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Reviews > Clothing > Shirts > Malachowski Koszulka Guide Pro > Test Report by Ralph Ditton

LAST UPDATED 24th September, 2007

MALACHOWSKI MODEL : 101- BASE LAYER SHIRT GUIDE PRO

REVIEW BY RALPH DITTON
DATE: 21st MAY 2007

INITIAL REPORT
101 Koszulka First Layer Guide Pro
                            101Koszulka First Layer Guide Pro

Personal Information
Name: Ralph Ditton
Age: 55
Gender: male
Height: 1. 76 m (5 ft 9 in)
Weight: 71 kg (156.5 lb)
Email: rdassetts at optusnet dot com dot au
City: Perth. Western Australia. Australia

Backpacking Background
My playgrounds are the Bibbulmun Track and the Coastal Plain Trail. I aim to become an end-to-end walker of the Bibbulmun Track. I have nearly completed the 964 km (603 mi) long track. My pack weight including food and water tends to hover around 18 kg (40 lb) but I am trying to get lighter. My trips range from overnighters to five days duration.

Product Information
Manufacturer: Malachowski
Manufacturer's URL: http://www.malachowski.pl
Year of manufacturer: Not stated.
Made in: Poland
Material: mix of wool and cotton on the inside
                viscose and polyester on the outside
Listed weight: Not mentioned
Actual weight: For a medium size 250 g (8.8 oz)
Actual weight of stuff sack: 6 g (0.2 oz)
Available colours: Granatowy (Blue), Bordowy (Burgundy), Jansy Popielaty (Light Grey), Ceglasty (Orange), Grafitowy (Grey) and Kolor Rózne (Black).
Available sizes: Small 93-96 cm (36-37 in), Medium 97-100 cm (37-39 in) Large 101-104 cm (39-41 in) XL 105-110 cm (41-43 in) XXL 111-116 cm (43-45 in).
Item received: 17/5/2007
MSRP: 125 Zloty (PLN), US $44. 30

Product Description
"The GUIDE PRO Base layer shirt is constructed from a special knit designed for its anti-sweat properties. Combining a mix of both wool and cotton at the inner surface with viscose and polyester at the outer making the garment highly hypoallergenic and are created to maximise both comfort and moisture transportation away from the surface of the skin. The outer layer acts as a second layer by ensuring that accumulated moisture stays away from the skin whilst at the same time maximising evaporation". (From the web page).
The shirt that I received was a medium size to fit my 98 cm (38.5 in) chest and it has a 50 cm (19.6 in) neck size for my head to pass through. There is a small label with 50 on it.
neck size
                                                           neck size
                                            
The shirt arrived in good condition with no loose threads. What I received was what I expected from the information provided by the web site.
The colour that I received is Jansy Popielaty (Light Grey). Attached to the shirt were two tags with removable sticky round labels to attach to an object like a bike or vehicle as a marketing tool. The reverse of one of the labels has the shirt title and colour with the colour code. It reads 101 Kosulka Guide Pro 005 Jansy Popiel. The other label has the price, a list of sizes available with my size highlighted in black. The rest of the wording is in Polish which I suspect is a product description.

The stitching around the neck is an over locking stitch at the front to allow for extra stretch but is finished with a straight stitch at the back. All of the internal seams are stitched with an over lock to allow for no bulk and ease of wear so as not to irritate the skin. The garment has a regular set-in sleeve arrangement (cut around the arm hole, not a raglan cut).

Overlocking stitching
                                           Over locking stitching
On an inside seam there is a small label with symbols indicating that the washing temperature of the water should not exceed 40 C (104 F) and that the garment should only be ironed on a low temperature setting. It should not be bleached or dry cleaned. There is also a breakdown of the materials used in the garment and their percentages. They are (in Polish) Poliester 39 %, Wiskoza 29%, Welna 16% and Bawelna 16%. The other side of the label has the manufacturer's contact details.
Fabric care label
                                         Fabric care label

Initial Impression
When I first saw the garment I was surprised to see that it was inside a stuff sack made out of a very fine nylon mesh. There is a draw cord with a spring loaded toggle. Upon reflection, it makes sense because this is an item for backpacking activities and items get put away in stuff sacks to fit into a backpack. It is not essential but a nice touch.
Stuff sack
                                                               Stuff sack
I liked the colour, a light grey, as I have other articles of clothing of the same colour and it suits my complexion and grey hair. I tried the garment on after having a hot shower. The very first impression was that it was itchy on my skin but after a minute that sensation went away. I put it down to my skin being sensitive and glowing after a hot shower. I wore the garment for the rest of the evening with the temperature inside the house around 20 C (68 F) and when I took the dog for a walk the evening temperature was around 13 C (55 F). I did not need a second layer as I was warm enough just in the base layer shirt.

