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APPLICATION TO TEST Icebreaker Men's Tops

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  • richardglyon
    Please accept my application to test the Icebreaker SKIN 200: Oasis Crewe and BODYFIT 260: Tech Top. I have read the BackpackGearTest.org Bylaws v. 0609, the
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 1 7:56 AM
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      Please accept my application to test the Icebreaker SKIN 200: Oasis
      Crewe and BODYFIT 260: Tech Top. I have read the BackpackGearTest.org
      Bylaws v. 0609, the Appendices, and the BGT Survival Guide., and I shall
      follow all requirements. This test will not conflict with any of my
      other current tests (listed below) nor impose too heavy a report-writing
      burden. I've always submitted my test reports on time and I shall do so
      with this test. I have a signed Tester Agreement on file. If I am
      selected for the Gramicci Henley and Long Johns I shall withdraw this

      Richard Lyon
      Male, 60 years old
      6' 4" (1.9 m) tall, 200 lb (91 kg)
      Dallas, Texas USA
      rlyon AT gibsondunn DOT com

      Personal Information and Backpacking Background: I've been backpacking
      for 45 years on and off, and regularly in the Rockies since 1986. I do
      a weeklong trip every summer, and often take three-day trips. I'm
      usually camping in alpine terrain, at altitudes 5000 to 13000 ft (1500 -
      4000 m). I prefer base camp backpacking, a long hike in with day trips
      from camp, but I do my share of forced marches too. Though always
      looking for ways to reduce weight, I'm not yet a lightweight hiker, and
      I usually choose a bit of extra weight over foregoing camp conveniences
      I've come to expect.

      Background Applicable to This Test: I'm a natural fibers guy and a big
      fan of merino wool as a base layer, and I'm always eager to try new
      products that use it. (See my reviews of two Ibex products, the Outback
      and Qu T.) I wear merino tops as sole upper body garments even in warmer
      weather (it's not at all unusual to get to 85 or 90 F/30-32 C in North
      Texas in January), and as a base layer when hiking, backpacking, or
      skiing in the mountains in fall and winter. Long underwear is my normal
      backcountry sleepwear year-round. I don't know this manufacturer and I
      always like finding a competitor for my regular sources. For merino
      tops those sources are Ibex and Filson, both of which sell great base
      layer tops, giving the Icebreaker products high standards to meet.

      Test Environment. I have one backpack and three ski tours in the
      Rockies planned between November 13 and March 1: a three-backpack around
      Bozeman, Montana in mid-November, work permitting, or Thanksgiving
      otherwise; and ski tours in Utah in mid-December and February and a week
      in the Jackson – Grand Teton area (Wyoming/Idaho border) from
      January 8-15. The January and March trips will include nights in a hut
      or tent. Utah and Jackson venues have an altitude of 9000-11000
      feet/2700-3400 meters, and the Bozeman hike at about 7000 feet/2100
      meters. Even in winter the weather can vary wildly in the Rockies, but
      I anticipate daytime temperatures between -10 to 45 F (-22 to 8 C) in
      December-February, and possibly as low as -25 F (-32 C) at night. On
      the November trip I expect temperatures about 20 degrees F (11 degrees
      C) warmer. Ordinarily winter weather in these places is "dry cold." If
      chosen I'll wear the Tech Top for these adventures unless weather on a
      cross-country ski day is unexpectedly warm, in which event I'll
      substitute the Oasis Crewe.

      For the Oasis Crewe, I have a number of possibilities: A fishing/camping
      trip to Oklahoma or Arkansas during Christmas week; day hikes around
      Dallas; and a possible weekend backpack in the Texas Hill Country to the
      south. Below-freezing temperatures are possible in these Southwestern
      venues but low 40s F (~5 C) is a more likely nighttime temperature;
      while it can get up to 90 F (32 C) even in winter 60-70 F (16-21 C) is
      the normal high. The Oasis Crewe looks lightweight enough to wear to
      the gym if additional testing is needed.

      I'll wear both tops as weekend casual clothing, mostly as a sole upper
      body garment but under a sweater when it turns chilly. The Tech Top
      should be perfect for my daily 5 a.m. walks with my dogs.

      Size: XXL for both.

