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Reviews > Clothing > Underwear > Terramar Therma TX Silk and Wool Bottom > Test Report by Andrew Buskov

Pants Front
Terramar Therma TX2
Silk 'n' Wool Pant

Terramar's all-natural, two layer, medium weight insulating layer system.
Andrew Buskov
Initial Report: December 5, 2009
Field Report: March 9, 2010
Long Term Report: May 9, 2010


Tester Biographical Information

Name: Andrew Buskov
Age: 34
Gender: Male
Height: 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Weight: 223 lbs (101 kg)
Waist: 38 in (97 cm)
Email: Rescue(at)Corridor9(dot)net
City, State Zip Madisonville, Kentucky  USA

Backpacking Background:

I’ve been backpacking for years now, and have slowly started developing my ideal style. I’ve gotten my pack weight down to roughly 25 – 30 lbs (11 – 14 kg) before water, and am whittling it down every hike. Day hiking is nice, but getting out over multiple nights is really what I enjoy. I like to take my time and enjoy the scenery as opposed to hiking hard. I also like being comfortable and insist on an air mattress. I usually tent or hammock, but stay in shelters when needed.

Product Information:

Item: Therma TX2 Silk 'n' Wool Pant
Manufacturer: Terramar
Website http://www.terramarsports.com
Year of Manufacture: 2009
MSRP: N/A
Listed Weight: N/A
Actual Weight: 6.7 oz (190 g)
Available Color: Black
Size Tested:L
Sizes Available:S - 2XL

Product Overview:

The Therma TX2 Silk 'n' Wool Pants are part of Terramar's Thermawool line of insulated long underwear. They are comprised of two layers, wool and silk, that are sewn together using construction knit technology. This traps a layer of air between the silk and wool, creating a thermal barrier without bulk. With a 1 1/4 in (3.17 cm) plush waistband with moisture management, fly front, full-length inseam gusset, 1x1 rib cuff, and flatlock seam construction, the TX2 Silk 'n' Wool bottoms are designed for comfort as well as functionality.

(From Website)
Fabric Features: Unique Two-layer Fabric Layer System, Outer Layer 100% Super Soft Mercerized Merino Wool, Inner Layer 100% Super Soft Filament Silk, Fabric Weight: 150 grams 4.5 oz, UPF Rating 50+

Pant Logo

Initial Impression:

The TX2 Silk 'n' Wool Pants arrived at my door in complete condition and without any obvious rips, tears, or other deformities. They were packaged in a retail display box that included information about the material, guarantee against defects for one year, sizing chart, as well as washing instructions. I removed the pants from the box and weighed them prior to trying them on. I immediately noticed the level of comfort they provided as opposed to my regular Nomex blend thermal underwear. They were definitely comfortable and smooth.

A few of the things I noticed right off when I slipped into the TX2 pants were the length and fit. I usually like to get my thermal underwear pants a bit tight as opposed to having them too loose. I hate feeling like I have a bundle of cloth around my hips and crotch as I'm walking or hiking. I'd much prefer they fit on the snug side. However, I found with the TX2 pants, they fit just right. Even though I'd ordered my usual size in base layer pants, I didn't feel like I was slipping into Spandex undies. They were comfortable in all the right spots and were able to give when I stretched or bent.

The length to the ankle cuff was just right. Once again, because I purchase a smaller base layer size for fit, I usually have to deal with them being on the short side. As with the fit, the length was spot on as well. The cuff hit my ankle with just a bit of extra length to spare. It didn't feel too tight around my lower leg either thus letting the circulation flow freely, a problem I have with some of my other base layers.

The waistband wasn't too tight, but was snug. There was plenty of stretch to it and I was comfortable throughout the entire time I was wearing these. All seams are sewn flat, which is nice as I really don't want to have blisters on my hips, waist, or crotch area while walking. Having a full length gusseted crotch means that the seams shouldn't rub at all as they sit a bit forward and rear of  midline.
Frilling Seam
I did notice a bit of frilling on the inside where some of the seams are sewn together. The frilling was short prior to wear and washing. However, while a bit of frilling is expected, the length of the frill is a bit concerning. At over 6 in (15 cm) in length, the crotch area seems to be wearing unevenly after just one wash. This is something I'll definitely keep an eye on throughout the life of the test.

On the hang tag that came with the shirt there is a catch phrase: "Soft to the Touch, Warm to the Feel, Not Too Hot, Not Too Cold, Always Just Right". I have to say that I agree completely with this phrase so far. As a test one night, I decided to wear these to bed since it was a bit cold in the house 66 F (19 C). I normally just wear some boxers to bed and sleep under a sheet and quilted blanket. As I lay there in the Silk 'n' Wool outfit, I felt completely comfortable even though I didn't have the blanket thrown over me. Because I'm not used to sleeping this way though, I woke up the next morning wrapped up in my blanket and sheet. However, much to my surprise, I wasn't soaking wet from sweat, nor was I burning up in any way. I was completely comfortable! The shirt breathed the way it was supposed to and let my body regulate temperature all night. Such a wonderful feeling waking up warm and refreshed.

In all, I'm very pleased with the fit, feel, and comfort I've experienced while wearing the Terramar Therma TX2 Silk 'n' Wool Pants.

