not in the test folder now. links work, though. honest.
Ibex "Roaster" Boxers
Field Report by André Corterier
Year of manufacture: 2004
Manufacturer: Ibex Outdoor Clothing LLC
MSRP: 39.00 USD originally, now 29.95 USD
Weight Comparisons - scale accurate to 5 g (0.2 oz)
listed weight (avg.): 6 oz (170 g)
measured weight (size L): 155 g (5.5 oz)
These are dark (nearly black, called "graphite" by the manufacturer)
boxers of non-scratchy, stretchy "superfine" merino wool. You can
find a more detailed description in my Initial Report.
I've taken these for a number of long walks, though only one intense
hike of (barely) more than 16 km (10 mi). Terrain was hilly, though
the altitude no more than maybe 400 m (1300 ft) above sea level, with
temperatures not far above freezing. The Roaster Boxers did not roast
anything, I am pleased to report, but did keep me warm.
They still fit much like I have described them in the Initial Report.
When I first washed them (cool cycle in a washing machine, dried on a
line), they fit rather snugly afterwards, which to my mind was an
improvement - I wondered whether they were meant to do this - had the
manufacturer calculated some shrinking into the design? But no, after
wearing them for a half hour or so, they went back to their previous
shape. While I wouldn't have minded them being that bit tighter, this
is definitely good news as far as long-term durability is concerned.
I have found that I do not like wearing them under tight pants. The
fact that they do not hug my legs tightly means that they can (and
do, after a while) ride up underneath the outer layer and cause some
bunching. Under somewhat loser clothing (not baggy, just less snugly
fitting than a tight pair of jeans) it was fine.
They have not caused me to wear them when jogging, however. While the
fit and warmth does not preclude their use in this circumstance, they
just seem a bit more substantial than is warranted. When jogging, I
generally need no more than a slip and long jogging pants (if cold)
or short jogging pants (if warm). Adding these boxers is superfluous
where I'm concerned. Still, heavy sweating did nothing to them. Even
after sweating heavily, the boxers seemed to have absorbed little
moisture, though they did not leave me clammy underneath. I take this
to indicate that they've had a good througput of moisture. I do note,
however, that I sweat much less on my lower body than on my upper, so
the total load of moisture thus generated likely wasn't too high.
The boxers feel nicely warm, but not overly so. At least in
temperatures not too far above freezing (I haven't been able to hike
in anything warmer yet), they were comfortably warm. This has enabled
me to wear largish, thin nylon pants (cheap supermarket jogging
pants) over it for a small dayhike which I might otherwise have
considered too thin. This would not have worked in very windy
conditions, but as the entire stretch was through rather dense woods,
this was not a problem. While my usual hiking pants have a bit more
substance, they too aren't windproof (or even close to it) and while
my lower legs could feel the windchill when crossing exposed areas,
the Roaster Boxers kept the bite off the parts of my body underneath
it and thus added welcome comfort.
I hadn't thought that I'd even include "durability" as a heading in
this report. However, due to circumstances I'd rather not get into
here, the boxers ended up being washed at 90 C (195 F), which I'm
sure is at least equal to the "hot cycle" on a US washing machine,
and thrown into a dryer afterwards to boot. This is a point at which
I feel the need to stress again that this garment does not look nor
feel like wool to the uninitiated...
The effect this had on the boxers in question was ... nil.
zip. nada. niente. zero.
Let me say this again: I have been unable to ascertain any
appreciable amount of wear, shrinking or what have you on these after
this encounter with the worst modern conveniences can throw at wool
clothing. While I do not intend to let this happen again to my
boxers, it still makes me happy. I had originally worried that it
might be easy to damage these through being less than very careful
with washing (though I hadn't even imagined the possibility of the
boxers ending up in a treatment this far removed from the washing
instructions). I am glad to report that my mind is now entirely at
ease in this regard.
When not machine drying (which the tag symbol indicates one
shouldn't, though I now wonder why it does so), these boxers dry very
slowly. It has generally taken them roughly twice as long to dry as a
standard, midweight cotton T-shirt hung on the same line. However,
it's been easy to put them on straight out of the washing machine.
They then felt clammy only for a very short time - wool really does
seem to be warm even when wet. They then dried very quickly on my
body. I find this excellent.
Personal Biographical Information:
Name: André Corterier
Height: 1,85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Weight: 80 kg (175 lb)
Home: Bonn, Germany
I began backpacking in my late teens using Europe's "InterRail"-
System weight hardly mattered, as we were on trains a lot. I
recently rediscovered backpacking and have started out slowly
single-day 15 mile (24 km) jaunts by myself or even shorter hikes in
the company of my little daughter. I am getting started on longer
hikes, as a lightweight packer and hammock-camper. I've begun
upgrading my old gear and am now shooting for a dry FSO weight
(everything carried From the Skin Out except food, fuel and water) of
about 10 kg (22 lb) for three-season camping. Not quite there yet.