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Reviews > Clothing > Underwear > Terramar Therma TX Silk and Wool Top > Test Report by Will Dalen Rice

TERRAMAR THERMA TX SHIRT
TEST SERIES BY WILL RICE
LONG-TERM REPORT

INITIAL REPORT - November 23, 2009
FIELD REPORT - February 09, 2010
LONG TERM REPORT - April 14, 2010

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Will Rice
EMAIL: will.dalen at gmail.com
AGE: 28
LOCATION: Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
GENDER: M
HEIGHT: 5' 7" (1.70 m)
WEIGHT: 150 lb (68.00 kg)

I began backpacking at the age of 13 when I first went to summer camp (1993). In 1999, I started working with a college tripping organization in outdoor trip logistics (in gear preparation), and then as a leader. My most frequented hiking locations are in the Carolina Appalachians and the Smoky Mountains during the cold early spring and the summer. I stopped being a trip leader in 2004, and now I average about 4 backpacking trips and 4 day hikes per year. I carry between 25 and 35 lbs (11.3-15.8 kg) on multi-day trips.


INITIAL REPORT

PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS

Manufacturer: Terramar Sports Inc.
Year of Manufacture: 2009
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.terramarsports.com
MSRP: NA
Measured Weight: 3.5 oz (99.2 g)
Size Available: Small-2XL (Mens), Small-XL (Womens)
Components: 50% Merino Wool, 50% Filament Silk
Terramar lists a 3 point scale for warmth on their packaging,
This particular item was rated as a 2
Style: Crew Neck, Long Sleeve
Black (appears to be only color option)

Materials- The shirt is made of equal parts silk and wool. The material is soft, smooth, and very light. It also is a little stretchy. The sleeve cuff is hemmed and stretches less than the rest of the shirt and keeps the sleeves in place right at my wrist. The bottom of the shirt is a straight cut with a cuffed hem, like the sleeve cuff. The fabric has no texture and is the same all over.

Construction- The shirt is made of 5 pieces of material (a front and back panel, two sleeves, and a collar). The seams are all flat stitched and about 1/2 in (1.25 cm) wide. Seams run up the sides of the shirt under the armpits and along the underside of the arm. Two lateral seams connect from the armpit to the collar on the front and back of the shoulder (not on top). The bottom of the shirt is hemmed and the sleeves have approximately 2 in (5 cm) cuffs.

IMAGE 1

IMAGE 2
Tag for Shirt

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

Initial Impressions- The shirt is very comfortable. It feels a little looser than I am used to for a base layer, but I feel a size smaller would be too small (I am testing a Medium). My chest is 36 in (93 cm) and my arms are 24.4 in (62 cm) long. There was no size chart on their website. I am expecting that it will shrink a little the first time I wash it and then it will fit perfectly.

TRYING IT OUT

The first night I had the shirt, I slept in it. I don't normally sleep in shirts because I move around a lot. The shirt stayed in place well enough to not be bothersome and it also kept me warm. Although I was sleeping indoors, the temperature got down to around 50 F (10 C) since it is winter and I do not use heat in my apartment.

My only other experience so far was wearing the Therma TX2 shirt under a button up shirt while traveling. Historically, I have had trouble finding clothes that keep me comfortable during air travel. I am generally hot when in terminals and cold when they turn the AC up in-flight. The Therma TX2 shirt helped keep me warm, but at the same time I didn't need to remove my outer layer in warmer situations. It also is comfortable enough for me that I forget when I am wearing it.

SUMMARY

This shirt is good so far. It is comfortable and appears durable. I am excited about trying it out in more strenuous circumstances (such as snowboarding) to see how it performs. I think it will do a good job of regulating my body temperature.

Likes
- smooth material
- comfortable

Dislikes
- fit seems looser than I am used to (haven't washed yet)


I would like to thank Terramar and BackpackGearTest.org for the
opportunity to test this shirt. Please check back in two months for my
Field Report.


FIELD REPORT

CONDITIONS , LOCATIONS, and PERFORMANCE

I.
Date: 12/22/2009
Location: Charlotte, NC
Weather: cold, night time 26 F (-3 C)
Activity: Standing outside serving wine

Performance:
The comfort of this shirt is really nice. It is very smooth on the skin. On this occasion I wasn't really doing an outdoor sporting activity, but rather I was standing still. This would probably be most analogous to standing around cooking and eating dinner before going to bed while at camp. I had another long sleeve cotton layer over the shirt and one more shirt outside that. Combined, I was plenty warm.
I have some concerns about the durability. I washed it once up to this point and it was already beginning to get fuzzy.

