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Reviews > Clothing > Underwear > Gordini Lite LS Crew or Princess > Test Report by Leesa Joiner

Women's Light Weight
Long Sleeve
Princess Base Layer Top
Test Series

Initial Report: November 4, 2008
Field Report: January 13, 2009

Long Term Report: March 17, 2009

Personal Information:
Leesa Joiner
Southwestern Maine
47 yrs                                                                    
5'7" (1.7 m)
150 lb (73 kg)

     My outdoor experiences include trips varying in length from one-day hikes to two-week trips.  Most involve my three children. While my style isn't as 'high adventure' as some, I do enjoy the time we spend outdoors.   My load used to be HEAVY - think pack mule.  Now that the kids carry their own gear, plus the two oldest help carry the food, etc, my load is lighter.  I go for durability over weight when selecting gear.
    While outdoors, I spend time hiking, geocaching, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and camping. I spend almost as much time outdoors during the winter as I do during the summer.  


Product Information:
Product Name: Light Weight Long Sleeve Princess Base Layer
Manufacturer: Gordini
Year of Manufacture: 2008                                                                     
MSRP: $35.00                                                                                               
Size Tested: Large 

Measured Weight: 5.2 oz (147 g) Gordini Top

Product Description:
 Picture taken from Gordini web site)
Size Tested: Women's Large
Sizes Available: Women's S - XL 
Color Tested: Black
Other Colors Available: Chocolate, Denim, Charcoal, Baby Blue, Pink and Mint.
The Princess Lightweight LS is constructed of 12% Merino Wool/88% Polyester                                                                        
Features (taken from packaging)

  • Warmth and benefits of wool, with comfort of fleece
  • Inherent insulating properties of wool
  • Synthetic fibers to wick moisture
  • Natural crimp of wool allows it to bounce back into shape
  • Outperforms the leading synthetic fabric and 100% wool in moisture management.

Product Description (from the website and packaging)

' We combined the latest man-made technologies with the best of nature's insulators and moisture managers and the result is a superior product unlike any other in the market...we are excited to introduce a complete line of Men's Women's and Junior's base layer to keep you warm wherever your cold weather adventures take you.'

There are also two charts that give a visual representation of both the 'Intrinsic Thermal Resistance' and the 'Percentage Dry After 40 Minutes'.   The Intrinsic Thermal Resistance chart shows that the combination of Wool and Polyester (Lavawool) significantly increases the thermal resistance over polyester and wool when used separately.   The Percentage Dry after 40 Minutes chart shows that the Lavawool is approximately 33% dry after 40 minutes.  The 100% is only about 18% and the 100% polyester is only about 22% dry after 40 minutes.  

The packaging also indicates that it is machine washable.  Further information on the hang tag recommends machine washing, no bleach and tumbling dry on a low setting.

Initial Impressions
There was very little written information on the web page, but the Princess shirt does look like the picture presented on the web page.

When I first opened the package, I was very surprised to feel how light the shirt felt. The fabric has a very soft texture.  My first thought was that it felt like a well washed t-shirt.  The shirt is slightly stretchy.  I tried on the shirt and found that the neck stretched and then regained its shape immediately after putting it on.  So far, I really like the texture.  The sleeves are long enough, which is not always the case, as I seem to have longer than average length arms.   I was surprised at first at how loose fitting the shirt is.  I ordered the large after looking at the sizing chart.  It indicated that a 'large' was the same as a size 10-12, or 36/38.   I normally wear a size 12 or 34/36, so I went with the large.  In reality I could have worn a  medium for a closer fit.   I like the way the large fits though - it in no way restricts my range of movement, and it is long enough to tuck in to the bottoms easily.  I believe the medium might have been too short.

I found the shirt to be well constructed, with nicely finished, straight seams. The neckline and wrist area fit well and lay flat against my skin without rubbing uncomfortably.  I really like how Gordini, along with other manufacturers are imprinting the tag on the inside of the clothing.  Stitched in tags always irritated me to the point I'd cut them out.  The imprinting is so much better.

Future Plans
Our weather is consistently inconsistent, but we can usually count on a wet November, along with blustery winds.  It tends to change frequently, and can be damp and cool, or dry and windy even in the fall (or summer if you are unlucky). By December we are seeing snow, and usually the wet, heavy variety.  In January and February, as the temperatures drop, the snow tends to increase, but become much drier and more powdery. I snowshoe quite a bit in the winter and plan on wearing the Gordinis as a base layer to see how well they keep me warm and wick moisture.   I usually stay fairly warm while snowshoeing, but perspiring and then stopping for a break causes me too cool off too much. Hopefully, the drying properties of the Gordinis will allow me to stay warm and dry.

