TERRAMAR THERMA TX2 SILK 'N' WOOL PANTS
TEST SERIES BY NANCY GRIFFITH
INITIAL REPORT - December 24, 2009
FIELD REPORT - March 08, 2010
LONG TERM REPORT - May 02, 2010
Northern California, USA
5' 6" (1.68 m)
130 lb (59.00 kg)
My outdoor experience began in high school with involvement in a local canoeing/camping group called Canoe Trails. The culmination was a 10-day canoe voyage through the Quebec wilds. I've been backpacking since my college days in Pennsylvania. I have completed all of the Appalachian Trail in Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina. My typical trip now is in the Sierra Nevada in California and is from a few days to a week long. I carry a light to mid-weight load, use a tent, stove and hiking poles.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
|Photo courtesy of Terramar website|
Manufacturer: Terramar Sports Inc.
Year of Manufacture: 2009
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.terramarsports.com
MSRP: Not Listed
Listed Weight: Not Listed
Measured Weight: 5.5 oz (155 g)
Size Tested: Women's Medium
Also Available in S, L, XL and in Men's S - 2XL
Color Tested: Black (no other colors available)
Made in China
From the Terramar website:
"This all-natural two-layer combines 100% mercerized Merino wool and luxurious body insulating soft pure silk. Two-layer construction knit technology traps an insulating layer of air between the fabric - creating a formidable thermal barrier without the bulk."
"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+"
The sun protection rating seems a bit funny to me since I cannot imagine wearing these as a lone layer out in the sun.
The Terramar Therma TX2 Silk 'n' Wool pants are a thermal base layer with two layers of fabric. The inner layer is 100% silk and the outer layer is 100% merino wool. This construction is said to trap warmth between the layers and act as an insulating layer to create warmth without bulk. The wool is stated as mercerized, which means that it has been chemically treated to create a lustrous appearance, strength, affinity to dye, resistance to mildew but also increases affinity to lint.
The pants have a 1-1/4" (3 cm) scallop plush waistband with moisture-management. The 1x1 rib cuffs are approximately 2-1/4" (6 cm) long. 1x1 rib means that the width of each rib is the same as the width between ribs. This helps the garment retain its elasticity. The inseam is approximately 31" (79 cm).
The seams are a flatlock seam construction which means that the material is butted together at the seam rather than overlapped. This construction allows for a completely flat seam area to prevent chafing.
The Therma TX2 series is listed as medium weight (warmer) versus their other choices of lightweight (warm) and heavyweight (warmest).
INITIAL IMPRESSIONS & TRYING THEM OUT
My initial impression was of the soft yet sturdy feel of the fabric. I normally wear lightweight silk thermals and really appreciate the heavier weight and solid feel of this fabric. The two-layer construction does not feel in any way like two separate layers--the fabric feels like one single layer.
I have a couple of pairs of silk thermal pants that are becoming full of runs from use. I believe that rough patches on my feet cause some of it. Also, my legs are long for my height, so regular length pants are always short on me. This causes me to stretch my thermal pants as I pull them on which probably also causes some runs. I'm looking forward to testing whether these pants perform better.
I tried them on and liked the fit. Overall I'd have to say that they are true to size per their sizing chart which lists Medium as 28-30 in (71 - 76 cm) waist. They do not list a length. I should note that I found the sizing chart on the hang tag and did not see one on the website. They seem just long enough but are only slightly longer than my other thermals. While snowshoeing, I have a problem with my base layer pants pulling out of the top of my mid-height socks. This is uncomfortable especially in the coldest weather. I'm not sure if silk/wool will shrink so I'll monitor that through washings.
The waistband is wide and comfortable (more so than my other thermals). The material is slightly stretchy so I had no problems with my feet getting stuck as they slid in. The material slid easily over my skin and didn't catch as I put them on.
I don't wear wool very often since my skin gets very itchy if/when my wool sweater directly touches my skin. However, with the silk inner layer, I wanted to see if wool would work better for me. So I'm interested to see whether they cause any itching. I did not experience any itching on this initial try out.
I noticed that Terramar takes advantage of having similar products and saves costs by using the exact same tag, box (with different label) and hang tag as the half-zip top.
READING THE INSTRUCTIONS
The washing instructions are:
Machine wash cold water
Do not bleach
Recommend to lay flat to dry
Do not iron
The Terramar Therma TX2 Silk 'n' Wool Pants so far seem to be a comfortable set of thermal bottoms. They are well-constructed and feel like a solid base layer.
Likes So far:
Some Things I'll be monitoring:
Do the cuffs stay put or slide up my leg?
Does the length shrink?
How do they hold up after multiple washings?
Do I find the wool to be itchy?
FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
Over the Field Testing period, I wore the thermal pants for one 3-day backpacking trip, 2 pre-dawn runs and 8 snowshoe outings. I washed them approximately 5 times.
For running, I wore them as my sole layer. For snowshoeing, I wore them with waterproof shell pants. On the backpacking trip, I wore them in camp under my hiking pants and at night as a sole layer.
