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Reviews > Clothing > Socks > Lorpen MultiSport Tri Layer > Test Report by Ken Bigelow

Lorpen Multisport Tri Layer Socks
Test Report Series by Ken Bigelow
Initial ReportOctober 2, 2008
Field Report - December 23, 2008
Long Term Report - March 3, 2008

Personal Biographical Information:

Name: Ken Bigelow
Age: 30
Gender: Male
Height: 5' 8" (1.7 m)
Weight: 175 lbs (79 kg)
Shoe Size: Men’s 10 (US)
Email address: krb84108 (at) yahoo (dot) com
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
 
Backpacking Background:

My adventures vary in length from a weekend to over two weeks.  I am shifting my backpacking style to a lightweight approach.  I use hammocks and lightweight tents to reduce weight.  From spring through fall I typically backpack in the mountains or desert, while in the winter I often go snowshoeing.  I typically see a wide variety of climates ranging from -5 F (-20 C) with snow to 90 F (32 C) and sunny with just about everything in between. 

Initial Report
October 2, 2008

Lorpen Multisport Tri Layer Socks

Product Information:

Manufacturer: Lorpen
Website: http://www.lorpen.com/
Year Manufactured: 2008
Color Tested: White/Dove Grey
Colors Available: White/Dove Grey, Mid Grey/Deep Blue, Black/Charcoal
MSRP: N/A
Listed Weight: N/A
Style: XCTM
Measured Weights: 2.2 oz (62 g) per pair/1.1 oz (31 g) per sock
Size Tested: Large
Product Content: 50% Coolmax, 25% Tencel, 15% Polyamide, 10% Lycra
 
Product Description & Initial Impressions:

I received a pair of Lorpen MultisportTri Layer Socks to test which were bundled together with a plastic loop listing the company name, logo, website address, product name, product composition, size, washing instructions (wash in warm water, tumble dry low, do not bleach, do not dry clean, do not iron) and few sentences about Tri Layer technology.
 
At the time of my Initial Report the Lorpen website is under construction so I was unable to view the product online prior to receiving them.  Lorpen did send a catalog along with the socks and the Multisport Tri Layer socks in the catalog are like the sample I received as best I can tell.
 
Lorpen’s Tri Layer knitting system combines synthetic and natural yarns to supposedly improve “moisture management, comfort and durability”.  According to literature in Lorpen’s catalog there are three layers of yarn in each sock.  There’s a synthetic, next to skin layer that is designed to keep feet dry by wicking away moisture to the natural yarn, middle layer where (at I understand it) moisture is spread out and distributed over the entire sock.  The synthetic yarn, outer layer acts as a shield or barrier against “abrasion and wear” in higher “friction areas”.
 
The Lorpen Tri Layer socks are designed to optimize fit and comfort for the user as part of Lorpen’s Life Fit system which consists of four major componets.  The Flat Knit Toe Seam is a fairly thick material that surrounds the toe region of the foot.  This is very similar to most socks I wear in appearance.  A similar thickness material also protects the heel.  The Mesh Instep portion of the socks is very thin for ventilation and the area definitely has a mesh pattern to the stitching.  A Multi Density Knit zone covers the top of the foot from just behind the toe seam to the ankle.  This region is thicker than the Mesh Instep but not nearly as thick as the toe seam/heel areas.  A ribbed Lycra Plus zone extends from the ankle up the leg about 3-3/4 inches/9.5 cm. This section is thinner than the Multi Density Knit but still much thicker than the Mesh Instep.
  Lorpen's Life Fit System
Lorpen's Life Fit System

Both pairs of Tri Layer socks have the Lorpen name on the top of the foot in the Multi Density zone just above the toe seam.  The Lorpen logo is on the back of the Lycra plus region below the cuff. 
 
The socks fit me fine and I found they are comfortable to wear around my house.  I would describe the socks and as somewhere between a mid-weight and a light weight hiking sock. The thin areas of the Tri layer socks are very thin and would definitely fall into the light category while the thicker portions would be classified as a mid-weight.  The sock’s texture feels comfortable on my feet.  All the stitching looks sound and I was unable to detect any defects/loose threads after inspecting the Tri Layer socks. 
 
Summary:

The Lorpen Multisport Tri Layer Socks are a comfortable uniquely blended sock. I like the fit and texture of the Multi Sport Tri Layer socks and am curious to see how they perform in the field.

Things I like so far:
  • Fit of the socks
  • Comfortable texture
Things I’m concerned about
  • Nothing at this time

Field Report
December 23, 2008

Lorpen Multisport Tri Layer Socks
Field Conditions & Locations:

Over the past two months I used the Lorpen socks in Capital Reef National Park, Arches National Park, the San Rafael Swell Wilderness area, the High Uintas Wilderness and the Wasatch Mountains.  The elevation has been between 4,000 ft (1,200 m) and 12,500 ft (3,800 m).  Temperatures have been between 20 F (-6 C) and 75 F (24 C).  The terrain has included rock, slickrock, mud, sand, snow, ice, boulder hopping and dirt. I’ve seen everything from snow, rain, and hail to clear and sunny skies. 
 