I am interested in how they work in windy weather.  I have a day hike planned for the coming weekend, and if our current weather pattern holds, it should be blustery and dry.  Cold wind tends to cool me off much quicker than a calm day that is well below freezing.   I want to try the shirt with different layering combinations, and get an idea on what works best together for different types of weather.  

Field Report
January 13, 2009

Over the last two months, I have worn the Gordini Base Layer on 6 occasions while hiking, and three times while snowshoeing.  I've actually worn them to work a few times when I knew I'd be going between buildings. I've also worn them around town many times. Our temperatures have been hovering around 0 F (-18 C) and the wind chill has made it very hard to hold in body heat while outside.   The base layer has helped me conserve body heat, and remain comfortable.  

One trip in early November consisted of hiking 4 miles (6 km) along an overgrown path along the Maine/New Hampshire line.  There was little elevation gain, although I did have to climb over some small boulders and fallen trees.  The temperatures were in the mid 40s F (4 C) and sunny.   I wore the base layer with a fleece pullover and a rain jacket.  As the sun was hidden as I went into a more tree covered area, I ended up zipping the jacket up and stayed comfortably warm for the rest of time on the trail.  Most of the trail was like that - in the sun for a little while, then back into the woods and tree cover.  The base layer allowed me to maintain a comfortable body temperature, even though the temperatures fluctuated.   Fall in Maine means changing weather - sometimes very rapidly changing.  

Another trip in southwestern Maine started out fairly nicely, and the weather forecast called for rain later in the day/ early evening.  Much to our surprise, it hit early and caught us about 2 miles (3 k) out.  The rain fell lightly but steadily. The temperature was 48 F (8 C) and cloudy.  On this trip I had worn the base layer with a fleece again, and my rain jacket.  When the rain started the jacket kept me dry, and the base layer allowed me to stay warm.  I noticed I never really felt the dampness that usually comes with being out in the rain.

On a snowy day in December, I went for a hike with my dog.   I  wore the base layer and long sleeve T-shirt under my down jacket.  I didn't plan on being gone long. We traipsed along a trail for part of the time, and bushwhacked the rest of the time.  Chip (the dog) insisted he knew a short cut home.  Thankfully, he is not a tracking dog, and can't be blamed for a poor sense of direction.  By the time we got home, the temperatures had dropped to below 30 degrees F (-1 C) I never felt chilled, even though the sun had dropped, and it was fairly windy.  The Gordinis do a great job of helping to maintain a consistent body temperature.   The bushwhacking required a good bit of exertion, and I was impressed that the Gordini top was able to wick the moisture away from my body and keep me warm.

I was able to wear the Gordinis snowshoeing on three occasions so far.  The first time was a wet, heavy snow base and 36 degrees F (2 C).  My children and I went out on some local trails and covered about 5 miles (8 km).   The terrain isn't too tough, although since the snow was only about 6 in (15 cm), there were still roots and rocks that protruded in areas, making for a couple of falls.   I managed to stay fairly dry, and comfortably warm.  I found that once again, the Gordini top was up to the task of keeping me comfortable.  I stayed dry, even though I was perspiring for most of the trip.  When we stopped for a break, I did not get chilled, even though normally I would.  After being warmed up from exertion, sitting still usually leads to me to feeling cold.  

On the two other snowshoeing trips, I went solo and covered about 3-4 miles (5-7 km).  I stayed on a marked trail, that was quite hilly.  No huge elevation gain, but lots of ups and downs. This trail gives a great workout, and I am comfortable going it alone as it is far enough away from the state snowmobile trails that I don't worry about getting run over.  I wore the Gordinis base layer top on both of these trips and found that again, it performed remarkably well.  During both trips the temperatures were in the mid 20s F (-7 C), with light winds.  I was warm and dry on both trips, and did not feel constricted in my movement by the top in any way.

While wearing it around town and to work the Gordini top has kept me comfortably warm.  Since our buildings are kept at 65-68 F (18-20 C) to conserve fuel, I do not become too warm during the day.   I find that they fit very comfortably, and do not cause my clothes to feel tighter because of the extra layer.  There is no problem with bunching of the base layer underneath my clothing.


I have found the Gordini base layer top to be extremely useful, and comfortable.   I have washed it numerous times (either machine gentle cycle, or hand wash) and find it fits perfectly.  The sleeves come just to my wrists, which means they fit under my gloves, giving extra protection to my arms, and keeping that irritating gap between my jacket and gloves from allowing cold air to enter my sleeves.  The sleeve length also means I can stretch out my arms and move them in any direction, and the sleeve will not slide up my arm and bunch up.   The hem is smooth and has no signs of wear or losing its stretchiness.

