, ventilating, and investing in more thinner layers to increase versatility, but keeping moisture away from your skin is a life saver in cold climates.
Bruce Zawalsky
Chief Instructor
Boreal Wilderness Institute

#151001 - 10/06/08 12:04 AM Re: Icebreaker merino underwear question [Re: ]
Frankie Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 09/19/03
Posts: 734
Loc: Montréal, Québec, Canada
I think we've all said a lot of good points here but I think the main point is knowledge.

I'm going fishing in a pool in the hope of catching the Salmon of Knowledge that ate the nine hazel nuts that fell into the Well of Wisdom from the nine hazel trees.

#151064 - 10/06/08 06:08 PM Re: Icebreaker merino underwear question [Re: Frankie]
Did Offline

Registered: 09/25/08
Posts: 15
Loc: France

I think that for underwear this is not only a problem of materail, it is also a problem of engineering and shape...

Consider prowool (ullfrotte) 200, it's a wool/synthetic terry fleece and it is warm and comfortable because the small loops of wool.
If you look at the shape it's is very well made. Ullfrotte have made first socks and their underwear are made like a sock : a tube with very few flat sewns.
So this is very nice under a shirt and your skin is very happy even after 10 hours under a rucksac.

Very often in US forum you are against polypro underwear because they smell a lot. I think that a lot of people refer to the old army polypropylen underwear.
I have find that with Helly Hansen it's always true but not so much AND you could wash them at 95°C (white, 60°C for black). with this temperature you have no problems with bacterias.

Odlo underwear Brands ( marvellous swiss brands) have polyester underwear that you could wash at 60°C even 90°C for white, not bad for a polyester underwear.


Y use also cotton fishnet from Brynje of Norway. They are not bad for wicking and you could boiled them for cleaning.

So, it is not only a problem of material, kind of material, shape and construction are also very important.


Edited by Did (10/06/08 06:09 PM)

#151080 - 10/06/08 08:19 PM Re: Icebreaker merino underwear question [Re: dougwalkabout]
beadles Offline

Registered: 04/09/06
Posts: 105
Loc: Richardson, TX
Originally Posted By: dougwalkabout
I don't buy the argument that synthetics are all hype and marketing. Synthetics are the proven winner for the self-propelled traveller who doesn't have the option to jump in a truck and dry out. They're also good value because they last and last.

I agree. I came into synthetics the summer route, when I started road cycling in '98. I started out in the summer, riding in shorts & cotton T-shirts. Now this is Texas, so I always came back completely soaked through. I always thought the cycling spandex look was kind of ridiculous, so I resisted it for the longest time. Then I started going out with one of the local bike clubs, and learned that the stuff was about heat control and aerodynamics more than look. So, I bit the bullet and got a synthetic jersy and shorts. Can't say I was dry, but airflow over it ensured that I was only damp instead of soaked through. This was true even during the Hotter than Hell 100 mi ride, with temps peaking at 107 degrees. Never had a heat injury either.

Can't speak for it in winter, since you're covering the synthetic with something that keeps the air off it, but for summer heavy activity, I'm a convert.

John Beadles, N5OOM
Richardson, TX

#151093 - 10/06/08 09:45 PM Re: Icebreaker merino underwear question [Re: Frankie]
Schwert Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/13/02
Posts: 905
Loc: Seattle, Washington
I have a selection of ice breaker stuff. I have 140, 190, 200, and 260g/m2 tops and 200 and 260g/m2 bottoms.

Year round I favor the 140 and 190 tops...short sleeved ones. For any medium to high activity in the winter I favor the 190, with the 260 for low to no activity.

Bottoms I always prefer the 200 over the 260 unless it is very cold.

I have worn fishnet from Brynje covered with 200g/m2 icebreaker or smartwool in very cold conditions and find that combo near perfect.

Ice Breaker is fine stuff and has completely eliminated all poly tops for me. I never wear capilene tops anymore under any conditions. I do still wear capilene bottoms for high activity or just under surplus wool pants so they do not sand my ass off.

If I was only going to buy one layer it would be 200g/m2.

Ice Breaker can sometimes be found for very good deals at Sierra Trading Post. I bought nearly all mine there but would not hesitate to pay full price for it....it is worth it.

The best thing about a thin merino layer is that it does not feel at all clamy when damp from sweat...it does not wick that moisture right into your next layer wetting it forever, it dries more slowly on your body rather than a layer of moisture sitting on top of the stinking poly to evaporate rapidly chilling you to the bone. Many times I only wear a top when x-country skiing....merino top is vastly superior to poly tops for this rapid cooling. They are also superior in my view in keeping your midlayers from getting soaked.

Pure heaven is skiing with a 200g top, stopping adding a 260 top, and a wind breaker...you are instantly comfortable and the mid layer will not be like a towel soaking up all that moisture on the surface of your top.

Fishnet under a zip top is heaven too.....open that neck and vent, zip, add a layer and windshell and you are warm and dry in very cold weather.

Check out Sierra Trading Post....Ice breaker is top end stuff. Dump the stinking poly tops...

#151118 - 10/07/08 02:10 AM Re: Icebreaker merino underwear question [Re: Schwert]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2731
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Interesting comments, Schwert.

I haven't used merino wool much.

I have one merino top that I use on aircraft and on oil-production sites where synthetics are ill-advised and/or forbidden.

The rest of the time it stays in the time-lock vault. That stuff is expensive! But gear that works is worth every penny.

BTW: I wash my synthetics (and everything else) in cool/cold water to save energy. If they are getting a little funky, I put about three drops of bleach in the wash water and that freshens them up nicely.

#151127 - 10/07/08 04:17 AM Re: Icebreaker merino underwear question [Re: dougwalkabout]
Lono Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/19/06
Posts: 1013
Loc: Pacific NW, USA
Merino wool is da bomb - when outdoors I usually rotate between an Ibex mid weight top and a Smartwool slightly less heavy top. I like the feel of merino wool compared to synthetics or cotton. Both are comfy warm even when soaking wet, as long as I keep a wind resistant shell over them. I've slept in wet wool that way, once, but greatly prefer a fresher wool to change into if I can. Neither was too expensive, look for merino on sale in the late winter and early spring - I think the Ibex top was $35 from SteepandCheap, and worth every penny. Outdoor Research had a great sidewalk sale this spring where they had short sleeved Smartwool merino wool shirts for sale for $25. Pick your price point, pull the trigger...

#151131 - 10/07/08 05:45 AM Re: Icebreaker merino underwear question [Re: Lono]
Did Offline

Registered: 09/25/08
Posts: 15
Loc: France
Thanks Schwert,

A question:

Do you have the Brynje fishnet in polypropylen or the cotton's one ?

#151149 - 10/07/08 01:11 PM Re: Icebreaker merino underwear question [Re: Did]
falcon5000 Offline

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 662
What do you guys think about these guys?


I know you can get them cheaper on the net but is the product any good?
Failure is not an option!
USMC Jungle Environmental Survival Training PI 1985

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