Snugpak 2nd Skinz Long Sleeve Top and Long Johns are a good way to keep comfortably warm on cold days, writes Mike Gormley.
Generally, I do not find myself wearing a long sleeve top or long legged ‘Long Johns’ as I tend to find them a bit restrictive and I only head this way if it is really cold. However, when in Snowdonia recently the foul mid-March weather made it a very appropriate time to give these garments a go.
As the name suggests, these offerings from Snugpak are not the fluffy cosy garments that perhaps one might imagine but they do their work in a much more subtle way. These are made from Coolmax fabric, a combination of largely polyester with some elastane to allow for movement in any direction. This fabric not only helps to keep you warm when cold but, importantly, helps to keep your temperature controlled when things get warm and also helps to wick away moisture (okay,sweat). This is an important feature of course when one is active and likely to be hot when working hard but then cool when static.
I like the fact that the neck / collar area of the top is open ‘crew neck’ to allow for free movement and you can always provide a suitable neck baffle in other ways; the neck area can get a bit ‘crowded’ if every garment tries to do the same thing.
When putting on these garments there is an immediate feeling of warmth, which seems in contrast the thin and smooth fabric. This fabric allows the garments to move with you, so adding to the comfort when mobile. The top is of a reasonably generous length, and as I have a long back I appreciate that there is a useful overlap with top and bottoms, essential when active in the cold. The Long Johns have a good elasticated waistband which is quite flat and unobtrusive but does well to keep this lower layer in place. The bottom of the legs at the ankles are also well finished to give a comfortable seal. My only complaint with the Long Johns is there is no ‘man hole’ provided for those essential activities. Sorry ladies, I realise it is not so easy for you too. When you have your base layers all nicely overlapped and comfortable and the need arises and these are the last obstruction to relief, on a cold and perhaps wet and windy day with cold hands it is bit frustrating!
There is a bonus with these as they come in a neat little zipped carry case which has a bunch of uses akin to the Snugpak Pakbox range, which are accessories that both our editor and myself use on a regular basis.
[images © Jean or Mike Gormley unless noted]