KUIU Ultra Merino 120 LT Zip Off Bottom Review
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In the chilly backcountry, ascending steep uphills always has me sweating, even in sub-zero temperatures. My body just seems to run hot when I’m pushing hard. But here’s the catch: that heat leaves me feeling cold, clammy, and uncomfortable once I reach the summit. Enter the KUIU Ultra Merino 120 LT Zip Off Bottom, a game-changer for these sweaty, freezing moments in the wild.
In my years of hunting, hiking, and embracing the backcountry lifestyle, I’ve had my fair share of experiences with various KUIU products. What truly stands out is that this gear is crafted by hunters for hunters. This dedication means that the design team at KUIU understands the challenges faced by outdoor enthusiasts like myself. With a decade-long track record, KUIU has consistently delivered products ranging from clothing and packs to hunting accessories that just don’t buckle under the rigors of the wilderness.
In the late fall and early winter, I’ve put the KUIU Ultra Merino 120 LT Zip Off Bottoms through their paces. These bottoms have been my trusty companions during late-season scouting missions and backcountry skinning adventures.
About the KUIU Ultra Merino 120 LT Zip Off Bottom
Let’s clear one thing up right away: the KUIU Ultra Merino 120 LT Zip Off Bottom is far from your run-of-the-mill thermal underwear. Crafted from a blend of 70% merino and 30% nylon, these bottoms boast a unique construction distinct from a typical fabric blend. Rather than intertwining fabrics, KUIU ’s process involves wrapping merino around nylon strands, ensuring that the gentle wool directly contacts your skin. This seemingly small detail holds immense significance, leveraging the natural advantages of merino wool with excellent temperature regulation, warmth retention when damp, and remarkable odor control while harnessing the strength and structure that nylon provides. Sourced from New Zealand’s sheep, KUIU’s wool is sustainably procured.
What sets these leggings apart is their innovative leg zippers. Each leg features an external zipper, enabling swift removal without the need to take off hunting pants, boots, or gaiters. This design offers unparalleled convenience, allowing for quick adjustments in various outdoor scenarios.
Moreover, the waist boasts an adaptable hook and loop system, providing customizable fit options. Additionally, the gusseted crotch and functional fly enhance comfort and practicality during wear.
Count me as a dedicated convert when it comes to underlayers, the KUIU Ultra Merino 120 LT Zip Off Bottom have won me over. Merino wool holds a special place in my heart as an outdoor clothing material. It’s my top pick for both chilly and warm weather. The way it breathes, manages moisture, regulates temperature, and stays odor-free is unmatched.
During this year’s elk hunting, the demands were intense. Five consecutive days, ascending 3,000 feet before daybreak—cold at the start, sweating within 20 minutes. I’d rapidly shed layers, yet most days, the KUIU Ultra Merino 120 LT Zip Off Bottom remained on. However, on unseasonably warm mornings, these came off swiftly thanks to the side zippers. In about 5 minutes, they’d zip right off, allowing me to resume hunting and hiking. Putting them back on, though, required a bit more effort. I found it simpler to reassemble and wear them conventionally rather than attempting to zip them onto my legs.
While these bottoms excel as hunting gear, they prove equally fantastic for skiing, frigid hikes, and ice fishing. I appreciate gear that transitions across various activities, and these bottoms are as versatile as they come. They’re my go-to underlayer when temperatures hover above 10 degrees. Below that, I opt for a thicker layer. For uphill activities like skiing, they’re ideal—the side zippers facilitate seamless layer adjustments without removing ski boots and bibs.
During those rare moments in every ice fishing season when the wind eases and the sun emerges, prompting the shedding of layers, these bottoms will be my perfect companion for those almost-t-shirt days on the ice.
Specs on the Kuiu Ultra Merino 120 LT Zip Off Bottom Taken Directly From KUIU
- Inseam: 26.75 in / 68 cm
- Zip-off design for easy on and off without removing boots
- Crotch gusset for added comfort and reduced chaffing
- Low-profile elastic waist with hook & loop closure
- Functional fly
- Anatomical shaping for fit and comfort
- Flat lock seams for added comfort
In the realm of versatile, high-energy cold-weather gear, the KUIU Ultra Merino 120 LT Zip Off Bottom shine. Originally crafted for hunting, these baselayers prove equally adept for skiing, hiking, and mountaineering. The blend of merino wool and nylon not only ensures durability but also guarantees remarkable comfort. When sweat becomes inevitable, the ease of unzipping and removing these bottoms is a game-changer. Don’t hesitate, these should definitely top your list for the next pair of baselayer bottoms. For more info on this or other KUIU gear, visit www.kuiu.com.