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Ex-Officio MS Fleece Skivvy FR (Cora)

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  • Cora
    Hi Will, Thank you in advance for your editing efforts. I hope you had a great holiday. The HTML version is in the test folder: test TESTS Ex-Officio Micro
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 31, 2004
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      Hi Will,

      Thank you in advance for your editing efforts.
      I hope you had a great holiday.
      The HTML version is in the test folder:

      test > TESTS > Ex-Officio Micro Stretch Fleece FR - Cora
      or
      http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/TESTS/Ex-Officio%20Micro%20Stretch%20Fleece%20FR%20-%20Cora/

      Cora

      -----------------------------------------------------

      Ex-Officio Micro-Stretch Fleece Skivvy Zip Pullover

      Field Report

      Reviewer Information
      Name: Cora Shea Background: I began backpacking in 1997.
      I love backpacking in spring and winter snow more than
      anything, especially on skis. My pack weight ranges from 15
      to 90 lbs (7 to 40 kg), and I vary sleeping in a tarp,
      tent, quinzhee, snowcave, bolt-hole, bivy, people-pile, or
      straight under the stars. I spend a lot of my time
      outdoors, and I prioritize gear durability and
      functionality above weight.
      Age: 24
      Gender: Female
      Height: 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
      Weight: 150 lb (70 kg)
      Email address: cahhmc at yahoo dot com
      Location: Los Angeles, California, USA
      Date: December 30, 2004

      Basic Product Information
      Manufacturer: Ex-Officio, $56 Year of Manufacture: 2004
      URL: http://www.exofficio.com/
      Listed weight: Unknown Weight as delivered: 8 oz (230 g)
      Size: Women's Large

      The Micro Stretch Fleece Skivvy Zip Pullover (MSF Skivvy)
      is a long-underwear style shirt. The fabric is thin, soft
      and smooth with an almost velvet-like face. The Skivvy has
      an odor resistant finish, and a zipper which vents down to
      my sternum.

      This report covers field use from November to December,
      2004. For more product information and items that can be
      reported on without field use, please see my Initial
      Report.

      Field Conditions

      I wore the MSF Skivvy on three trips. On all trips, the MSF
      Skivvy served as my under-most layer (i.e. directly against
      my skin with nothing under it at all) and it never came off
      for the duration of each trip.

      Trip One: (2 days) Ice climbing in the Sierras, California

      Weather: Cold (-5 to 25 F / -20 to -4 C) and Clear
      Elevation: 8000 ft (2500 m)

      Use: This trip involved talus hopping up a snowy canyon
      (a hot and sweaty activity), then sitting and belaying for
      hours (a cold activity) and finally climbing (another hot
      and sweaty activity). I layered the MSF skivvy under my
      bibs and a fleece, and sometimes under a shell and down
      jacket.

      Opinions: This was a great first trip. I put the MSF
      Skivvy through a wide range of demands, and I often forgot
      I even had it on at all. Nice!

      Trip Two: (1 day) Hiking in the Angeles National Forest,
      California

      Weather: Cool (45 to 60 F / 7 to 18 C) and Windy (30
      mph / 48 kph)
      Elevation: 6000 to 9000 ft (1800 to 2800 m)

      Use: This trip involved hiking uphill for a while on
      dry trail, and then lounging and playing in the snow for a
      few hours. I layered the MSF Skivvy under my softshell
      jacket, and sometimes under an insulated vest.

      Opinions: I was very surprised at the poor wicking the
      MSF Skivvy had. Even with nothing on over the Skivvy but my
      softshell (which breathes amazingly well with anything else
      under it) I felt like I was wearing a plastic bag. The
      Skivvy stuck to my skin everywhere and sweat ran down my
      back and arms. It was a weird experience given my great
      experience on the previous trip.

      Trip Three: (3 days) Skiing in the Sierras, California

      Weather: Cold (10 to 45 F / -12 to 7 C), Windy and
      Snowing
      Elevation: 10,000 ft (3000 m)

      Use: I put the MSF Skivvy on under my bibs and forgot
      about it for three days. I layered fleece, shell, and down
      jacket over the Skivvy. The weather was blowing snow
      sideways, and it snowed over 1.5 ft (0.5 m) in two days. We
      traveled over 12 miles (19 km) during those two days,
      breaking trail in the thick 'Sierra cement' snow. This type
      of activity is the most aerobic activity I do in my life.

