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Gringo
06-03-2003, 04:21 PM
Has anyone used Smartwool's underwear and if so how did it compare to other types you've used ?
Thanks.

shu
06-04-2003, 07:36 AM
Gringo-

I have been 'shaking down' what Smartwool calls their Traditional crew and have been nothing short of amazed with it.

First, it is very soft and comfortable. I don't mind wool on my hands or feet but otherwise I usually find it irritating as I have somewhat sensitive skin. I initially wore the shirt before washing it (which is supposed to soften it further) and was surprised at how comfortable it was--this was probably my greatest concern regarding wool drawers. Even hot and sweaty (going uphill with a pack) I could only determine a very minor degree of 'itch'. Since washing even this has disappeared.

Which brings me to another thing I like about it. Wool is not supposed to pick-up odors like the synthetics, so to test this I have only washed the shirt once during the past two months of use. I just got back from a week of fishing so feel like I should wash it a second time but it still passes the 'sniff test' with flying colors. In contrast, one day of hiking in a synthetic shirt is usually enough to gag a maggot.

The shirt wicks well, dries quickly, is comfortable through a wider temperature range than most synthetics, and is surprisingly durable. On one occasion I wore it as my only layer while hiking through some woody draws in the badlands--temperature was mid-50's with a light rain, while juniper, hawthorne and plum branches tore at the fabric. My skin felt dry, I was never too cold or too warm, and the shirt still looked new at the end of the day. I am impressed.

I am curious to see how the shirt will hold up over the next several years but so far I am able to give it my highest recommendation.

shu