Tag Archives: smartwool

Do these Merrells make me look fat?

14 May

Yes, they do. They create a spectacular cankle phenomenon, especially when paired with high socks. But do I care?

If you hike with me, you’ll hear me say it. My hiking clothes are, for lack of a better word, a little mannish. I’ve tried to infuse femininity into my trail wardrobe but when it comes down to it, sexy and cute never prove to be practical, and if I’m ten miles into the woods and truckin’ along…

I’ll take performance over pretty any day.

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AT, Smokies in NC/TN (Spring ’13)

A 90 degree hike in Beacon, NY (Summer '12)

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Presidential Traverse, White Mts, NH (Summer ’12)

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GEAR REVIEW: Women’s Icebreaker GT200 Baselayer Made Me A Wool Believer!

2 Feb

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I’ll preface this review with the note that I came to have this Icebreaker performance GT200 lightweight baselayer by way of Christmas gifting. Thank you, Dad! I’d been in need of a winter/cool weather base, and my Dad had recently returned from a European cycling trip obsessed with the idea of merino wool as the “best” base material, per cyclist buddies. Thus, December arrived, and…

Performance wool for everyone!

When I first put this top on (immediately after opening the gift) with nothing but a sports bra underneath, I was a bit concerned about the “itch factor”. After 10 minutes of wearing, however, my concern (and the feeling) was gone, and I was sold on the comfort. I never changed back and wore the shirt through Christmas, including a wintery, brisk walk with the Duchess. Since then, I’ve worn the piece on treks of differing distances and times, both as a next-to-skin layer and on top of sport tanks, and I’ve been nothing but happy with the performance.

It’s true about wool, you can wear it multiple times and the fabric still smells fresh, something that is NOT true of synthetics, no matter how breathable. I know this is part of the reputation of “smart” merino but I remained skeptical until I experienced it for myself.

My arms are on the long side, so the thumb holes are usable but not 100% comfortable for me (but still a selling point), and the overall cut and styling are great. I am loving the long zipper that really allows for ventilation or protection from the elements, depending on your need.

The only con I’ve found so far: Price! This is expected with performance wool of this kind, but it can be hard to shell out over $100 for a shirt.

Specs:

  • Weight: 6 oz.
  • Fabric: 97% merino wool, 3% Lycra®
  • Reflective half-zip at front
  • Reinforcedthumb holes

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*TAKE NOTE* A source tells me this exact piece was purchased, and is still available at Sierra Trading Post for discount prices (if you’re on the smaller side). Jackpot! Check it out. I’ll be stalking sales at the end of this season to stock up for next year. My takeaway here is, even if I don’t buy this exact piece again, I am now on board with performance merino.  Blue Bin approved!

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