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Thread: How to compare wool longjohns for warmth

  1. #1

    Default How to compare wool longjohns for warmth

    Trying to make an informed decision on buying heavyweight 100% virgin merino wool longjohns for warmth. What I'm running into is confusion. I'm looking at Minus 33 95$ mens 100% wool expedition weight bottoms and Filson 105$ Alaskan longjohn heavyweight 100% wool pants (longjohns). There are more companies that sell wool longjohns but these are just a few that sell heavyweight wool longjohns. How to compare? What one question can I email the different companies to find out if theirs would be warmer than others? material weight maybe? or some other question ? Does anybody KNOW about comparing 100% merino wool fabric by numbers for warmth as opposed to this or that works for me?

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    First off, welcome to the forums.

    It just hit me, doesn't seem weird that "us men" are now asking each other to help us buy underwear

    I'm sure some guys will point you in the right direction. I've heard good things about merino wool undies....
    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again

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    God that humored me Snyd! I'm hoping for facts or numbers or the such about the material to compare one brand to another,I figured you peep would probably know,and someone prob does. Again,funny and now that I think about it I feel half embarrassed, but its a funny embarrassed.

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    It is hard to say what another person would prefer. The Minus 33 stuff is very good and i have several different pieces of it. I usually wear 150 weight stuff for fall hunting. I honestly don't have much heavy weight stuff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BAK777 View Post
    God that humored me Snyd! I'm hoping for facts or numbers or the such about the material to compare one brand to another,I figured you peep would probably know,and someone prob does. Again,funny and now that I think about it I feel half embarrassed, but its a funny embarrassed.
    No need for embarrassment. This isn't the first thread we've had about "base layers". But for some reason this time it just hit me a different way....gave me a good chuckle.
    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again

  6. #6

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    When I'm looking at the winter clothing web sites for 100% virgin merino wool long johns what I'd like/want/need to see is a "unit of measure" or an "R-value" like in measuring household insulation. Something that I can use to gauge the warmth against other 100% virgin merino wool long johns sold by another company. Since thats not on the table I thought that someone might know of something that I could ask the sellers such as weight,thickness etc.. that would be common to any and all material used in making 100% virgin merino wool long johns.

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    After you mentioned that,it hit me funny too,half embarrassment past ages ago. But still funny!

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    I've had the same questions about wool. Down is rated by a "fill" number, most synthetics are by weight as in grams per sq yd but nothing for wool. What constitutes "light", "medium" or "heavy" wool? I get really confused when you look at the descriptions of wool socks.


    BAK,

    You are probably OK as long as you don't ask for anyone to post pictures of them wearing the "base layer"....we must draw a line somewhere!!

  9. #9

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    [QUOTE=Lowrider;1046961]I've had the same questions about wool. Down is rated by a "fill" number, most synthetics are by weight as in grams per sq. yd but nothing for wool. What constitutes "light", "medium" or "heavy" wool? I get really confused when you look at the descriptions of wool socks.


    Yes thank you, you've said it better than I . My confusion comes when trying to compare the "expedition / heavy weights long-johns. Like you've said what constitutes light,med,heavy. Maybe there is a min. standard per designation but I doubt it. I'm with you on the wool socks,without the total product weight seems you need a small scale and math to adequately know how much wool is in the sock. They of course give you the percentages but that does you no good if you don't know the weight of the product.

  10. #10

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    You ask a good question that doesn't have any simple answer, there are just too many variables. Think about it -- if it was simple enough to describe with one number, wool fabric makers would already be advertising that number!

    Wool fabrics are much harder to standardize than other fabrics. There are so many factors involved that I won't try to explain it. The best advice is just to buy one of each kind of longjohn you're considering, then take turns wearing them until you figure out which ones are your favorites. (Then report back here!)