Field Report: March 9, 2010

Field Conditions:

During this testing phase I wore the Terramar Therma TX2 Silk 'n' Wool Pants 10 times. While a few of the uses were on the three day hikes I took in two different recreational areas in Western Kentucky, a majority of the usage was around town during some of the snowy weather we've received this winter. We've received a couple of big snow falls so far and are looking for more. Big for us is 6+ in (15+ cm) at any one time, but I guess that's what I get for living in Kentucky instead of Colorado. Temperatures that I experienced during the day hikes ranged from 35 - 55 F (2 - 13 C), but overall temperatures that I've worn the pants in has been between 2 - 60 F ( -17 - 16 C).  All day hikes were during overcast skies, but only one day hike had any precipitation: a bit of misty fog. 

Performance:

Over the past few months, I've been able to wear the Terramar Therma TX2 Silk 'n' Wool Pants on many occasions. As with the any set of long underwear, the majority of its usage has been outside in cold, windy, wet, and often snowy weather. Over the life of the testing period they have remained exceptionally comfortable and warm. As with the Silk 'n' Wool Crew shirt, I found wearing these pants to be much more comfortable than any other pair of  long underwear that I have.

In addition to  wearing this pair of long underwear out into the cold environments, I have also used it as sleepwear over the past few months.  Due to the fact that my bed is nestled right next to a window on the far side of the house from the heating unit, it's often drafty and cold when I go to bed. I am forced to either endure the cold or pay outrageous gas bills during the winter months. I've worn the Silk 'n' Wool Pants during the night and they've kept me warm and comfortable all night long. Because they perform so well at warming, I found myself taking them off in the middle of the night much more often than I did the Silk 'n' Wool Crew. This worked out well because by that time I was tired of feeling constrained by them. Don't get me wrong, they didn't at all feel tight or restrict my movement during the night; I simply don't like wearing any type of pants while sleeping.

While I've noticed that the pants tends to soak up perspiration quite easily, I've not noticed any sort of active cooling effect because of this. However, but I did feel cold on a couple of occasions due the lack of wicking away from my skin, but this is to be expected from any sweat soaked clothing. This was really only noticeable on the lower half of my legs when the Silk 'n' Wool pants got wet while tromping and sledding in the snow.

These didn't see as much wash time as the Silk 'n' Wool Crew shirt did though as I don't tend to wear them as often but I ended up washing them 8 or more times during this testing phase. The seam that is frayed in the picture above still looks roughly the same with only a bit more material poking out. It doesn't appear to have lost any strength in the seam. I'll continue to keep an eye on this during the LTR phase.

One of the things that I noticed with the Silk 'n' Wool Crew was also a problem with the Silk 'n' Wool Pants: the material tends to stretch out quite a bit. I found that the seat of the pants area is stretching and getting bigger over the life of the test. While some stretching would be okay if the pants reverted back during washing, the amount of material has at least once been a problem when wearing a pair of jeans. It felt like I had a diaper on; definitely not a feeling I enjoyed while running errands around town. While the extra material hasn't stopped me from wearing the Silk 'n' Wool Pants, I have restricted their use to certain pants versus others.

Long Term Report: May 9, 2010

Field Conditions:

I was able to wear the Terramar Therma TX2 Silk 'n' Wool pants only two times during this testing phase. Each time these were worn to bed the temperatures at night were around 40 F (4 C) outside with temps hovering around 68 F (20 C) inside. These two nights were the only time that I was even able to test these pants without sweating profusely. The remaining times during the spring season, the temperatures were well above comfortable limits for the pants.

Summary:

In all I've had the opportunity to use the Terramar Therma TX2 Silk 'n' Wool pants a total of roughly 12 - 15 times. They were used during a variety of temperatures and weather conditions, and kept me quite warm on a number of occasions. I found over the life of the test that they will comfortably warm down to roughly 5 F (-15 C) with just a few layers of clothing on top. I also found that they are uncomfortable to wear above 55 F (12 C) while doing any activity. However, I did find that they were comfortable up to roughly 68 F (20 C) during sleep times when I wasn't overly active and generating heat.

The seams of the garment are still intact, as they were with the last testing phase. They have a bit more frill to them, but they are in no way in jeopardy of coming apart as I was concerned with during the Initial Report phase. The elastic is still quite pliable, and has retained its shape even after repeated washings. There is no elastic frill from the band visible, and no other degradation seen throughout the entire garment. The garment has held up quite nicely over the life of the test. Unlike the collar of the shirt that I am also testing, I found that the bottom of the pants did not stretch at all. This was quite welcome since losing the elasticity often leads to the cuff rising up my calves and becoming uncomfortable.

I attribute the cooling from the perspiration to the lack of work during resting times that I took while hiking. As mentioned previously there was no sort of active cooling, it was all cooling from a buildup of perspiration and lack of movement. While this was a bit uncomfortable at times, I never felt overly cold or wet. They were quick to dry during most occasions though and thus weren't uncomfortable for any extended period of time.

As I mentioned with the top, I have found that the pants have now developed a tendency to hold smells more easily than when I first received them. I found this especially true after the last time I wore these. During that night, I was tossing and turning and woke up rather drenched in sweat. When I woke up in the morning, I had a bit more of an odor than when I went to bed the night before. While it wasn't something that I would have thought much about while out hiking, it was a bit of a problem when lying next to my wife all night.

In all though, I am pleased with the comfort, fit, and quality of the Terramar Therma TX2 Silk 'n' Wool pants. They have kept me warm during cold dayhikes and have provided me that little extra bit of warmth during those chilly nights. I foresee these pants being a regular part of my cold weather hiking and sleeping gear.

I'd like to thank Terramar and BackpackGearTest.org for allowing me the opportunity to test the Therma TX2 Silk 'n' Wool pants.





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Reviews > Clothing > Underwear > Terramar Therma TX Silk and Wool Bottom > Test Report by Andrew Buskov



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