Just to drop it in from the get go: I love this stuff. I could make do with that, but the Super.Natural underwear I have been using since the beginning of 2015 deserves more. So here goes:
I have tested the Super.Natural underwear during various snowboarding and splitboarding trips, during which hiking (with and without split board) to great lines was a part of the deal. I also wore it on cold mountain biking trips, speed skating but also during less “action” sports as field hockey on really cold days and just general day to day usage when the weather gets cold. I tested the Super.Natural Base 3/4 Tight 175 Tech Pants and the Base 1/4 Zip 175. My wife tested the Super.Natural Base Tight and the same Base 1/4 Zip. So we have a male and female take on the material.
Super.Natural uses blend that consists of 48% merino wool, 48% polyester and 4% lycra. “Merino made better” is what Super.Natural claims. They combine the natural benefits of merino wool (warm when cold, cool when warm, great ventilation, great wicking, not smelly) with the benefits of polyester (smooth, comfortable, quick drying, light, durable).
The combination of these fabrics and the lycra, providing a bit of stretch, ensures a comfortable wear (I found it more comfortable than full merino base layers which can get itchy at times), very warm, quick drying and you can wear it day after day without suffocating in the smell of day old dried up me-sweat. After a day of boarding I just washed the shirt and pants out by hand under the shower, laid them to dry over or near central heating, and I would be ready to go in the morning. A number of times I did not wash it out and it was great even then.
Because its is light, the layer is extremely packable. Just taking along a dry set to change in the middle of the day if necessary or add to your layering if weather turned out colder than you expected helped me enormously on a number of occasions. So it does exactly what Super.Natural promises the fabric should do.
The 3/4 length tight had a really good fit for me. Especially for wintersports, wearing thick socks, the 3/4 length comes in quite handy. But also the full length tight my wife wore was fine and didn’t “interfere” with her skiing socks. She found the fit equally comfortable and all but perfect.
Like I said, I / we love the Super.Natural tights. I can really find no fault at all. I have worn it intensely the past year and, aside from the printed brand logo in the neck letting go a bit, the material is as good and durable as it was coming out of the box. And perhaps, but this is a taste thing, the look of the shirt and tights can be perceived by some (including myself) as a bit basic, perhaps a bit boring even. But seeing as you are wearing the stuff underneath numerous layers, looks are the least important.
- Great thermal characteristics
- Great Wicking
- Very breathable
- Quick to dry
- Light and very packable
- Great fit, comfortable wear
- Look is a bit basic
What I do want to mention is that Super.Natural is BlueSign “certified because we care about the environment – without compromise.” It should almost be self evident that manufacturers making products for outdoor sports should include environmental awareness in their production and distribution processes. It is always good to notice when it is taken as seriously as it should be taken.
From www.bluesign.com: “The bluesign® system is the solution for a sustainable textile production. It eliminates harmful substances right from the beginning of the manufacturing process and sets and controls standards for an environmentally friendly and safe production. This not only ensures that the final textile product meets very stringent consumer safety requirements worldwide but also provides confidence to the consumer to acquire a sustainable product.”