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Reviews > Clothing > Underwear > Terramar Sports Thermolator Top > Test Report by Jeff Ruhle

TERRAMAR SPORTS THERMOLATOR TOP
TEST SERIES BY JEFF RUHLE
LONG-TERM REPORT

INITIAL REPORT - December 13, 2009
FIELD REPORT - March 08, 2010
LONG TERM REPORT - April 22, 2010

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Jeff Ruhle
EMAIL: jjruhle@madski.com
AGE: 23
LOCATION: Waterville, Maine, USA
GENDER: m
HEIGHT: 6' 3" (1.90 m)
WEIGHT: 175 lb (79.40 kg)

I developed a love for backpacking while spending the semester abroad in New Zealand. I enjoy playing games and seeing how little I can pack to keep my pack light, however, I always pack a lot of food. My favorite terrain is steep, rugged, alpine terrain with more vertical and less horizontal. Living in New England, I find a lot of this terrain since the trail makers don't seem to make many switchbacks. I also am highly involved with a large number of other outdoor activities like skiing, kayaking, climbing, and biking. Generally, I like to push my comfort zone.


INITIAL REPORT

PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS

IMAGE 1
Packaging
Manufacturer: Terramar Sports Inc.
Year of Manufacture: 2009
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.terramarsports.com/
MSRP: Unavailable
Measured Weight: 7 oz (200 g)
Size: Medium
Color: Black with pewter stich
Other details (taken from Manufacturer's website):
* Crew with mesh insert at neck
* Set-in sleeves
* SVZ Strategic Ventilation Zone Panel Back
* Drop contoured back panel for performance fit
* Functional thumbholes
* Contrast flatlock seam construction
Fabric Features: 86% Micro-Polyester 14% Spandex, Two Fabric Jersey and Mesh Construction, ec2® Qwik-Dri™ Thermoregulation Comfort Technology, Anti-microbial, Fabric Weight: 180 grams 5.36 oz, UPF Rating 25+

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

IMAGE 2
Front
The Terramar Sports Thermolator Top (herein will be referred to as the top) came nicely packaged in a box with the sizes and corresponding measurements nicely outlined on the back. I have taken a picture to show the front of the package.

The material itself seems pretty nice, soft and silky with plenty of stretch in all directions. It has a mesh panel in the back that seems to outline my scapula. From the picture, it is hard to tell that the fabric is mesh, but there is an outline of where the mesh fabric is due to the lighter stitching color. The stitching itself seems well done and I can barely feel it while wearing the top. Around the chest it is a little tight, but provides no compression down the arms or below my pectoral muscles.

IMAGE 3
Back
It also features two thumb holes that help keep the sleeves put when throwing on one of my outer layers. and gloves. This will probably be a big help in keeping cold drafts from my wrists on those cold, windy days.

Unfortunately, there is not a whole lot more to say. It is a pretty simple item, and I cannot comment yet as to how it performs during activity.

SUMMARY

The Terramar Sports Thermolator Top seems to be a pretty solid base layer and is just what I had expected adter looking at their website. I generally prefer a little more compression, but if it wicks as well as the packages says it does, it will definitely be taken on trips frequently.

This concludes my Initial Report, and I would like to thank BackpackGearTest.com and Terramar for the oportunity to test this garment. Please tune back in in two months time for my Field Report.


FIELD REPORT

FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

This long underwear top has gotten the most use on the slopes of Winter Park Resort while I am downhill skiing. I probably wear it at least once a week. It has been used in temperatures from sub-zero (-17.77 C) to mid-thirties (1.67 C) and weather from snowy to bluebird skies.

It was also used on a day trip up Byers Peak. That day the weather was partly cloudy with temperatures in the 20s (-6 C). The trail taken was fairly strenuous and exposed past tree line.

Lastly, the top was used for a day of cross country skiing. The skies were bluebird with temperatures in the low 30s (-1 C)). The trail was fairly flat, with a few small hills.

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

I am very pleased with the way this top performed. The fabric is very soft and comfortable. It could, however, be a little tighter. I prefer something with a little more compression. The garment's moisture wicking ability seems exceptional. I often seem to have very damp armpits, however, I don't remember noticing this with the Thermolator. The fact that I didn't notice anything must be a good sign. And lastly, the garment seems to be quite well designed, with a mesh panel placed in the center part of the upper back (allowing for better breathability) and thumb holes so that I do not need to hold the sleeves down while putting on outer layers.

SUMMARY

Things I like:
-Appropriately placed mesh back panel
-Soft, comfortable fabric
-Thumb holes

Things I don't like:
-Lack of compression


LONG-TERM REPORT

LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

It still stands that this long underwear top has gotten the most use on the slopes of Winter Park Resort. I probably wear it at least once a week. It has been used in temperatures from subzero (-17.77 C) to mid-thirties (1.67 C) and weather from snowy to bluebird skies.

As the weather got warmer, however, I managed to get the bike out and take a trip down to the front range. Apparently the bluebird skies and 60 degree (15.56 C) weather prompted everyone to start bike season on the same day, because the Green Mountain and Morrison loops were very crowded. Due to the throngs of people, I couldn't quite get going as fast, but probably for the better since I haven't used a lot of those muscle groups since early last fall.

Also, following the ski season, I took a trip down to Utah and Arizona to hike the Paria River Canyon and Buckskin Gulch, as well as explore many of the area's slot canyons. The weather was actually much colder than I expected, hovering around 60 degrees (15.56 C) with fairly constant winds and very low humidity. One of the days was cloudy and the rest were sunny, however, often the sun remained out of view behind the rim of the canyon leaving us in the shade.

There were several days after the Paria Canyon trip that I spent exploring the slot canyons in the Escalante-Grand Staircase region. For the days the weather was much warmer. The temperatures were generally around 80 degrees (26.67 C) and all were blue skies with very few clouds. Being a desert region, there was very low humidity.

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

As most of the use this garment received was on the ski slopes, all my comments from the Field Report still hold true. However, the use for biking led to a few other insights and I will comment briefly on the garment's durability.

As I was biking in the bright sunshine, I found myself wishing I had not worn the garment. It is not that I was overheating, the top is actually very light. I think it is just a comfort thing for me. There is something to be said for feeling the wind whip past you and the sun on your skin. However, the top does seem to block the sun pretty well, be it good or bad. All the exposed parts of my body, particularly my nose, were various shades of red that night. But, the top kept the parts of my torso that it covered from burning.

In the canyons, the top really performed well. During the day while hiking, the pack did a great job of keeping the sun off me, although it was black so it did make me a little toasty at times. The best benefit it provided, however, was keeping the backpack straps from chaffing my shoulders. Wearing a regular cotton t-shirt for two days in a row, I woke up with very sore shoulders. After wearing this for two days, the soft fabric had much improved the situation. Usually I don't sleep wearing clothing, but the top was soft enough that it didn't bother me one bit. In addition, it kept my skin from sticking to the nylon of the sleeping bag when I overheated and started to sweat.

Now, on to durability. Since I have had it, I have probably washed the top around a dozen times. It seems to be maintaining its elasticity without any problems. Normally the first spot to go on my elastic underwear tops is the top of the shoulders. It must be a fairly high stress point, not improved by carrying skis on the same spot all the time. The shoulders of this top seem to be holding out though.

SUMMARY

Things I like:
-Appropriately placed mesh back panel
-Soft, comfortable fabric
-Thumb holes
-Provides some degree of sun protection
-Provides additional comfort in a sleeping bag

Things I don't like:
-Lack of compression
-The way it feels while biking.

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5 Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.

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