Smartwool Phd HyFi arm and leg warmers review
Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate,
I used to think of Smartwool as a sock company, but they do so much more than socks. Smartwool offers a full array of clothing to keep you warm (or cool) for running, biking, hiking, and casual living….and yes, they make great socks too. I was given the chance to try out some of their goods for myself this fall.
Smartwool starts with Merino wool in their products. Here’s why Smartwool says Merino matters:
* Manage sweat – Merino wicks and releases moisture
* Naturally antimicrobial – sounds like a scene from Alien, but it actually just means that it doesn’t hold odor-causing bacteria. You don’t stink!
* Less lactic acid – Merino next to your skin is an effective way to limit your core temperature and reduce the build up of lactic acid. Go farther! Go harder!
* Lower heart rate – merino wicks away moisture before it pools as sweat. This keeps your heart rate down.
* Stable core temp – Merino wicks away moisture while it’s still in a vapor state, so you’re able to maintain a lower and more stable core body temp.
Some of those claims are hard to measure for the average athlete, but I was willing to give it a shot.
The weather has been mild so far this fall and winter. That’s allowed me to try out my new Smartwool arm and leg warmers on my bike rides instead of opting for full tights and wool jerseys.
I stay outdoors year round for training rather than opting for the treadmill or the bike trainer, so new pieces to my outdoor training wardrobe are always welcome. I opted for my Smartwool arm and leg warmers on a sunrise ride with temps in the low 40s at the start. I wasn’t sure it was the right choice, after all, 40 is pretty cold by Tennessee standards, but I went for it.
The first few miles are always a little misleading in the winter. I’ve learned that you should be a little cold at the start, because you will warm up quickly as your work level increases.
In my Smartwool arm and leg warmers I was warm immediately. I was surprised, because I expected to be a little underdressed in a normal jersey and bib shorts – with arm and leg warmers. By the time the temps crept up closer to 50 I got a little too warm. That lead to another benefit of the product. They were easy to remove. I pulled the arm warmers off and stuffed them in my jersey pocket. You can’t do that with a heavy wool jersey.
Are Smartwool arm and leg warmers actually warm?
Yes. Suprisingly warm, in fact.
Are Smartwool arm and leg warmers comfortable?
Yes. The most common stigma that goes with wool products is that they are scratchy against the skin. Smartwool’s Merino blend was soft. Really soft. The stretch knit construction allowed them to flex naturally with my movement. No friction problems to report.
Everything is flat stitched on the inside too.
Do Smartwool arm and leg warmers stay in place while training?
Both the arm and leg warmers come with silicone grippers to hold them in place. Sliding out of place is a problem with some products in this category, but Smartwool solved the issue with these grippers. Mine stay in place throughout workout, with no adjustments necessary.
The leg warmers are equipped with zipper that allows you to easily put them on and take them off. The zipper is lays flat on the inside so there is no friction against your skin.
This little dude is reflective too.
For rides/runs in moderate winter weather I highly recommend Smartwool‘s products. I’m actually planning to use them along with my normal winter gear when the weather turns really cold.
I love you,
ps. I’ll also be telling you about Smartwool’s running shorts and short sleeve training tees soon.
* I was given these products for purposes of this review. My opinions are my own and I was under no obligation to provide a favorable review.