There are a lot of wool and wool-blend baselayers out there. But I have yet to find anything similar to Woolpower, a Swedish maker of baselayers and midlayers.
Utilizing a unique terry loop fabric, Woolpower garments use these loops to capture air and body heat to efficiently insulate when it’s cold and breathe when it’s hot.
With basic, mostly unisex offerings, Woolpower is less about style and more about functionality.
There is nothing fancy about Woolpower, except their fabric.
Woolpower Ullfrotté Original Line
This is Woolpower’s signature line, created in the 1970s in cooperation with the Swedish military.
Available in 200g and 400g weight, the fabric ranges from 60% wool (200g) to 70% wool (400g). The balance of the fabric is made up of synthetics in varying proportions. The other key ingredient is air.
Although the garments are smooth on the outside, they are looped on the inside (think of an especially cozy bath towel). The synthetic components add durability to wool’s natural insulating, wicking and antibiotic properties.
If you’re already a wool aficionado, you know that this means you can wear these layers for several days without them stinking. Just air them out after each use.
I tried the Woolpower Tee 200 this summer and fall. It was definitely too warm on sunny, summer days. But for fall hiking and inclement weather adventure, I’ve found it nearly indispensable.
The weave is loose and breathable to allow air circulation. The terry loop fabric is soft, and feels great next to skin (which is exactly where you want it for optimal performance).
Surprisingly, the fit is excellent, considering this is a unisex garment. The fabric blend is stretchy and the hip length top fits close. The set in sleeves come almost to the elbow and stay in place thanks to a wide knit band. Aside from the sleeves, there are no seams in this t-shirt, although there is a reinforcing band around the neck and bottom of the shirt.
I’ve worn the Tee 200 on it’s own, over other baselayers for additional insulation and under midlayers. I’ve also worn it under button-up shirts and sweaters, just ‘cause it looks good. It’s surprisingly versatile and flattering.
As I said, it’s nearly indispensable and I’ll be using it this winter on warm days when I need less insulation and as a bonus layer on extra cold days.
In addition to the Tee 200, Woolpower offers long sleeve tops, full zip jackets, long and ¾ length baselayers (available with “fly” or “no fly”) and socks in the Ullfrotté Original line.
At the urging of my sons, I’ve become a big fan of ¾ length baselayers. They aren’t always easy to find for women, so when I saw them in Woolpower Lite fabric, I decided to try them.
Woolpower Lite is a more traditional technical wool fabric, without the terry loops. Made of 80% merino wool, it retains wool’s benefits, but offers less insulation than Woolpower Ullfrotté.
These capri length baselayers have served me well: as a layer under pants or shorts when hiking, kayaking or on their own for running. They are thin, so you probably aren’t going to wear them to yoga at the gym.
This winter, they’ll be a bonus layer for my legs on freezing days, both at home and while skiing. And since they’re only ¾ long, they won’t add extra volume inside my ski boots.
In addition to women’s and men’s long johns, shorts and full leggings (the Lite Collection is gender specific for bottoms), Woolpower also offers T-shirts, long sleeve shirts and zip tops in this lighter fabric.
A Quick Word About Socks
Two words: Love them.
Why? Seven words: Soft, cushy comfort. Ultra wicking. High Performance.
If you’re already thinking about holiday gifts, put these on your shopping list and fill the stockings of those you love. And please, stay tuned for a holiday giveaway from Woolpower, as well. Right here at braveskimom.com.
To facilitate this post I received review samples of the products noted above. As always, all opinions are my own and are exactly what I would tell my family and friends.
Other Baselayers Featured This Week:
- Winter Baselayer Preview, Part One: Andie’s Outdoor Undies, October 11, 2016.
- Winter Baselayer Preview, Part Three: Lon Gundie, October 13, 2016.
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