SNOWSHOE MAGAZINE GEAR REVIEW:

Do Superheroes Wear Underwear? CW-X Sports Bra and Briefs

Last month, Derrick reviewed CW-X tights and shirts, and likened them to something Superman would wear (click here). I’ve been wearing CW-X too, and while I can’t say I feel especially like Wonder Women, I do think it’s great stuff. It makes such a difference in keeping the potentially hypothermia-inducing moisture at bay when you start to sweat in the cold. As a woman, I’ve had a problem though. My underwear – particularly my sports bra – is getting soaked. In my quest to stay dry, comfortable and safe, this is my weak link. Since these are the layers closest to my skin, it’s been a real problem. I decided to see if CW-X sports bras and briefs could help me out in this department.

Mesh Sport Support Bra and Litefit Brief

CW-X makes a highly breathable Mesh Sport Support Bra (Featuring the CW-X Soft Support System) made from Healtha+ quick dry fabric, which is designed to allow for greater moisture evaporation. The inner liner is thin and wicking, and the outer layer is a weave fabric that lets air flow freely. It seemed to be a good choice to try for a high intensity winter sport such as snowshoeing. This mesh version is similar to the regular Sport Support Bra, with features four-way stretch material, compression support and an inner cup support web to provide motion control.

The Litefit Brief is a performance sports brief which also uses the Healtha+ nanotechnology fabrics for quick-dry, moisture-wicking comfort and antibacterial freshness. As with the sports bra, maximum comfort is achieved by the flat seam construction.

Trying the two pieces on, they felt surprisingly supportive given the lightweight and mesh fabric. The higher degree of breathability in the mesh sports bra presumably comes at the expense of a certain amount of support (compared to the non-mesh version), but I found it to be more than adequate. The innovative fabric combinations and constructions allowed for ease of movement and support – a great combination for this base layer.

I had the perfect (that is to say, horrible) conditions to test these under layers out on a recent long run, with a cold driving rain falling, and lots of wet snow kicking up from the snowshoes. I was out there for four hours, and it is the kind of run where you can get in trouble with hypothermia, or at least be extremely miserable. Once you’re soaked to the skin, it is easy for a chill to set in. One key is to keep moving, but beyond that, having a layer right next to the skin that keeps moisture away helps immeasurably.

I found that later in the run, when I’d usually be feeling a giant wet mass next to my skin, this time I only felt wet on my outer layers due to the rain. Given that, I wasn’t overly surprised that when I got home and examined the sports bra, that it was almost completely dry, even at the base strap.

The briefs were also great at wicking moisture away, and on this day with the snow flying all over my lower body, this was extremely important. They also allowed a free range of motion while staying nicely in place. I’ve worn other briefs that only stay in place once they finally do get sweaty, so this was a nice change.

With a snowshoe marathon on the horizon, I’m doing everything I can to be prepared for the conditions, and this new discovery is a big piece of the puzzle that has now been solved. So, while I still don’t know if superheroes wear underwear, in this case I’ll just conclude that the superhero IS the underwear.

Sara Montgomery
sara@montgomeryadventurewriting.com

For more information on CW-X products, go to http://www.cw-x.com/.  To purchase these products, click here

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About Sara Montgomery and Derrick Spafford

Derrick and Sara are trail runners from Eastern Ontario who discovered that running on snowshoes in the winter months is a great way to enjoy their favorite trails year-round. They competed in their first snowshoe series (The Mad Trapper Series in Low, Quebec) in 2005, each finishing 2nd in their respective divisions. Plans for 2006 are to return to the Mad Trapper, to take in some races in New York and Vermont, and hopefully cap their season with the U.S. Snowshoe Championships in March, as Canadian guests. Derrick runs a company, Spafford Health and Adventure (http://www.healthandadventure.com), which specializes in coaching and event promotion. He is currently planning an annual snowshoe race to be held in the Kingston area, starting this winter.