Podcast Episode November 6, 2023

Episode 90 | Alpaca Wool Baselayers


Episode Sponsor

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This episode of the backpacking light podcast is sponsored by ARMS OF ANDES, manufacturer of premium base layer apparel made with alpaca wool. Backpacking Light podcast listeners can enjoy 15% off with the coupon code ALPACALIGHT at armsofandes.com.

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Summary

In today’s episode of the Backpacking Light podcast we’re going to talk about four season tents, a new ABC watch that could dethrone the Garmin Fenix, and alpaca wool fabrics used for next-to-skin base layer apparel.

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In this Episode:

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Interview with Arms of Andes

Our guests this week are Meli and Rensso Hinostroza, co-founders of the alpaca wool apparel manufacturer Arms of Andes. We have a wide-ranging conversation about alpaca farming, alpaca fiber characteristics, the performance benefits of base layer apparel made with alpaca wool fabrics, and the sustainability of alpaca wool vs. merino wool and synthetic apparel.

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Home Forums Episode 90 | Alpaca Wool Baselayers

Viewing 25 posts - 1 through 25 (of 31 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #3792568
    Ryan Jordan
    Admin

    @ryan

    Locale: Central Rockies

    Companion forum thread to: Episode 90 | Alpaca Wool Baselayers

    In today’s episode of the Backpacking Light podcast we’re going to talk about four season tents, a new ABC watch that could dethrone the Garmin Fenix, and alpaca wool fabrics used for next-to-skin base layer apparel.

    #3792581
    Terran Terran
    BPL Member

    @terran

    I recently bought the 250 lightweight leggings from Arms of Andes. Moving on from thermasilk that I’ve liked, but wear fast.

    There is a slight itch. Very slight. . Not consistent. Not really annoying. Not as soft as I expected compared to the sweaters I’ve see. My bison wool socks are softer.
    They fit, but I may size up if I order again. They have a low rise, like hip huggers. They may help with the twisting or the tugging I’ve felt at times from the thermasilks . Thicker and warmer.  Very comfortable. I haven’t checked the temperature range.

    The price was compatible to other high end thermos.

    #3792643
    Ryan Jordan
    Admin

    @ryan

    Locale: Central Rockies

    Correction: November’s Office Hours will be at 6 PM on Friday, November 10.

    #3792858
    Tjaard Breeuwer
    BPL Member

    @tjaard

    Locale: Minnesota, USA

    Oh Ryan, it was so sad when they asked what styles and colors you’d want!

    How about a hoody? Seems like reducing sunscreen goes hand in hand with the all natural ethos of this brand. Plus, a light hood is nice on chilly summer nights in a hood less quilt, and to add a touch of comfort to the head if the temperature drops.

    And color, why black? You mentioned for some extra warmth, but if I am wearing nothing but a 110 weight baselayer , it must be warm weather. So, more worried about overheating on summer days with a black baselayer.

    Even if it’s cool  (and I’m working hard), a light color is better, to minimize warmth variations as you move in and out of sun (clouds/shade).

    And finally, a black color must be harder to dye, requiring more dye and more processing than a less saturated, more natural color, and it shows dirt more.

    So please, Arms of Andes, make a long sleeve hoody in the 110, in a medium color that’s easy to use natural dyes.

    #3792960
    Charlie Brenneman
    BPL Member

    @cwbrennemangmail-com

    Locale: Primarily Desolation Wilderness and Sonora Pass to SEKI

    Yes, on the sun hoody! That is practically the uniform top in the Sierras in the summer. Very light, full sun protection, and totally agree on the head warmth when sleeping with a quilt. In fact I bring an extra OR 4oz hoody that is solely dedicated to sleeping for this reason as well as to get out of my sweaty, stinking hiking one.

    One question. Would any Insect Shield treatment affect the performance of the Alpaca fibers?

    #3793002
    Terran Terran
    BPL Member

    @terran

    Good interview. I’m liking the leggings. Good quality. If I can keep up with the Millers, they should last. I’m hesitant about the price, but they’re not strictly for camping. Warm clothes offset my heating bill. At least that’s my excuse. I like supporting small business. The interview pushed me into buying a top. I think it’s a good investment.

    #3793004
    Terran Terran
    BPL Member

    @terran

    With the alpaca over the mesh, at what temperature does it start feeling too hot? Mostly concerning the leggings.

    #3793066
    Ryan Jordan
    Admin

    @ryan

    Locale: Central Rockies

    For the torso with no wind, hiking at a moderate pace, say 80% of AeT, maybe 55F? I don’t have leg data. I wear mesh under a fairly tight weave soft shell pant mostly.

    #3793086
    Terran Terran
    BPL Member

    @terran

    Thanks for the clarification. I know there’s a lot of variables. I usually dress for the hottest part of the day, then cover up. I don’t like too warm a base layer unless it’s constantly at or below freezing.

    #3793254
    Chris K
    BPL Member

    @cmkannen-2-2

    Ryan, and others – what fabric weight alpaca garments are you wearing? I tried on the 300 gsm “sweater” at REI the other day and it felt incredible.

    #3793669
    Terran Terran
    BPL Member

    @terran

    Arms of Andes has been very slow at filling my last order and they haven’t answered my e-mails. Their tracking is non existent. I’ll give them a chance, but I will probably will go elsewhere next time.

