Review by Arnie P[sn] super.natural M BASE LS 175
The M BASE LS 175 was provided by [sn] super.natural for review purposes.
Since this is the first appearance of this company on our web site I did some research on the company as I had not heard of it before. It is a company founded in Europe in 2012. They started in North America in the Fall of 2014. They are posturing themselves as an innovator in wool apparel. The process they use in manufacturing has been certified by Bluesign. (bluesign.com) Basically the process focuses on the elimination of harmful chemicals before they enter into the manufacturing process. [sn] super.natural M BASE LS 175 is one of many products made by this company.
Men’s Base Layer LS Top 175
This base layer is medium weight and long sleeve. It has a Crew neck, Raglan sleeve, and flat lock stitching.
Contact stretch Jersey 175
Color : Caviar
48% Merino wool
The web site indicates they are best suited for ; hiking, canoeing, running, skiing, snowboarding, ice climbing, ski touring, camping, cycling, snowshoeing. I would guess they are also well suited for ice skating, ice fishing, and hunting.
Caviar, Red, Ocean Deep, and Shadow Blue
I did not see any sizes listed on the web site but did find sizes at one of the dealers, which are small, medium, large, XL, and XXL.
If I go by the sizing charts my indicated size is large. I have been buying XL for first layer top products. I don’t like the first layer on me being skin tight. I like a little space between my skin and the fabric. This is a personal preference only.
I liked the looks of the the [sn] super.natural M BASE LS 175 I received. It looked well made, no loose stitching and any visible imperfections. The product has one external marking; [sn] super.natural in white located on the upper part of the left shoulder. On the inside was white printing at the back of the near the top. The printing included the company name, Natural Technical Performance, size, washing instructions, and made in China. There was also a fabric tag stitched to a seam on the inside near the bottom of the base layer. The information on the tag included the above plus the composition of the material in several languages. The material felt very smooth and soft to the touch.
I normally do my initial report before trying about the product. However this was different as the day after receiving the product I was able to attend a weekly hike in the Harold Parker State Forest. This place is about 8 miles from my house but always seems to be colder. I usually fail to consider that when dressing for this hike. The temperature was about 20 F and cloudy with little to no wind. I decided to put the base layer on and use a light yellow down jacket. This hike is about 2 hours long and has between 15 to 30 people. With a large group as this the pace is slow and there are several stops to make sure no gets on the wrong trail as there are many crossing trails and the trails are not marked. I wore my warmer gloves and was very glad I did. There were a few spots where I wished I had traction devices on my feet. To give you an idea on the cold, I suspect the humidity was high as my exposed parts which were my nose and cheeks did feel cold most of the time. My upper body felt cool, but never felt any cooler or warmer. In my experience this is usually a good indication that any moisture on my body is being transferred away from me staying there to make me feel cold. My fingers did get cold occasionally and so did my toes. I should have changed socks when I got back from the gym. I am looking forward to using this base layer almost everyday.
I will be trying the base layer in many ways before my last report comes out in a few months. I do have one item on my wish list. I find it very convenient when putting on a shirt to have something like a logo on the outside of the shirt near the neck to help me know I am putting on the shirt correctly. Please check back in about a month when I will have more to say about the [sn] super.natural M Base LS 175 base layer.
The weather has gone from seasonably mild to very cold and snowy. It would not surprise me if records are set in this area this year. The [sn] super.natural M BASE LS 175 has been with me most of the time. I have worn it at some point for all my activities which I will discus below.
Hiking Horn Pond
I hiked with a group of 6, it was about 18 F with a wind chill of -8 F. The pace around Horn Pond was fast as the women in the group were cold and wanted to warm up. When we finished the loop around Horn Pond the leader asked if we wanted to continue, so we hiked a small mountain near the pond. Surprisingly, I was the only one who had hiked this mountain before and I ended up missing the shortest trail to the summit. So we bushwhacked until we found a trail that led us to the top of the mountain. We took a quick look at the views and came down. The hike lasted about 2 hours. The weather, especially the wind chill, made us all want to get into our cars and go somewhere warmer. On this hike I wore the [sn] super.natural M BASE LS 175 as first layer with a down jacket as outer layer. I was a little cool at the beginning but after a few minutes I did not get cold or uncomfortable.
At the gym
I have been going to a gym for 13 years which is typically cold in the winter and mostly warm in the summer. There are 3 separate areas which are always at different temperatures. I wore the [sn] super.natural M BASE LS 175 several times to the gym with very good results. I could go into the coldest areas of the gym and not feel cold while doing my regular workout. I could also use the cardio equipment in the warmer parts of the gym and not feel overheated. I was always dry in the gym when wearing the [sn] super.natural M BASE LS 175 and any sweat I was experiencing was being wicked away very quickly.