I believe washing the top has made the fabric feel even softer on my skin.  It really feels like I am wearing a well worn t-shirt. One thing that has surprised me is the sheerness of the fabric.  When I first saw it, I didn't think it would do much in the way of keeping me warm.  I was very mistaken.  The company advertises that 'that the combination of Wool and Polyester (Lavawool) significantly increases the thermal resistance over polyester and wool when used separately'.   So far, that seems to be proving true.

Our temperatures are now hovering around 0 F (-18 C).  I am sure the Gordini Base Layer top will get plenty of wear over the next two months.   Please check back then to read my Long Term report.

Long Term Report
March 17, 2009

It's hard to believe that the four months is over for this test.  I've worn the Gordini base layer top frequently this winter, due to our above average snowfall and cold temperatures.  The extra snow has led to more days off to snowshoe and play in the snow.   I've been out on two separate long weekend overnighters, and three full day snowshoe trips.  I've lost count of how many times I've worn them for trips of less than 4 hours, and the times I've worn them around the house and town.  Our power has been out for 6 days in the last two months, and although we have a wood stove, it does not heat the house evenly, leaving parts in the 50s (10s C) at times.  

While out overnight, my son and I snowshoed along trails that run along the Maine and New Hampshire border, not too far from the White Mountain National Forest.  The area is heavily wooded, with moderate elevation gain, starting at about 1000 ft (305 m).  Most of the trails were unbroken, although we did come across snowmobile tracks a few times.  On the first outing, night time temperatures never went above 15 F (-9 C), and day time temperatures were between 20 and 30 F (-1 and -7 C).  During that first weekend, we shared a tent, using an extra tarp underneath, along with 0 F (-18 C) bags, and fleece liners.  I slept in my Gordini base layers, along with my insulated snow pants and a fleece pullover, wool blend socks and a balaclava.  The first night I was extremely comfortable, and slept better than in my own bed.  My body temperature stayed at a comfortable point also.  The second night, with the same set-up, I ended up not sleeping as well, and listening to the wind snapping branches off of nearby trees.  I didn't get cold really, but never felt that warm, cozy feeling that usually leads to a sound sleep.   During the days, while snowshoeing and hiking, I was able to maintain a comfortable body temperature.  Even while exerting myself and perspiring, I never felt overheated, and I was thankful that they Gordinis allowed my perspiration to wick away from my skin, keeping me from becoming chilled when I was moving at a more leisurely pace or stopped for a break. I didn't feel as protected from the wind due to the strong gusts that day.

During the second weekend outing, the temperatures were about the same, but it was damp, and snowed during the night.  I wore the same clothing, and the tent set up was also the same (why mess with what works?)  I managed to stay warm enough, thanks in part to the Gordini base layers.  I definitely felt the dampness as I tried to sleep.  While there was some condensation inside the tent, it was more of a feeling in my knees and hips, that I often get in cold, damp conditions.  I would not blame that on the Gordini's though.   They are amazingly light, but feel 'warm' against my skin.   I think that is one of my favorite things about them, they never feel cold to the touch even when they are exposed to the cold before wearing.  The ability of the base layers to wick perspiration is also nice.  While snowshoeing, I find I perspire while I am exerting myself, and then get chilled when I slow down to an easier pace, or take a break.   The Gordini's are very good at wicking the moisture away from my body, and allowing me to remain comfortable.

The Gordini top fits extremely well.  They have held up well to frequent washings and even more frequent wear.  I haven't noticed any loose threads or other signs of excessive wear.  The sleeves and waist area have kept their shape, with no stretching out of shape.  The neckline lays flat against my upper chest/neck area.   The fabric has not pilled at all, and is still smooth, with no signs of wear.   This is particularly surprising, considering how sheer the fabric is.  I found that out when I saw a picture of myself in just the base layer.  It was not something that could be posted on a family rated web site for sure.  For  a piece of fabric so sheer, it is amazingly warm though.

I am very impressed by the usefulness, durability and comfort of the Gordini base layers.  I have worn them so many times, both while outdoors and indoors, and they always helped keep me warm, without overheating.  I would gladly buy another pair, if these ever wear out.

My thanks to Gordini and for the opportunity to test these great base layer top.

Read more reviews of Gordini gear
Read more gear reviews by Leesa Joiner

Reviews > Clothing > Underwear > Gordini Lite LS Crew or Princess > Test Report by Leesa Joiner

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