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Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
Durability of BPL UL Merino under Pack Straps on 06/24/2010 10:05:55 MDT Print View

So as not to hijack the cotton shirt thread below, I'm wondering if anyone can comment on how the BPL UL 115 gram merino holds up under pack straps. The product description states thus:

Merino wool this light does not come without limitations. These garments cannot withstand the repeated abrasion of pack straps from a heavy backpack, and they cannot resist the attacks of thorns, briars, or devil's club. They are less durable than a synthetic (nylon or polyester) garment of a similar weight, and require the utmost care in washing for maximum life expectancy: use wool cleaner and hand wash only for best results.

I went on a hike last weekend, and had originally intended to wear my UL hoody, but then recalled the warning against pack strap abrasion, and went with a zip neck Capilene 2. It was in the low 80s and moderately humid. The capilene was okay, but I know from wearing it on runs that the UL hoody performs vastly better in these conditions.

I don't want to ruin my expensive top. I managed to tear a hole in the hood(repaired with needle and thread) just by putting my thumb through it when carelessly taking in off.

Am I limited to using the hoody only in Spring/Fall conditions when it's an ideal wicking layer under my houdini, or can I start wearing it in the hot humid summers so long as I'm carrying a light pack?

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
Re: Durability of BPL UL Merino under Pack Straps on 06/24/2010 10:35:00 MDT Print View

I've often wondered the same about the 150 and even 200 weight merino wool shirts from Icebreaker, Smartwool, and Artyrx.

Edited by wandering_bob on 06/24/2010 10:35:49 MDT.

Dont Wantto
(longhiker) - F
and i wonder on 06/24/2010 11:00:55 MDT Print View

And I wonder about the same durability-under-a-pack's-shoulder-straps problem for light expensive jackets like the Marmot Mica, Marmot Essence, TNF Triumph Anorak etc etc..

I can report that an Outdoor Research synthetic wicking warm-weather hiking t-shirt (seemed really good quality) has started to show abrasion patches near the shoulders after barely 5 - 6 days out..

Jacob Linton
(gardenhead) - F

Locale: Western NC
Icebreaker 150 durability on 06/24/2010 11:21:30 MDT Print View

I wore an Icebreaker 150 T on the majority of my AT thru.
With a pack averaging around 20 lbs, it lasted a solid 1,000 miles. I think I wore it about 1,300 before deciding to replace it. The majority of this time I was using a poncho and carrying no other tops, so I think it held up pretty well.

Javan Dempsey
(jdempsey)

Locale: The-Stateless-Society
Re: Icebreaker 150 durability on 06/24/2010 13:51:46 MDT Print View

I used an icebreaker 200 all winter with 20-30lb winter loads, and it still seems like new.

Probably put a couple hundred miles on it.


Can anybody comment about the BPL beartooth hoody's performance under pack straps?

Robert Cowman
(rcowman) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
beartooth on 06/24/2010 14:00:41 MDT Print View

mine looks fine after 200 miles. I had an unrelated problem with one of the seams on my hood but easy fix.

i even machine wash my bpl wool ones and they hold up fine. the UL and the bear tooth.

jim jessop
(LuckyJim) - F
BPL Beartooth on 06/24/2010 16:11:37 MDT Print View

You guys are doing better than me. My Beartooth sprang a couple of holes and I can't think how I contributed beyond looking at it a bit hard.

Edited by LuckyJim on 06/24/2010 16:12:59 MDT.

Mark Roberts
(redwedge) - MLife

Locale: Lapland
Re: Durability of BPL UL Merino under Pack Straps on 06/24/2010 16:58:22 MDT Print View

I don't know, but I would assume that the key words are 'heavy backpack'. I imagine the BPL merino top is suited to the lighter weights most people here try to achieve.

Regarding the comment about the durability of the Marmot Mica - the new Super Mica has reinforced zones around the hip belt and shoulders. Makes you look a bit like Tron, but I believe they aded them because of durability issues.

jim bailey
(florigen) - F - M

Locale: South East
Durability of BPL UL Merino under Pack Straps on 06/24/2010 20:52:10 MDT Print View

James,
Too answer your question about durability would say "Good" picked up the BPL UL Merino hoody last September (believe it's the same fabric your questioning) and has survived aprox. 48 days worn while UL backpacking since then with no significant signs of wear and tear from pack straps.

There are a few minor holes developing in different area's near bottom seams of the shirt but has held up fairly well.

Have mostly used under various shells in cooler temps (fall, winter, spring) in the SE.

Hope this helps
Jim

Nobody You Know
(DirtbagLiving) - F

Locale: Colorado
Um... on 06/24/2010 22:57:25 MDT Print View

You put a hole in it with your thumb? You paid how much for this? And I'm assuming you returned it?

IMO, this is a prime example of going a little too far to save a gram.

Edited by DirtbagLiving on 06/24/2010 22:58:07 MDT.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Um... on 06/25/2010 00:25:37 MDT Print View

> You put a hole in it with your thumb? You paid how much for this?

