Damart Thermolactyl thermal
Base Layers for Women
Product Review / Walking Gear Test
Base Layer for Women
Colours: White, Black, Pale Blue, Magenta, Midnight (choice depends on exact product)
Sizes: XS - 3XL
SRP: £19.00 (from)
Features to Note:
- Fabric: Chlorofibre Thermolactyl (85%), Acrylic (15%) in the Level 3 product. Relative composition of Thermolacyl varies from product to product.
- Thermal tops from £10.00. Thermal leggings from £16
The French company Damart, with its UK operation based in Yorkshire, had a rather traditional image in my mind. So I have to say, it was with some surprise that I looked through the samples I was sent from their current thermal range - a collection of really rather pretty, feminine looking baselayers.
Damart's thermal range is based on its proprietary Thermolactyl fibre which, it is claimed, traps air within the garment and forces perspiration to its surface so keeping the wearer dry as well as warm.
The range is graded from the lightest at Level 1 to the warmest at Level 5. You select the most appropriate grade for you based on the conditions, your level of activity ... and your personal preference. The range covers temperatures in the range +15 deg C (Light Warmth/Level 1) to ca -15 deg C (Maximum Warmth/Level 5).
So far I've had opportunity to try out garments designated as level 2 (Soft Warmth - suggested for use around +10 deg C)) and level 3 (Comfort Warmth - suggested for use around 0 deg C).
I'm normally a standard size 12/medium and 5'8'' tall - and (rather joyfully) was wearing the Damart Small size.
First impressions were very good - all of the garments I've seen feel lovely and soft to the touch and are very nicely finished. Several of the tops have a very feminine looking lace-effect trim. The products offering the highest levels of warm (4 and 5) have a rather lovely fleecy feel on the inside.
The fit overall was fine; however, whilst the tops didn't ride up at all, I could have done with a little extra length in the body. Obviously women with a shorter body length than me would not have found this to be an issue. The leg length in the Level 3 leggings was good and they stayed in place very well. The Level 2 leggings (in Jacquard) looked lovely and were certainly warm but are about 3 inches shorter than the Level 3 ... so a check of leg length is important.
I've used both the Level 2 and Level 3 garments under both 'normal' tops and jeans (in temperatures ca 10 deg C) as well as under my walking gear for several new year walks around Cheshire and Derbyshire in temperatures about 4 deg C.
The thermal properties of the garments I've tried were very good I was certainly lovely and warm. The midlayer and jacket I wore when walking are both pretty breathable; as part of this system the breathability of the Level 3 Damart top was pretty good too. The close fit plus slight stretch in the fabric meant I didn't experience any restriction in movement at all.
In the past I've been concerned that odour retention with a synthetic fabric such as Thermolactyl would be a problem - it's been pretty minimal with these Damart products which has been a pleasant surprise.
They've all washed very well and dry quickly - but can definitely not be thrown in the tumble dryer!
The weather forecast suggests there'll be some cooler weather in the next few weeks - so will use that to try out the Level 4/5 garments before updating this review.
The weather has now turned a lot cooler (-4 deg C) so I've been able to try out the Level 4 (Extra Warmth - suggested for use down to -10 deg C). The thermal properties were great - I've certainly been lovely and warm. As with the other items tried, the breathability was also good. I did find, though, that the Level 4 leggings were also quite a lot shorter than the Level 3 equivalents - in fact for me, they were probably too short so that I ended up with a chilly gap between the bottom of the leggings and the top of my walking socks.
As an alternative to merino products, Damart's Thermolactly range is certainly worth looking at as everyday thermals as well as for garments to go underneath your winter walking gear. And they look rather nice as well! The women's range certainly has some variation in the length of leggings - so if you're tall, then check this out.
Stop Press! If you have an iPhone, iPod Touch, Android, Palm or Blackberry you can now use it to download and see this Damart Thermolactyl thermal product review and gear test with go4awalk Mobile. Simply enter www.go4awalk.com into your iPhone, iPod Touch, Android, Palm or Blackberry's internet browser (e.g. Safari) and follow the on-screen links.
What do you think?
Have you got/bought Damart Thermolactyl thermal Base Layers for Women?
We would love to hear what you thought of it - good, bad or indifferent. Perhaps you simply disagree with our verdict - or feel we've neglected an important feature.
Let us know by clicking this link - What I think of Damart Thermolactyl thermal Base Layers for Women - so we can publish your important views below.
• I have used Damart thermolactyl base layers for years and could never see the advantage of the merino alternatives - they are soft to wear, really warm and breatheable and they wash really well. I have some items that are more than 10 years old and they are still in good shape. I wholeheartedly recommend this product.
Steve Cragg, Leeds