Rab MeCo Baselayers Review
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Jan 3, 2012 at 12:49 pm #1283664Addie BedfordBPL Member
Companion forum thread to:Jan 3, 2012 at 1:05 pm #1819242rubmybelly!BPL Member
@sleepingLocale: The Cascades
Danny, curious why you only gave a recommended, instead of highly recommended, rating. These have also become my shirts of choice, including when cycling. Other than minor pilling you gave them a glowing review.Jan 3, 2012 at 1:19 pm #1819251Hendrik MorkelBPL Member
Douglas, it has to do with the BPL Review policy. The article goes through a review panel, were folks will point out stuff. If the author goes for a Highly Recommended, the Head Gear Editor pretty much needs to have the item as well and needs to concur with the author. If that's not the case there will only be a Recommended. At least that's my experience.
There's somewhere more info on that, but start looking here.Jan 3, 2012 at 1:31 pm #1819259Joe ClementBPL Member
Probably got dinged because the Idester liked it. Non-paleo baselayer anyway.Jan 3, 2012 at 4:50 pm #1819345Ryan JordanAdmin
@ryanLocale: Central Rockies
Actually, start looking here:
This page can be linked to from any review rating summary by clicking on "About This Rating".
The key point of an HR rating is the ability for a product to give us something *meaningful* that no other product has done.
These are … shirts …
OK, just kidding. I'm willing to concede that somebody will reinvent the shirt market sometime. But Rab hasn't done it yet.
Good stuff, though, for sure.
I'm also wondering if the coco messes with the ability of wool to effectively buffer body temp changes when the shirt is damp. I notice the flash-off effect more when I wear a meco shirt vs. something that's 100% merino without fiber treatments.Jan 3, 2012 at 5:47 pm #1819387Mary DBPL Member
@hikinggrannyLocale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Just wondering why Patagonia's merino wool/polyester blend (80/20) wasn't included in the list of wool/synthetic blends.Jan 4, 2012 at 8:13 am #1819599
I submitted this review to the committee as a Highly Recommended product. They came back with the same answer as what Ryan posted above. Our message comes through loud and clear, regardless of the rating: the Rab MeCo layers are awesome.
Mary – I tried to find a broad range of companies, fabric weights, and blend ratios. I wasn't aware that the Patagonia merino baselayers are actually a blend as well. Thanks for bringing that to our attention. It looks like they have a 80/20 merino synthetic blend in 165 and 220g/m2 weight fabrics.Jan 4, 2012 at 8:22 am #1819603Diplomatic MikeMember
@mikefaedundeeLocale: Under a bush in Scotland
You might want to add Montane to the list. They're Bionic range has been out for a few years.Jan 4, 2012 at 9:30 am #1819628Gabe PBPL Member
It looks like your base-layer was kind of loose fitting. Was that on purpose, or did it have something to do with Rab's sizing?Jan 4, 2012 at 12:02 pm #1819691James holdenBPL Member
i have a nike wool/synth blend base layer … its more geared to running … but it works fine for most other things
many active use brands (ie running brands) have such i suspect, often on saleJan 4, 2012 at 12:52 pm #1819731Kathy A HandysideBPL Member
@earlymusicusLocale: Southeastern Michigan
Although I read all these reviews of clothing, they really don't apply much to me right now because it seems all the outdoor clothing manufacturers make women's clothes to fit very petite women. I am not petite and I have a very hard time finding outdoor clothing that fits my shape (i.e., I have hips, a stomach, etc. – all those things that, apparently, outdoorswomen aren't supposed to have). Most manufacturers make women's clothing up to size 14 and maybe 16; very few make them beyond that size range (or, at least, I haven't found them yet), and yet when I look at the size range for men, it seems that men can be bigger and still find clothes to fit, unlike women.
I will be the first to admit that I need to lose weight and am working on that. In the meantime, though, it's difficult to find good outdoor clothing to fit. I'm sure I'm not the only amply-proportioned outdoorswomen out there, though.
Ah well. It's on to the elliptical trainer for me! I just joined a local fitness club, found a couple of coworkers who also want to workout and am on my way to getting in shape for my trip this summer to Isle Royale!Jan 4, 2012 at 1:34 pm #1819766Evan McCarthyBPL Member
I love merino wool baselayers and merino wool/synthetic blends even more. If for the durability alone, a little cyborg is good. My personal favorites are from the Icebreaker GT line (a little spandex).
More to the point . . .
