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REVISED: LTR for Hot Chillys - Roger Caffin

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  • Roger Caffin
    I have revised the health section in response to comments from Jerry and Andrew. I hope this is more acceptable. I have left the first version in the Test/test
    Message 1 of 4 , Apr 1, 2005
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      I have revised the health section in response to comments from Jerry and
      Andrew.
      I hope this is more acceptable.
      I have left the first version in the Test/test folder as it still
      demonstrates the layout.
      ----------------------------------------------------------
      Long Report - Hot Chillys Geo Thermals
      Roger Caffin

      Product Information
      Manufacturer: Hot Chillys
      Manufacturer URL: <http://www.hotchillys.com/>www.hotchillys.com/
      Year of manufacture: assumed 2004
      Country of manufacture: USA
      Style: Geo Thermal
      Models: Men's Zip Neck Top HC4733 & Men's Crew Neck Top HC4731
      Model: Men's Bottom w Fly HC4736
      Size: Medium
      Material: 49% nylon, 51% polyester
      Colours: chambray & charcoal
      Listed weight: not stated
      Actual weight (tops): crew: 181 g (6.4 oz), zip: 200 g (7.1 oz)
      Actual weight (bottom): 171 g (6.0 oz)
      MSRP: not stated
      Review Date: 27-Nov-2004




      Preamble

      This Test was a lesson for me in properly reading the product description. I
      started out expecting winter-grade thermal underwear, but the Hot Chillys
      web site did say that the garments have a 'Relaxed fit' and a 'Lived-in feel
      for active or casual use'. I had to reset my expectations. Ordering clothing
      over the web is not as simple as some would have us believe: I need that
      'touchy-feely' bit.

      However, over the long term I discovered a significant health problem which
      seemed to be directly linked to my wearing of this clothing. This is
      discussed below. I have ceased to wear the clothing.



      Long Term Testing

      Testing has been done in two parts: at home and on trips. After my initial
      misunderstandings were sorted out I focused on wearing the clothing at home.
      Overall it proved quite comfortable, but not without a few issues.

      Bio-SilverĀ®

      The Bio-Silver effect still seems to be present, even after the 6 months of
      testing and washing. Without a laboratory test I could not say how effective
      it still is, but it is still working.

      Tops: Zip neck vs Crew neck

      I have found the Crew Neck design quite comfortable all along, while the Zip
      neck had to be worn over something else to avoid rapid irritation from the
      zipper on my chest. That said, both have been very comfortable in a casual
      style when worn over other clothing.

      Trousers

      The trousers were more of a problem, especially with the prominent fly at
      the front. In fact, there were few occasions when they were of any use - but
      it must be remembered that my Test period has been mainly over the
      Australian summer. Had it been over the winter period I might well have worn
      the trousers under single-layer nylon track pants. The combination would be
      similar in construction to a pair of lined track pants such as I often wear
      then.

      Warmth

      My <http:www>Field Report went into how much of a temperature difference the
      tops and trousers made for me. Basically, I found that they gave just a
      couple of degrees of difference. But this is quite consistent with the
      claims on the web site. I did try them out on a few trips in the summer (as
      shown below), but I found I could not justify the extra weight.

      Fit

      I have not noticed any significant amount of stretch in the fabric. While I
      cannot say whether this is really due to the fabric construction or simply
      reflects the fact that the clothing was a loose fit, I note that the elbows
      haven't changed in shape. I think the fabric should get the credit.

      Wear and comfort

      The inside surface of the tops has retained the fleecy nature and the
      comfort over the Test period. However, the outside surface has been slightly
      less satisfactory. The tops show an amount of pilling on the knobbles of the
      fabric over most of the front, some of the back, and areas on the sleeves. I
      don't think I rubbed up against anything in particular to cause this; it
      seems to have happened over time in ordinary everyday use. But it is
      visible, especially when viewed at an angle, and has not happened in this
      manner on any other clothing.

      As mentioned above I eventually restricted use of the clothing to around the
      home, but even so I managed to get a couple of bad snags in the fabric. I
      have mistreated ordinary cotton knit tops far worse than this without this
      problem. I tried to 'pull' the fabric out to get the loops to retract, but
      this was completely unsuccessful.

      Health Issue

      I mentioned in previous reports that the zip at the neck had caused me some
      skin irritation - a bit of a red rash. This reaction was more severe at the
      time than I had expected. Since then I have mainly worn the two tops over
      other clothing, both for this reason and because the tops were not that warm
      in themselves. Worn thus they were fine. However, on the few times when I
      wore the full-length sleeves over a T-shirt (with short sleeves), I had
      problems. I developed itchy red areas on my skin, especially the more
      sensitive inside surfaces of my arms, and these became mild rashes after a
      while. At first I did not connect the rashes with the fabric, but over the
      period of this Long Term Report the correlation became quite strong. By the
      end of this period I found I was getting a definite rash on my forearms and
      on the last time a couple of small blisters started to form. This seemed to
      me to be typical of an allergic reaction to nickel (one of my children is
      allergic to nickel), but as far as I know there should not be any nickel in
      the Hot Chillys fabric: just silver ions. It might have been useful to have
      photographs of the reaction, but I didn't take any at the time.

      I am left puzzled about what has happened. However, the correlation between
      wearing the clothing against my bare skin and the appearance of the rash and
      blisters has become so strong that I am not willing to wear the clothing any
      more. This does not mean anyone else will have this problem of course.
      Unfortunately, the timing of this Long Term Report has not left me with
      enough time to contact Hot Chillys to ask them for their comments about this
      problem.