II.
Date: multiple
Location: Charlotte, NC
Weather: All variations, mostly colder (below 50 F/10 C)
Activity: jogging

Performance:
The shirt feels really good even while swinging my arms to jog. It also seems to breathe really well so that even though I am sweating, I am not becoming wet and then cold.
Post-jogging, I wore the shirt in the shower to wash it. It was dry by the next day and didn't smell like I had been running in it the day before.

IMAGE 1
Sleeves a little long


III.
Date: 12/28/2009
Location: Kings Mountain, NC
Weather: sunny, windy (10-15 mph, 16-24 kph), 49 F (9.4 C)
Activity: Hiking to top of mountain (1000 ft/ 304 m elevation gain), 3.4 miles (5.5 km) roundtrip

Performance:
The shirt has been pretty consistent in its ability to keep me warm, despite being so lightweight. Every time I put it on I think to myself that it is too light and thin to work well, but when I wear it one other layer in fairly cold conditions, my torso remains warm. Other parts of my body don't always, but my arms and midsection do stay warm.
The shirt is also very breathable. On the steeper uphill of hiking, I began to sweat and breathe hard. Still, I didn't end up wet on my upper body.
I wore it with a synthetic shirt and a fleece/ synthetic pullover.
IV.
Date: 1/1-1/3/2010
Location: Gatlinburg, TN
Weather: Overcast to sunny, windy (10-15 mph, 16- 24 kph), 30-40 F (-1-4.4)
Activity: Snowboarding (1500-2500 ft/ 457-762 m)

Performance:
When I snowboard, I am constantly between the extremes of being warm while riding (physical exertion) and being cold while sitting on the lift. So, I have to layer real well. This shirt worked really well for layering while I snowboarded. It also stayed in place while putting on my outer layers and didn't require adjusting. More important, when I crashed or fell down, it stayed in place against my skin. This meant less snow inside my clothes and no need to remove my gloves to readjust my clothes mid-run. There was also no bunching of the sleeves.
The cuffs on the sleeves are only slightly elastic. This means that they keep the sleeves in place. It also means though, that I can't push the sleeves up if my arms get hot. The sleeves basically can go to mid-forearm before I have reached the limit of how stretchy the cuffs are. I don't like this aspect of the shirt, because I often want to take off my jacket and push up my sleeves when I am inside.

V.
Date: 1/9/2010
Location: Latta Plantation, Charlotte, NC
Weather: Cold and sunny, 16-37 F (-8-2.7 C), windy (8 mph, 12.8 kph), 48% humidity
Activity: Orienteering (off-trail running for 3 hours, hiking for 1.5)

Performance:
This was my first experience with feeling moisture build-up inside the shirt. We were doing some really intense running and I was breathing pretty hard. We stopped for a little while and I noticed the wind was blowing on the moisture. The sweat evaporated pretty quickly though, and I went back to being dry and warm.

IMAGE 2
Orienteering


VI.
Date: 2/6/2010
Location: Reedy Creek Park, Charlotte, NC
Weather: Cold and cloudy, 33-45 F (1-7 C), 80-100% humidity
Activity: Orienteering (off-trail running for 3-4 hours)

Performance:
I wore the top this time with a sleeveless shirt under it and a fleece top over it. I was further annoyed by the cuffs not being able to move up since I was using a wrist watch compass and timer. If I put the watch on my wrist, it was difficult to pull the sleeve over it. When I wanted to push back the sleeve to look at my watch, it was again difficult to get the cuff to stretch easily for access.
Otherwise, as it had in the other experiences, this shirt kept me warm and dry while I was running around.
After washing it, I again noticed that the shirt seems to be getting fuzzier.

Date: 2/7/2010
Location: Charlotte, NC
Weather: Cold and cloudy, 32-51 F (0-11 C), 80% humidity
Activity: Cycling (1 hour/ 10 miles)

Performance:
I wore the shirt specifically for cycling, but due to its comfort, I forgot I was even wearing it and I ended up wearing it all day. It doesn't really retain odor much either, so I don't have to wash it after every use.
It's even comfortable and fits well enough that I can sleep in it without waking up to find that my head is coming out of a sleeve hole and I am choking myself.

