Billy Brown's Blog

Winter Gear Review: Polarmax Acclimate Wool Base Layers

When it comes to base layers, it's tough to beat Merino wool. If you've seen my earlier posts on Merino wool, you'll know that I'm a fan. Merino is one of those natural fabrics that has made a name for itself as a monster technical fabric due to its versatility-it traps warm air when it’s cold, but it allows sweat and excess heat to escape as you start to heat up. If you get sweaty anyway, merino pulls sweat away from your skin and dries quickly, thus keeping you dry. As if that weren't enough, Merino stays warm while it's wet, so you're not miserable as you wait for the moisture to dissipate.

Some friends and I tested Polarmax's Acclimate Wool Zip Mock shirt ($69.99) and Men’s Pant ($54.99) base layers on a trip to Mount Whitney this last weekend, and while we were there, the temperatures swung from the low teens to the mid-thirties, giving the Acclimate Wool layers plenty of opportunity to strut their stuff. And strut they did.

created at: 12/03/2010

The Mock Zip is tough enough for the trail, but pretty enough for the coffee shop.

Comprised of 50% Merino wool, 40% “Acclimate Dry” polyester, and 10% recycled polyester, the layers stayed warm in low temperatures, and as I chugged my way up the hill, they did a great job of keeping me sweat-free. The only spot on the layers that retained any sweat was my contact points with my pack, and those dried within minutes after I took the pack off.

Everyone who wore it agreed that the Zip Mock was lightweight and soft enough to be worn as a base layer, and I was a huge fan of how the Men's Pant fit-it eschews the usualskin-tight fit for a more relaxed profile.

The flat seam construction kept irritation at bay, and the Merino wool allows for multi-day use with a distinct lack of stink, which I’m sure that my co-climbers appreciated. Back in town, the Zip Mock’s styling is low-key enough to fit right in at Starbucks or the mall, letting you walk around in public feeling like you’re rocking pajamas.
created at: 12/03/2010

The Men's Pant: Relaxed fit, but not "gangsta."

Best of all, this stuff’s totally low maintenance-just wash it like you would your other gear (but no fabric softeners) and it’s ready to rock n’ roll.

Take a closer look at Polarmax’s Accilmate Wool base layers at

created at: 12/03/2010

Matt Moseley (left) on Mt. Whitney with the Men's Mock Zip.

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