Highline Thermal Legging Product Deep Dive


Tayson Whittaker: Hey, everybody. Welcome back to the Live Ultralight Podcast, powered by Outdoor Vitals. Today in this podcast episode, we have Brigham, our product designer, on here, and we're going to be doing a deep dive. One of your guys's favorite styles of podcast and it's an interesting product. It's something that Brigham as you noted, it may not take us a full hour to go over. And I would kind of believe that there's a lot of companies out there that just may not even have bothered to do a podcast for this product, but for us it matters, right? So for us, everything matters when you're up on the mountain, when you're out in the wilderness, you know, the performance of every single piece of kit that you have matters. And so we're going to take the time to go through the specifics on this. What makes it truly great, truly unique. Maybe we'll talk about use case scenarios a little bit so that you can get an idea of why it stands out to us and why it's a product that we're willing to stamp and release to the public. Because again, in our minds, every piece of gear matters, even if it is just your leggings. So today we're going to be talking about the high line thermal leggings and just breaking those down. So, Brigham, how are you doing today?

Brigham Crane: Doing well.

Tayson Whittaker: Doing well. Hanging in there, enjoying the fall, crisp air that's upon us. It's good.

Brigham Crane: Yeah, it is getting nice. The mornings. The mornings are actually nice again. So like when I go out and run or hike in the mornings, it actually feels nice,

Tayson Whittaker: right? We're headed up the mountain. Five of the team members and me are four of the team members, and we are headed up today to do some fastpacking and it's so nice that they're up there over the weekend and getting close to changing leaves. And it's just that crisp, clean air. I feel like every time you go up the mountain that's at least what it feels like. So it's a great time to be out. It's also a time to start thinking about layers a little bit and some of those kinds of things in your kit. So it's a good time to be talking about thermal leggings. So I guess let's just start off with the background of this product and what we were hoping to design when we set out with this project. Obviously we already had thermal legging before with the DragonWools. That's a full zip off piece, meaning you can leave shoes or boots on, you can completely zip it off of your body. So it's very convenient to layer up and layer down in that sense. But there is still something that was, I guess, lacking for us and hence the reason that we decided to build a new piece. So what was it, Brigham, that when we set out to design this piece that changed for us, that we felt like we needed to solve or improve upon?

Brigham Crane: Well, I if my memory is working, which might not be 100%, but I mean,

Tayson Whittaker: just in terms of some of the

Brigham Crane: some of the origins, I mean, I like that the name Highline Leggings is like it is a bit of a reminder as to some of the origins, because I think we really started kind of adding more just a little more emphasis or attention on lower half layers after the the trip on the High Line where we got snowed out, you know, in like the first week of August and it it would be it wouldn't be accurate to say we we got snowed out because we didn't have leggings like that would be an exaggeration but. Right it did. It was just kind of, I would say, like a pretty strong impetus to start looking a little bit harder and analyze, saying, what can we add to our line that can help us and everybody else out there? Just like in this scenario where although it was summer, we were at high elevation and a massive weather system came in where it was really cold and wet. And that that combination is just, you know, it can be very potentially dangerous. But it's challenging at the least in terms of just staying warm and effective and efficient on the trail and being able to kind of do, you know, complete the trip that you want to complete. So, yeah, we started looking at leg coverings, basically.

Tayson Whittaker: Well, yeah, like when I think back on that, I think I was the only one that had thermals. I was testing out some thermals and I think no one else had them. And so that kind of begs the question of like, well, why? Right? And I think to to just pair it down when you're doing a trip like that, we're 20 to 25 miles a day at 12,000 plus feet and you're just doing massive amounts of exertion And Miles, you know, you really start paring down your kit as much as you can because every pound matters and we have dragon wheel bottoms, but they're like nine ounces or something in that ballpark. And because of that, you know, people weren't packing them the weight of the fabric, maybe the zippers, etc., etc.. So no one was packing them. I had like I said, I had a lightweight fleece legging because I was wanting to test that out. But no one else had them. And everyone else was. I would say everyone. I can't speak for everyone, but I think there's a little bit of, you know, jealousy. When I was able to wear those in some of those scenarios and just take that edge off. And so, yeah, I think that that was probably one of those scenarios where we started to think about a little bit more because if our if the gear that we had out there wasn't really working for this exact trip, that was maybe a bit of a red flag, because that exact trip is a lot of what we're designing gear for is that level of performance, that level of exertion, that level of being out there in the backcountry. And so we wanted to make sure that we have a piece that works phenomenally for that. So we come back off that trip per say. And I know it's not exactly like that, but we started to put down thoughts and ideas of what we wanted to develop. And so what did that look like?