Most of the wool thermals are fashion items, not hard-core walking gear. Bigger market. (Less intelligent customers?)

cheers

Edited by rcaffin on 06/25/2010 05:05:22 MDT.

Nobody You Know
(DirtbagLiving) - F

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Um... on 06/25/2010 00:55:47 MDT Print View

Wasn't he talking about a BPL UL Hoody? BPL sells lifestyle clothing now?

Nia Schmald
(nschmald) - MLife
Re: Durability of BPL UL Merino under Pack Straps on 06/25/2010 02:00:16 MDT Print View

I wore through the shoulders of the beartooth hoody in about 2 months of daily use (1000 miles) last summer. Definitely not what I would consider durable. I wouldn't even bother with the lighter UL merino.

This was with 10-12 lb base weight and peak weights around 30.

Edited by nschmald on 06/25/2010 02:05:00 MDT.

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Durability of BPL UL Merino under Pack Straps on 06/25/2010 07:42:45 MDT Print View

I believe the original question was regarding the UL Merino clothing but I have used both the UL and the Beartooth Merino products extended amounts of time and feel confident in commenting on the durability of both. I will limit this post to the UL material.

I've worn the UL Merino Hoody almost exclusively as my single piece of clothing on all summer/fall/spring backpacking trips starting late last summer and up to the present so I've put between one and two hundred miles of walking (and subsequently pack strap pressure) on that piece of gear. Although there is a slight sign of pilling of the wool where the straps rest the fabric has not begun to show signs of wearing yet and there are no holes present in the fabric.

Please keep in mind I am a paid staff member of BPL but my comments above are my own opinion based on my use of this item.

Nobody You Know
(DirtbagLiving) - F

Locale: Colorado
Re: Durability of BPL UL Merino under Pack Straps on 06/25/2010 10:43:10 MDT Print View

Sam,

I like the disclaimer at the bottom.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Durability of BPL UL Merino under Pack Straps+ back sweat management on 08/30/2010 18:01:05 MDT Print View

I'll revive this because I'm thinking of getting this over the Smartwool microweight. Anyone have any more comments on durability?

How about the management of back sweat? Does the superfine wool make a big difference in comparison to nylon or polyester?

Edited by T.L. on 08/30/2010 18:02:05 MDT.

Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
Re: Durability of BPL UL Merino under Pack Straps+ back sweat management on 08/30/2010 18:31:37 MDT Print View

You might know this, since you are thinking of getting the BPL UL Merino over the Smartwool Microweight, but the Smartwool microweight is the same 150 gram/m wool as the BPL Beartooth, vs the 115 gram/m of the UL Merino.

I have to say that I really like the way the UL merino manages sweat. It never gets heavy and feels clammy the way even the microweight stuff does. I really do find it to be my favorite baselayer when the temperatures allow it to be worn under something sturdier like a wind jacket. Which is pretty much every season but East of the Mississipi summers.

I actually wish BPL made their merino boxers out of the same weight of fabric. I have a pair of the 150 gram/m make I got in the big sale last year, and they just retain a lot of perspiration and get clammy in a region of the body that tends toward that. I wore the underwear and the UL merino hoody as baselayers all winter riding my bike 12-15 miles every morning in Central Park. The shorts went under powerstretch tights and the hoody went under a powerstretch jacket, and the difference is sweat management was drastic, in my experience.

When I 'put my thumb' through my hoody, I was taking it off after a morning run, and I was really sweaty, and since the fit is athletic(read: skintight), one has to be careful taking it off. I realized this and was just careless once. I've also ripped the collar seam on a golite drimove t shirt in the same situation.

My experience has been that the sweat management of the UL Merino is comparable to my Golite Drimove t-shirt, with the wool being my more soft against the skin and the polyester seeming a bit more durable.

Edited by jrmacd on 08/30/2010 18:33:59 MDT.

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: Durability of BPL UL Merino under Pack Straps+ back sweat management on 08/30/2010 19:11:32 MDT Print View

>> Does the superfine wool make a big difference in comparison to nylon or polyester?

IMO, absolutely YES. The UL Merino hoody is one of my favorites. Will get damp but retains warmth. Also odor control is much better. Good thermoregulation by pushing the sleeves up and pushing off the hood. No zippers. Very well designed.

I was pleasantly surprised at its durability. I am very careful with it.

I learned a valuable lesson when I ripped my UL merion long john pant leg while being careless. I still wear them. Was a L shaped rip about 4-5 inches.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Durability of BPL UL Merino under Pack Straps+ back sweat management on 08/30/2010 19:19:01 MDT Print View

Hey James and George, very informative posts. What do you think of the UL Merino in summer, worn as a stand-alone layer? I believe the wool would still manage heat and moisture very well, no?

Edited by T.L. on 08/30/2010 19:20:07 MDT.

ROBERT TANGEN
(RobertM2S) - M

Locale: Lake Tahoe
BPL Hoody on 08/30/2010 20:32:35 MDT Print View

To protect my BPL merino Hoody, I used a few stitches to hold on a patch of Gorilla Tape on each shoulder, and I like the way it protects it. DISCLAIMER: They pay me to NOT post on this site, but I am foregoing this month's stipend.