Some examples of usage conditions:
Point Reyes National Seashore, California: 3 days; 0 to 1,407 ft (429 m); 40 to 55 F (4 to 13 C); partly cloudy to heavy rainstorm conditions
Loon Lake, Van Vleck Trail, Sierra Nevada, California; 6 mi (10 km); 6,327 to 7,000 ft (1,928 to 2,134 m); 28 to 35 F (-2 to 2 C); Cloudy to snowy conditions
Loon Lake, Bert's Lake & Chipmunk Bluff Trails, Sierra Nevada, California; 5 mi (8 km); 6,327 to 6,700 ft (1,928 to 2,042 m); 23 to 43 F (-5 to 6 C); Sunny conditions
Becker Peak, Sierra Nevada, California; 3.5 mi (5.6 km); 7,320 to 8,325 ft (2,231 to 2,537 m); 29 F (-2 C); Variable conditions from clear sunny patches to snow with windy conditions at times
Dewey Point, Yosemite National Park, California; 8 mi (12.6 km); 7,250 to 7,385 ft (2,210 to 2,251 m); 29 to 43 F (-2 to 6 C); Clear conditions
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
The length of the pants is long enough that I have not had problems with them pulling up over my socks during strenuous activity. The stretch of the fabric also seems to allow my knees to bend (and the fabric to stretch) without pulling the cuffs up. I notice that after wearing them, the knees are bulged out. But that goes away with washing.
The fabric has a really cozy feel to it. I like the weight of the fabric and find it to be just right: not too warm or heavy and not too thin. When I remove my shell pants at home after a snowshoeing trip, the thermal pants feel comfortable and warm. If I run my hand over my legs, I can feel a nice amount of warmth.
My skin is sensitive to wool and gets red and itchy if I have a wool sweater in contact with my skin. Although this fabric is wool on the outer layer, I have had no issues with itching.
The durability of the pants seems fine so far. The waistband elastic works well. The cuffs are in good condition and still have good elasticity. The fabric is holding up just fine but it does attract lint. This isn't a big deal since I typically have other pants over top.
After multiple washings, the pants are holding up well and have not seemed to shrink. I always washed them in cold water on regular or gentle cycle and dried them by laying them flat on a large terry cloth towel. I didn't seem to get them into the wash between every wearing, so there were times that I probably wore them two or three times before washing. I never noticed any foul odor and was really pleased as to how well they resisted odor despite multiple uses in strenuous conditions.
The Terramar Therma TX2 Silk 'n' Wool Pants so far seem to be comfortable and functional thermal bottoms.
Things I Like:
Things I dislike:
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
Over the Long-Term Testing period, I wore the thermal pants for 8 nights of car camping, two overnight backpacking trips, 2 snowshoe hikes and 3 morning runs. I washed them an additional 6 times.
For car camping and backpacking, I wore the pants in camp under my hiking pants and for sleeping. For running I wore them as my sole layer. For snowshoeing, I wore them with rain pants.
Some examples of usage conditions:
Joshua Tree National Park, Southern California: 4 nights; 1,800 to 3,800 ft (549 to 1,158 m); 40 to 45 F (4 to 7 C); dry conditions with one night of high winds
Pinnacles National Monument, Central California: 1 night; 1,260 ft (384 m); 40 to 45 F (4 to 7 C); dry conditions with heavy dew
Montana de Oro State Park, Central California Coast: 1 night; 180 ft (55 m); 45 F (7 C); dry conditions
Joshua Tree National Park, Southern California: 1 night; 4,500 ft (1,372 m); 40 to 45 F (4 to 7 C); dry conditions with light wind
Loon Lake, Sierra Nevada, California: 1 night; 6,500 ft (1,981 m); 28 to 50 F (-4 to 10 C); clear conditions on 7 to 8 feet (2.1 to 2.4 m) of snow
Strawberry Ridge, Sierra Nevada, California; 4.2 mi (6.8 km); 5,600 to 6,500 ft (1,700 to 1,980 m); 30 to 40 F (-1 to 4 C); clear conditions
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
After multiple washings, the length of the pants seems to be shrinking. I tumble dried them on extra low a couple of times just because I got tired of having to dry them flat on a towel. I'm not sure if using the dryer caused it or not. However, I still have not had any problem with the cuffs pulling out of my socks while snowshoeing. They seem to stretch enough to stay in place during use.
I washed them once by hand and noticed quite a bit of dark color come out in the water. The pants had been machine-washed several times prior to this, so I was surprised that any color would still come out. It made me glad that I have always washed these with like colors.
The pants get stretched out during use. The knees get baggy but it hasn't caused any problem with fit beneath my rain pants.
The fabric is still soft and if anything is becoming softer after many washings. It is holding up just fine. The waistband has no noticeable change in elasticity.
I wore the thermal pants many times for sleeping and found them to keep me warm and to breathe well. I didn't get overheated and was very comfortable.
The Terramar Therma TX2 Silk 'n' Wool Pants are a comfortable and functional pair of thermal bottoms.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5
Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.
Things I Like:
Things I dislike:
Attracts lint (but not a big factor with pants)
Length shrunk somewhat over 10 washings
This concludes my Long-Term Report and this test series. Thanks to Terramar and BackpackGearTest.org for allowing me to participate in this test.
Read more reviews of Terramar gear
Read more gear reviews by Nancy Griffith