Terramar Body-Sensors - Thermolator II Shirt
TEST SERIES BY JERRY ADAMS
INITIAL REPORT - December 12, 2009
FIELD REPORT - March 01, 2010
LONG TERM REPORT - April 30, 2010
Portland, Oregon, USA
6' 1" (1.85 m)
190 lb (86.20 kg)
Backpacking Background: I started hiking about 45 years ago. My first backpack was 40 years ago. I currently try to do one backpack trip of 1 to 5 nights every month (which can be tricky in the winter). Mostly I stay around Mount Hood, Columbia Gorge, Mount Adams, Goat Rocks, and the Olympic Peninsula. In recent years I have shifted to lightweight - my pack weight without food and water is about 15 lb (7 kg). I make a lot of my own gear - silnylon tarp-tent, bivy, synthetic bag, simple bag style pack. My sleeping pad is a Therm-a-Rest air mattress.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Manufacturer: Terramar Sports Inc.
Year of Manufacture: 2009
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.terramarsports.com/
Listed Weight: 180 g (5.36 oz)
Measured Weight: 7.75 oz (220 g)
The Thermolator II top is a 86% polyester and 14% spandex long underwear top. The polyester is microfilament yarn to make it more comfortable against the skin.
It stretches in 360 degrees. It wicks perspiration. It is anti-microbial. It has a UPF 25+ rating.
It's colored black. The seams are sewed with a lighter colored thread in a complicated zigzag stitch designed to allow the fabric to stretch without being hampered by the thread which isn't stretchy.
On the back, there is a panel of mesh material which feels like the rest of the fabric, except there are holes spaced at about 1/8 inch (3 mm).
I got the "Crew" version with no zipper. They also make a "Half Zip" version that has a zipper on the front that goes down part way. This would probably help to reduce heating without having to take off the shirt completely.
Front - you can see the thumb holes at the wrists:
Back - you can see where the mesh back panel is:
There are these holes near the end of the sleeves I can put my thumbs through and get some warmth for my hands:
This is exactly what I expected, based on what I saw on the Terramar website.
I requested size L but got size XL. My chest is about 42 inches (107 cm) which is the bottom of the range specified for size L. The size XL that I got fits fine, probably just a bit loose which is fine with me.
I did a close-up inspection - all the fabric and seams were good.
I wore it around the house all day. It felt comfortable.
I have a long torso and long arms. The top was long enough. The sleeves were long enough that I could put my thumbs through the thumb holes to provide hand warmth.
I went outside a few times (it's right at freezing) and the top provided some warmth, it felt good.
So far so good.
I'm looking forward to testing these on a number of trips over the next four months. This should include some cold trips to test warmth, and some good exercise to test moisture wicking.
Thanks to Terramar and backpackgeartest.org for letting me test these.
Look forward to the Field Report in about two months.
FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
12/13 - 5 mile (8 km) 1.5 hour brisk walk, 38 F (3 C), a little sweaty.
12/14 - 4.5 mile (7 km) 1.25 hour brisk walk, 42 F (6 C), a little sweaty.
1/13/2010 - 4 night backpack on the Deschutes River in Central Northern Oregon. 35 to 45 F (2 to 7 C). 25 miles (40 km). 1000 feet (300 m) elevation gain. Wore it while hiking and overnight in sleeping bag.
1/27 - 7 mile (11 km) day hike up Dog Mountain in Southern central Washington state. 35 to 45 F (2 to 7 C). 2800 feet (850 m) elevation gain. Got sweaty, but didn't feel too uncomfortable and dried off pretty quickly when I was done.
2/1/2010 - 20 mile (32 km) 4 night backpack up Siouxon Creek in central Southern Washington state. 35 to 45 F (2 to 7 C). 1500 feet (450 m) elevation. Wore it the entire time. There were rain showers and I got sweaty occasionally so it got damp and then dried out several times.
2/16/2010 - 30 mile (48 km) 6 night backpack on Zigzag Mountain and Ramona Falls in Northern Oregon state. 22 to 45 F (-6 to 7 C). 2000 to 4600 feet (600 to 1400 m) elevation gain. Wore it the entire time except a couple hours of uphill backpacking. Thumbholes were really useful for keeping hands warm.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
The Terramar Thermolator Shirt is a nice long underwear.
