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Layering is something that doesnâ€™t get a whole lot of attention. We are all used to the standard Merino or Polypro layers and thatâ€™s that. Few companies have tried anything totally new. I have previously tried thermals made of Milk fibers and loved them, so when Tani announced a new base layer made out of the shells of the coffee bean, I was eager to give them a try.
My first impression was how incredibly light and thin the fabric is. It has the thickness and feel of a stretchy silk. The smooth texture has a great feeling against the skin with no friction or scratchiness. The sizing out of the package looks small, but the fabric has an incredibly amount of stretch. This is definitely a â€œSecond Skinâ€ type layer, worn tight against the body, though it doesnâ€™t feel restrictive.. My first thought after putting it on was the quote from the Simpsons where Flanders goes skiing and proclaims his suit is like wearing â€œNothing at all!â€
Iâ€™ve had the chance to wear these in a multitude of conditions with the yo-yoing of this seasonâ€™s Eastern winter, and they have fared well in all. On days where the temperatures have been just around the freezing mark, they do a great job wicking away moisture. After a full day skiing in precipitation just short of rain, and a warm wind, I had no feeling of clamminess you can often expect with a heavier fabric. The real test though was patrolling on the mountain for one of the brutal cold nights this past week. For most of the night they maintained body heat incredibly well, honestly much better than I expected for the thin fabric. Once a bit of hard work kicked in and my back began to sweat, the fabric handled the moisture incredibly well, wicking it away from the body and continued to maintain its insulation properties. I can also attest to the antimicrobial properties, as I played the â€œdonâ€™t wash till it smellsâ€ game, and eventually gave in after several uses not because of any odour, but a bumped aprÃ¨s beer. The durability will remain to be seen, but so far there has been no pilling of the fabric, and all stitching seems top notch.
These are definitely a high end product, with the cost and fit leaning more to a slightly older demographic, these are a great choice for anyone looking for a premium base layer. The use of a natural fabric alternative is a selling feature as well, especially considering it is biodegradable when it finally wears out. It is nice to see companies experimenting with new fabrics, when it would be so easy to just stick with the easy chemical based ones.
**Fit: Second Ski style fit, they are tight. I am 6â€™4â€ and 190lbs, wearing XL top and pants. Out of the bag they look like a medium, but the stretch makes the fit almost perfect. I would like to see a â€œTallâ€ version, but I say that about everything.