The garment fitted over my head without any stretching of the neck-line. Length wise it is a perfect fit coming down to the top of my groin. The arm length is generous. It is slightly longer than where my wrist ends by about 40 mm (1.5 in) but the sleeves do not look bunched up when being worn. The internal tag with the fabric care symbols on a vertical seam does not scratch or irritate my skin. On the front left hand side at breast level is the manufacturer's logo stitched in a slightly different shade so that it can be distinguished at close range. The garment has a nice soft feel to it especially the fluffy inside.
Logo on chest
                                                        Logo on chest
On the right hand side  low down on the seam is a tag with the manufacturer's name on it which does stand out. In my opinion, the manufacturer should highlight its logo by using a bolder colour so that it does stand out and is noticed from a distance.

Testing Locations
Bibbulmun Track : Sea level to 585 metres elevation (0 to 1,920 ft). Within this region I backpack along old forestry roads, sandy tracks, and purpose built walking tracks.
Daytime temperatures will range during the testing period, from a minimum 11 C to 30 C (52 F to 86 F) during May to September, 2007. Overnight temperatures on average during late autumn to winter range from -3 C to 15 C (26 F to 59 F). Source: Bureau of Meteorology.

Prickly Bark campsite on the Coastal Plain Trail is roughly 80 m (262 ft) elevation. The trail from the eastern terminus to the campsite is a sandy track that is mostly flat with a steep climb up a sand dune over the last half a kilometre (0.31 mi) to the campsite.

Daytime temperatures can range from 9 C to 29 C (48 F to 84 F) during  May to September, 2007. Overnight temperatures on average during late autumn to winter range from -4C to 15 C (24 F to 59 F). Source: Bureau of Meteorology.

Snow does not occur in the areas that I hike, just heavy frost with occasional fog that can leave icicles.
The areas that I hike in have kangaroo ticks, huntsmen spiders, various species of snakes and many prickly bushes that shed leaves with needle like spikes such as the Parrot Bush (Drydrandra sessilis).
 
Testing Activities
I will be going on overnighters and extended trips ranging from two to five days backpacking, sometimes walking solo and/or with one or two friends.

I will be camping out between twelve nights and  twenty one days between May and September 2007. There will be six days and three  nights in May. The month of June has  been allocated four days and two nights, and in July, I will be away for six days and four nights doing the Coastal Plain Trail from end to end. August and September have been allocated a total of five days and three nights.

In addition I have just joined up with the Perth Bushwalking Club and I will be undertaking various day and overnight walks with this group.

Testing Conditions

It is now well into our autumn and we are still experiencing some unseasonably very cool nights and mornings with a low of 3 C (37 F) and a high of 12 C (54 F) till about 8am, then it gets progressively warmer to an average high of around 34C (93 F) during the day. 

 The weather in April is usually the start of our rain that will hopefully continue through the winter months. This is when we get the majority of our rain. In May our nights are cool and freezing  in June, usually with a night time minimum of around 6 C to - 4 C (43 F to 24 F).  From May until July we  get winds originating in the Great Southern Ocean near the Antarctica  giving us a nice chill from a south west direction.  This is where we get our wet weather from. Heavy rain is then expected in June as this is when we receive the start of good rains of over 100 mm (4 in) in the month. There is some rain in May averaging around 70 mm (2.7 in). The wind and Relative Humidity over the test period taken from the Bureau of Meteorology are as follows:

                         Max gust                   Mean wind speed        Relative Humidity

May                 50 km (31 mph)         12 km (7.5 mph)          65%

June                76 km (47 mph)          10 km (6 mph)             63%

July                  69 km (42 mph)          12 km (7.5 mph)          73%

August            80 km (50 mph)           15 km (9 mph)             77%

Sept                 74 km (46 mph)          16 km (10 mph)           68%

Things I like

  • All of the stitching is well done without any loose threads.
  • Does not make my skin itch when worn for lengthy periods.
  • To date I have not had to layer the garment when walking the dog at night as it is autumn.
  • Fits very well, not sloppy or tight.
Things I don't like
  • Nothing to date.

This concludes my Initial Report. The Field Report will be amended to this report in approximately two months from the date of this report. Please check back then for further information.


