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Author Topic: Ulfotte (sp?)/Woolpower vs Smart Wool base layers  (Read 9879 times)

Offline dks

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Ulfotte (sp?)/Woolpower vs Smart Wool base layers
« on: November 21, 2008, 09:12:58 am »
I thought I would start another topic to avoid hijacking previous threads. I'm currently a Big fan of  Woolpower products (formerly Ulfotte). I've used their base layer zip top undergarment for a few years and have loved it. So much so that I'm currently considering buying another one. I also have their midweight layer, longjohns, and a balaklava.

Since I've read about the positive reviews of Smart Wool products, I'm wondering if anybody has worn both Wool Power and Smart Wool base layers and can provide a comparison to them both?

Also, how do silk base layers compare to merino wool products for warmth and comfort?

Offline Jack Pine Savage

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Re: Ulfotte (sp?)/Woolpower vs Smart Wool base layers
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2008, 09:41:17 am »
I own both and use the Smart Wool mostly in milder temps by themselves under Filson or King of the Mountain camo hunting pants for hunting and hiking in cold weather. When temps get really cold or I'm going to be inactive I use either Smart Wool for upper and lower base layer followed by Ulfrotte over them in either the lighter Ulfrotte weight or the heavier based on temperature. I also sometimes use silk as a base layer in milder temps under Smart Wool or Ufrotte. The Smart Wool is a bit lighter weight in my opinion compared to the ligherweight Ulfrotte but both are useful. The construction technique used by Ulfrotte (Wool Power now) seems to increase their insulating properties compared to the Smart Wool.

Both have their useful range but If I could only own one type of lightweight long underwear for a base layer I would probably go with Ulfrotte. Their inner loop construction is very effective in keeping moisture away from your skin and helps keep me from feeling the dampness if I don't vent before I begin to perspire. Wool Power is the best thing I've discovered for really cold weather use. The quality is first rate. I use their socks also.

Offline FRANZENRP

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Re: Ulfotte (sp?)/Woolpower vs Smart Wool base layers
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2008, 09:59:56 pm »
I like using a base layer of Patagonia light weight, and then using a good thick insulating layer of wool. I've been using a woolly pully for that and it seems to do the job. If I'm active and there isn't much of a wind I'm fine with this. I've double up the Patagonia a few times a light weight one with a mid weight on top and this also works good for me as long as I wear my wool shirt. I take several light weight base layers and change, a few times each day and hang them up to dry at night, they dry incredibly fast as long as you have heat . With the system I use there is no need to have wool against your skin, so no discomfort there and the wool shirt is incredibly warm.

If I need to I'll wear a 300 weight Polartec fleece as a jacket over what I just described. This combo hasn't failed me yet, its been tested to -44 degrees and I've been fine !

Offline whitemtskier

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Re: Ulfotte (sp?)/Woolpower vs Smart Wool base layers
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2008, 01:14:35 am »
My wallet closes involuntarily when faced with Ulfrotte.. the prices scare me. I think that you do pay for what you get.

If I were camping more in thirty below conditions I would go with Ulfrotte. I have Smart Wool base layers that work within my working range ...which is about 20 below C.

I personally have zero luck with silk and hate the feel. Its OK about zero to 5 C for me(then I roast like the Thanksgiving turkey). But the wool is so much more adjustable to temperatures . I would expect Ulfrotte to outperform Smart Wool.   Smart Wool productes seem to be impervious to laundry abuse. That is when you throw them in without reading the label they do not come out in another size.

 I find the wool works from -20(remember I am a comparative wuss) to 20 above. C.

Offline dks

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Re: Ulfotte (sp?)/Woolpower vs Smart Wool base layers
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2008, 08:39:36 am »
Yup, I agree the Woolpower is expensive. I tried to save some money and bought some Mark Workhouse Merino Wool base layers a couple of weeks ago ($60). I've worn it a couple of times and it is no way as comfortable or warm as my Ulfrotte (Woolpower). So I think I'm going to bite the bullet and treat myself to a Christmas gift of Woolpower. Looks like little Johnny will get a cheaper gift this year..... :D

Offline pake

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Re: Ulfotte (sp?)/Woolpower vs Smart Wool base layers
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2008, 12:46:40 pm »
Personally, I don't see how you can beat Ullfrotte if you can afford them. You have the choice of several different weights, zip or crew neck, and as an added bonus, they are generously sized in body length. Ullfrotte tops have long tails which keep your lower back covered even when stretching, lifting and so forth.

