(at) yahoo (dot) com
Sparwood, British Columbia Canada
Age: 45 years
5’9” (1.75 m)
160 lb (73 kg)
I have been an avid outdoor enthusiast for over 25
years. I enjoy a variety of outdoor activities including mountaineering,
day hikes, multi-day backpacking trips, river and ocean kayaking, back-country
skiing, snowshoeing, mountain biking and rock climbing. I have climbed
throughout British Columbia, the United States and when opportunity presents
itself in Europe and India. I carry a wide variety of gear depending on the
type and length of trip. I am a search and rescue team member in the
Southern Canadian Rockies and am part of the swift water, rope rescue and
avalanche technical teams and ground search team.
|Manufacturer Web Site||www.coldpruf.com|
|MSRP||$55.00 US||$55.00 US|
|ThermaChoice Temperature Rating||Cold & Very Cold||Cold & Very Cold|
|ThermaChoice Activity Rating||Medium & High||Medium & High|
|Fabric||Merino Wool||Merino Wool|
|Weight||164 g (5.78 oz)||152 g (5.36 oz)|
|Guarantee||No charge replacement for any reason|
The ColdPruf Classic Marino Crew and Pant and made of 100% Marino wool.
They have used a single layer jersey knit design utilizing 170 gsm or 5
oz silk weight. The crew top has a modified raglan yoke shoulder, 7 cm
(2.75 in) fabric cuffs and a 7.5 cm (2.95 in) drop tail. The pant has a 3 cm (1.18 in) comfort
waistband, gusseted front, 4 cm (1.57 in) back rise for fit and comfort and a 7 cm (2.75 in) ankle
cuff. Both the pant and crew top use the natural stretch inherent in
merino wool for a snug comfortable fit. The Merino State wool that
ColdPruf utilizes is designed to provide a comfortable fit, keep the wearer dry
and odour free and is flame resistant (always nice to know). The label
indicates that the base layers should be washed inside out with cold water and
on the gentle cycle. It also notes that fastidious people can iron them
on the low setting and that they can also be dry cleaned.
ColdPruf has developed what they call a ThermaChoice system that is meant to
assist purchaser with determining what they need. The system provides a
colour-coding system from cold to extreme cold and low activity to high
activity. The combination of the temperature range and activity level directs
the purchaser to the appropriate garment. The ThermaChoice rating for the
Merino Crew and Pant are listed for cold to very cold weather and medium to
high activity level. The rating system also links the product to
the technology or design parameters used in the product. In this case
both the crew and pant use single layer engineering, moisture wicking
technology and antimicrobacterial odor-fighting properties in the design.
It seems like a very handy tool for determining the best fit
although, as with anything, personal comfort and internal heat generation will
really affect this rating, still, very helpful.
Observations & Fit
The ColdPruf Base Layers look to be well constructed with consideration given
to fit and comfort. The arm length of the crew top is of a nice length
for me, although the neck line and shoulders felt a little off when I first put
it on. I was not able to really figure this out as I had a bit of a
reaction to the merino wool and had to disrobe in short order. My skin is
still itchy half an hour later and I must admit I am a little scared to put it
back on. I am hoping that after a wash or two or three that I won’t react
to the wool otherwise this might be a very uncomfortable test period. The
pants were not nearly so bad and fit very well. They are really snug and
with a good amount of stretch which I anticipate will be a nice feature as they
will go under almost anything with no problem. They also seemed to sit
nicely on the waist although I have not moved around much yet so will have to
wait and see how they do once I get out into the field. Overall they
look to be a nice pair of base layers that I am hoping will keep me nice and
warm this winter.
Photos Courtesy of ColdPruf.
