Artilect’s Boulder 125 Crew Long Sleeve Jersey and Leggings are made with Nuyarn, an engineered blend of merino wool and nylon fiber that is more durable than straight merino wool, dries faster, and is more elastic without requiring the use of stretch fabric like spandex or lycra which lose their elasticity with use. While Artilect is not unique in their use of Nuyarn, this crew neck jersey and these leggings stand out because they have body-mapped perforations in high moisture areas like the armpits, waistband, and crotch to help wick perspiration away from your skin and into your mid-layers during periods of high exertion like winter hiking or snowshoeing.
Specs at a Glance
- Fabric: Nuyarn 125/gsm (85% merino wool, 15% nylon)
- Crew LS Jersey- Weight (Men’s L) – 5.3 oz (150g)
- Leggings – Weight (Men’s L) – 4.7 oz (133g)
- Care: Machine washable, hang dry
Merino wool has many qualities that make it a good baselayer material for outdoor sports. It feels comfortable on the skin, stays warm when it gets damp from perspiration, and has natural antibacterial and odor-resistant qualities. But it dries slowly compared to synthetic garments, merino wool garments break down and rapidly hole with use, and they can be difficult to launder if you don’t have a place to hang dry clothing.
Wool made with Nuyarn is an enhanced version of merino wool that addresses these pitfalls by wrapping merino wool fibers around a synthetic nylon core. This results in faster drying times, natural elasticity without the use of synthetic stretch fabrics, and much better durability since the wool fibers have a strong synthetic core. So how does it stack up with use?
Merino wool is often touted for its odor-resistant qualities. But I can’t say I’ve been wowed by the odor resistance of the Boulder 125 Crew Jersey. It stinks after serious winter hikes and I wouldn’t wear it to the pub if I were you. The stink is localized to the areas where I perspire most, like my armpits, and less in the rest of the garment. I suspect this is an artifact of the thinness of the garment, but given the hype about wool’s anti-odor properties, I wasn’t blown away.
The leggings fared better because I’ve only worn them for sleeping. I can’t use long underwear for winter hiking because I run too hot. Weigh-wise the 125/gsm is roughly equivalent to silk-weight long underwear in terms of thickness, warmth, and weight. But if you’re a guy, they don’t really provide any “support” for your junk so they’re probably a better option for women unless worn over your regular underwear.
The Artilect Boulder 125 Jersey is very good when it comes to moving moisture from the skin to your mid-layer insulation because the fabric is so thin and porous (see top photo). More often than not, the more porous and meshlike a baselayer is, the better it will wick, regardless of the material it’s made with. I run pretty hot when I’m hiking and warmth is less of a priority for me than wicking.
On a recent hike up Mt Moriah (3450′ elevation gain), I’d stripped down to the Boulder 125 Jersey despite the freezing weather because I was perspiring heavily. Glancing at my upper arms and shoulder, I could see droplets of perspiration forming on the outside of the jersey which demonstrated to me that the fabric was wicking the perspiration off my skin. Had I been wearing my fleece mid-layer, that moisture would have been absorbed by it by the capillary action that is the basis of layering.
In addition to its wicking action, the Boulder 125 Crew Jersey has perforated vents along the torso and upper arm, where pit zips are located on rain jackets. The leggings also have them in the waistband and the crotch. This is a nice technical feature rarely seen on baselayer garments, to help regulate your temperature by venting excess warmth and water vapor.
The sizing of the Boulder 125 crew jersey and leggings I tested is form fitting, which is what you want on a technical baselayer garment to promote wicking action. Despite that, I didn’t find the fit to be unnaturally tight because both garments have a good deal of stretch to them which makes wearing them quite comfortable.
Artilect’s Boulder 125 baselayer crew jersey and leggings are made with Nuyarn, a wool and synthetic blend that combines the warmth and comfort of wool with the added durability and wicking action of synthetic fabric. I’ve been quite impressed with the jersey’s wicking capabilities on winter hikes, which far exceed those of other wool baselayers that I own. If you prefer wool over synthetic baselayer garments, I recommend giving these Artilect ones a go. There’s a lot to be said for wool baselayers that combine the comfort of merino wool with the stretch, wicking, and increased durability of synthetic fabrics for winter hiking and other vigorous winter activities.
Disclosure: The author received baselayer garments from Artilect for this review.
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Last updated: 2023-01-06 02:43:34
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