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Tag Archives: thermal underwear

  • Merino Wool, The Standard For Comfort and Warmth

    Posted on January 26, 2013 by olinselot

    Not all sheep are equal! Did you know that there is a complex quality grading system in place to measure and determine wool quality? Why does this matter? It actually matters a lot when you are talking about clothing and apparel. The correct grade of wool can be the difference between finishing your hike in comfort and itching and smelling the whole trip.

    Wool is classified according to its fineness because the finer the wool, the better the appearance, comfort, and style. The wool industry utilizes three different systems to determine the grade and quality of wool. Currently, there exists The American Blood Grade System (ABGS), Spinning Count System, and the Micron System. The Micron System is more or less the international standard.

    An interesting note is that the ABGS system bases its standard on the amount of Merino genetics present in the wool fiber. A pure bred Merino sheep would be considered to have the highest grade because it has the longest and finest fiber of wool available. Every other sheep that is a cross breed would fall farther and farther down the scale according to how diluted it was from the Merino. The Micron System is capable of differentiating the difference simply based on the diameter of a wool fiber.

    If you look at this table closely, you can see that pure Merino sheep produce the finest diameter of wool fiber and also the highest yield of clean wool. What does this mean? Merino wool products are warmer, more comfortable, and more attractive! Merino wool is the highest quality, most renewable, and most desirable wool available. When you feel Merino wool in your fingers the difference between it and lower grade products is tremendous. There is no doubt, in your own hands, that you will notice a major difference between low quality wool and Merino wool.

    If you enjoy the outdoors then understanding wool quality standards can be a tremendous advantage. Most average wool products are made from lower grade wool. You are probably familiar with the bulkiness and lack of comfort in low quality, course wool. Low quality wool products can make you itch, feel stiff and inflexible, and are often unfashionable. On the other hand, Merino wool products feel soft against your skin (like cotton), do not itch or smell, are warmer, naturally wick moisture way from your skin, and will fit in your day to day wardrobe.

    Hands down, Merino wool wins the contest. Merino wool products such as thermal underwear, socks, jackets and even hats are all available and affordable. Don’t waste your money on something of poor quality and comfort.  Upgrade your wool apparel to Merino wool and you will never look back!

    This post was posted in Merino Wool and was tagged with base layer, merino wool, thermal underwear, wool

  • Cross Country Ski Wear for Utah - What Counts Is On The Inside!

    Posted on January 18, 2013 by olinselot

    With temperatures lingering at a frosty 19 degrees you would think that most would cuddle up next to a warm fire and hide. But for one amazing mother in Utah, her fire seems to come from within!

    Shawna, of, shows that with the proper cross country ski wear, and a touch of scenic beauty, you can get outdoors and enjoy nature even on the coldest of days. She exemplifies the model family camper who isn't afraid to take her children along with her. Knowing how to be prepared with the right thermal layers gives her more confidence and comfort to do what she loves. What does Shawna love? She loves cross country skiing around a high altitude reservoir outside of Brigham City, Utah.

    It was no surprise to see her sporting some high quality ColdPruf Extreme Performance Thermals under her coat. Most of all she loves the comfort and bargain of her Merino Wool Outdoor Trail Socks.

    In regards to the Merino Wool Trail Socks - Shawna says, "First thing I noticed was how cushioned they were. They fit snug and the seams aren’t bothersome at the toe. They’ve kept my feet warm enough that I haven’t had to give them a second thought while outside."

    You can read the full experience, review, and get to know Shawna on her blog by visiting: Nature For Kids


    This post was posted in Clothing Layers, Cross Country Skiing, Merino Wool Socks, Socks, Thermal Underwear, Winter Sports and was tagged with cross country skiing, family camping, layering, merino wool, merino wool socks, nature for kids, performance thermals, polypro thermals, thermal underwear, utah

  • Performance Thermal Underwear For Skiers

    Posted on October 23, 2012 by

    Performance Thermal Underwear - What Skiers Should Look For

    I grew up in Florida. When I moved to Utah as a teen, I had no idea what how important good thermal underwear was in the winter time. I wore some cotton sweats to keep warm while playing in the snow. I never could stay out long because the snow would quickly soak through and I would be frozen within 10-15 minutes.

    What Type of Thermal Underwear Should Skiers Wear Picking the right thermal underwear will keep you more comfortable on the slopes

    Once I found out about thermal underwear, I quickly transitioned from surviving winter in Utah to enjoying winter in Utah. Thermal underwear technology has changed since I was a kid. I would never think of wearing the cotton thermals from my youth to go skiing.

    Now, on to what you should look for in a good set of performance ski thermals. First, you want something that will pull sweat or moisture away from your body. Sweat is designed to cool your body so to stay warm you need something that will manage this for you. Merino wool, polyester or polypropylene are at the top of my list of fabrics that are ideal for ski thermals. Each of them insulate well, wick sweat, and dry quickly keeping your skin warm and dry. Each of these fabrics will retain your body's natural heat even when wet. Stay away from cotton. Cotton absorbs water and retains it so you end up wet, soggy and cold. You can even get hypothermia if you are exposed long enough because cotton does not retain heat when it is wet.

    Performance Thermal Underwear - Different Weights For Different Ski Days

    Thermal underwear is typically available in 3 different weights. Lightweight, mid weight, and heavy weight. It is important to know which weight to wear. There are several factors to this, but suffice it to say that lightweight thermals are for mildly cold temperatures, midweight thermals are for freezing temperatures, and heavyweight long underwear is for extremely cold temperatures from freezing to negative temperatures. If you go too light you'll be cold, if you go too heavy you'll end up sweating too much.

    Performance Thermal Underwear - On A Tight Budget

    If your finances force you to be a little money conscious then I have some good recommendations on high quality performance ski thermals. If money is really not an issue, I can help there too.

    By far the most economical thermal underwear is 100% polypropylene thermals. You can typically get a set for under $40. Polypropylene retains more heat than any other fabric. It is much lighter than other fabrics and it dries extremely fast. The US Navy & Coast Guard wear 100% polypropylene for these important features. The next step up from polypropylene would be thermals made by Coldpruf. Coldpruf is very reasonable priced for such high quality. They have products in each weight range and the most you'll spend for a set of their warmest performance thermals is $90. Lastly, for those who just want the best and are not worried about the cost, you'll want to consider 100% merino wool thermals by Minus 33. They too are available in each of the weight ranges. They are made to last and are super comfortable.

    This post was posted in Thermal Underwear and was tagged with long underwear, performance thermals, skiing, thermal underwear

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