When the weather got cold this winter I started sleeping in the cellar because with the pellet stove there, it is warmer in the cellar than in my unheated second floor. The night time temperatures in the cellar decrease greatly during the night, because I do not operate the wood pellet stove or the furnace while I am sleeping. The cellar temperature at night has varied from 90 F after the stove has been shut down to 55 F in the morning when I restart the stove . I wear only the [sn] super.natural M BASE LS 175 for my upper body. I have have occasionally gotten overheated in my regular sleepwear but not with this combination. On a typical night the cellar temperature starts at 85 F and drops to about 57 F by 5 AM which is the time I usually wake up.
We have had about 90 inches of snow so far and there is still a lot of snow possible. Most of the time since it has started snowing the temperature has been below 20 F and I have shoveled a lot with the temperature below 10 F. I have been very comfortable wearing the [sn] super.natural M Base LS 175 base layer and a down or wind breaker jacket. The nice part of this first layer is that it is light and with a good shell jacket my arms have plenty of freedom which reduces fatigue. I also stay warm and am not sweating a lot.
I was out snowshoeing with the [sn] super.natural Men’s M Base LS 175 base layer as a first layer and found it very comfortable. My only problem was the snow was so fluffy I was sinking about 18 inches and was getting exhausted very quickly. I had this shirt as a first layer along with a good wind breaker and the combination kept me warm and dry.
I have worn the [sn] super.natural Men’s M Base LS 175 base layer for several days and I could not detect any noticeable odor. I have not had any problem with being itchy when this first layer is next to my skin. I like this product a lot. In my next report I will note any changes, report on cleaning this product and my continuing use of the product.
Please check back in about a month when I will have more to say about the [sn] super.natural Men’s M Base LS 175 base layer.
A last look 4-16-15
The first time I wash something with a sizable amount of wool I usually do a hand wash with lukewarm water and Woolite. This is something I have done for many years. I had worn the [sn] super,natural Men’s M Base LS 175 base layer for about 10 days which is a bit longer than I normally wear something before a first wash. There was no noticeable odor. This was a little surprising since I had done some cooking with a lot of garlic one day and at the end of the day I could detect some garlic odor on the shirt, however it was gone by morning. I also had expected the shirt to make the wash water dirtier as I had worn the shirt while doing my daily cleaning of the pellet stove. My hands always have soot on them after the cleaning. For the next wash I used my new Speed Queen washer on the delicate cycle. This will probably be the end of my doing hand washes when I am at home anyway. These results were the same as far as I could tell. I just did not know the condition of the dirty wash water. In all the washes the shirt was air dried.
Harold Parker State Forest hikes
I have returned twice to hike with the Wednesday hiking group in Harold Parker State Forest. The first time it was a cold 18 F day and the last time it was 40 F and there was some softening of the snow on the trail. I was very comfortable on both these trips. This group tends to take a couple long breaks and, if one gets sweaty and the sweat does not ventilate properly, one tends to get cold. The [sn] super,natural Men’s M Base LS 175 base layer provided me the proper ventilation which kept me dry and warm.
Breakheart Reservation hikes
This hike was with a group of 6 from Meetup.com. When I left the house it was 13 F, sunny, and little or no wind. The hike was about 3 miles long and took about an hour. We were hiking single file on a narrow hard packed trail that was seldom flat but hiking a series of hills was strenuous. I wore the [sn] super,natural Men’s M Base LS 175 base layer on this hike and since it has been very dry I tried having a very soft short sleeve cotton t-shirt as first layer, then the SN, with a down vest and a hooded shell jacket. I was warm and with the fast pace I was sweating just a little. When I got home and took off the outer layers of clothing I was quite dry. The reason for the cotton was that I have been getting cracks in my thumbs and have been feeling itchy. I figured retaining some moisture for a short time on my skin might help. Only time will tell if this was an improvement. I mention this only because cotton is regarded as something to avoid using especially in the winter. This was an exception because it was a short hike at a fast pace.
I have worn the [sn] super,natural Men’s M Base LS 175 base layer every day all day since I started this test. The only exception would be when it was being washed and dried. I timed the drying so it would occur during the night. I also wore it a few times overnight and I had no problem with getting cold or overheated. My sleeping room varied from 55 F to 62 F. At the gym, when the room was cold I was comfortable without having to wear additional clothing as other members were doing. The material cleans well, does not attract dirt and there is no pilling at all. The base layer looks as good as it did after the first day of use. There was no sign of wear.
I wish to thank 4alloutdoors.org and [sn] super.natural for the opportunity to test the Men’s M Base LS 175 base layer.