    The good news is that you really can't go wrong. By the time Merino fabric is made into outdoor clothing, it has already been through plenty of testing and any differences are minor. The big question, as LuJon implied, is whether you actually want heavyweight wool, since midweight is plenty for most layering systems.
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    I went through this last year. I contacted the manufacturers and asked for the fabric weight by the square yard. This seems to be the industry standard for measuring the weight of a fabric. That would give you an apples to apples comparison.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by cimarron8889 View Post
    I went through this last year. I contacted the manufacturers and asked for the fabric weight by the square yard. This seems to be the industry standard for measuring the weight of a fabric. That would give you an apples to apples comparison.
    Thanks for blazing part of the trail cimarron, at apx.100$ per I'm not inclined to buy w/o some knowledge. I'll call the manufactures tomorrow with more confidence than I had before hearing from you.
    By the way, I connected the Wool growers association here in central Ohio (she couldn't help w/my question), but she did inform me that the price of wool is at a 25 year high, maybe old news but thought I'd pass it along.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    It is hard to say what another person would prefer. The Minus 33 stuff is very good and i have several different pieces of it. I usually wear 150 weight stuff for fall hunting. I honestly don't have much heavy weight stuff.
    Thank you,Minus 33 is one that I'm looking at, good to know it wears well considering my wallet screams buy no more than 2 pairs for now.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seraphina View Post
    You ask a good question that doesn't have any simple answer, there are just too many variables. Think about it -- if it was simple enough to describe with one number, wool fabric makers would already be advertising that number!

    Wool fabrics are much harder to standardize than other fabrics. There are so many factors involved that I won't try to explain it. The best advice is just to buy one of each kind of longjohn you're considering, then take turns wearing them until you figure out which ones are your favorites. (Then report back here!)

    The good news is that you really can't go wrong. By the time Merino fabric is made into outdoor clothing, it has already been through plenty of testing and any differences are minor. The big question, as LuJon implied, is whether you actually want heavyweight wool, since midweight is plenty for most layering systems.

    thank you for your advise, and yes I want heavyweight wool,at least for the first couple of pairs.

  15. #15

    Default Ibex

    Do yourself a favor and buy Ibex, I find it to last the longest, is the most comfortable and best thing out of the major brands it is the only one where most of it's stuff is still made in the USA.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Russp17 View Post
    Do yourself a favor and buy Ibex, I find it to last the longest, is the most comfortable and best thing out of the major brands it is the only one where most of it's stuff is still made in the USA.

    Thanks. I checked their site, sounds like hit &miss as far as durability according to some reviews. But I'll check some more reviews on them at another place. I do and have always liked the buy american thing.

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    Hard to beat Sierra Trading Post prices. THey don't always have just what you want but usually have something close. I just bought SmartWool boxers for $11 I think. They are comfortable and no itch and have two sets of Terramar "expedition" wt long johns on the way and they were $35 each and I added in some little stuff like waterproof matches, Mountain Hardware beanie and a spare knife and it came to $102 and shipping was free. I think they were 85 percent merino wool and the rest was synthetic elastic. I'll report back when they arrive and I can see how they look.

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    I just received a set of medium weight Terramar merino wool longjohns I ordered from http://campmor.com. The packaging describes them as 2.0 (whatever that means) and I can tell that they seem slightly heavier than a set of Red Ram merino wool LJs I got from SW earlier this fall.

    They still look pretty wispy although I can tell that the lighter ones are warmer and much drier than any of my polyester baselayers and especially under body armor.
    Now what ?

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    I'm looking forward to your impression of the lg's lowrider.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by stevelyn View Post
    I just received a set of medium weight Terramar merino wool longjohns I ordered from http://campmor.com. The packaging describes them as 2.0 (whatever that means) and I can tell that they seem slightly heavier than a set of Red Ram merino wool LJs I got from SW earlier this fall.

    They still look pretty wispy although I can tell that the lighter ones are warmer and much drier than any of my polyester baselayers and especially under body armor.

    Thanks Im going to look at those.

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