Field Report - January 23, 2018
If the past two months was not the ideal time for testing base layers I
am not sure when would be. Temperatures ranged from -30 C to 0 C (-22 F to 32 F) with
individual days having a 5 to 7 (8 to 11 F) degree difference from morning to evening, perfect
for layering. Over the past two months I used the ColdPruf base layers on
multiple occasions including a three-day backcountry ski trip, a few days at
the ski hill, three snowshoe day trips and on multiple evenings during our
search and rescue practices. Weather conditions were fairly consistent
being cold, snowy and cold and snowy. Overall I travelled an estimated 38
km (23.6 mi), with upwards of 2000 m (6500 ft) of elevation. Exertion levels were low during
my search and rescue practices and up to high while skinning up to a back country
ski hut and doing laps in the surrounding hills.
In my Initial Report I commented that the merino wool was extremely itchy and I
am happy to report that after an initial wash I was able to put them on without
a severe reaction although it took a couple more washes before I could wear
them comfortably. After 10 plus washes they bottoms are just fine but the
top is still a little scratchy. Generally I only notice this when I first
put them on and during periods of inactivity, but it is never to the point
where I need to change.
With the extreme cold that we have been experiencing locally I was able to get
a fairly good idea as to where I would place them on the thermal retention
spectrum. For myself, I would rate these base layers as good for 0 C to -10 C (32 F to 14 F).
Once the temperatures dipped below -10 C (14 F) I wanted a thicker base layer as
part of my layering system. Since the thermal rating system only gave
general descriptions it is hard to say if they match up to the intended thermal
rating or not. I would say they are for slightly warmer temperatures than
I would have expected but they still perform well in cool to cold temperatures.
As part of a layering system they work well. They are snug without being
uncomfortable and it is easy to layer up over top of them. I did note
that they do have a tendency to retain static. It was quite something
when I took off a synthetic t-shirt that I was wearing over top of the crew
top. I needed a fairly strong pull to separate the garments with
substantial electrical discharge. After doing a 3-hour skin up to a
backcountry hut with a full overnight pack I noticed that these layers did an
excellent job of pulling sweat away from me. The only downside that I
noted was that when I stopped the evaporation process was so effective
that the whole crew shirt was cold which made me cold. This lasted about
half an hour in the cabin and only really stopped when the ambient temperature
warmed up. I also noted this when we were doing laps up to a ridge top.
After skinning up and stopping to transition for the ski down I notice
that the fabric turns cold until I started moving again. Nothing too
surprising here as this is normal, at least for me, but it was more pronounced
with this layer. I suspect that in slightly warmer conditions this
would not be an issue but in cold temperatures it cooled me off faster
than I would have liked. Something for me to consider when planning my outings.
With respect to wear and odor control they are preforming exceptionally well.
There is no sign of pilling, no wear points, the stitching shows no sign
of loosening or fraying. The elastic waistband is not stretching out and the
cuffs show no wear at all. After wearing these for three days straight
they did not retain any noticeable odors which is very impressive. Even after a
hard day of skiing with a pack I did not notice any significant odors from the
garment. It is really nice as I have some shirts that seem to pull odors
into them even after the mildest level of exertion, the ColdPruf base layers
just do not seem to hold or absorbed any orders, very nice.
Overall, other than still being a little scratchy the ColdPruf Marino Wool Base
layers are doing very well. They work well in moderately cold
temperatures, up to -10 C (14 F), wick very well, handling moderate to high activity
levels. They work well as a layer and do not restrict my movements.
Over the next couple of months I have a number of ski weeks on the agenda
so I will be able to continue to put them through their paces but thus far I
anticipate they will continue to perform very well as part of my laying system.
Long Term Report - March 25, 2018
Over the last two months it has finally started to warm up although the snow is
still very much a constant. I was able to enjoy using the Coldpruf base
layers while participating in a number of activities including fat-biking
(mountain biking on snow with "fat" tires), for those that might not be familiar
with the activity, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and a four-day sledding
and backcountry skiing excursion. Overall temperatures ranged from -15 C
up to -2 C (5 to 28 F) with a variety of weather although most of the time it
was either snowing lightly or heavily. There were a couple of days of sun
in there but snow and more snow was what I saw of the last four months.