      Assessment

      These are mainly the points I listed in my Initial Report for assessment.
      * Warmth
      Very limited, but consistent with the advertised casual use.
      * Warmth per weight
      Not really intended as 'thermals' for the ultralight walker.
      * Comfort
      Apart from the zip, very casual and comfortable, but they did cause me a
      health problem.
      * Fit
      As advertised, and a 'relaxed fit'. Easy to get on and off.
      * Smell
      To my surprise the Bio-Silver treatment did seem to work.
      * Washing
      They have washed well, with no sign of damage.
      * Cuffs
      Both the simple cuffs and the band cuffs have survived very well.
      * Wear
      This result was not so good. There was a lot of pilling and the fabric
      snagged rather easily.
      * Waist region
      The waist band on the trousers worked fine.The tops were quite long enough.
      * Neck
      The crew neck is just fine for comfort.
      I could not enjoy the zip top by itself as the zip seriously irritated my
      skin.

      Summary
      * Ignoring the health problem, I would consider buying the Crew Neck top as
      a conventional skivvy for home use in fine weather (subject to a price check
      of course).
      * The Zip top would also be nice as casual wear in fine weather if worn
      over something else, but definitely not by itself unless the zip arrangement
      was improved.
      * The trousers are well made, but in practice I would not have a lot of use
      for them.
      * These are meant for casual use, not as 'thermals' in the conventional
      outdoor clothing sense.
      * However, in view of the allergic reactions they have caused my skin I
      would not buy them myself.



      Biographical Details
      Reviewer: Roger Caffin
      Age: 59
      Gender: M
      Weight: 61 kg (134 lb)
      Height: 166 cm (65")
      Email address: r dot [surname] at acm dot org
      Home: Sydney, Australia

      Backpacking Background

      I started bushwalking (the Australian term) at 14, then took up rock
      climbing at University with the girl who became my wife and is my walking
      partner. Later on we took up ski touring and canyoning. Winter and summer,
      we prefer long hard trips by ourselves: about a week in Australia, up to two
      months in Europe/UK. We prefer fast and light in unfrequented trackless
      country. We would be out for at least three months a year. Over the last
      four years we have reduced our pack weights from 18 - 20 kg (40 - 45 lb)
      each to about 12 kg (26 lb), including food, for week-long trips. I designed
      and made much of our lightweight gear myself.

      I am also the maintainer of the Australian aus.bushwalking FAQ web site
      <http://www.bushwalking.org.au/FAQ/>www.bushwalking.org.au/FAQ/.
    • Chief Moderator
      Looks good to me. I would have preferred that in the Preamble you would have said (edit in caps) However, over the long term I discovered a significant health
      Message 2 of 4 , Apr 1, 2005
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        Looks good to me. I would have preferred that in the Preamble you would have
        said (edit in caps) "However, over the long term I discovered a significant
        health problem FOR ME which seemed to be directly linked to my wearing of
        this clothing. This is discussed below."
        As it stands, it is projecting a bit but not that big a deal if you want to
        keep it the way it is.

        Thanks for the edit, Roger.

        Jerry

        http://www.BackpackGearTest.org : the most comprehensive interactive gear
        reviews and tests on the planet.



        -----Original Message-----
        From: Roger Caffin [mailto:r.caffin@...]
        Sent: Friday, April 01, 2005 3:31 AM
        To: backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [backpackgeartesters] REVISED: LTR for Hot Chillys - Roger Caffin



        I have revised the health section in response to comments from Jerry and
        Andrew. I hope this is more acceptable. I have left the first version in the
        Test/test folder as it still demonstrates the layout.
        ----------------------------------------------------------




        Preamble

        This Test was a lesson for me in properly reading the product description. I
        started out expecting winter-grade thermal underwear, but the Hot Chillys
        web site did say that the garments have a 'Relaxed fit' and a 'Lived-in feel
        for active or casual use'. I had to reset my expectations. Ordering clothing
        over the web is not as simple as some would have us believe: I need that
        'touchy-feely' bit.

        However, over the long term I discovered a significant health problem which
        seemed to be directly linked to my wearing of this clothing. This is
        discussed below. I have ceased to wear the clothing.
      • Roger Caffin
        Jerry wrote ... have ... significant ... to ... It shall be done. Editor David: please note that the words for me as requestered will be inserted. I haven t
        Message 3 of 4 , Apr 1, 2005
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          Jerry wrote

          > Looks good to me. I would have preferred that in the Preamble you would
          have
          > said (edit in caps) "However, over the long term I discovered a
          significant
          > health problem FOR ME which seemed to be directly linked to my wearing of
          > this clothing. This is discussed below."
          > As it stands, it is projecting a bit but not that big a deal if you want
          to
          > keep it the way it is.
          > Thanks for the edit, Roger.

          It shall be done.
          Editor David: please note that the words 'for me' as requestered will be
          inserted.
          I haven't posted again as the edit is so small.

          Cheers
          Roger Caffin
        • David
          Roger, Great, thorough report as usual, sorry to hear about the rashes. I meant to post about it earlier, but was this only a problem when worn several times
          Message 4 of 4 , Apr 5, 2005
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            Roger,

            Great, thorough report as usual, sorry to hear about the rashes. I
            meant to post about it earlier, but was this only a problem when worn
            several times between washings? I don't get rashes, but I definitely
            get irritated skin when I wear thermals for an extended period (lots
            of oil and sweat)...

            Just a couple minor corrections are all I found, and it's ready for
            upload to bgt.org:

            >Long Report - Hot Chillys Geo Thermals

            EDIT: Long Report --> Long Term Report


            >Review Date: 27-Nov-2004

            EDIT: update to April xx


            > Warmth
            >
            > My <http:www>Field Report went into how much of a temperature
            difference the

            EDIT: same in the html version, don't forget to put in the correct link


            > * Waist region
            > The waist band on the trousers worked fine.The tops were quite long
            enough.

            EDIT: fine.The --> fine. The


            Cheers,
            David
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