ESPNW Reviews Heated Base Layer Pants

Hello Venture Heat Fans,

Today’s article is an edited version of an original story from espnW. If you’d like to read the entire story, click here.

 

Gear we love: Six pieces that will keep you REALLY warm

By Cristina Goyanes | Feb 23, 2017
Special to espnW.com

Snow sport lovers, from novice to expert, might know the popular adage: “There’s no such thing as bad weather — only bad gear.” With the imminent threat of the polar vortex — gusts of unbearably cold air usually reserved for the Arctic — a regular puffer and gloves might not be enough to keep you comfortably warm and cozy for a wintery day outside.

With this in mind, I found six sweet pieces of gear that fit the bill, and I brought them with me to Alberta, Canada, where the temps ranged from 30 to minus-5 degrees Fahrenheit during my visit, to put them to the test. (Another major appeal for heading northwest from my New York City base: All Canadian national parks are free to the public this year to celebrate the country’s 150th anniversary. If you’ve ever wanted to cross the border, now’s the time!)

Here’s how each item helped me brave the elements and enjoy five days of cold-weather activities — snowboarding, snowshoeing, dog sledding and ice walking — in comfort and with a smile, minus one meltdown on the slopes (more on that below).

ESPNW Heated Base Layer Pants 2

The details: These fleece-lined long johns feature hair-thin microfiber heat panels woven into each knee and thigh and the lower back. An exterior controller hangs over your outer pant, so you can easily change the heat settings (low, medium, high) with the push of a button. A long-lasting, rechargeable, lithium-ion battery gets stashed in the right pocket.

How I tested them: A full day of snowboarding at Lake Louise Ski Resort and two half-days at Sunshine Village (both of which are located within Banff National Park), plus a two-hour dog sledding tour with Mad Dogs & Englishmen Expeditions over the frozen Spray Lakes in Kananaskis Country. The key moment: sitting at the top of a green run at Sunshine Village and having a five-minute meltdown in the snow.

What I liked: As a beginner snowboarder, I spent a lot more time on my butt and knees than upright. Whether I accidentally crashed or purposely plopped down to enjoy the breathtaking mountain views, these pants shielded me from the snow’s frosty bite. They really came to the rescue on day one at Sunshine Village: After a frazzled start to my morning (I unintentionally missed a private lesson) and an epic dismount from the chairlift (I lost my balance and cartwheeled off to the side), staring down my first green run of the season felt too overwhelming. Naturally, I sat in the snow at the top of the hill and cried — but just for a few minutes! The pants kept me warm, though, and soon enough, I was able to get back up and make my way down the mountain.

What I didn’t: The clunky battery sat on my hip in my right pocket. Because falling was a huge part of my day on the slopes, I worried about landing on this bulky block and smashing it against my bone. I got inventive and cinched the inner pocket carrying the battery above my waistline. This way, when I fell, it dug into my stomach, which was still uncomfortable but wasn’t dangerous. Also, I’m blessed with a bit more real estate in the backside. It would have been nice if my heat panel in the rear offered fuller coverage.

Are they worth it? No doubt, especially if you think you might find yourself lounging in the snow during your winter adventures. ($129.99, thewarmingstore.com)

Read the original article here on www.espnW.com.

 

The Weird History of Long Johns

Aside

victorianerawomenLong Johns… A Fashion Statement?

England 1879 – A new garment revolutionizes women’s fashion… and keeping warm during chilly nights.  Long Johns can be traced back to the 17th century but they gained prominence in the late 1800s.  Victorian era women in Europe and North America used the funny underwear with a trap door (for convenience) to enhance their looks.  Let the good professor explain…

Here’s how University of Alberta professor Anne Bissonnette tells it:

“With women, we traditionally had an accumulation of undergarments or underpinnings,” Bissonnette says. “It all accumulated at the waist.”

Professor Bissonnette explains that Victorian era women in terms of beauty were judged on how thick their waist lines were.  As the temperatures dropped and women needed extra layers for warmth Long Johns saved the day by keeping waist lines from expanding and women stayed toasty.

Don't make fun of  my Long Johns!

Don’t make fun of my Long Johns!

But where exactly did the name “Long Johns” come from?

Pictured here, Sullivan routinely wore garments that closely resembled Long Johns during his fights.  In fact John L would tuck the legs of his undies into his shoes stretching them out.  Is this where the name came from?  Who really knows?  Another theory of the Long John saga puts the name on a famous 17th century knife fighter with the nick name “Long John” who wore the trapped door garments.

But Long Johns continued making key contributions to our civilization during World War II.  If you asked soldiers in the brutal Ardenne Campaign what their trustiest piece of equipment was… almost hands down it was their Long Johns.  While keep the soldiers warm against the nasty winter weather they faced their Long Johns did give them two major issues:

1) They itched.  Some soldiers swore they would itch their skin right off (but they were glad for the warmth)

2) Sweat.  Long Johns made of wool were so warm they in fact got too hot and caused the soldiers to perspire which added to the discomfort

None the less the story of Long Johns continues on into the 21st century without the worry of itching, sweating and the thickness of waist lines.  Instead of itchy wool you can get a polyester blend material that even John L Sullivan could easily win prize fights in.

Take a look at the new Tri-Zone base layers:

Tops – Link

Bottoms – Link

Sources:

The Unofficial History of Long Johns – The Toronto Star

http://www.thestar.com/life/2007/01/20/the_unofficial_history_of_long_johns.html

Long Johns – World Wide Words

http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-lon2.htm

The Long History of Long Johns – St. Albert Gazette

http://www.stalbertgazette.com/article/20121226/SAG0801/312269989/the-long-history-of-longjohns