Line Break Base Layer Test

Posted by David Jones
Tuesday 10th March 2009
Having just taken delivery of a load of Line Break compression and thermoregulatory clothing (many thanks to Line Break for their very generous support), I thought given that the sun was shining and it was getting a bit warmer that it was the perfect opportunity to try it out.  I have been given a range of tops and bottoms, but today I opted for their Vee Tank, a cut off sleeved, vest type top.  At 6 ft 1 inch and 85kg I fit a large quite nicely (although one or two lumpy bits as the photos show, but then I am 46) and as there was still a coastal chill wore a Helly long sleeve technical top over it.  Pack weight was 10 kg using the Inov-8 Race Pro 30.  The tide was nice and low so I started of with around 4 miles on soft sand and pebbles along the beach.  The first thing I noticed was that the top did not need to be tucked in to stop it riding up - in fact as the pack moved around on my back it almost felt like it was sliding across my skin; very comfortable.  As I started to sweat I got no sense of being "soaked" as the technical material immediately whicked away the moisture and when I stopped I could feel the cooling effect even when I was sitting indoors.  So in terms of thermal regulation qualities, this garment seems to be excellent certainly for the UK climate.


The next question was how would the product perform as a compression garment with stress being applied to the upper body.  The weight on my shoulders had started to pull at around the 6 miles mark and I got that feeling I always get; it starts as a slight ache at the base of the neck and then radiates across the top of the shoulders, slowly but surely.  A quick flex of the neck and shoulders tends to alleviate it for a while and it was not enough to really bother about.  I was not used to the pack as that was being trailed as well and I had one or two issues with the straps being too far apart for my size, however, whereas before I had become irritated with it eventually, it almost felt like pressure was being applied across the whole shoulder rather than the point of contact.  It is difficult to quantify the performance of the compression top, but it certainly seemed to "ease the load".  After 8.5 miles I was back - 1 hour 25 mins mainly across rough ground, beach and pebbles apart from around 2 miles on roads.  I kept the top on afterwards to see if it aided recovery, but it was hard to tell, the staff where I work were telling me to take a shower so I couldn't keep it on for long!  So, first impressions, from a comfort and thermal control point of view, this stuff seems to be the business.  I look forward to some more serious testing in the Sinai next month. 


Read more blog entries by David Jones

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