I picked up a cheap set of Paradox Performance baselayers at my local Costco. There is less than 50% merino wool in their blend but the baselayers still do their job well (feel great, no stink, quick drying, yada yada). Just throwing this out there for the cost conscious folks.Jan 4, 2012 at 2:06 pm #1819787Ben PearreBPL Member
I know that this is "just a baselayer", but I'm curious: for the same weight, and across various moisture contents, how do these fabrics compare in warmth to pure wool? For example, do I have to carry a heavier midlayer to make up for the less wool? Probably not noticable in practice… or is it?Jan 4, 2012 at 2:25 pm #1819800Martin RJ CarpenterMember
Think the slightly loose fit is intrinsic – they don't really stretch all that much. Certainly quite a lot less than 'normal' merino, presumably due to how its woven. No problem at all if they fit :) (unless of course you insist on skin tight base layers.).Jan 4, 2012 at 6:09 pm #1819913Kristin TennessenBPL Member
@ktennessLocale: Bay Area
Kathy, I have a difficult time finding excellent-fitting female gear as well, and I blame it on our "4th dimension" which creates a wider variety of female body types. Thus, harder to standardize. Please don't let outdoor companies dictate what is an appropriate body type!
Ben, I don't carry a warmer midlayer when I choose MeCo over merino. I feel my Icebreaker GT (pictured in the water test photo above) is slightly warmer, especially in direct sunlight, but I don't notice a significant difference with a layer on top.Jan 6, 2012 at 12:21 am #1820621Ismail FaruqiMember
I wonder how the 165 would perform in warm weather. Any comment from anyone using it?Jan 8, 2012 at 8:43 pm #1821928
Mike – Montane Bionic is already on the list of other wool/synth blends on the markets.
Evan – Thanks for pointing out the availability of other blends, probably significantly cheaper.
Ben – Based on my experience, there is no noticeable difference between the MeCo blend and straight wool of the same weight. However, MeCo handles moisture better, so I could be about as comfortable in warm weather with the slightly heavier 165 g/m2 MeCo as I would be in 150 g/m2 wool.
Ismail – As I said above, you can get away with wearing a slightly heavier MeCo fabric in warmer weather than you would a pure merino layer. I would be comfortable hiking in the Sierras during the summer with a 165 LS Zip Tee. However, my dream would be a 120 weight hoody. That would be light enough for hot weather but the hood would add instant on-trail adjustability.
Gabe – I think the shirts fit me really well – snug but not too tight. But, the MeCo fabric seems to relax a little with every use, and then tighten up again with each washing. As we only washed them every 10-15 days of use, chances are that the photos show the shirt in the temporarily relaxed state of dirtiness.I hope that makes sense. I find the same thing happens with my pure wool layers too. Martin's post is also correct – there is slightly less stretch with the MeCo than with merino blended with a small percentage of lycra or similar stretchy synthetic fabric.Jan 8, 2012 at 9:48 pm #1821952Robert CowmanBPL Member
@rcowmanLocale: Canadian Rockies
wash merino wool or merino blends with a pair of jeans(buttons and zippers done up) to rub the pilling off. Icebreaker and Ibex recommend this for their garments.(as the last sales meeting i went to for both these in september)
And Arcteyx Rho LTW is a blended fabric as well as the eon LTWJan 10, 2012 at 9:50 am #1822646
Thanks for the advice on washing wool with a pair of something more abrasive. At the time of testing, our clothing was mostly wool plus a pair of light synthetic slacks and a Montbell Thermawrap (which we rarely washed). So, yes, we were washing our MeCo and wool stuff together without anything like jeans.
Also, I wanted to add to my comment above that the necks on these Rab pieces are loose. This is not unique to just the MeCo, as their Microlight Down vest and jacket are also like this. My guess is that Rab uses strong climbers as their models for deciding the fit, and these climbers have thicker/stronger necks than a regular joe like me.Feb 2, 2012 at 1:51 pm #1833461
To add a little detail to Evan's post above:
Costco sells mens and womens baselayer tops and bottoms. They cost $25 and are composed of 9% merino and 91% synthetic fabrics. Evan states that he has good luck with the odor-control of these layers, which is great. Still, I find it hard to believe that 9% merino adds a noticeable difference. Anybody else have experience with these Costco budget blends?Mar 16, 2012 at 11:34 am #1854781Kostyantyn GrinchenkoBPL Member
Where can I buy Men's Rab MeCo 120 Long Sleeve Tee in US? Google lists only UK sellers.Mar 28, 2012 at 9:28 am #1860444Edward BartonMember
I think places are still in the process of bringing in summer inventory like the 120s. You can get them at full price ($60) from roadsriversandtrails.com in OH if you call or email them, or wait a couple months. Prolite and gearx should have them before too long…Apr 4, 2012 at 3:46 pm #1863691
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