Saturday, April 18, 2009

In Praise of Thumb Loops! (Huh? Thumb Loops?)

Above: Yours truly with the Ibex Sidewinder Long-Sleeve Zip top.
Dig them thumb loops! (Or are they "thumb holes"?)
Google has 44,900 references to "thumb holes" and 37,900 references to "thumb loops." Unbelievably, within a few hours of putting this post online, this page right here is the fourth Google reference to "thumb loops!"

Recently I got two long-sleeve tops from my two favorite clothing companies, Patagonia and Ibex, which feature thumb loops. (In fact, I pretty much only wear clothing from these two fine American companies. I just love their products and equally I respect how they operate and what they stand for.) I'd never used thumb loops before, but I am totally sold on them now for cool-to-cold weather because they keep the sleeves in place and the wind from blowing up the sleeves. I love both of these tops and wear them all the time now!

This past weekend we enjoyed three days of cycling and hiking on Mt. Laguna, an area just 50 miles east of San Diego, CA which features world-class desert alpine terrain with quiet roads (some of them closed to car traffic), practically off-the-map and car-free back-country roads, and fantastic trails for hiking, "mountain biking," or both. It's Rough Rider paradise! As it's early April, the weather was brisk, so long sleeves were in order and the thumb loops really came in handy, you might say. I definitely plan to use both of these tops in various cycling events and adventures in the future, but I also wear them out and about off the bike and when not hiking. They look good, fit well, and are really well made. Here are some shots and details from Mt. Laguna:
Above: Yours truly with the Ninja hood up on my Patagonia R1 pull-over on a chilly morning at Lake of the Woods
Above: Dig them Patagonia thumb loops and the wool Ibex gloves!

The Night Blue / Green top is the Ibex Sidewinder Long Sleeve Zip: "A versatile piece designed specifically for aerobic activities. Semi-fit with self-bound sleeve openings and thumbholes, the Sidewinder keeps your body temperature regulated and odor-free during intense workouts."

• 18.5 Micron New Zealand Merino; 150 g/m2

• Semi-fit

• 10'' front zip with locking zipper pull

• Self-bound sleeve openings and thumbholes

• Contrast panels; raglan sleeves

• Built for aerobic pursuits

• Machine washable

• Made in the USA

Best Uses: Everyday, Running, Hiking (and cycling, I would add)

Fabric: 18.5 Merino Jersey +
Made from superfine 18.5 micron New Zealand Merino wool and 5 % Lycra®, our super soft, lightweight jersey fabric outperforms synthetics and cotton in warm conditions. The temperature regulating and moisture managing properties of Merino give you superior next-to-skin comfort. The Lycra® gives this fabric extra stretch and recovery for support and mobility. We use this fabric for warm weather tops and baselayers in the cooler times of the year. Easy care, quick drying. Machine washable.

Fiber Source: New Zealand / Fabric Source: New Zealand / Garment Source: USA

Click here for more info or to order online.

The black top with the Ninja hood is the Patagonia Men's R1® Hoody: "Spotted round the globe from high alpine ridges to backcountry bowls, our R1 Hoody earns raves from our most active customers and ambassadors alike. Warm, breathable and mobile, it has the minimalist detailing that avid climbers and backcountry skiers need – from the stretchy and 60% recycled R1 fabric to the snug-fitting balaclava-style hood. With low-grid stretch polyester at the wrist cuffs and around the long bottom hem for minimal bulk under a harness. Recyclable through the Common Threads Recycling Program."

• Versatile R1 fleece provides excellent stretch, warmth, wicking and breathability in a variety of temperatures
• High/low interior grid-structure enhances compressibility, airflow and dry time
• Jersey microfiber face allows non-binding layering
• Capilene® 4 stretch panels at cuffs and hem
• Snug-fitting balaclava-style hood; deep, center-front zipper offset for next-to-chin comfort
• External pocket: one mesh chest
• Raglan sleeves for comfort under pack straps; Capilene® 4 cuffs stretch and have thumb-loops to hold sleeves in place

R1: 6.5-oz Polartec® Power Dry® 93% polyester (60% recycled), 7% spandex. Capilene® 4 stretch panels: 5.3-oz 98% polyester (50% recycled), 2% spandex. Recyclable through the Common Threads Recycling Program
309 g (10.9 oz). Made in Colombia.

Regulator® Insulation provides phenomenal compressibility, light weight warmth and moisture transport, whether used alone or as part of a layering system.
Recycled Polyester: We recycle used soda bottles, unusable second quality fabrics and worn out garments into polyester fibers to produce many of our clothes.

Click here for more info or to order online.

Also, our friends at Rivendell sell some tops with thumb holes.

Check out the Patagonia Blog, "The Cleanest Line."

Check out the Ibex Blog, "Ibex Buzz."

PS: We are now posting all of our Rough Rider videos on our Youtube Channel. Be sure to click "Playlists" when you get there, so you can check out all the Rough Rider videos in one spot. You can even watch them all as one continuous stream!

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