As promised, weather you wanted to know or not my Stephenson's Warmlite vbl clothing came in today. I ended up ordering socks $8, Large Shirt $30, an 32W-32L Pants $39, for a total of $83 with shipping. Construction on all stands up to the Stephenson's name that I believe everyone associates with quality.
In a one sentence review, their VBL clothing is as quirky as they are, but it seems like I can make it a good thing. The clothing came with 3 sheets of instructions (with 3 different fonts), and a current catolog which gives much more info about their other products than the website, and I believe from my quick flip through has more products than they advertise on the website??? WARNING, if you are ordering for the young mountaineer in your family intercept the package and remove the catalog because naked women are all over the place. Unless your family is in to that sort of thing and then by all means, I won't judge.
The Socks: 3 oz
I think this is the best product of the three, they are a double layer of what might be a different fabric than the fuzzy stuff. The most interesting part of the socks is that each layer is cut all from one piece an then sewn together with minimal stitching. I think this will greatly improve comfort at a cost of probably very few socks per yard of fabric on their end. Very high quality design!!!
The Pants: 5 oz
Made of fuzzy stuff, they said order them the same size as a pair of jeans. They are hugh, the waist and length are right but they are extremely baggy for a base layer. The other odd thing is they have velcro for the waist and an opening for the fly but no zipper. It is just open. Sorry for no photo of the pants as a whole, the color was playing tricks on my camera that really doesn't like taking indoor photos in the first place.
detail of waist and missing zipper
The Shirt: 7.5 oz
The shirt is the oddest of the three items, they said to order it the same size as I would a long sleeve tee shrit. Also maid out of fuzzy stuff, but a silver instead of black. It has a full length zipper, a chest pocket, and a collar as if I should have bought the vbl tie. The shirt is also about 6" longer than I would ever need. It fits more like a large flannel button down than a base layer. The pocket makes no sense as in is the bottom layer in the winter, the collar is fuzzy stuff out so I think it is meant to be like a buff but it really is just in the way, and the full zip is a little much, but that is a personal preference when it comes to zippers.
detail of the pocket, collar, and full zipper
The shirt and pants feel nice against the skin, I think the material is a great vbl fabric.
I think I am going to end up modifying the pants to be a little more athletic fitting, as well as add either a zipper or velcro where the crouch zipper should be. I am most likely going to slim the shirt in the chest area and down, change out the full zip for 1/3 zip, and remove the pocket and collar. I am going to wear them as is for a few day hikes when it finally starts to get cold enough in New England and then make a decision about slimming the fit.
All and all for $83 bucks I am fairly happy but if I were to do it again I would order the raw fuzzy stuff fabric and make my own shirt and pants with a pattern bought from JoAnn fabrics. If you aren't that sewing machine savvy I would recommend having Stephenson's customize the fit a little more athletic and base layer sized, order the material and have someone make the clothing for you, or go with the RHB more expensive version, that looks like it has a more athletic cut on their website. For reference I am 5' 10" and 155ish pounds, athletic build.
Let it freeze and snow in our near future!