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Reviews > Clothing > Base Layers and Undies > Coldpruf Quest Top and Bottom Base Layer > Test Report by Theresa Lawrence

Test Series by Theresa Lawrence

Initial Report - November 29, 2017

Field Report - January 22, 2018
Long Term Report - March 27, 2018


Name: Theresa Lawrence
Email: theresa_newell AT yahoo DOT com
Age: 40
Location: Sparwood, British Columbia, Canada
Gender: Female
Height: 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Weight: 130 lb (59 kg)

I have more than 20 years of backpacking experience. Day hikes and 2-3 day backpacking trips take place on most weekends throughout the year while longer trips are only occasional. I backpack predominantly in mountain terrain (Coast Range, Cascades and Canadian Rockies) with the goal of summiting peaks. Activities I use my gear with include mountaineering, ski touring, rock climbing, kayaking, biking, trail running, Search and Rescue and overseas travel. I like my gear to be reasonably light, convenient and simple to use though I would not claim to be a lightweight hiker.

Initial Report - November 29, 2017

Images taken from manufacturer's website


Manufacturer: Indera Mills, Co.
Manufacturer's URL:
Year of Manufacture: 2017
Made In:Mexico

MSRP:  Top $40 USD, Bottom $32 USD
Measured Weight:
Top 230 g (8.1 oz), Bottom 190 g (6.7 oz)
Sizes Available:
Size Tested:
S, M, L, XL, 2XL
Colors Available: Black
Materials Used: 85% ColdPruf Technical Fiber (Polyester with SILVADUR Intelligent Freshness)
15% Spandex
Care Instructions:Machine wash in warm water. Tumble dry on low.

The women's Quest base layers are a mid-weight synthetic layer with a fitted design. The top features a metal zipper with plastic teeth as shown in the photo. It also has thumb holes in the cuffs and a drop-tail hem. The branded Technical Fiber that makes up this garment claims to manage moisture and control odor and bacterial growth. Both the top and bottoms are engineered tagless and with flat seams.


I was delighted with the arrival of my base layer package that came with some bonus swag: a striped ColdPruf beanie and an adhesive bandage dispenser containing sterile bandages and hand sanitizer. This was a fun surprise and will come in handy this winter.

But more to the point, the base layers look great and were smooth and soft to the touch. Donning them confirmed they were equally soft and comfortable to wear. They are indeed fitted, which I like in a base layer and the length of the legs, arms and shirt hem are all of an ideal length for me.

Unfortunately, I find the thumb holes to be uncomfortably small. The fabric is stretchy so the holes do get larger with stretch, but I fear the seams that make up the thumb hole are under a lot of strain when my thumb is housed in them. In fact there is some evidence already of some pulled thread at the seam junction. Scanning the garments further, while overall the engineering appears to be well put together, there are a few loose threads here and there.

The zipper slides well and has a zipper carriage that allows comfort to the neck when worn fully zipped up. The neck size seems to be a good fit for me hugging my neck with enough room to not feel constrained when fully zipped.

The waist band fits comfortably just under my navel and isn't too tight or too loose.


My first impressions are overall positive.

I like the smooth and soft feel and the fit is comfortable for active movement.

The only 'fit' issue I have is with the thumbs. They seem a bit small and I worry about over-stretching them and blowing out the seam. We'll see if this presents itself in the field.

I'm also curious about the claims of odor control. My experience with synthetics has always been 'smelly', so I will be very interested in what the field observations dictate.

Soon enough and roughly in two months I will have tales from the backcountry. 

Field Report - January 22, 2018


Day Hike (Snowshoe)Sparwood, British Columbia, CanadaDistance: 5 km (3mi). Trail Conditions: light deep powdery snow
Weather: cold and sunny. Temperature: -16 C (3 F)
Search & rescue practiceSparwood, British Columbia, CanadaAvalanche practice. Walked through snow looking for transceiver signals in the dark at night
Weather: cold and dark. Temperature: -11 C (12 F)
Three-day backpacking trip (Snowshoe)Tunnel Creek Hut
Fernie, British Columbia, Canada
Distance: 20 km (12.4 mi)
Trail Conditions: hard packed snow and deep powdery snow
Weather: cloudy with flurries
Temperatures: -4 C to 1 C (25 F to  33 F)
Day HikeJohnston Canyon Trail
Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada
Distance: 5 km (3 mi)
Trail Conditions: hard packed snow

Weather: cloudy. Temperature: -2 C (28 F)
Day Hike (Snowshoe)Baldy Pass Trail
Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada
Distance: 8.5 km (5 mi)
Trail Conditions: compact snow
Weather: clear, sunny. Temperature: -2 C (28 F) with wind chill -10 C (14 F)


I have found wearing the Cold Pruf Quest base layers to be very comfortable. The material is soft and the medium fits me to a tee for both the bottoms and the top. I had some concern that the thumb hole was too small, but, in fact I like the way it fits and find it highly functional. It covers most of the hand, which provides extra warmth when needed. I like the length of shirt and sleeves. The garments do not restrict range of motion in any way and fit nicely under all my other layers. The zipper done up all the way on the shirt is also comfortable on my neck. 


