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Reviews > Clothing > Underwear > Terramar Sports Thermolator Bottoms > Test Report by Ryan Lane Christensen

Terramar
courtesy of terramarsports.com

Terramar

Body-Sensors - Thermolator II Pant

Test Series by Ryan Christensen

Last Update - May 11, 2010

front
[ image courtesy of http://www.travelcountry.com ]

ACCESS MAIN REPORT SECTIONS VIA THESE LINKS:

INITIAL REPORT
December 17, 2009

FIELD REPORT
March 16, 2010

LONG-TERM REPORT
May 11, 2010

INITIAL REPORT
December 17, 2009

Reviewer Information Backpacking Background
Name:  Ryan L. Christensen
Age:  45
Gender:  Male
Height:  6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:  235 lb (107 kg)
Email:  bigdawgryan(at)yahoo(dot)com
City, State, Country:   Idaho Falls, Idaho, USA

I began backpacking at twelve, continuing until 25. After an extended hiatus, due in part to a bad back, I resumed cycling, hiking, and backpacking several years ago. I also began snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. I share my love for backpacking and these other sports with my children. I am a midweight backpacker, but carry a full array of necessary gear.
 

Product Information:

The information listed below was taken from both
Terramar product tags and its website.

Thermolator II - W7541 Men's Pant
Manufacturer: Terramar Sports Inc.
Manufacturer website: http://www.terramarsports.com
Place of Manufacture: China
Year Manufactured: 2009
Materials: 86% Micro Filament Polyester, 14% Spandex
Colors Available: Black with Pewter stitching
Sizes Available: S, M, L, XL, 2XL
Warranty: "Terramar Sports guarantees all our products against manufacturing defects for one year."
MSRP: N/A

Product Specifications
Manufacturer's Specifications  
Weight: Not Listed
Tester's Actual Measurements  
Weight: [Large] 6.2 oz (176 g)

Product Description:

Terramar Sports primarily manufacturers baselayer garments. It has five product lines: Thermasilk, Thermawool, Body-Sensors, Lifestyle, and Core Classics for both men and women. However, Terramar only offers its Thermasilk, Body-Sensors, and Core Classics for children. Body-Sensors products are designed to work with the body's "natural heating and cooling system to promote rapid evaporation while providing effective insulation." Terramar claims Body-Sensors "create a comfortable microclimate around your body regardless of your level of exertion or temperature." The company invites consumers to "Select a Body-Sensors garment according to your metabolism, activity level and weather conditions. And make the great outdoors even greater."

Within the Body-Sensors line, there are baselayers, essentials, and compression garments. Thermolator II is one of eight Body-Sensors baselayers. Thermolator II garments are made of Terramar's proprietary Electrostatic Comfort Control ec2® Qwik-Dri™ fabric which is 86% Micro-Polyester and 14% Spandex. On one of the tags attached to the pant, Terramar claims its "ec2® Qwik-Dri™ technology has the ability to actually lift moisture molecules away breaking them down for rapid evaporation. This patented process does not involve the use of add-on chemicals but is a permanent molecular change. Since the ec2® Qwik-Dri™ process alters the molecular signature of the yarn in our fabric, the moisture control is permanent. It won't wash out or wear off." This is a pretty spectacular claim! I can't wait to see how well it actually moves moisture away from my skin.

Terramar also claims the fabric "offers incredible softness with 360° stretch for comfort, warmth and complete range of movement." All Thermolator II products are classified as medium weight baselayer items.

The men's pant, hereafter referred to as "pant or pants" is the product I am testing. The packaging included the company and product line logos; the words mens, thermolator ii, 360° degree stretch, baselayer, mediumweight 2.0 (warmer), comfort, warmth, mobility; information about the ec2® Qwik-Dri™ fabric, size, size chart, laundering instructions, and the fabric blend composition. In addition, the following bullets were listed:

  • PERFORMANCE TECHNOLOGY
  • BODY ACTIVATED COMFORT
  • NOT TOO HOT, NOT TOO COLD
  • ALWAYS JUST RIGHT
This is not your father's long-handled underwear; but rather a high-tech baselayer bottoms. Listed features include:
  • 1 ¼ in (3.2 cm) exposed plush logo waistband with moisture-management
  • Fly front
  • No butt seam
  • Flatlock seam construction

Terramar's laundering instructions for the Thermolator II pant are:

  • Machine wash cold.
  • Wash dark colors separately.
  • Only non-chlorine bleach.
  • Tumble dry low.
  • Do not iron/steam or dry clean.
  • No fabric softener/dryer sheets.

