Lorpen Primaloft Light Hiker

by Coy Starnes


Lorpen Primaloft Yarn – Light Hiker
Photo courtesy of Lorpen.

Lorpen has been making socks since 1997. I have seen these socks in backpacking stores and catalogs but the Primaloft Yarn – Light Hikers are the first pair I have owned. I was just recently made aware of a this new material Lorpen is using called Primaloft Yarn which is made of 50% merino wool and 50% Primaloft Yarn. Then in turn, the sock is made of 75% PRIMALOFT YARN © Yarn, 15% Nylon and 10% Lycra. According to Lorpen the socks made from this fiber are “Faster drying and wicking then regular merino wool. Feet stay dryer on your approach and socks dry faster when you have hung them up at the end of a long day. Lightly cushioned for added comfort.” The sock is called a light hiker but it is a fairly thick sock. I’m sure that with its wicking ability (already verified this) it would be fine for warm weather but I will most likely be wearing them in cool and even cold conditions.

I got my Lorpen socks a few weeks ago but now that I have worn them several times I am better able to comment on how they perform, at least while still fairly new. My pair is the Large size and weights 2.6 oz according to the scale at the local post office. I wear a size 11.5 or 12 men’s shoe and they fit me great. They are extremely soft feeling and I would have to agree that they do stay very dry as advertised. In fact, they were dry after a 20 mile recumbent ride on a nice warm 62 F afternoon. I didn’t check them at the end of the ride but did shortly after I drove the 8 miles home and got around to taking my shoes off, probably around 30 minutes after the ride ended. After airing them overnight I then wore them all day the following day around the house and yard. They were still feeling good at the end of the day so I just hung them across my shoes for another night. I waited until the following evening to put them on again and this time went for a 15 mile night ride on my recumbent. My feet did get a tad cool but I was wearing thin mesh like shoes and the temperature was around 50 F by the end of the ride.

The socks were still fairly fresh smelling after these three wearings but I decided to wash them. I have since worn them on a couple more night rides on even cooler evenings but chose better shoes (light boots actually) for these rides and my feet stayed nice and toasty. I also wore them on a few short day-hikes and one hike with my backpack. The hike with my backpack was an overnighter using my hammock. It dropped to 43 F but my feet stayed warm all night in the Lorpen socks (and of course in my hammock in my sleeping bag). I last wore them on a 27.5 mile ride on a really warm 68 F afternoon, which is unusual around here considering it is now mid November. We stopped at the halfway point and I took my shoes off a few minutes to see how the socks felt. They were a tad damp but not near as wet as my cotton socks would have been. I checked them again at the end of the ride and they were still about the same.

I am very pleased with the socks performance so far. They felt good while hiking and on my recumbent rides. I even wore them to work a few times. I have now washed them three times and they seem no worse for wear. Oh and BTW, I have dried them by hanging them up rather than in the dryer. They dry very fast and this way, there is no danger of overheating and shrinking them. I’ll update this report in a few months and let you know how they are holding up to more wear.

Lorpen Primaloft Yarn – Light Hiker update
January 14, 2010

Author wearing the Lorpen socks on a cold hike

I’ve used these socks for a few months now in some nice and not so nice weather.  The first several uses were during recumbent bike rides, day-hikes and a couple of short overnight hikes.  My shoes were usually either my trail runners or a light pair of boots.  And since the temperatures were not so cold, I wore them without any additional socks. I also wore them on a 14 mile kayaking trip under my waterproof pants and a pair of wading shoes.
Here lately I have worn them on several more day hikes and on another short overnight hike when the temperatures were well below freezing.  I wore the Lorpen Socks over a light weight liner sock.  I also used a much heavier and warmer boot, in fact, the boots pictured above.
I also wore them in my sleeping bag a couple of times.  Not so much to keep my feet warm in the bag, but because I keep a pair of cheap knockoff Crocks hanging on the ridge-line of my hammock for getting up in the middle of the night.  This is sometimes a chilly experience so having my socks already on helps.  I have learned over the years that if I let my feet get cold it is really hard to warm them back up and makes it hard to go back to sleep.  The last overnighter saw a low of 14 F and I actually had on another pair of thin wool socks under the Lorpen’s.
As far as comfort goes, these socks are great!  They seem to offer good cushioning and the fact that they wick moisture away from my foot rather well helped keep my feet nice and dry. They stay up on my legs (do not sag) which is great as I hate socks riding down.   This is especially true in my rubber boots.  I’ve had some older socks sag so bad that they would end up bunched up all the way down near my toes.  They have also held up well to laundering and I estimate I have washed them about a dozen times so far.
I’ll sum it up by saying the Lorpen socks have meet my every expectation.  They are great socks and I am glad to have them available for my hiking trips as well as just nice socks for when I plan to be on my feet a lot.

About the Author
I am from northeast Alabama where I spend a lot of my time divided among several hobbies that include backpacking and day-hiking, canoeing and kayaking, and just getting out enjoying nature.

2 Responses to Lorpen Primaloft Light Hiker

  1. Pingback: Lorpen – PRIMALOFT YARN – LIGHT HIKER « Reviews « 4 All Outdoors

  2. great socks!!!

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