Gear Review - XTM Performance's Ladies Merino gear

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Don't retreat into your hidey hole this winter!

The crisp mountain air, magic light, hot chocolate + marshmallows (or whisky + chocolate, depending on how you roll) by the campfire are all calling your name.

I know, I know...but what if you freeze?

Luckily, XTM Performance have just the gear to keep you warm so you can keep on exploring - and I can guarantee this because I tested it out in the frosty Budawangs of New South Wales in the thick of winter. And if that isn't enough first-hand proof, keep in mind that XTM are also the official supplier for the Australian Winter Olympic Team. 

The products

1. The Peppin Jacket

A good down jacket is a must-have when bracing the cold weather because it is super warm, super light, very packable and an integral part of effective layering. 
However, the price puts many people off.
Well, XTM's Peppin Jacket is incredibly well-priced at AUD 149.99.

What I loved

  • The roomy and cosy pockets - you can keep your hands warm and your essentials within easy and fast reach.
  • The robustness of the material - the Aussie bush is not forgiving and even after scrambling on rocks and scraping through native bushes and trees, the jacket looks near-brand-new. This is important to me as I don't want to worry, in the back of my mind, about my gear falling apart in the outdoors!

What I didn't totally love

  • This comes down to personal preference but I like my jackets quite tapered so that they move with me. However, a bit of extra room in the waistline means you can comfortably layer with XTM's Peppin Jacket.
  • I also prefer a hooded down jacket to keep the wind out. If you also love a hood, consider XTM's Stuff It Jacket.
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2. Ladies Long Sleeve Merino Top

Wow. This is the first set of merino baselayers I've ever owned and I don't think I can go back. XTM's Ladies Long Sleeve Merino Top is SO PLUSH that I've been wearing it around the house back home in Sydney.

At 230gms and made from 100% fine Australian Merino wool, AUD 79.99 is honestly a steal. You'd be looking at spending $50 more with competing brands for less gms (I checked one leading New Zealand and one leading Australian brand).

What I loved

  • The crew neck and thumb holes - it's amazing how much difference just this little bit of extra coverage makes in keeping you toasty!
  • The comfortable, clean and silky soft Australian Merino - no itch and no smell here! And it is seriously snug and soft.  

What I didn't totally love

Honestly...there isn't anything I don't love about this top.

3. Ladies Merino Pants

XTM's Ladies Merino Pants, at 230gms and made from 100% fine Australian Merino wool, are also a bargain at AUD 79.99 and again, I'm such a big fan that I've been wearing them to bed back home in Sydney.

What I loved

  • The ankle cuffs - your pants will stay put all throughout the night so no cold air will sneak in.
  • The breathable Australian Merino - I actually hiked 4 kilometres in these pants (it was way too cold to get changed!) and wasn't fazed in the slightest as the wool was sweat-wicking and very breathable.  

What I didn't totally love

  • I would've liked the waistband to be tighter and more elastic to hold up better - but this is probably just due to my body shape and composition.
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Other XTM Performance items

I also had XTM's Trek Performance Otway socks, Merino gloves and Pinnacle beanie with me on this adventure in Morton National Park.

The socks are well-cushioned and sweat-wicking, with a cuff that stops them from slipping down. The Merino gloves were snug and didn't impede dexterity as much as other gloves I've worn and I think they're going to be perfect for layering for snowsports. The beanie is a definite new favourite - I love how well it transitions from the outdoors to the city.

And finally, the Dreamliner 170 Merino wool sleeping bag liner. GAME CHANGER. This lightweight liner adds 5 degrees of warmth to your sleeping bag. It is so soft and cosy, stretches with you and is tapered but with a boxed foot end. For a sleeper who moves around quite a bit, like me, the Dreamliner 170 is honestly amazing. Not once did I find myself uncomfortably tight and twisted in my bag.

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All in all, I was a very happy hiker+camper in my XTM Performance gear in such a beautiful part of Australia. As they say, there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing so this winter, gear up with XTM Performance and embrace the cooler weather. 

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