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Tag Archive: chris townsend

  1. Sub Zero Merino Wool Leggings TGO Review

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    Chris Townsend finds a pair of long john base layers that are comfortable and fit well 

    Over the years long johns have not been my favourite garments, mostly because I’d not found a pair that were really comfortable, which is to say just about unoticeable. Pairs I tried were either too tight, too saggy, too itchy, too restrictive or too sweaty. Thicker trousers seemed the answer for cold weather rather than long johns. What I didn’t realise was that it was the designs and fabrics that were the problem not the type of garment.

    This changed last winter when I was making The Cairngorms In Winter film with Terry Abraham. The trousers I was provided with for the film were not really adequate for winter conditions so most of the time I wore long johns under them. After trying and being irritated by a couple of pairs I came across Sub Zero’s Bloo Johns in a drawer and tried them. What a revelation!

    They proved near enough perfect, being warm but not too hot, very comfortable, breathable, non-restrictive and still quite fragrant after 48 hours constant wear.

    What makes these long johns different from others? I think there are a number of factors. Firstly there are no seams at all as they are made, in the UK, by a clever process called ‘Whole Body’ knitting. As seams can rub and catch as well as usually being less stretchy than the rest of the garment, which in a body hugging one can lead to discomfort, not having them is good for comfort.

    Secondly the Bloo Johns have extra stretchy rib knit zones around the waist and on the inside of the thighs. These stick closely to the body and move with you so there’s no feeling of a clinging garment resisting your movement. Then the garment as a whole is made from a very fine merino wool with 6% Lycra added for the waistband.

    Merino wool is comfortable over a wide temperature range so overheating is less likely than in synthetic long johns and when it’s this thin merino wool dries quickly when damp. It’s the merino wool that stops them smelling too.

    Having discovered how good they are I’ve been using the Bloo Johns a fair bit this winter, finding them ideal under a number of different pairs of trousers that on their own aren’t quite up to winter conditions.

    To see the full review click here

  2. Sub Zero Merino Wool Base Layer Wins TGO Recommended

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    Sub Zero mens merino wool base layer worn by a mountaineer in the Alps

     

    In the February 2013 issue of The Great Outdoors Magazine (TGO), Chris Townsend picks out the best base layers for winter hill walking.  Our Sub Zero Merino wool base layer thermals were tested by Chris and received 4.5 /5 stars and were highly recommended.

    These merino wool base layers are produced from premium Spanish merino wool spun around a Lycra core for increased robustness, superior washing properties, and greater stretch providing a much closer fit.

    The manufacturing process takes place on Shima Seiki seamless machines that sees the whole garment knitted without seams – it basically falls of the knitting machine finished. All we have to do is apply the heat seal logo and a neck tab with the washing instruction.

    Merino Wool Base Layer Review

    Chris Towsend writes:

    “This close-fitting, warm and comfortable top is by far the lightest merino wool garment tested and also the only garment made in the UK. It’s quite compact as well and so suitable for carrying in the pack as a spare or for camp wear. It’s also unusual in that it’s completely seamless, being made with a process called ‘whole body ‘ knitting.

    The front and back are plain knit while the sides, shoulders and sleeves are rib knit, which makes them very stretchy. Combined with a little Lycra this makes for a garment that hugs the body without being restrictive. This close fit makes the top quite warm even though the wool is quite thin.

    The sleeves have thumb loops and extend over the backs of the hands so there is on gap with gloves and they can’t ride up. The sleeves can be pushed up in warm weather, There’s an extended back and the top as a whole is longer than most so there’s no chance of it separating from your trousers.”

     

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