Sunday , 21 July 2019
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Halfmiletogo Scout Review featuring Activeseam

We’re reposting the halfmiletogo blog post. The original can be read here: We are particularly pleased with the review of the activeseam stitches.

“A few weeks back, I was browsing reddit’s backpacking related subreddits (shoutout to r/hiking, r/campingandhiking and r/outdoorsgear) when I came across a post from u/textilemagnate speaking about what they had created. One of the big things that drew me to the company was their motivation. WoolPRO started from a love of the outdoors and the desire to create innovative products . That motivation sets them apart from the pack and puts them in similar company as Patagonia, Osprey and others.


About WoolPRO

One of the things that I was so fascinated by was the relationship that WoolPRO has with Merrow sewing machines. To quote their website:

[WoolPRO] is a daughter company of the Merrow Sewing Machine Company, a sewing machine manufacturer that has designed, manufactured, and hand-built industrial machines in the United States since 1838. WoolPRO was created by the two of us, Charlie and Owen Merrow, the 7th generation to own and operate Merrow.

This isn’t a company that was specifically looking to diversify or that wanted to edge into the outdoor market. These were two guys who love the outdoors and an “active lifestyle” and wanted to create a performance product. The unique element of this is that they were able to approach it as a manufacturer of sewing machines; they knew what the machines were able to do and able to create from the understanding. In a word, I think that’singenuity.

The openness of the company has been refreshing as well. After being lightly called out on Reddit from someone who felt that it was just advertising, this was their response:

We started this several years ago as a side project with a good friend in Turkey. We spent three years experimenting with different processes of knitting and dying until we created the 135 gram and 195 gram fabrics that are 100% merino and and stable in the wash. It took a long time. We used Merrow’s resources to get this started… but it is very much now a classic under funded startup [sic]. The beautiful thing is that the knowledge base, and resources at Merrow provide it an opportunity to grow and build high quality products without private equity. We even built custom sewing machines using activeseam for WoolPRO – this is very much authentic. And I am very much not working in a marketing dept. 🙂

WoolPro Packaging

Initial Impressions

The packaging is attractive and looks and feels like a premium product. Immediately after opening it, I tried it on (I couldn’t help myself). I want to get into the fit, but I want to highlight something first; I want to talk about seams!

I can’t believe I’m about to say this about SEAMS but they are such a nice touch. They show the attention to detail that WoolPRO puts into their products. The seams, while normally relegated to a necessary part of the shirt has been transformed into something that helps the clothing perform. The seams also make the Scout more attractive, using it in a contrasting color that looks awesome!

Why am I going on and on about the seams. I don’t know about you, but I’ve had base layers that just rubbed me the wrong way… literally! They have two things that set their seams apart:

  1. ACTIVESEAM – This is the technology that I feel they were able to create by knowing what their machines could do. It allows the seam to stretch up to twice as much as regular seams and is 30% stronger. I found that the seams were softer to the touch, too. The seam almost feels like a regular seam with additional horizontal stitching over the top. Either way, it feels really strong and soft.
  2. Side Panel – The side seam was replaced with a side panel (ingenious). This allows for some of the stretch when the “dad-bod” may get in the way a bit. It also helps to not have the seam meet up right underneath your arm. When you add the weight of a pack and a seam under the arm, it can cause some uncomfortable time on the trail.

The Fit

The Scout has a great, “fitted” fit. It wasn’t so tight that I would feel uncomfortable wearing it by itself, but cut close enough that it wouldn’t bunch up as a base layer. This is perfect as it allows for it to be used as a true base layer or by itself. I have a few base layers that are too fitted but, again, this fit great. (Seriously, I can’t say enough about how I like the fit)!

Most of the merino wool shirts that I have tried on in the past have been itchy, but these aren’t. You can feel that there is a texture to the shirt, but that sensation quickly goes away. I didn’t really notice it to begin with, though, for what that’s worth.

“After” Impressions

After beginning to write this post, I took a few day break and actually wore it. I’m now coming back and here are my “after-impressions.”

We had some cooler days here in Louisiana and I decided I would take my Scout out for the day. After putting it on, my wife mentioned how much SHE liked the cut, too! My first stop for the day was to the coffee shop to try and get some work done. The temps were around 40 when I got out (around 7 AM) and the Scout handled it like a champ! I wore it out all day long and even with the temperatures swinging into the 60s, I was never too hot (or cold in the morning).

The next morning I got up early for a garage sale at our local outdoor gear store and it was in the upper 30s. I wore it throughout the day (into the mid-60s) and it was the perfect outer layer. Even going from outside in the 40s to the inside of the store (60s or 70s), I was comfortable. I could see it being too warm if I’d been super active, but I was in the urban jungle.

I can’t wait to take this out on the trail. We have a trip planned for the end of March so I’ll be bringing this along. I may forego the jacket and bring this instead. I can layer with it and dial in what I need.

The Good: Great athletic fit, lightweight, warm, stylish

The Bad: May be too warm for Louisiana springtime!

Nitty Gritty: I can’t recommend the Scout enough. If you don’t own it, buy it now. It is made to last and you WILL NOT regret it!”

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