For years now I have been wearing and trusting EDZ products on a weekly basis, so when I was asked if I wanted to put some more kit to the test on another expedition to Nepal I was certainly happy to make the kit a big part of my packing.
Our expedition was to complete the Manaslu Circuit, a 13 day horseshoe walk around the base of Manaslu. During the walk we'd encounter near on +30 degree temperatures during the day, and as it transpired -10 degrees through the night. Packing for a trip like this can be troublesome for some, especially when you have to take in the weight limit imposed by the porters carrying the bulk of the kit.
So with weight at a premium and a requirement to pack for a range of climates the order of the day, I was more than happy to include multiple EDZ items into my kit bag as quite simply Merino is the ultimate fibre to handle such demands.
I won't use this review as a place to educate you on the benefits of merino products, but in summary a good quality merino product should tick the following boxes:
1) Not hold odour - Ideal for wearing day after day without washing
2) Regulate temperature - It'll wick sweat as well as provide warmth when required
3) Not itch - a wool product that doesn't itch, surely not?
So what merino products did I take with me, and are EDZ products still ticking all the boxes?
Merino Wool T-Shirt 200g
These T-shirts actually formed our team T-shirts, and so all 7 members on the trek wore them at some point. I personally practically lived in mine as I was keen to put those non-odour holding merino fibres through a proper testing. I wore the shirt for 7 days straight which was made up of one day sightseeing, one long bus ride and 5 days trekking in 27-30c degree heat. Did the T-shirt smell? No! The T-shirt passed the sniff test with flying colours, and in truth I only changed it because it was getting thick with dust.
I found the shirt comfortable in the warm heat and able to keep up with the demands of wicking away the sweat. Yes, a polyester tee would wick faster and dry quicker providing more short-term comfort, but how many days would you be able to wear it before it began to honk? In that sort of heat I would say 2 maximum.
The fit of these shirts is great and they're super comfortable too. The shirt was washed and dried on the trek and worn again, and has since been washed again in a washing machine at home and worn again. The shirt has maintained it's previous form and not shrunk by any noticeable amount as can happen with some merino products.
We actually got these shirts branded with our company logo by heat transfer and the logos have not only held well but the process did not damage the merino as can happen with some fibres.
Here are some further comments from some of the team members on their experience with the same shirts, in both the Men's and Women's fit:
'All my EDZ products performed superbly in the conditions encountered from 27 degree heatto sub zero temperatures above 5000 metres. These products managed to stay relatively odourfree even after use over a few days, they kept me warm in the evenings and cool during the heat of the day. I have now washed them and they are awaiting their next outing.' Steve Marsh
Merino Wool Long Sleeve Zip Neck T-Shirt 200g
I tested one of these shirts back in 2015/16 here in the UK so was very happy to take a new one out to Nepal with me. This shirt got less of a testing than the one above however it was worn most nights in my sleeping bag, and then more vitally it was coupled with the above T-shirt on the day we went over the 5,100m pass.
As with my previous test, I found it to be comfortable and warm when required. I do find these long sleeve zip necks quite versatile as for those colder moments you can utilise the well engineered thumb loops and high collar to provide additional warmth, and for when it's warmer just vent the zip, roll up the sleeves and let the Merino regulate away.
Merino Wool Boxer Shorts
What an incredible bit of kit! These boxers are not only an incredible fit, but they really do cut the mustard! I took two pairs of these boxers with me on the trek and in 13 days of walking it was all I wore - and yes, they passed the sniff test! Merino really is that good, and these boxer shorts are a must purchase for anyone heading off on extended travels with a weight limit. I've had Merino boxers in the past but they were certainly not as supportive as these. Furthermore, at a shade over £20 they're a bargain compared to some of their market rivals.
These boxers have since been washed and re-worn and are still as comfortable as the first run out. I'll be wearing these boxers at any given opportunity now whether it be for work or day to day wear.
Merino Wool Walking Boot Socks & Thermal Liner Socks
EDZ socks have been keeping my feet warm and comfy for years now, but I'd not trialed a pair of their newer walking socks, nor thermal liners. The walking boot sock is a bit thicker than I would have originally wanted to choose for trekking in such a heat whilst in the earlier portion of the circuit, but I wanted to put them on anyway to see how they'd get on. I was glad I did, as the thicker sock provided an excellent amount of cushioning and comfort for the long 20km days. But were they too hot? Again, unsurprisingly no. Yes, my feet would have been warmer than they would have been in a lightweight trekking sock, but at no point did they feel too warm nor did my feet feel too sweaty. Our feet sweat about a mug full of sweat a day anyway, and a good test as to whether your socks are getting rid of that is how soft and damp your skin is at the end of the day. At no point did my feet suffer for being too hot. I wore my boot socks for 5 days straight and was very impressed. I would have worn them for longer but as it was quite dusty I thought I'd best change them out before the grit built up and caused potential irritations.
Due to the nature of the heat previously outlined I didn't team the boot socks up with the liner socks on many occasions. The one occasion I did was when we ventured over the pass. I wanted to add an additional layer of warmth for the colder part of the day, but knew once we had descended down from the pass we'd be back in the heat again. A merino liner sock is ideal for this, as it'll provide that warmth, but also add that wicking requirement when called upon. Again, a very comfortable and well engineered sock.
I'll continue to wear these socks during my working weeks and if they're like the previous EDZ socks I've owned they'll keep appearing for a long time before they show any signs of wear.
So it's all good news isn't it? All the above products really did hit the mark when it came to what was expected of them and I highly recommend you get some EDZ products in your wardrobe if you have't already. It's great to see EDZ are continuing to produce good looking and more importantly well manufactured garments.
To read more about our trip to Nepal please click here
To read our previous EDZ Product Reviews click here
To see more EDZ products please visit www.edzlayering.com
This review was written by: Matt Le Voi
Matt has been working in the Outdoor Industry for over 8 years and has worked on and off in outdoor
retail for roughly the same length of time. This combination of both being on the 'sharp end' using and abusing kit and also working in-store means Matt has a great knowledge on what should be expected of kit and how it compares to other options on the market. Matt, as the Managing Director of Lakeland Mountain Guides, is proudly an affiliate with Cotswold Outdoor, The Keswick Boot Co, EDZ Performance Layering, a Ruffwear Brand Ambassador and supported by Aquapac.