Initial Impression:

Terramar Sizing Chart - bottoms
Men's (waist)
Small
Medium
Large
X Large
2 XL

28 - 30 in (71 - 76 cm)
32 - 34 in (81 - 86 cm)
36 - 38 in (91 - 97 cm)
40 - 42 in (102 - 107 cm)
44 - 46 in (112 - 117 cm)
Women's (waist)
Small [6-8]
Medium [10-12]
Large [12-14]
X Large [14-16]

26 - 28 in (66 - 71 cm)
28 - 30 in (71 - 76 cm)
31 - 33 in (79 - 84 cm)
35 - 37 in (89 - 94 cm)
Kid's (waist)
X Small [4-6]
Small [6-8]
Medium [10-12]
Large [14-16]
X Large [18]

21 - 22 in (53 - 56 cm)
22 - 23 in (56 - 58 cm)
24 - 25 in (61 - 64 cm)
26 - 27 in (66 - 69 cm)
28 in (71 cm)
When shopping online, I get really frustrated when I am unable to determine whether or not a product will fit me. Unfortunately, this was my experience when visiting the Terramar website. If only a size chart had been available, my experience with what is otherwise a very informative and easy to navigate website would have been a pleasure. Therefore, it is my hope, and suggestion, that Terramar include a sizing chart on its website. Had I not owned another Body Sensors product, I would have been left to guess which pant was the proper size for me. Therefore, I have included the sizing chart.

Although I requested an X Large pant, I received Large. Based on the sizing chart that accompanied the pant, I probably could have worn it. However, I did not try it on for fit. Rather, based on my experience with other Body Sensors products, I contacted Customer Service and explained that I been sent the wrong size. The lady I spoke with was very polite, and quickly collected my correct size and mailing information. She told me that the correct pant would be sent out right away. I was very pleased with the politeness and helpfulness of Terramar's customer service.

Two things caught my attention right away. First was the silky feel of the fabric. My dry hands did not catch on the fabric as I rubbed them over the pant. Second, although listed as a mid-weight baselayer, I like how lightweight the pant is. Testing will prove whether this lightweight pant truly performs as a midweight garment.

Initial Testing:

My initial testing consisted of examining the pant for noticeable manufacturing defects, feeling the fabric, and weighing it. There were no noticeable flaws in the fabric, seams (including what appear to be 4 needle 6 thread flatlock seams) and other stitching, and waistband. In fact, the pant appears to be of high quality materials and workmanship. Little touches, such as no butt seam, add to the overall quality. I really like the silky feel of the fabric--can't wait to get it next to my skin.

INITIAL LIKES INITIAL DISLIKES
  • style
  • lightweight
  • feel of fabric
  • none

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FIELD REPORT
March 16, 2010

Summary:

The bottom I received and reported on in the Initial Report was too small. However, Customer Service quickly rectified the problem and I was able to test the correct size without delay. Therefore, I have recorded the actual weight of the XL bottom and discussed its fit below in this Field Report.

During the Field Test phase, I wore the bottom approximately ten days. These included two overnight outings to Island Park, ID; one in mid-December, and one in mid-March. I also wore them on several urban snowshoe outings and a couple of days shoveling snow.

To date, the bottom has been extremely comfortable; provided warmth as a baselayer, even in the coldest of temperatures; and seems to wick moisture quite well. I have been extremely pleased thus far with the fit and performance of this baselayer bottom.

Likes Thus Far Dislikes Thus Far
  • fit
  • style
  • lightweight
  • breathability
  • feel of fabric
  • none

Product Specifications
Tester's Actual Measurements  
Weight: [X-Large] 6.5 oz (184 g)

Field Locations and Test Conditions:

In Snow I wore the bottom on an overnight outing to Island Park, ID with my sons' BSA Venturing Crew. The elevation was approximately 6,293 ft (1,918 m). As shown in the photo on the right, the sky was gray and overcast. Temperatures ranged from a high of 24 F (-4 C) to a low of 12 F (-11 C). On the second Island Park outing in mid-March, the overnight low was 3 F (-16 C) and the daytime high was 37 F (3 C).

