Gear Reviews Part 2

Posted By: Creator of Zsup

I was very inspired to do this post after finding an amazing outdoor shop in Osaka, in the ATC building. Its a Japanese shop called 'LOGOS', which sells lotsa cool stuff from huge tents, to mini bbq stands. ATC building also houses another outdoor gear shop belonging to a departmental store at its upper levels, selling huge specialised stuff like Canoes, surfboards etc.

So the last time I reviewed my gear I gave a review of the following items, my Backpack and Daypack, my Gloves and my Boots. So this time, I'm gonna review some other pieces. Specifically, my Trackpants, my Mid-layers, and my Thermals baselayers.

So first up, my thermals are made up of 2 sets of Heat-tech from UNIQLO. I purchased them at SGD 25 per piece (Top, Bottom) The reason I purchased them was because I checked out the reviews and found all to be favourable, and considering that I'm going to Japan and these clothes are made by the Japs for the Japs with great Jap reviews I made it a point to get them.

I started off in Japan wearing a purple HEATTECH top and a black bottom. For most of March I was seeing temperatures below 10 degrees celcius in the day and lower at night. Which started giving me doubts as to the effectiveness of the HEATTECH at keeping me warm. Which also meant that for most of March I was miserably cold, even while piling on the layers, and when I entered a heated area, I had to perspire and melt to nothingness.

Now that I'm in Osaka however, I changed my set for another, a set of Black bottoms and top with turtleneck. This set shined. I was seeing temperatures of just above 10 degrees but at no point of time was I freezing cold. Even when it rained today! I figured that it meant that my HEATTECH was actually working, definitely for this set because it keeps me so warm I can stand in winds of 20-30km/h in only my thermals and a t-shirt and pants! (Tested and proven on the Umeda Sky Garden!) I figured that it probably meant that the start was just way too cold for me, and that resulted in me obtaining a down jacket that was on clearance for about SGD 50 odd.

The verdict? HEATTECH is good. But only good enough for temperatures slightly above 10 degrees if you wish only to wear that and another top layer. Any lower and you'll need to start piling on the wool and down. To buy or not to buy? Well I definitely don't regret my buy, but at 25 bucks, its a little steep, but for stuff that works, I definitely recommend it. [There is better stuff out there by other companies that are more price exclusive, within the hundreds range, so this is the best bet at a mid-range thermal that works]

Next up are my Mid-layers. I have 3 mid-layers, 2 by UNIQLO and 1 by Millet. Let me start off with the Millet. The Millet is a Polar-tec material which is reputed to keep one warm, even in really cold temperatures. Sad to say. It disappointed me when I first reached Narita AP. In temperatures of about 5-7 degrees I was shivering and piling on another Mid-layer before my outermost Waterproof layer.

The Uniqlo one was the next layer I padded over the Millet. Which didn't give me much chance to review it until I wore it on its own. Either ways, it worked pretty well for something under SGD 20. Most importantly though was that it was light, damn light, which means ALOT when backpacking for long periods.

After using them for the past month though, I can safely say that they both work pretty well. The Millet more than the UNIQLO thats for sure, due to its better fit and material.

The verdict? Millet cost me SGD 72, which is not something to be laughed at, which would also mean that I'm likely to pass on that kind of purchase in the future, but right now I feel that I didn't get a wrong buy. As for the UNIQLO mid layers? Sure go ahead, they work fine as fashion wear and even better as functional wear.

Last of all, are my Trackpants. I bought them from Marina Square at an outlet store for SGD 19, they are branded (Sportiv) and fit me real well. I was rather skeptical about bringing along a pair of trackpants at first, because I thought they probably wouldn' shield me from anything. However it turns out that this pair of trackpants works wonders here. Firstly, it blocks wind, nothing short of major gusts of wind gets through this. Secondly? It's water resistant. VERY water resistant. In fact I have had a few clashes with the elements and I can head for shelter about half an hour in the rain and still the pants are merely damp. Not to mention that they dry fast, which only adds to its ability to maintain dryness! I dry my hands on them all the time after washing and poof the water evaporates away instantly, well nearly instantly.

The verdict? I have a second pair that I bought for Rainestormyr. Which turned out to be loose fitting on her. So now I am going to acquire it from her. What does that tell you? I love these pair of trackpants. And at SGD 19? They are a STEAL. Nothing comes close, especially if they are travel pants at that price.

Well thats all for now, stay tuned for my next review, which will be my Waterproof Jacket, Flatware and perhaps a couple of other equipment.

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