Tried and Tested Gear Review: Woolpower Ullfrotté 200 Merino Thermal Underwear

Woolpower 200 thermal underwear is made from Ullfrotté Original 200 gram, a terry-knitted fabric and the thinnest version of Ullfrotté. The fabric is hard wearing and made of fine Merino wool, polyamide and most of all – air. The air in the fabric is really important as it insulates the heat that your body produces.

This was originally designed for the Swedish military and supply has been short as the Norwegian Army also ordered 5,000 pieces this winter. This is the material make up:

Merino wool 60%
Polyester 25%
Polyamide 13%
Elastane 2%

Who it’s made by

The clothes are manufactured entirely in the Woolpower factory in Östersund, Jämtland from the yarn to the finished product. The seamstresses (both male and female) sew an entire garment from start to finish and move with it between the machines. When they are satisfied with the result, they sew their own name tag into the garment. That’s why you always know who has sewn your Woolpower undergarment.

How I’ve used it, for how long, and when I choose to use it

I have had a crew neck top and a pair of bottoms for about five years now and they are my go-to kit in colder weather.

I have used them for the following activities:

Kayaking, both high energy slalom training when it’s below zero, and gentler white water kayaking and canoeing.

Stand up paddle boarding, (bit of an experiment this), in December wearing soft shell over Woolpower. I even tested it with a swim in the Llangollen Canal.

Skiing in temperatures down to -8 under a pair of Fjallraven Keb Trousers and a Rab Sawtooth top with a Woolpower 400 mid layer.

Mountain walking and scrambling.

Running in sub zero temperatures.

Mountain biking (top only).

Pros and cons signs of wear and tear

Lovely and warm, superbly comfortable. Make sure you pull the trousers up enough on your thighs as they are very stretchy. They wick well and other than the odd pulled thread and a little bobbling there is no sign of wear after a few years of use.

Unlike flat knit Merino, which I have found to be cold when moist, Ullfrotté is warm and comfortable even after a full immersion, so I regularly wear it when paddling on white water which I wouldn’t do with any other wool or Merino product I own.

My recommendation

You can tell I love this kit; I spent four years trying to get a Woolpower account, supply is limited as there is only one Woolpower factory with all its dedicated machines (everything is made on tubular knitting machines so there are no longitudinal seams).

Get yourself a Woolpower crew or zip neck top and long johns if you spend a lot of time in the cold, and for a real treat a 400 top for a mid-layer you will love. We carry Woolpower 200 stock in the ProAdventure shop in Llangollen or you can buy in our online shop.

Oh, and don’t let your daughters borrow your top, mine seem to think they make great jumpers.

Pete

 
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