Smartwool is looking to change the game with lessons they’ve learned in the 25 years they’ve been in the apparel industry. Breaking down the barriers that have existed in traditional construction methods, the new Intraknit series is the culmination of a project 10 years in the making. Taking advantage of new technology, they are able to seamlessly (literally almost without any seams) create technical performance zones to facilitate ventilation, insulation, and articulation where it’s needed. In this review, we’ll look at the Smartwool Intraknit 200 series top and bottom base layers so keep reading.
Smartwool's Intraknit 200 series base layers are not only innovative, they're warm and comfy too!
The design team at Smartwool started by mapping out the body's thermal zones. In areas that naturally create more heat, ventilation is added to facilitate cooling. Areas that are naturally cooler receive more insulation. Areas that see more movement? Easy, more elastic materials off ease of movement. They even included ribbed zones for added durability in zones likely to see more wear and tear. The result is a garment that maximizes warmth, breathability, and overall thermoregulation.
The addition of ventilation, insulation, and articulation zones is not that game-changing as this has been seen before. What really sets this technology apart is the seamless transition between zones, moving away from the more traditional panel techniques. By eliminating the use of panels, Smartwool is making big moves towards reducing waste materials.
The patented Intraknit 3D knit sculpting technique creates superior articulation that wraps around joints. This enhances the way the garments fit and facilitates flex and movement.
The Smartwool Intraknit 200 series base layers are not your average wool base layer. The Intraknit 3D knit sculpting technique seamlessly integrates fabrics with different weights and elasticity creating a truly comfortable base layer. While my girlfriend tells me this is something women have been doing by hand for centuries, it’s cool to see it come to large scale manufacturing. Fewer seams is a bonus, and less waste during the manufacturing process is an even bigger plus.
The gender-specific ventilation and insulation zones are a well thought out way to enhance the wearability of the garments, as are the elasticized areas around the joints. The ribbed texture around the joints is also a cool way to add durability in high abrasion areas, but are not uncomfortable in any way.
Sitting around the $140US range, these are really expensive underwear, but if you can justify it, they are a fantastic base layer.
Merino 200 Crew
Price: $144.99CAN / $120US
Merino 200 Bottom
Price: $139.99CAN/ $120US
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