Submitted: 02-20-2010 by dsd1
My daughter picked up a fleece outfit of long pants, long sleeve shirt and a hat at a big sailing regatta in Florida last December when an unexpected cold front came in. She raved about the gear and we subsequently bought several outfits for the family. To say we love Z-Tech is much understated.
We use it for everything from paddling, to sailing, to going to the store in the morning. My wife runs in it every morning. The kids use it under ski shells. My oldest son wears it under his hockey gear. It is machine washable so I guess I'm saying it is very versatile and easy to care for. The stuff we bought is all black and priced along the lines of other stuff we have like Kokotat. We bought it from ZoumUSA which was the sponsor of the regatta. I don’t know if anybody else sells it but it is worth a look.
According to the manufacturer of the fabric- Polartec Power Stretch is designed to maximize evaporation and moisture wicking to keep you warm and dry, is wind and abrasion resistant, and very comfortable. The vendor tells me it is also very durable but I can't attest except to say my daughter's sailing buddies tell her it is durable.
The first thing you notice is how soft it is on the skin- softer than cashmere. There is a collar that comes up a couple of inches around the neck like a soft gator. It is not tight but touches the skin everywhere. I would call it comforting. The vendor says Z-Tech looses some of its technical wicking and breathability if worn too loose. There are no noticeable seams to leave your skin raw. The seams are flat and lie down in the fleece. In fact, even if you spend all day in salt water you feel very comfortable and warm. There is no chafing in the groin area or under the arms. The outside of the fabric is smooth like cotton which is where moisture evaporates. The inside is soft fleece. I'd say the fabric is about 1/8" thick. The whole outfit stretches very easily so you never feel like it is pulling. It is super light. I have no idea exactly the weight, but I’d guess it weighs just a few ounces. Z-Tech is great in our view and we’re happy to recommend it!