Top shelf quality and essential gear IMO.

Having said that however, SmartWool has an indestructable warranty. At least in my experience they have been willing to replace anything, virtually forever. Socks with worn through heals for instance.

But my money goes to Ullfrotte for shear comfort and usability.

Silk....... for me...... not so much. I've tried it, and it just didn't compare.

pake

Offline yukon

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Re: Ulfotte (sp?)/Woolpower vs Smart Wool base layers
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2009, 06:11:18 pm »
I bought the woolpower 200 weight top. Presentable for the office I'd say, in black. ( It is a casual office). So the sale price of $89 is not outrageous.

I was glad to get out of poly as it smelled so bad.( i know that had nothing to do with me, so thereby kept my esteem)

But I found smart wool a little clammy unless I really adjusted my ventilation a lot ( going up a hill, coming down a hill, going up a hill, into the wind, the wind shift to my back, I cross a lake) you can see it is a bit of a pain in the mountains. I had never felt clammy in poly, but always dry.

This stuff, the woolpower? More expensive, breathes incredibly well, smells great, and I think it will wash well. Not clammy. Winter is really a six month deal here, so $150.00 on underwear is not a big deal.

We save it from not buying beachwear. :'(




 
« Last Edit: February 27, 2009, 06:13:49 pm by yukon »

Offline Kevinkinney

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Re: Ulfotte (sp?)/Woolpower vs Smart Wool base layers
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2009, 12:30:01 am »
Hello all,

I'm eager to see how this debate turns out. I've been using Stanfields Superwash Wool for 4 years, and they are beginning to wear thin. I own two sets, and use them daily from September through April. Some days I just slip my pajamas over them. (100 year old drafty stucco cottage)

I've studied the Icebreaker brand, but the price and the intimidating attractive models scare me away.

Kevin.
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Offline Jimbo James

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Re: Ulfotte (sp?)/Woolpower vs Smart Wool base layers
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2009, 03:52:10 pm »
I'm a recent convert, but huge fan, of merano wool.

I bought my first set of tops and long jons a couple or years back and was mamzed by their warmth and comfort.  I've never really got on with woolen jumpers (especially the ones granny knitted for me when I was a kid!) as they were so itchy.  Merano is just so much better! I wear it right necxt to the skin with no worries at all.

My current tops are made by Rohan - a UK based travel clothing manufacturer.  I have also used the 200wt Icebreaker ones but these ones had high collars with a super-fine zipper that failed on both tops after only two trips.  No good at all!  The Rohan ones are crew necks.

What I like about them is not just the warmth and wicking but the way they hug close to you and seem to allow other layers to move over them without rucking up - a pet hate of mine!  I'm sticking with these for for forseeable future, but be aware that if you seek out your own that the sizings are nuts - I usually go for med-large for must upper body layers but need a small for these.

James

Offline yukon

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Re: Ulfotte (sp?)/Woolpower vs Smart Wool base layers
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2009, 05:39:34 pm »
So, everyone has an opinion. Take what you need and leave the rest. Here is mine on this issue based on my experience......


Three weeks on I've noticed that Wool power pills ( gets caught and the weave works loose resulting in loops on the front of the garment. ) whereas smart wool does not.

Smart wool is tougher.

However, wool power feels warmer than smartwool, as it seems to float on the skin, because of the looped material. I suspect it traps a layer of air next to the skin. However it does not do well when it comes into contact with Velcro, or abrasive materials, such as a stick of wood. The zipper is also touchy , and doesn't work really well, it requires a degree of gentleness that escapes me when i have mitts on.

However, I think it is a phenomenal inner layer and will wear the smart wool over it.
I especially appreciate how the top is extra long at the back. No drafts when you stoop to pick up things. Obvious benefit, but no one seems to have thought of it before for this application. 
Both these materials smell good and wick like crazy. neither irritate my skin, no itch for this guy. I was cutting wood out on a lake yesterday, in a relatively high wind. Took my coat off to work and put it back on when we were hauling the 5 foot lengths. Despite a high variety of aerobic activity, I never felt damp.

So the day was , wool power, smart wool, fleece top and bottom, Canadian army parka ( while not cutting) , wool mit liners and a wool cap. Golden at -25 in high activity ( cutting down trees) and high wind.

Thanks to the members of this forum, I would not have known about this great product were it not for my southern cousins. :-*


Buy both, everyone needs a change sometime.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2009, 12:08:05 pm by yukon »