DURABILITY

None of the seams are showing any damage, but the shirt itself does appear fuzzier and fuzzier as I pull it out of the dryer. Some of the fuzz is static build up (its made of silk and wool), but some of the fuzz is likely also from deterioration of the shirt.

SUMMARY

This shirt has been used a lot so far and it has performed well. I am continuously surprised at how much warmth it holds in despite how light it feels.


Likes:
- warm
- keeps moisture from skin, keeps me dry
- light
- ultra-comfortable

Dislikes:
- cuffs limit ability to push up sleeve
- becoming really fuzzy


LONG-TERM REPORT

CONDITIONS AND PERFORMANCE

I.
Date: 3/19-3/20
Location: Mountains-to-Sea Trail, Marion, North Carolina
Weather: Sunny and clear (Cold overnight, 40 F/ 5 C, Warm day, 80 F/ 27 C)
Activity: Backpacking (5 miles/ 8 km, out and back)

Performance:
I finally got out into the woods again for an overnight. We didn't get to do as much hiking as I would have liked, but for the purposes of testing, it was good. We got started hiking late and so we hiked into the night, after the sun had gone down behind the ridge. The temperatures rapidly dropped once the sun was down. Stopping to camp also meant a little less activity, and thus time to put the Terramar back on. I wore the top through the night to help keep me warm in my sleeping bag. My bag doesn't cinch around my shoulders sometimes as well as I would like, so I had hoped the Terramar shirt would compensate. However, my shoulder and back got cold enough to wake me up, even with the shirt on. On the plus side, the shirt fits snug enough and is smooth enough that wearing it to sleep in was not an annoyance (I move around a lot and generally can't sleep in clothes).
The next morning, as we got up and broke camp, the sun was still behind the ridge. I began my hike out with it on and it helped to keep me warm while hiking (with one light micro-fleece layer over it). Once we got to the sun, I shed both layers and was perfect in the warmth of the sun. The shirt packs away easily (even into a pants pocket if it's moderately large) and the weight is not even close to noticeable added to a pack.

II.
Date: 3/27/2010
Location: South Mountain, North Carolina
Weather: Sunny, 60 F (15 C)
Activity: Stream Research (wading), hiking (4 miles/ 6 km roundtrip)

Performance:
On this day, I spent 4-5 hours wading in and around the Jacob Fork River in South Mountain State Park (North Carolina). We had waders for our lower body, as the water temperature was less than 50 F (10 C). I also wore a wool/cotton-weave sweatshirt over the Terramar top. That combo kept me plenty warm.
At one point I had to do part of our field work that involved putting my arm into the water to pick up stones for measuring. I left my sleeve down for testing purposes (and well, I can't slide them up past my forearm anyway). It of course got wet, up to the shoulder. I dipped my arm in the water 25 times over about 10 minutes. The water was painfully cold. The cold water did heat up rather quickly on my sleeve once I was done and it actually dried back out in less than a couple hours.

III.
Date: 4/10-4/11
Location: Congaree Swamp, South Carolina
Weather: warm (80 F/27 C), sunny days, clear cool (50 F/10 C) nights
Activity: Off-trail hiking through swamps and wetland stream-type land (6-8 miles/10-13 km)

Performance:
I mostly wore the shirt the morning of the first day and the morning of the second day. It has now become my go-to base layer as it stays in place so well and is so comfortable and light.

IV.
Other Uses
Jogging- I have worn the Terramar top on a couple occasions while jogging. It has to be pretty cold though (less than 50 F/ 10 C) as the shirt is fairly warm and my body creates a lot of heat under exertion. Even when I am warming up though, I can still wear the shirt and sweat, but not feel uncomfortable. This could be because even though the shirt is warm, it breathes really well and allows perspiration out.

DURABILITY

Other than a little minor fuzz, the Terramar shirt has held up well. The seams are all still in good shape. It hasn't held any bad smells in it. I have hand washed it, machine washed it, and even just worn it in the shower. It is still in very good condition.

SUMMARY

I have grown to love this product. As mentioned, it is now my go-to piece for activities requiring a base layer. Also, I bring it with me on any overnight trips as a just-in-case item, since its weight and volume are so small, yet it works so well as the first layer.

Likes:
- smooth and soft
- light
- dries fast

Dislikes
- has become fuzzy
- can't push sleeves up past forearms due to stretch limited cuffs

CONTINUED USE

I will continue to wear this shirt whenever the cold finds me.

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

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