As with any layering system I find everything is dependent on the level of
activity and the outside air temperature. Wearing the Coldpruf base
layers with one or two additional layers and then a shell; worked really well
for the most part. During really cold days it was more important to layer
up to ensure I kept warm. During those infrequent warmer days I actually
had an opportunity to delayer down to just the base layer with a light T-shirt
overtop. The base layer was able to provide me with adequate warmth while
cross-country skiing in -5 C (23 F) temperatures and I would even consider
saying that they were a little warm especially when the sun came out.
While sledding in -15 C (5 F) with three layers on I was quite happy while
either standing around with the group or active on the sled. During my
ski up to the top of a ridge, an ascent of about 750 m (2460 ft) with a
temperature of around -10 C (14 F), I was able to moderate my exertions much
more consistently and was very happy with the layers.
The key to a good base layer, at least for me, aside from its warmth is how
well it will pull moisture away from the body and shed it. The Coldpruf base
layers did an excellent job of wicking the moisture away from my skin
regardless of the temperature. This was very evident while playing in -10
to -15 C (14 to 5 F) temperatures as my medium layer was actually frozen to my
shell. Although I noticed a slight chill whenever I stopped moving
around, for the most part the moisture was pulled away, transferred through my mid-layer
to the outer shell. When engaging in activities that during warmer
weather -3 to -5 C (26.6 to 23 F) with no mid-layer I found that the base layer
pulled the moisture away but was not really able to shed the moisture to the
atmosphere very well. This became very evident when I stopped moving
around at the end of the day. The base layer stayed cold to the skin
while for close to an hour which I must admit was not the most pleasant
experience. What I found was that a secondary layer to continue wicking
the moisture further away from my skin was needed. Without the mid layer to
assist the base layer had no way to shed the moisture which resulted in chilled
I noted in my initial report about how itchy the merino wool was and I am for the
most part pleased to advise that they are no longer terribly itchy. I
still notice it a little from time to time, especially on my back after
sweating a little but it is very very mild and nothing really to complain
about. I also noted that both the pant and crew top shrank a little during
the test period. They both fit very well but they have shrunk a little
and are a little snugger than when I first got them.
Normally I would not include much here but I did have a warranty issue with
the pants. I literally ripped a massive hole in one leg while putting
them on. I contacted the warranty department and was very impressed that
they responded within 24-hours of my initial email. They asked for a
couple of photos and when I purchased them but not a receipt. They
advised me that they were going to send the information I provided to their
quality control team for evaluation and get back to me. This occurred
within 5 days at which time they advised me that it appeared that there was a
flaw in the fabric and they would send me a replacement garment which arrived
12-days later. I live in Canada so the time lag seemed reasonable and I
was quite pleased with the entire process and the level of customer service
provided. Sadly when I got them I was back to square one for itchiness
but I cannot really complain too much.
As with any base layer performance really depends on the layers chosen for the
temperatures and actives undertaken. In general, for myself, I would use
these layers between -5 C and -15 C (23 F and 5 F) while participating in
moderate to high levels of activity. They wick moisture away from the
skin effectively especially when another moisture wicking layer is used.
They are less effective as a standalone layer in warmer temperatures.
They definitely have difficulty getting rid of moisture once it’s pulled
away from the body which resulted in me being chilled once I stopped moving.
As for odor control they stayed fresh even after four days of continuous
wear. For durability, aside from the unfortunate tear they seemed pretty
good. The stitching is in good shape and there is no evidence of thinning of the
fabric. I hope the hole in the pant was indeed a bad run in the manufacturing
process, time will tell. Overall the Coldpruf Crew and Pant base layer performed
well and are an effective part of a layering system between -5 and -15 C (23
and 5 F).
Thank you to BackpackGearTest.org and ColdPruf for the opportunity to test
the Classic Crew and Pant Base Layers.
Read more gear reviews by Duane Lawrence