      Preferred Color: Baltic for the Oasis Crewe, Diesel/shingle or
      Molasses/Dune Black for Tech Top (though only black is now available for

      Test Plan. I shall look for the following in these base layer garments:

      Wicking and warmth. The critical tests for any base layer. Does each
      keep me warm and in fact wick sweat away from my body? Does the Oasis
      Crewe have enough heft to keep me warm as sleepwear in temperatures near
      freezing? Will the Tech Top prove to be too insulating during vigorous
      aerobic activity such as skiing or hiking up a steep grade?

      Comfort. Is each merino wool fabric comfortable against my skin under
      pack straps, under a sweater, under Gore-Tex, and under various
      combinations of these? Is it comfortable as sleepwear? Does either
      fabric become itchy when I'm sweaty, or smelly after several days of
      hard use? Will the Tech Top be as versatile as advertised, with its
      three-way turtleneck? Is this truly adjustable to allow airflow when I'm
      hiking uphill but prevent it when zipped up? Low long is the turtleneck
      when zipped up? Will the zipper chill my neck when it's zipped up?

      Fit. I've found some variation in size among my shirts, especially in
      sleeve and body length. (I may be especially sensitive to this because
      of my long arms.) Will I find the Oasis Crewe's body-hugging style too
      constraining? Is the collar too large (an occasional problem at larger
      sizes)? How is the fit of each shirt across the shoulders and in the
      chest? How far down my arms do the sleeves come? And my pet peeve: Is
      each shirt long enough in the torso to stay tucked in when I want it
      tucked in? Does either of these garments have any latex or nylon at the
      cuff? Whether yes or no, is that good or bad?

      Special Feature. How useful are the thumb holes on the Tech Top? Do they
      fit my long arms naturally or will I be left with unusable extra length
      that's bound to get wet in the snow?

      Durability. (The following applies equally to both tops.) Is the weave
      tough enough for regular abuse in the backcountry? Is the weave flat, to
      avoid giving branches and briars a good grip? Will the wool pill after
      repeated exposure to sweat and repeated washings? Will use under a pack
      cause tears or distortion of the shape of the shirts? How robust is the
      stitching at the collar and sleeve seams?

      Care. (The following applies equally to both tops.) Are the tops truly
      machine-washable? After the first wash, can I wash them with other
      woolen items, or is a separate wash required (Icebreaker does recommend
      washing with "like colours")? Do I need a special soap? Does a field
      washing with camp soap clean each shirt effectively? Underwear must be
      washed more frequently than other garments; will regular laundering
      affect shape or functionality? How long will it take to air dry these
      garments at home or in camp? Will washing affect color?

      Appearance. Are these tops stylish enough to wear on the street, or is
      front country use limited to home and athletic endeavors?

      Pending Applications: Patagonia Down Sweater; Gramicci Henley Top and
      Long Johns (see note above).

      Tests Completed: Thorlo Level 1 Wool Blend Hiking Socks; Atsko
      WaterGuard and Sport-Wash; Atsko Sno-Seal; Ibex Men's Qu T.

      Tests in Progress: Industrial Revolution Play & Freeze Ice Cream Maker
      (Field Report completed; Long Term Report due November 7); Kamik Chase
      Trail Shoes (Field Report completed; Long Term Report due November 28);
      Tamarack Habilitation ENGO Blister Prevention Patches (Test Report
      initial phase completed; Field Report phase due November 21).

      Owner Reviews: 2006: Backcountry Access Tour System Shovel and Probe
      (October 2, revised and awaiting edit); Nunatak Gear Back Country
      Blanket (October 15), Nunatak Gear Skaha Plus down sweater (August 20),
      Black Diamond Skylight tent (August 14), BullFrog Quik Gel Sunblock
      (July 17), Outdoor Research Nimbus Sombrero (March 26), Ibex Outback
      Long-Sleeve Shirt (February 27), Jetboil Pot Support and Stabilizer
      (February 1). 2005: Kifaru Field Chair (November 4); Bibler Bombshelter
      Mountaineering Tent (September 25); Just Tomatoes, etc! Products
      (September 12); Filson Heavyweight Merino Wool Socks (August 26);
      Jetboil Personal Cooking System (July 27); Mystery Ranch BDSB Backpack
      (June 30); Bibler Ahwahnee 2 Tent (May 31).

      My reviews are collected here
      <http://www.backpackgeartest.org/tester_reviews/richardglyon> .

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