Thursday, October 6, 2011

Gear Testing: Rab MeCo Baselayers

I was very excited when I heard that Rab was working on a new kind of baselayer for this season! Like a lot of people, I have been moving away from poly-pro because it does not only stay wet but it also smells very bad over time.

Wearing merino wool quite a bit, I appreciate the fact that it keeps you warm even when wet and does not smell. The only down sides are that it takes a while to dry, it’s not only pricy but also not very durable.

Now what’s exciting about the new MeCo baselayers is that they have the same great qualities as the merino wool layers but have increased durability and dry 5 times faster.

But how is that possible you will ask?

To be a bit more technical, MeCo is composed of blend of 65% pure merino wool and 35% Cocona. Cocona is a type of polyesther, which is coated with Activated Carbon coming for the combustion of Coconut Shells. The blend allows for not only great breatability but as soon as a drop of sweat hits the fabric, it spreads just like a drop of water on a tissue. So the sweat has more surface area to dry therefore, the fabric dries pretty quickly.

Also, the fabric does not smell. The Cocona is an antibacterial fabric activated my warmth. So the more you sweat, the less your layer smells! MAGIC!!!

So I did a bit of a test because I wanted to see for myself.

Recently, I was invited at the ACMG Annual meeting for a gear presentation so I thought it would be a great time to test the baselayer. On the first day, I put my short sleeve 120 MeCo T-shirt on for a typical 3 hours of activity (mix indoor and outdoor as I get really sweaty working-out inside). Then I used my same layer the following day for a 1600 hill climb under 27 degree blistering sun! No need to say that I was sweating a bunch there! I came back to get changed before a meeting and to my great surprise, my layer was dry and still looked and smelled fresh so I but it back on for the ACMG meeting I was attending on behalf of Rab. The following day, same t-shirt again, after a long trail run under warm weather, I came back to the hotel to shower and went back to the ACMG meeting still wearing the same shirt for my presentation. I was starting to feel a bit self conscious by that point but the T-shirt still looked and smelled fresh. It’s fair to say that after this experiment, I was not only convinced but totally in love with the new baselayers!

They are available in 2 thicknesses 120 and 165. Short sleeves, long sleeves, zip neck, long pants 120 & 165. You can find them online at :

Or at you local Valhalla Pure Store.

Rab Clothing @ the Annual ACMG Meeting

Rab/Integral Design/ Pod Sacs, sponsors of the ACMG

Photo Credit: Ken Belanger

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