So far the bottoms have been worn under Gortex shell pants, hiking pants and a down skirt in various winter temperatures. They have accommodated these layers well offering adequate warmth for the activity. I have found the base layers to be highly breathable. They wick moisture well and control temperature for strenuous activity as claimed. On the overnight trip where I wore the base layers every day for 3 days, there was no noticeable odors. If they do get wet, they dry fast. I like the zipper feature that allows easy on and off as well as a bit of air-cooling on the fly. 


I have washed the base layers half a dozen times and always hung them to dry. The fabric has mostly stood up to the task. I had seen loose threads when I received the garment, which I thought was concerning and the one on the hem of the shirt proved to be the first culprit unraveling a quarter of the hem. I have also noticed some pilling in places of high friction and at these points the garment looks physically worn. I was disappointed to see this as they have otherwise been my favorite base layers. I've especially been impressed with the odor aspect as most synthetic fabrics I own carry an awful smell, sometimes even after washing. 


Overall, I’m pleased with the fit, comfort, overall design and performance with regards to odor control, wicking, breathability and quick-drying. The downfalls as mentioned above are the unraveling threads and pilling on high friction areas.  Over the next couple months I plan to do some more winter travel in the Southern Canadian Rocky Mountains, so I will be able to comment further on the garment’s durability and continued performance.


  • Very comfortable, soft fabric
  • Fits perfectly
  • Unrestricted range of motion
  • Wicks 
  • Dries fast
  • Breathes
  • Controls odor 
  • Zipper feature
  • Thumb hole
  • Long length of sleeves and shirt hem
  • Pleasing look and design


  • Unraveling threads
  • Pilling of fabric

Long Term Report - March 27, 2018


The final test phase was very much a winter test for the Quest base layers and included more adventures within the Southern Canadian Rockies. Such trips included a two day snowshoe trip to a backcountry hut, as well as two more weekend base camp trips using snowshoes and cross country skis. Another seven day-trips included more active snowshoeing and cross country skiing. Other uses included search & rescue tasks, events and practices, all on the topic of avalanche awareness, and involved a lot of standing around in sub-freezing temperatures. Temperatures ranged from - 15 C to 2 C (5 to 35 F). Trail conditions included fresh deep powder snow, as well as hard packed snow and ungroomed cross country trails. The distance traveled throughout the test period was about 50 km (25 mi). Weather encountered was a mix of heavy snowfall, sleet, light flurries and at times clear skies. 


I have found the Cold Pruf Quest base layers to be incredibly comfortable and fit me perfectly. I absolutely love wearing the soft conforming fabric. I liked how they moved with me and offered no restrictions. The zipper at the neck was great for getting air or keeping air out. These layers breathed and wicked well with strenuous activity and dried quickly as expected. Most impressive to me was that no matter how long or how many days I wore these, they never carried an ill odor. On the flip side their durability has not been up to par. There hasn't been any more unraveling of stitches since my previous report, however, the garments are showing more and more wear in spots of high contact. For example at the knees and hips. In these areas there was evidence of pilling and thinning of the fabric. There were also a couple of pulled threads within the fabric at the shoulder where my backpack shoulder straps and chest straps sat. As well, I noticed that there was a Cold Pruf decal on the bottom of the shirt that has now all but completely peeled off.  I've washed the garments another 3 or 4 times and have always hung them to dry.


In summary, I give a thumbs up for comfort, fit, breathability, warmth, quick-drying, wicking and staying odor free, but a thumbs down for durability. I do plan to continue using these base layers for as long as they last given how comfortable they are. I hope the manufacturer can fine tune the garment to boost up their durability and stitching, as they have the potential to be an elite base layer.

I'd like to thank Indera Mills, Co. and for allowing me to take part in this test series.

Read more gear reviews by Theresa Lawrence

Reviews > Clothing > Base Layers and Undies > Coldpruf Quest Top and Bottom Base Layer > Test Report by Theresa Lawrence

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