When people think California, they think of eternal sunshine, surfing, and golden tans. What most people forget is San Francisco doesn’t really play that way. Cue the Give’r Silkweight All Sport, designed to keep you cool when it’s warm out and warm when it’s cool.
[sn] super.natural is an emerging player in the natural fibers garment game in the United States.
I got my hands on the [sn] super.natural W Base Tee 140 to test over the last month. This shirt has seen my office, airplanes, rafting in Idaho, the Eastern Sierra, and more. Launched in 2012, this brand is a fairly new player in the outdoor garment game, but the quality is fantastic.
The 140 weight base tee is super lightweight! It wicks away moisture and sweat to keep you cool, and dries extremely quickly. The merino wool gives this anti-microbial and anti-odor properties, making it okay to wear consecutive days on the trails or to the office without smelling absolutely horrible.
Despite the lighter weight, the merino wool-synthetic blend stands up to wear-and-tear of constant use. No holes from buttons on jeans, rock abrasions, backpacks, weekly washings, or kitten claws, yet!
My only complaint about this shirt? The tag and logo decals are like those DIY iron on t-shirt ones that you made shirts with in high school. They all started to peel off after the first wash. The decals leave behind an imprint of what used to be there.
I’m such a sucker for merino wool performance shirts, so I’ll definitely be stocking up on this brand. If you’re a fan of the Icebreaker Tech T Lite, this is comparable, and slightly more affordable.
The German brand launches in North America this fall. [sn] super.natural will available at Nordstrom and on Amazon. The W Base Tee 140 retails for $50.
This was sent to me for review.
When you combine modern, technical alpine apparel and American manufacturing, you get NW Alpine. A simple, yet highly functional brand engineered in the United States was what Bill Amos envisioned in 2010.
After drooling over the women’s line for months, I was able to test out the NW Alpine Women’s Black Spider Hoody in Charcoal. If you’re curious, the charcoal is actually more grey than the photos on the website suggest. The Black Spider Hoody is a technical, half-zip baselayer made out of Polartec Powerdry.
If you’re counting ounces on your next adventure, this won’t weigh you down; it’s only 10 oz. The Polartec Powerdry material is incredibly lightweight and quick drying. It was dry before I even pulled it out of the washing machine to hang. However, one of the biggest downsides to using a synthetic material is the scent. It’s got a slightly strange, plastic-y odor, even after several washings. It’s not overwhelming or even that noticeable, but when you start to smell, this thing really smells.
The Black Spider Hoody is form fitting with long sleeves and a long torso. No issues with layers riding or bulking up under harnesses here. And no issues with the sleeves stretching out over time. The sleeves come equipped with thumbholes for people like me who like sleeves over their hands at all times.
The baselayer also comes with a little chest zip pocket, but I haven’t found much use for that. It’s too small to fit anything of significance, and it’s too form fitting to have it look right with something in there.
Other cons? Biggest one is the hood. The Black Spider Hoody is designed with a balaclava hood, which is totally cool when it is zipped up all the way. However, something went a little awry in the part where the hood meets the shoulders. Unless you have the trapezius muscle of Hercules, you’re stuck with pockets of airspace and loose fabric on either sides of your neck. It doesn’t lay flush with your shoulders. This isn’t a big deal if you’re wearing more layers on top or if it’s zipped all the way up, but when those layers are shed, your neck gets pretty girth-y.
All in all, this is not bad for the price. It’s functional, simple, lightweight and warm. It has all of the features that I need, and can be easily taken from trail to town. I don’t find myself in situations where I need to wear it alone with the hood up, so the weird seams there are not a deal breaker. It might be if you need every single piece of the garment to be functional, though.
This was sent to me for review.
The Icebreaker BodyFit 200 Oasis Crew is my body’s new best friend.
It’s an incredibly versatile baselayer that keeps you warm and dry on slopes and on top of peaks, and cool and dry-ish on weird, warm, 70 degree) California winter days. It’s been accompanying me on almost every adventure since it’s a little cold for my Tech T Lite shirt.
It’s made of blah blah merino wool which has magical properties of supreme odor control, which came in super handy on my recent backpacking trip. Oh and because I think I wore this shirt for three days straight before the trip and was too lazy to wash it. I didn’t smell that bad. Really. And of course, merino wool has antimicrobial and moisture wicking properties to keep you feeling fresh throughout your adventure.
One more thing that’s kind of cool about Icebreaker is you can trace the origins of your shirt back to the very sheep that spawned the wool. Feels nice to be connected to what you’re wearing and supporting, right?
They’re kinda pricey, even on sale, but it’s worth the splurge for a do-it-all shirt. You don’t even look that weird wearing it around every day. And they come in lots and lots of colors. I want them all.