Field Report:
 
The Lorpen Multisport Tri Layer Socks loosened in the toe a little bit after wearing them around my place for a few hours, but they went from feeling a little tight to fine long before I had my Initial Report done.  The have not loosened since the initial stretching so I suspect this is sort of a calibrating stretch.
 
I am happy to report that I have not had any blisters while wearing the Lorpen socks. I’ve scrambled over slickrock, been boulder hopping, walked through washes, hopped across creeks, chimneyed through slot canyons and trudged through mud with no blisters, hot spots or even excessively sweaty feet so I am a believer in the wicking ability of the Tri Layer Socks.  They have gotten slightly wet from splashing while crossing water hazards and from putting them on over wet feet but they were fairly dry within a half an hour afterwards.
Lorpen Do An Excellent Job Wicking Moisture
Wicking Well
Lorpen Tri Layer Socks Wick Superbly in Strenuous Activities
 
They remain comfortable after the first two months of testing which was something I was mildly concerned about (thankfully it hasn’t been an issue) after just recently recovering from a broken toe.  The Lorpen socks do not keep my feet warm below around 40 F (4 C) while standing around camp or below freezing while hiking, but I do get cold easily.  I suspect I’ll need additional socks for the upcoming winter months and anticipate using these as liners and/or use them in conjunction with toe warmers to keep my feet from freezing, but I’ll see if this is indeed the case over the next few months of testing. 
 
To date I have had no durability problems with the Lorpen socks whatsoever.  I have washed them around a dozen times and have not had any pilling issues to speak of.  I have not had any fraying or loose threads either.  They don’t smell any worse than any of my other socks after a day of hiking (though they don’t exactly smell good either) and while I can tell they have been worn they are not trashed yet.
 
Summary:
 
The Lorpen Multisport Tri Layer Socks have been a comfortable sock that performs well and wicks moisture away and not causing any hotspots or blisters.  They don’t keep my feet warm in colder temperature, but they are not designed to do so.  I have not had any durability issues with them so far and will continue to use them for the next few months of testing.
 
Things I like so far:
  • Comfortable
  • Wicks moisture well
  • Durable so far
 
Things I am concerned about:
  • My feet get chilled easily in colder temperature but they are not designed for this purpose


Long Term Report
March 3, 2009
Lorpen Tri Layer Socks
 
Long Term Testing Conditions:
 
For the final two months of testing I have used the Lorpen Tri Layer Socks in the Wasatch Mountains, the Uinta Mountains, Zion National Park and in the Red Cliffs Wilderness Area.  Elevations have been between 3,400 ft (1,000 m) and 9,000 ft (2,700 m).  Temperatures have ranged from 5 F (-15 C) to 60 F (15 C).  I have used the socks to hike/snowshoe in sand, snow, mud, dirt and ice.  I have seen snow, sleet, rain and sunny days while hiking in the Lorpen socks.
 
Long Term Report:
 
I am happy to report I have had no durability issues with the Lorpen socks over the test period.  I never encountered any pilling, loose threads, holes or any other signs of damage other than expected wear after four months of use.  The socks have retained their elasticity as best as I can tell and they fit just as well as when they were new. 
 
I have had trouble keeping the Tri Layer socks their original color.  They seem to have picked up a hint of Southern Utah red/orange tint but the majority of my gear (and even my truck) has this issue so I was not surprised by this occurrence.  I have washed the Tri layer socks after every trip and have not noticed any lingering odor after cleaning them.  If I get them soaking wet on the trail they are only slightly damp after drying overnight, but I wouldn't say they dry faster or slower than any other socks I own that are the same thickness as the Lorpen socks.

LTR Muddy Lorpen Socks
Several Layers of Mud and the Lorpen Socks
 
I have continued to not have success keeping my feet warm in cold weather while wearing the Tri Layer socks as a single layer.  They are not designed to be cold weather socks so this does not bother me, but I can feel it while hiking in blowing snow no matter what type of footwear I wear.  For colder conditions I still end up using the Tri Layer Socks as a liner. 
 
Summary:
 
The Lorpen Tri Layer Socks are a good three season sock for me.  They are comfy and have not given me any blisters.  The hold up to use whether scrambling over slickrock, hiking a typical dirt trail or passing in deep mud.
 
Things I Like:
  • Fit
  • Comfortable
  • Wicks moisture well
  • Durable
 
Things I am not thrilled about
  • Don’t keep my feet warm in cold temperatures (but they are not designed to do this)

Thanks to Lorpen and BackpackGearTest for allowing me the opportunity to test the Tri Layer Socks.


Read more reviews of Lorpen gear
Read more gear reviews by Ken Bigelow

Reviews > Clothing > Socks > Lorpen MultiSport Tri Layer > Test Report by Ken Bigelow



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