LORPEN MULTISPORT TRI-LAYER SOCKS
TEST SERIES BY NANCY GRIFFITH
February 26, 2009
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Northern California, USA
5' 6" (1.68 m)
132 lb (60.00 kg)
My outdoor experience began in high school with involvement in a local canoeing/camping group called Canoe Trails. The culmination was a 10-day canoe voyage through the Quebec wilds. I've been backpacking since my college days in Pennsylvania. I have completed all of the Appalachian Trail in Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina. Now I usually hike in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. Most of my trips are section hikes or loops from a few days to a week. I carry a light to mid-weight load, use a tent, stove and hiking poles.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Year of Manufacture: 2008
Manufacturer's Website: www.lorpen.com
MSRP: Not listed
Listed Weight: Not listed
Measured Weight: 40 g (1.4 oz)
Style Tested: XCTW
Size Tested: S
Also offered in M
Color Tested: 290 - White/Oatmeal
Also offered in Pale Green/Light Green and Dove Grey/Mango
15% Polyamide (aka nylon)
Features per Lorpen's press release:
Lorpen's Tri Layer Technology features three layers of yarn knit together. The first layer, closest to the skin, is made of Coolmax®, a synthetic fiber that is designed to move moisture from the skin to the outer surface of the membrane, where it is passed on to the next layer. Coolmax also serves as a barrier to the wicked moisture.
The second layer, or middle layer, is made of Tencel®, a natural fiber able to hold significant amounts of moisture once it has passed through the Coolmax layer. Tencel is made of Eucalyptus wood pulp, a natural resource that creates yarns that are soft as silk, as strong as polyester, as cool as linen, and more absorbent than cotton. It also features anti-microbial properties; when moisture is produced it is directly absorbed to the inside of the fiber leaving little moisture available for bacteria to grow.
The third layer, made of Nylon, is highly durable making the sock resilient and long lasting. The nylon fibers are concentrated in the toe, heal and shin where the sock gets the most abrasion.
Lycra info from Lorpen's catalog:
Additional Lycra sections help to keep the sock in place on the foot. This fibre has the best zero-point elasticity and is the only fibre that conserves its characteristics forever.
The only technical sock that includes Lycra throughout the entire sock.
I received a pair of Multisport socks in size small. I had requested size medium, but since the small seem to fit well enough, I am proceeding with the test. I understand that since these socks are not yet in full production, the sizes are limited.
The socks were packaged in a cellophane pouch with a small white label listing the style, color, size and material composition. A page from the catalog showing the XCTW sock was also included. It shows the type 290 as white/dove grey, but the packaging lists the 290 as white/oatmeal.
My first impression is that these socks are not as thick and heavy as I had feared. Since they are called 'tri-layer', I was concerned that they may be a heavy-weight sock which I do not usually like. They appear to be an ideal thickness for my preferences.
These socks have a flat knit toe seam which I have seen on other socks. It typically makes for a comfortable situation since there is no seam to rub with shoes.
The Lorpen name is across the top of the sock and the Lorpen logo on the back of the cuff. Inside the cuff is the sock size (S) and the sock style (XCTW). I like the idea of this since it will make it easy to remember what size and style sock I have if I want to buy another pair.
The inside of the socks have many loose thread ends sticking out. I have some socks with absolutely none of these and some with these threads. The only issue I have is that it works better to only wash this type of sock right-side out so that the threads don't get caught on other items.
The socks have an unusually strong perfumy odor such that they are noticeable if I am even in the same room. I haven't washed them yet, so I'm hoping that it will go away.
TRYING IT OUT
When putting them on and walking around the house, they seem to have a perfect combination of cushion in the ball and heel contact areas while being thin and light on the top and bottom.
The socks fit snugly but are not tight. The elastic regions seem to hold the sock in place such that they don't slip while walking. The cuffs seem snug and don't sag during movement.
I plan to wear these socks for all of my outdoor activity types during the test period. My goal is to have them in the laundry every week in order to maximize use. Each of my activities use different shoes/boots so that should give a good idea of the fit and comfort of the socks in varying situations. My activities should include my weekly morning runs, day hiking, mountain biking, and snowshoeing if winter starts early enough. Otherwise, snowshoeing will occur with in the Long Term test period.
Overall these socks appear to be well-made with uniform complete stitching and are as advertised in Lorpen's catalog. Their website is under construction, so I cannot comment on it.
Light to Medium Weight
None found to date
FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
During the field testing period, I wore these socks a total of 23 times for approximately 80 mi (129 km). I wore them for various activities; hiking, running, snowshoeing, backpacking and twice for mountain biking. Here are some specific examples of my uses.
