Tue, Jul 07, 2015
Review by Chris
The EMS Bergelene family of undergarments is billed as "Advanced Performance" clothing. How, exactly, an inanimate object can perform is beyond me, but once you look past the marketing babble, you can see what EMS is trying to do. It is well known that in order to stay warm, you must stay dry. Now, the human body is fighting this every step of the way when you're exercising by supplying you with sweat to cool what your body believes to be warm conditions. So what do you need? You need a garment that wicks that sweat away from your body. This is the conundrum that plagues me on EVERY trip I take, and it is the challenge that the Bergelene underwear attacks head on.
As a hot hiker (I mean temperature, not Brad Pitt hot!), I never wear long underwear while I'm actually hiking. But after hiking, at the summit or at camp, things start to cool down and I start to chill out. This is where the Bergelenes must do their job. On the first trip I made with the EMS underwear, the temperature was warm during the day, and cold at night prime testing weather. The Bergelene did very well, drying me out quickly (within 5 minutes or so) and keeping me warm although there was no wind. They are comfortable, like a thin fleece pant, and surprisingly, they fit my legs (35 inches long with big, burly thighs!). The waist is elastic (which helps when you've over-eaten after a long day), as are the cuffs (which helps keep the legs from riding up). The Bergelenes sport the standard "access panel" as Pamela likes to call it, although the elasticity of the fabric makes it tough to use.
EMS' Lip Service:
Our most versatile performance underwear Engineered for ski touring, winter hiking, and other moderately active sports. Exclusive "bi-component construction" fabric-outside is smooth jersey-stitch nylon for durability and easy layering, inside is napped thermal-stitch micro-denier polyester for comfortable softness. Wicks moisture outward. Flat-sewn seams. Waistband is fabric covered for added comfort. Inside label will not scratch. Machine washable.
My Lip Service:
The Bergelene is a nice pair o' undies, comfortable, good wicking, and well made. I'd like to see a little more wind resistance in the fabric, but it wouldn't keep me from buying another pair. One highlight is that you can wear them for several days in a row, sweating the whole time, and they don't smell. Don't ask.
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Chris Oberg & Robert Havasy