As you may have read last week, I was super blessed to do some snowshoeing in Snowbird, Utah with my Oakley Women’s family. This time we were wear testing new winter gear and getting updated on what is coming for 2013. I have mentioned the upcoming line before, but suffice to say it is killer. The gear keeps getting more functional and stylish at the same time.
But let’s talk gear…you may have seen things like “wicking” or “antimicrobial” or even “3M” and wondered does it really do anything? Is it just more marketing hype? Is more expensive better??? <<Seriously that one is probably my biggest question.
The answer is cost doesn’t mean better quality, but a company that does the research and tests their products ensures you get something that works and will stand up to your hard work.
Since I had a blast testing out the gear, I thought I’d share a little of that knowledge with you. While much of what I talk about is Oakley specific it can help you evaluate any product.
Wicking: Most companies simply mean that moisture of your body (sweat) is pulled away from the skin to help keep you from feeling soggy or getting cold. Oakley takes everything a step farther and has what they call O Hydrolix. This not only pulls the sweat away from your body but then disperses it throughout the fabric to help it dry faster. I can totally validate this from Miami running and from wearing the base layer pants during our snowshoe excursion.
Antimicrobial: Have you ever noticed after a few washings your race shirts start to smell? It’s like because they don’t have the technology to kill the bacteria that you produce while working out. That’s right body odor is bacteria! The added benefit is that because it’s killing the bacteria if you don’t wash your clothing right away the stench won’t be able to settle in.
Shape-Retention: O-Form is probably one of my favorite things that Oakley has begun to integrate in to their clothing. It ensures that as you pull things on and off and twist and turn the clothing stretches with you in every direction, but maintains shape. In the case of goggles and sunglasses Oakley uses what is called O Matter. Basically this means you can twist your glasses and they won’t break, while your goggles will also conform easily to your face.
UV Protection: Sun damage is the leading cause of premature aging, which is why all of us (right??) have started using sunscreen, but did you know that you also need to protect your peepers? You can indeed prevent eye cancer and those crow feet by using sunglasses with true UV protection. Many shirts and sunglasses claim UV protection, which is a great start. But I love that Oakley has 100% UVA-B-C protection: Anti-aging-Burning-Cancer.
RECCO: Since this is something new that I was introduced to this weekend I wanted to share it with you!! Oakley jackets have a built in piece that works with Recco a location technology that could save your life if you were out in the back country and got lost or on the mountain when an avalanche hits. It’s basically like “Find my iPhone” where you are the iPhone.
3M Thinsulate: All right so every winter jacket is obviously going to contain some awesome material to keep you warm, but I am really drawn to the new use of Thinsulate because it takes a puffy jacket and reduces the volume by 10 times. Think of this as how muscle is more tightly woven than fat and therefore takes up less space! Since I feel like traveling with a coat is possibly one of my biggest annoyances, this is awesome!! I actually fit my jacket back in my suitcase to come home.
Waterproof v water-resistant: Most soft shell jackets are considered water-resistant meaning they can take a light rain or a few spills in the snow without the water coming through to your skin. While a waterproof jacket is often less breathable , hence the reason you see vents, but can withstand more drenching rain or more time in the snow if you are say a new snowboarder!
Anti-Fog: Ok so you probably know what this one means without any explanation, but I have to say it has been my favorite thing about using Oakley sunglasses and goggles. I sweat, no glistening here, just serious sweat. In most things I fog up and therefore have to stop and wipe them down or
Learn more about Oakley sunglass testing >>
Learn more about Polarized lenses >>
I am grateful for printing postage at home so that I didn’t have to stand in line to mail 45 HBBC packages!!