I also wore the bottom on several urban snowshoe outings and shoveling snow during the test period. I wore the bottom with flannel-lined pants and softshell ski pants, based on the temperature. High temperatures were in the low 30s F (0 F) and the low temperature was -4 F (-20 C).

Observations:

Because the bottom I received initially was too small, I was unable to address fit in my Initial Report. However, a simple call to Terramar Customer Support resulted in a speedy delivery of the correct size. The bottom fits me well. The legs are a little long, but because of the snug fit of the fabric, the additional length poses no issue for me. The waistband fits nicely around my 38 in (97 cm) waist: not too tight, not too loose. Furthermore, the bottom does not have excess material in the seat area. The fabric inherently fits snugly. However, the bottom is not too snug.

I really like the silky feel of the fabric both next to my skin and underneath additional layers. Whether the temperature is hot or cold, I sweat. The ec2® Qwik-Dri™ fabric seems to wick moisture quite well even when worn snowshoeing. In addition to wicking moisture away from the skin, the fabric seems to dry quickly which is really nice.

The fabric this bottom is made from is a little thinner than that of other mid-weight baselayer bottoms I wear. However, the Thermolator II kept me plenty warm during physical activity, even at the coldest temperatures during this phase of the test. On the Island Park outing in mid-March, we spent a couple of hours shooting skeet. Even standing around in the near-freezing temperatures while we shot, the Thermolator II bottom kept my legs plenty warm.

The bottoms have been laundered several times, and are no worse for the wear. To date, I have not noticed any pilling, loose threads, or other issues in either the fabric or the workmanship of this high-tech baselayer bottom.

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LONG TERM REPORT
May 11, 2010

Summary:

During this final test phase, I wore the pant eight additional days. It has been extremely comfortable; provided warmth as a baselayer; and seems to wick moisture quite well. I have been extremely pleased with the fit and performance of this baselayer pant.

This will continue to be a go-to work horse for me in colder temperatures.

Likes Dislikes
  • fit
  • style
  • lightweight
  • breathability
  • feel of fabric
  • none

Field Locations and Test Conditions:

I wore the pant on a day hike in Hell's Half Acre National Landmark. The elevation is approximately 5,300 ft (1,615 m) above sea level. I also wore the pant on several bike rides near my home. The temperature ranged between 22 F (-6 C) to 56 F (13 C). In addition, there were winds of up to 35 MPH (56 KPH) mainly from the west.

I also wore the Thermolator II top and pant May 7 - 8th on our Boy Scout Council's Jamboral; an overnight campout with nearly 6,000 Scouters celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America. I wore the pant Friday night after dinner, to sleep in, and then for a few hours Saturday morning. The overnight temperature was 17 F (-8 C).

Observations:

For the most part, temperatures during this phase were warmer than those during the previous phase so my use was somewhat limited. However, I was able to wear the pant under wind/rain pants on several bike rides. I also wore them under hiking pants on my day hike in Hell's Half Acre. I continue to be pleased with how quickly the ec2® Qwik-Dri™ fabric dries after wicking the sweat away from my body.

I really like sleeping in the Thermolator II and its associated top. The silky feel of the fabric makes moving inside the sleeping bag easy. Additionally, they provide adequate warmth. Wearing the Thermolator II and medium-weight merino wool socks kept me plenty warm inside my mummy bag the night it dropped to 17 F (-8 C).

I am quite pleased with the overall performance of this pant. During this test series, the Terramar Thermolator II pant performed as well as my more much more expensive medium-weight baselayer pant. High quality and high tech performance from a modestly-priced garment is very refreshing.

The pant remains in great shape; one minor loose thread, no fraying material, and no significant pilling. This will continue to be a go-to work horse for me in colder temperatures.


This concludes my Test Series. Thanks to Terramar and
BackpackGearTest for allowing me to test this baselayer pant.

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