FIELD REPORT
DATE: 4 th August, 2007

Upon receipt of the shirt I have worn it around the home on a nightly basis with a wash after the first week. After I got home from work, I would shower and then take the dog for a walk dressed as far as the top goes with the Malachowski shirt. The evening temperatures around 6.30 pm were on average 12 C (53 F). I did not need another layer of clothing over the shirt whilst walking the dog.
At the end of the week, I washed the shirt in my top loading washing machine on the "Regular" cycle with the water control set on the "Warm/Cold" setting together with other clothing of a similar type and colour. There appeared to be no damage to the fabric such as balling of the fabric or loosening of threads. The shirt was hung on the line inside out so that the sun would not fade the fabric and facilitate a quicker drying as the heavier/thicker woolen material is on the inside.

The first country test was when I went to Moore River for a weekend from Friday night to Sunday. I wore the shirt the whole time whilst awake, only changing out of it when going to bed. The weather was cold, wet and windy. The daytime temperatures were on average 18 C (64 F) and the night time temperatures had an average of 7 C (44 F). Wind was from the west with an average speed of 22 km (14 mph) reaching a maximum of 42 km (26 mph) when I was geocaching on the Saturday near the beach. Due to the wind factor, I had to wear another layer over the shirt to block the wind and retain body heat whilst outdoors. When indoors, I took the second layer off and was comfortable just in the shirt and track pants. The temperature inside the chalet was around 20 C (68 F).
Upon return from Moore River, I washed the shirt again as stated above for the first wash.

I gave the shirt a rest by not wearing it around the home, but used it when I had a day's geocaching in Piesse Brook, a very hilly piece of territory on the edge of Perth. I did not wear any other layer over the shirt whilst doing the geocaches. The temperature ranged from 5 C (41 F ) to a high around midday of 18 C (64 F) with a cold easterly wind blowing at an average speed of 16 km (9.9 mph). As I was geocaching, I wore a backpack to carry odds and ends for swaps, morning tea and water.
What I experienced was that due to the hilly terrain, and there was a fair bit of off track walking, I started to perspire where the backpack rested against my back and around the cuffs on the inside of my arms. When we stopped at a location and dropped the pack to look for the cache, the wind blowing on my wet back was uncomfortable as it was causing a loss of heat rapidly making me cold. The wind made me feel like a Coolgardie Safe. A Coolgardie Safe works with wind blowing on a wet Hessian sack to create a cold environment for food in a box. The wind certainly dried out the shirt when searching for the caches. Toward mid-day I wished I had another lighter shirt to swap for the Malachowski as I was too hot when walking up steep inclines. The body heat was trapped very well inside the shirt when moving as evidenced by the wet spots on the clothing from perspiration. But as soon as I stopped to even look around or take a photo, the wind blew through the material making me cold. I came to the conclusion that this shirt is not meant for me to be worn whilst carrying a backpack in those conditions. The shirt is basically meant for me to be worn in base camp where there are no great excursions which cause my body to generate perspiration.
Wet back
                                                                   wet back

In the above photo, a wet patch appears on my back where the backpack  made contact.

My next field trip was to Mt. Cooke
campsite on the Bibbulmun Track in late June. It is located at S 32° 24.1583 E 116° 17.708 and sits at an elevation of 380 metres (1,246 ft).
The weather was very wet on Saturday with occasional showers on Sunday.
After pitching my tent in the dark, as our group arrived after dark, I got inside the tent and changed out of my hiking wet weather gear into warmer clothing for camp activities. This is when I put the shirt on. The temperature at this point was around 12 C (53 F) but progressively the temperature fell as the rain eased. After cooking my meal I had to put another layer on as the cold was penetrating through the shirt. There was cloudy moisture coming from my breath. I was warm enough on the inside, but when I spoke or just blew my breath for effect I could see the mist, so it was chilly.
My sleeping bag is rated to a Low of 0 C (32 F) and to a Comfort of 5 C (41 F). Because I knew that the temperature would fall further during the night, I stripped down and put on my thermals, then the shirt, track pants with a track top over the shirt. I was very comfortable during the night. Not too hot or remotely cold.
At the breaking of sunrise I got up and the temperature was 3.8 C (38.8 F). I was still comfortable at this temperature when preparing my breakfast. There was no wind at all so this did help.
The weather forecast was for more rain and wind, so I changed back into my hiking clothes and wet weather gear. I did not wear the shirt because from my previous experience I would become overheated and perspire and our group had a mountain to cross over. I wore the shirt for night comfort only around the camp and for sleeping in so as to be warm and the shirt did its job well.

Between backpacking trips, I also wore the shirt at home on an evening with track suit pants. Some evenings we would have the gas heater on just to take the chill out of the air, but I never had to put a jumper over the top of the shirt.