      Opinions: At first, due to the bad wicking ability
      demonstrated during the previous trip, I was ready to leave
      the MSF Skivvy at home. But, I brought it anyway to keep
      trying. And with the cold weather, it turned out to be
      another great trip where the MSF Skivvy performed without
      any effort on my part. Yay! This gave me hope for the
      Skivvy in below-freezing weather.

      Field Use Opinions

      Ventilation:
      The zipper was a great way to either vent or add a lot of
      warmth around my neck. The sleeves stayed pushed up when I
      pushed them up for even more ventilation. No complaints
      here, just a nice overall design to keep with changing
      climates.

      Wicking Ability:
      As discussed above, when the weather got above freezing on
      Trip Two and I was pumping uphill, the wicking ability was
      absolutely terrible. I was truly surprised, and almost
      stripped down right there to take the Skivvy off. But when
      doing gut-busting aerobic work in below-freezing weather
      with the Skivvy under many layers, the MSF Skivvy wicked
      quite well.

      Warmth:
      I liked the warmth the MSF Skivvy provided. The conforming
      stretch did a lot to keep warmth in. Unfortunately, I could
      not use the thumb slots because they chafed my thumbs from
      the short sleeve length, but the sleeve ends were tight
      enough to keep warm air in without using the slots. The
      neck especially kept me warm when zipped up.

      Weather Resistance:
      I found the MSF Skivvy to be somewhat more wind resistant
      than I've experienced with other long underwear tops. I
      liked that. However, due to the fuzzy outer, snow sticks to
      it like Velcro (along with fuzz, down, dirt, hair, etc). It
      also shed melted snow fairly well, but after the terrible
      wicking on Trip Two with above-freezing weather I might
      stick to below-freezing trips from now on to avoid liquid
      water.

      Comfort:
      I found this to be great. I always wore the MSF Skivvy with
      nothing under it (not even a bra) and had no chafing or
      rubbing spots. I only had a problem with two things: (1)
      The 'Ex-Officio' band around the neck does not stretch, and
      sometimes it would pull quite uncomfortably against my
      neck, and (2) the sleeves are just too short for me to use
      the thumb slots (they chafe the spot between my thumb and
      fingers from the pulling).

      Odor Resistance:
      After my first trip with it, the MSF Skivvy stunk worse
      than any shirt I've ever owned. Whew, did it stink! So, I
      washed it (delicate cycle, non-detergent soap, line dry)
      and it stinks much less. But, it certainly stinks more than
      any other long underwear shirt I've had. If the odor
      treatment is working, I sure would not want to wear the MSF
      Skivvy without it.

      Ease of Layering:
      The heavy soft face on the outside of the MSF Skivvy makes
      it quite difficult to pull fleece and other fuzzy jackets
      on over it. This I noticed especially while skiing when
      layers come off and on as often as every half hour. Due to
      its stretch, the sleeves of the MSF Skivvy will often catch
      somewhere up in a fleece sleeve, and stretch out to my
      wrist rather than slide out. The result of this is that the
      sleeves slowly creep back up toward my armpits under my
      fleece over time. The solution I found was to pull the
      sleeves carefully without shoving, but this requires a lot
      of attention.

      Durability:
      The stitching and workmanship are still fine, but the
      fabric pilled up on both the inside and outside on the
      first day of skiing (the fourth day in the field). It
      pilled all over inside, even all the way down the sleeves.
      The outside pilled more in isolated spots, especially
      around my shoulder blades and waist. I take pilling to show
      low durability in fabric, so I was rather disappointed.
      Time will tell more.

      Summary

      Overall, the MSF Skivvy has been a great base layer in cold
      weather. It feels nice on my skin, and wicks well as long
      as it is cold outside. Compared with the many other long
      underwear shirts I've used, the MSF Skivvy is much more
      comfortable overall, but has less wicking ability and more
      nitpicks (short sleeves, tight neck band, difficult to
      layer) than I am used to.

      Likes Dislikes
      Comfortable against my skin The fabric pilled up after
      only four days
      Very stretchy Poor wicking ability in warm aerobic
      conditions
      Warm The sleeves are too short to use the thumb slots
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