L.L. Bean Polartec Power Dry Base Layer Review

September 18, 2011
L.L. Bean Polartec Power Dry Base Layer

The Good

  • Solid Wicking.
  • Lightweight.
  • The thumb slots at the wrist area.
  • The chest zip was a bonus however a longer pull would even be better.

The Bad

  • The fit is not tapered, resulting in loose fit and some trapped sweat.
  • Noticeable pilling of the fabric.

This layer is one that I liked for those winter days where I bulked up on several layers and used this one for wicking but others on top of it for warmth. It is also performed well for light aerobic activities on warmer days such as kayaking. The drawbacks include a non form-fitting design resulting in some trapped sweat in the dead space areas as well as noticeable pilling of fabric. Bottom Line: Makes a great price point layer for aerobic activities and one that won’t take up much space in your pack.


My first observation was that L.L. Bean’s Polartec Power Dry Base Layer was a great low profile light weight design that did not take up bulk, allowing me to put multiple layers over it while snowshoeing, biking, and downhill skiing. After extensive use over three months time, it kept me dry during most aerobic activities and the dry times seemed better than average. The comfort level was average and did not conform to the skin as well as I would have liked, creating some areas of trapped sweat. Surprisingly for a Polyester layer, the “stink factor” was minimal. Durability was a concern as I noticed fabric pilling early in the test period on the main surface of the fabric. Thumb slots were a bonus in keeping it snug when layering, and the zippered chest added some ventilation, but it would have benefited from a longer pull.


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