My next backpacking trip was to various campsites on the Coastal Plain Trail.
This field test was a four day, three night hike on the Coastal Plain Trail from Ridges campsite, S 31° 32.832, E 115° 44.286 to Prickly Bark S 31° 42.800, E 115° 56.981 during July, our winter period. The daytime temperatures were on average a pleasant 17 C (63 F) and the elevation ranged from 60 m to 80 m (197 ft to 263 ft). Wind speed ranged between 5 km to 8 km per hour (3 mph to 5 mph). The weather was fine but overcast with a brief evening shower on the first night. I took the temperatures and weather conditions for the first two days and didn't bother with the other two days as they were all similar. Using my Kestrel 3500 Pocket Weather Meter I recorded the following:
Time                                 6.42 pm                  6.55 am               6.05 pm                   5.39 am
Wind speed                7.4 km (4.5 mph)       5 km (3 mph)       2 km (1 mph)         1.4 km (0.8 mph)
Wind chill                   16.5 C (62 F)            13.5 C (56 F)       16.8 C (62 F)          16.9 C (62 F)
Temperature             15.9 C (61 F)            13.5 C (56 F)       16.8 C (62 F)           17 C (62 F)
Humidity                     62.5%                        64%                      52.9%                       49.4%
Heat Stress Index     15.9 C (61 F)            13.1 C (55 F)       16.1 C (61 F)           15.8 C (60 F)
Dewpoint                     9.4 C (49 F)              6.7 C (44 F)          7.2 C (45 F)             5.9 C (43 F)
Wet Bulb                     12.4 C (54 F)             9.9 C (50 F)         11.6 C (53 F)          10.8 C (51 F)
Barometric Pressure 1011.3 hPa              1013.5 hPa         1015 hPa                  1015.8 hPa
                                      steady                      steady                   steady                       steady

I did not wear the shirt whilst backpacking because it was not cold enough during the day. In the campsites I changed into my camp clothes which included the 101-Base Layer Shirt Guide Pro was part of. Over the top of the shirt I also wore a track suit top. This arrangement kept me nice and warm in the mild winter evenings whilst moving around the campsites and sitting down to eat or chat with other hikers. When I retired for the evenings and got into my sleeping bag, I had to remove the track suit top because I got too hot. I slept in the shirt and track suit pants. The fabric became smelly from the campfire smoke that permeated everything but I did not mind it.
When I got home I placed it in the washing machine and the smoke smell went. To date the fabric has stood up to approximately nine machine washings without any signs of pilling or threads fraying.

Summary
To date I have no dislikes with the shirt. In fact I like it immensely and wear it around the house and up the street whenever it appears in my shirt drawer after a wash. I tend to wear it for about five days on end before it is due for a wash. I always put in on in the evening after my evening shower just before dinner time. On the one occasion that I did wear it walking whilst carrying a backpack I did get sweaty and hot in it, so for mild temperatures in those circumstances, wearing the shirt is probably not a good idea for me. It does make an excellent camp shirt which can be layered should a wind come up or the temperature drop quickly.

This concludes my Field Report. The Long-Term Report should be completed by the 9th October, 2007. Please check back then for further information.
LONG TERM REPORT
DATE : 22nd September, 2007

This shirt has become a favourite of mine to wear of an evening at home and when walking the dog in the late afternoon when the temperature drops. The shirt is usually put on around 5.30 pm after my shower. The temperature at this time in the past two months is usually around 14 C (57 F) and by the time I am ready for bed around 11 pm the temperature hovers about 8 C (46 F). Perth has had the warmest July as far as minimum temperatures go since records have begun and it is supposed to be winter. The only niggle that I have is that when I put the shirt on after a shower it feels prickly but that sensation goes after a few minutes as my skin loses the glow effect from the hot water.