    #3793675
    Ken Larson
    BPL Member

    @kenlarson

    Locale: Western Michigan

    Yes ……experienced the issues given by Terran. Did receive a email on my last attempted email:

    “We hope you are having a great day!
    We are sorry for the delay in replying to this email. We don’t want to ignore you or be indifferent. We are in high season and we receive many emails at once, sorry.
    I just checked your order, the garments in the order are pre-orders so the order will ship as soon as we have stock available. We currently don’t have these garments in stock so the order has not been shipped yet, we are sorry.
    We will have the garments in stock on the date indicated on the website or according to the arrival of products from our production in Peru.  As soon as the garment is in stock the order will be shipped.
    Please let me know if you have any other questions. I’m here to help you
    Kind regards, Natalie S.”

    [email protected]<[email protected]

    #3793680
    Arthur
    BPL Member

    @art-r

    I am having the same issue.  I am trying to return an item with no response so far. It is now far past their 15 day limit for returns.  It seems Ryan’s promotion of their product is resulting in great sales and poor customer relations.  In small businesses, being busy is a mixed blessing.

    #3793681
    Terran Terran
    BPL Member

    @terran

    I see the product listed as pre-order. I was pretty sure I had avoided those. I would have changed colors. Nothing I wear matches. My last order just showed up without notice, I’m sure this one will too. The 250 leggings are real nice. I know when I get the top, I’ll be glad I have it. Down to single digits this weekend. I was hoping to test it out.

    #3793725
    Terran Terran
    BPL Member

    @terran

    I did get an e-mail with an apology and offering a refund. It sounds like everything was another week or two out. At least my order. If I didn’t want black, which was coming sometime in December. It may be difficult getting shipments from Peru.  BPL overwhelmed them I guess. It’s the holidays. Call it a learning curve.

    #3793737
    Arthur
    BPL Member

    @art-r

    Similar experience.  Silence and then suddenly an apology email and prompt serve for the return.  Looks like good company temporarily overwhelmed by success.

     

    #3793744
    Terran Terran
    BPL Member

    @terran

    I hesitated to post. It was the lack of communication that prompted me.
    It was a nice apology. I started to cancel my order, but decided not to. A longer wait time isn’t unusual. They’ll probably sell out fast. Just expect it for now.  Wish them well.

    #3793763
    NoCO-Jim
    BPL Member

    @noco-jim

    Locale: NoCO

    Similar experience: waited 4 days for email response regarding possible credit card issue with autofill on browser.  Apology offered, they seem overwhelmed.  They don’t have a telephone # published, FWIW.  I expect a shipping notification, hopefully, some time soon for my event gift.

    #3794310
    Chris K
    BPL Member

    @cmkannen-2-2

    Are people wearing the 160 or 300/250 weight?

    #3794336
    Terran Terran
    BPL Member

    @terran

    I think everybody’s waiting on back orders.

    #3794340
    NoCO-Jim
    BPL Member

    @noco-jim

    Locale: NoCO

    Order placed on 11/19, Arms says mid-Dec (maybe).  Not like the other cottage merchants…no indication on their site that this was a pre-order.

    #3794348
    Terran Terran
    BPL Member

    @terran

    I ordered a black 300GSM half zip base layer. Invoiced on 11/20. No indication of pre order until I checked on it a week later. I told them I’d be happy with a different color which they indicated was also on pre order. Yet they’re not listed that way. They haven’t been and they’re still not. All they’ve done was raise the price. They also added a note that black would not be available until the end of December. Along with the delayed responses, the lack of clear answers, I’d be very reluctant to order from them again.

    #3794349
    jscott
    BPL Member

    @book

    Locale: Northern California

    I just ordered windshield wiper replacements for my Honda fit. Afterwards I realized they won’t be delivered until after Christmas. I’m used to next day shipping. Spoiled, perhaps.

    I’m sympathetic to small businesses running into fulfillment issues. Many years ago, UC Press (a small publisher) released the first volume of Twain’s autobiography. (the real one, not the edited one that’s been out for decades). Improbably, it became a best seller, or would have if UC Press had run a large print run. But they didn’t, assuming this would be a niche item. It took several months to ramp up production for the second edition. By then Christmas had passed and interest had waned. As a bookseller, I saw this sort of thing all the time. Small businesses have to guess future demand, and can’t take into account unexpected circumstances driving up demand suddenly. And they can’t afford to sit for years on unsold inventory that they had to pay for, eating up their budget.

    The Emperor of All Maladies was published in a tiny first run. Again, it was expected to have a niche readership. It stayed on best seller lists for several years. But there was a two month gap when booksellers couldn’t order it. the first run sold out unexpectedly, and it takes time to run a second printing of many thousands of books.

     

    #3794371
    Terran Terran
    BPL Member

    @terran

    She’s sending my order out tomorrow. Though it’s going to be gray. I’m sure I’ll be happy with it. She said they received a shipment of blue and gray. They also received a limited shipment of black, but they’re taking a little longer to process. So it sounds like they’re getting things done.

    #3794373
    Terran Terran
    BPL Member

    @terran

    I ordered on the same day as NoCo-Jim and we both experienced the same issue. I think we just may have ordered just before the website was updated. A matter of bad timing. She did say they would be carrying more stock next year with fewer preorders.

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