I wore the socks 10 times for running with two different pairs of running shoes.
I wore the socks 7 times for day hiking. I wore them with light hiking mid-height boots, waterproof mid-height boots, low hikers and running shoes. Some examples of my hikes include:
Monroe Ridge Trail, Sierra Nevada (California): 3 miles (5 km); 743 to 1,262 ft (226 to 385 m); 60 to 70 F (15 to 21 C); pine forest to rocky soil; dry conditions
Lake Margaret, Sierra Nevada (California): 5 miles (8 km); 7,400 to 7,700 ft (2256 to 2347 m); 55 to 65 F (13 to 18 C); snow covered to wet trail conditions; sunny
I wore the socks for a 3-day trip with waterproof mid-height boots.
Point Reyes National Seashore (California): 18 miles (29 km); 0 to 854 ft (0 to 260 m); 39 to 60 F (4 to 15 C); wet to muddy trail condition; sunny to foggy weather
For snowshoeing, I wore the socks with another pair of thin socks over top and with my waterproof winter boots.
University Falls, Sierra Nevada (California): 5.6 miles (9 km); 3,450 to 4,100 ft (1,052 to 1,250 m); 31 to 37 F (-0.5 to 3 C); fresh snow; sunny
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
It took a few washings to completely eliminate that perfumy odor that the socks came with. In total I have washed these socks 13 times.
The socks are cushiony in the ball of the foot and heel regions which makes them pretty comfortable. They are quite thin in the other areas which I really like in general, but I found that I do not like their light weight and low height for cooler weather hikes. I like them for use with my running shoes and low-height shoes, but I find myself reaching for a different pair of socks for nasty weather hiking. For me they are best suited for warm weather hiking. My feet were cold while wearing these for snowshoeing despite the fact that I had another pair of thin socks over top and insulated winter boots. I find 40 F (22 C) to be the point where my feet feel slightly cold with just these socks.
Some loose threads appeared on the left cuff after a few washings. I didn't pull on them or cut them off. I have washed the socks and worn them several times since I first noticed the loose threads. Now I cannot even find the loose threads and the seam has no appearance of unraveling. I would say the durability of the socks is about average.
The odor resistance is good. I wore them for a 3-day backpacking trip where I wore them all day (except at night) and they never got noticeably stinky. It wasn't a particularly warm trip, so my feet were not sweating. The breathability of the socks seems good. I never noticed any tendency for my feet to get warm while wearing these socks.
I like these socks for warm weather use with low-height shoes.
Too thin and lightweight for use in cool/wet weather below 40 F (22C)
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
During this test period it was mid-winter and my primary outdoor activities were snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Due to their low height and light weight, these socks just aren't adequate in cooler temperatures even with insulated boots. So, I did not wear the socks for those outings. However, I continued to wear them for running, hiking and to the gym. I wore them and washed them approximately once per week.
For running I wore them with 3 different pairs of running shoes. My typical run is on pavement or smooth trail for an average of 2 to 3 mi (3 to 5 km).
My hikes were with mid-height waterproof boots since the trails were somewhat wet. With the waterproof boots and hiking pants, the socks were not directly exposed to water.
My typical time in the gym was 45 minutes to 1 hour wearing running shoes. Activities varied from weight lifting to cardiovascular workouts on the treadmill or stationary bicycle.
Monroe Ridge Trail, Sierra Nevada (California): 3 miles (5 km); 743 to 1,262 ft (226 to 385 m); 55 to 60 F (13 to 15 C); pine forest to rocky soil; moist trail conditions
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
The socks continue to be comfortable for outdoor activities in warmer weather. They provide good cushion in the heel and ball of the foot. They fit well and stay in place during all of my activities. There is no slipping down or bunching up.
At times when I wore the socks for a short run, I did not wash them again before wearing them for another short outing. However, the odor resistance was not a problem. The socks never got stinky. The breathability is good and my feet didn't ever feel overly hot and sweaty.
Although the socks no longer look new, they are in fine shape and have held up to a lot of use and a lot of washings. I am satisfied with their durability.
I found these socks to be of good quality and comfortable. They are definitely best-suited for warm weather use and do not keep my feet warm below 40 F (22 C). I am looking forward to wearing them this summer in hot weather.
Only suited for warm weather
I will continue to wear these socks until they wear out.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
This concludes my Long-Term Report and the test series for the Lorpen Multisport socks.
I would like to thank Lorpen and BackpackGearTest.org for choosing me to participate in this test.
Read more reviews of Lorpen gear
Read more gear reviews by Nancy Griffith