For most of my testing I wore the shirt by itself during the day and put on an insulated vest and jacket during the evening:
The fabric was comfortable against the skin. The fabric and seams weren't scratchy or anything.
The fabric was slippery against outer clothing layers. If the outer layer sticked against the base layer then it would constrict my movement.
The shirt provided the warmth I expected. I wore just the base layer while backpacking at 35 to 45 F (2 to 7 C). It added warmth when in camp and overnight in my sleeping bag.
It dried out quickly when it got a little damp from sweat.
After wearing it all the time for 4 or 6 days, it smelled a little but not too bad.
I don't know about wicking capability. It seems like I should remove clothes to avoid sweating. If the clothes get wet, it doesn't matter if the water wicks outward, it still takes heat to evaporate it. It's nice that the Thermolators don't absorb a lot of water and dry out quickly.
I liked that the sleeves rolled up comfortably. This allows cooling off some without having to remove the shirt completely:
I found the thumbholes really useful when it got cold. They kept my hands warm without having to wear gloves. The fingers were free to do stuff. I put them in my pockets when not doing something.
The Terramar Thermolator Shirt met my expectations.
Felt comfortable against skin.
Fairly low weight.
Kept me as warm as expected for a base layer.
Thumbholes kept my hands warm. I didn't need gloves.
Didn't absorb a lot of water and dried out quickly.
Any odor was minimal.
Outer layers easily slipped over base layer.
No front zipper or button opening. With a zipper or button front shirt, there's a little more flexibility in regulating heat to avoid sweating without having to take the shirt off.
I will continue using the shirt for a number of backpacking trips in the Long Term Test period. Look forward to my report in about 2 months.
Thanks to Terramar and backpackgeartest.org for letting me test the Thermolator shirt.
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
On 3/14/2010 I did a 6 night 36 mile (58 km) backpack down the Rogue River in Southern Oregon. Temperatures were 35 to 65 F (2 to 18 C). I wore it all the time except during the day when I was backpacking when I wore no shirt.
On 4/12/2010 I did a 5 night car camp on the central Oregon coast I did 25 miles (40 km) of day hiking. Temperatures were 34 to 57 F (1 to 14 C). I wore Terramars the whole time including at night.
On 4/22/2010 I did a 3 night backpack and 2 day car camp on the Metolius River in central Oregon. The backpack was 25 miles (40 km) and the day hike was 8 miles (13 km). The temperatures were 28 to 65 F (-2 to 18 C). I wore the shirt in the evening under another shirt.
In the Field Report and Long Term Report periods, I wore the Terramar shirt for 23 nights of backpacking, 7 nights of car camping, and 3 day hikes. I washed it 8 times. I walked a total of 150 miles (242 km). Temperatures ranged from 22 to 65 F (-6 to 18 C).
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
Overall, I was satisfied with this shirt. I have little new to add to what I reported in the Field Report.
I think the application best suited to this shirt is as a base layer in cold weather. It is fairly light weight. The shirt provided some nice warmth. The shirt didn't smell too bad after 4, 5 and 6 day trips.
I did most of my testing in a littler warmer weather, wearing the shirt by itself during the day and under an insulated vest in my sleeping bag at night.
My only complaint is that there is no collar to keep my neck warm and keep the sun off my neck, and there's no opening on the front to regulate temperature when it gets a little warm. Terramar makes a number of shirts with these features.
At the end of the test I looked the shirt over very thoroughly and didn't notice any signs of wear.
Overall, I am very pleased with the Terramar Body Sensors Thermolator II shirt as a base layer in cold weather.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5
Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.
Good and Bad are the same as in the Field Report.
One thing I didn't mention before was that a collar would be nice for warmth and sun protection, but Terramar does have other shirts with collars.
I will continue to use the Terramar shirt in cold weather when I won't need to open the front and when I will wear other layers that have collars.
Thanks to Terramar and backpackgeartest.org for letting me test this shirt.
Read more reviews of Terramar gear
Read more gear reviews by jerry adams