My first field trip in this phase was an overnighter to Noggerup campsite located at S 33º 33.892 E 116º05.906 on the Bibbulmun Track. The campsite sits at an elevation of 260 metres (853 ft). I arrived at the campsite around 4.30 pm and the weather during the walk was overcast with rain threatening. I changed out of my hiking clothes and got into my camp clothes and this is when I put the Malachowski Base Layer Shirt Guide Pro on. I then put a track suit top on over the shirt. There was a slight breeze blowing at 2 km/h (1.2 mph) across the front of the three sided shelter and the temperature was 12 C (53 F) as measured by my Kestrel 3500 Pocket Weather Meter. I was very comfortable during the evening when sitting at the table with my walking mate talking, eating and playing Yahtzee. I went to bed around 10 pm wearing my tracksuit and Malachowski shirt. Whilst in my sleeping bag the outside temperature rose about 2 am to 15 C (59 F) and I became too hot so I took the tracksuit top off and unzipped the sleeping bag a bit. Around this time the rain came and it went on for a few hours but I was comfortable inside my sleeping bag. In the morning around 7 am the temperature was down to 14 C (57 F) so there was hardly any variation in the temperature from the previous evening to the morning. For the walk back I changed back into my walking clothes as I tend to perspire a lot when carrying a backpack. Back at the car I changed my shirt only and put the Malachowski shirt back on for the trip back home as it was cold and wet for most of the trip back home. I was very comfortable in the shirt. We even stopped at a township to purchase food and the wind was quite strong and cold. I estimate that the temperature was down to 8 C (46 F) taking the wind chill factor into account. The wind did blow through the shirt and I was a bit chilly but once back in the car I was fine.
                                    Noggerup hut
                                                                                                           Noggerup Hut
My next outing was north of Perth, some 4 hours drive. The location was Lake Indoon (S 29º 51.596 E 115º 09.501). Our group arrived at the campsite around 8 pm.
                                          Lake Indoon
                                                                                                    Lake Indoon

Upon arrival, I quickly changed from my travel clothes into warmer clothes which included the Malachowski model: 101-Base Layer Shirt Guide Pro because the temperature was 10 C (50 F) and it fell to 5 C (41 F) when I went to bed. I had a track suit top over the shirt and track pants on. This combination kept me reasonably warm and I was walking around to also generate heat as standing still talking let the cold creep in slowly. The Relative Humidity was 70% and the breeze was from the south east at 7 km/h (4 mph). I could see steam coming from my mouth when I spoke. When I went to bed in my sleeping bag that is rated to -3 C (26 F) I put on my thermal bottoms and put track pants over the top of them. I put on the Malachowski Shirt with a  track suit on top of it. I was very comfortable during the entire night. However, the inside of my tent had a lot of condensation on the fly. For the hike I changed into my walking clothes which did not include the Malachowski shirt as the daytime temperatures during the walk ranged from 8 C (46 F) for a short time to an average of 24 C (75 F) for the next four hours of the walk through heavy loose sand carrying a pack weighing 22 kilos (48 lb). Included in the weight was 8 litres (17 pt) of water as there was no water at the next campsite, and none on the way.
I changed into the shirt and camp clothes around 5 pm when the air started to get chilly. The Stockman's Gully camp (S 29º 56.328 E 115º 05.933) is at an elevation of 46 m (151 ft). The temperature reached a minimum of 7 C (44 F) with a Relative Humidity of 74 %. The wind was from the southwest at 2 km/h (1.2 mph). Sitting around the picnic table eating and talking until 10 pm I was very comfortable. I went to bed wearing the same clothes as the night before but by midnight I was too hot and I took off my track suit top and bottom and was left in the shirt and thermal bottoms. I was much more comfortable. During the course of the night around 3 am I had to go to the toilet and it was very chilly in my clothes walking to the toilet but not unbearably so considering that I had just got out of a very warm sleeping bag.
For the return walk I changed into my walk clothes as the day was even hotter than the previous day.
I have continued to wear the shirt at home of an evening as it is still cool. Most of the time I do not have to put another layer over it as I am quite comfortable in it. This shirt has become a favourite of mine during the cool temperatures which I have experienced over our winter and early spring.

Overall impressions of the shirt
The aim of a base layer is to keep my skin dry and as close as possible, to it's natural temperature and pull moisture away to the surface where it evaporates. Did it achieve this? Partly. When I perspired the material drew the moisture to the surface which left my skin drier but I was uncomfortably warm. As I was not wearing anything over the top of it, the breeze did draw the heat away when I stopped for a rest and I began to feel cold in the breeze, but once I was moving again I started to heat up inside the shirt, so for me, the shirt is not a hiking shirt on its own. It is an excellent camp shirt of an evening and early morning during my winter and early spring. The fibres of the shirt did not feel rough on my skin but I did experience a slight itchiness for a few minutes when I put it on immediately after having a hot shower. As my skin temperature dropped the itchiness went away. I never did experience any static electricity whilst wearing this shirt which was much appreciated. I have slept in it, walked in it and lazed around a camp in it so I am very happy overall with wearing it. There is no sign of wear and tear on the fabric so it has stood up well to many uses and washes.

Thank you Malachowski for allowing me to test this garment. 
   

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