FR - SmartWool Wind Briefs - Alex Legg
- Here is my FR for the wind briefs. HTML is at http://tinyurl.com/7zb93b3
Thank you for your edits!
Over the course of the field testing period I wore the SmartWool Wind Briefs on at least ten trips. They became a daily use item as well as a backpacking item. A few of the trips I have done are outlined below:
I wore the wind briefs during a 3-day 2-night trip in Coconino National Forest in northern Arizona. The elevation ranged from 8,400 ft to 12,637 ft (2,560 m to 3,866 m) and temperatures ranged from 32 F to 65 F (0 C to 18 C).
I also wore the briefs for a 3-day 2-night trip in the Rincon Mountain district of Saguaro National Park. The elevation ranged from 4,240 ft to 8,482 ft (1,292 m to 2,585 m) and the temperature ranged from 32 F to 80 F (0 C to 27 C)
The wind briefs came with me on a 2-day 1-night trip in the Santa Rita Mountains south of Tucson, Arizona. The elevation ranged from 5,400 ft to 9,453 ft (1,646 m to 2,909 m) and the temperatures ranged from the low 50s F to the mid 70s F (low 10s C to mid 20s C).
Unfortunately the first pair of briefs I received had a defect that appeared early on in my testing period. They began to fray in the middle of the rear portion, directly underneath the elastic seam. Before long, a hole the size of a quarter had appeared and I ended up sending them back to the manufacturer. I was disappointed because other than sitting on the couch for a few days and a couple of dog walks, they were brand new.
I sent an email to customer service and received a response within 24 hours. The representative was apologetic and instructed me to simply send the defective product back with a note of what happened, and they would honor their warranty. I was happy to see the replacement pair in a few short business days from the time I sent the defective pair.
Performance in the field:
The new pair of briefs have not failed as of this report. I like the fact that they stay somewhat comfortable in the heat, and that they are not totally disgusting after a few days of steady hiking. It's now summertime in Tucson and the temperatures are above 100 F (38 C) regularly, often remaining high well into the night. These briefs breath better than my regular cheap name brand briefs, but not near as well as a pair of boxer shorts. It has been nice to have a breathable pair of underwear while trucking down the trail.
I have worn the briefs under many pairs of shorts as well as many pairs of pants. I like to wear them under workout shorts while running on a trail or while in the gym. I also like wearing them under lightweight hiking pants while backpacking. I have noticed that there is little to no friction against my legs while walking long distances. I have not felt any chafing or had any hot spots from lack of air flow and hot weather. It seems that if I wear heavy work jeans or sturdy cargo shorts, the briefs remain comfortable.
I have to admit I have never put as much thought into a pair of underwear as I have these, and now that I have, I notice some real advantages to the SmartWool. Aside from being smooth, stretchy and comfortable, the briefs have held their shape and integrity thus far in the testing period.
So far I have no complaints with the replacement pair. I was very pleased with the customer service at SmartWool, and happy for a painless transaction. The briefs are very comfortable and breathable and I am very satisfied with them.
Things I like:
2. Soft and stretchy
3. Good customer service
Things I don't like:
Nothing at this time.
I am looking forward to getting the bries out on the trail more in the next two months to come! I would like to thank SmartWool and BackpackGearTest.org for giving me the chance to test and report back on this fun item.