Brigham Crane: Well, I mean, some of those thoughts and ideas are still like in a development process. There's other things that we're working on.

Tayson Whittaker: And parts of it are we're after saying,

Brigham Crane: yeah, like for like legs. It's like, that's why I kind of just sparked this attention towards what can we do for our legs in this inclement weather that fits our system, right like that. That makes sense in terms of weight and performance and other things we can get into. But yeah, I think specifically like the leggings, the Highline leggings, what they kind of would bring to the table is they're incredibly light and they dry incredibly fast. So well and for that lightweight they're very warm. So I think that yeah just going back to that where even it's not that that's I wouldn't necessarily have just been wearing these leggings the whole time and that would have prevented us from getting snowed out. It's just, it's the thought process of what was happening as we were hiking in shorts, which is just a great way to go. And I don't like to second guess or I don't I wouldn't I would not do that much differently. But that's the scenario where when we were able to get our shelter set up, we were, you know, our legs, our shorts were soaking wet. And that's a massive amount of surface area of your body that's just exposed to the open air. And it's losing heat really quickly. So you lose heat from wherever you're exposed and you'll lose the most heat from those exposed areas. So legs have a lot of surface area. And and even when we got in the shelters and that's where, you know, looking at something like these, these Highline leggings would be they're they're really nice for that scenario where you just want to just warm up and kind of dry off because frankly, we could like we were coming out of being just pelted by, I would say, rain, sleet and hail, all of those things,

Tayson Whittaker: even the hail. I was reminded last week when I got caught in a hail storm at 12,000 feet, how much hail hurts that. Yeah, it stings. I had a flashback to getting smashed by the hail and being like, this is painful.

Brigham Crane: Yeah. So, you know, once, once, once you get in the tent, your legs are damp at best, if not just kind of soaking wet and being able to have an immediate boost in body warmth or, you know, warmth is pretty, pretty crucial. And so that's where these make a lot of sense or would have made a lot of sense is that for how little they weigh meaning we could pack them on this long distance, short duration trip. It makes sense in terms of bulk and weight. But they would have you know, they provide an immediate like significant boost in warmth. And also with the dampness like say, you know, the legs are wet or damp as soon as these are put on and they start trapping body heat, their body heat actually starts drying out our legs. And so it's that there's a couple of things going on at the same time where, yeah, they're warming us up, but they're also drying us off at the same time, which compounds and increases exponentially. So. So the more we warm up that fast, the drier our legs become and that helps us warm up even more. And so that's where the warmth and the weight and the quick drying ability of the leggings is what's really, really significant.

Tayson Whittaker: Yeah, I mean, I think like the best you see here, like it's almost like I'm thinking of this quote from cameras out. It's like, what's the best camera you can have? And usually the answer is the camera that's always with you. Right. And I think that's part of what makes these so amazing. I just rolled these up as either watching on YouTube and they're like the size of maybe two pairs of socks, like smaller socks or one like a big puffy pair of socks is about the size of those. They're under four ounces. And it's just something that's so easy to take with you and we can get into a bunch of that. But I do want to get into it because I want to get into some of the use cases, how we use them in our systems. But before I guess I got too far down that and you just want to talk about like, yeah, what they offer, right? Because obviously it's like in this scenario we're talking about, it's not like they're water resistant or anything like that, right? Like there's still more layering systems to come from us, but, what they do offer is they take the edge off of that cold. They're extremely warm for their weight and they're just yeah, they're just super, super versatile. I guess when and a lot of times something can be versatile just because it is lightweight or because like if you have it, then you're going to figure out different ways to use it. But I want to, I guess, talk a little bit about what the fabric is, what some of the design features are, and then we can really talk about how that applies into the field. I feel like. So when we started this off, yeah, we were looking for a legging that we could wear underneath shorts over the top of shorts underneath pants to take that edge off and really be that next to skin layer that just like Brigham was talking about, they can pull moisture off of you, regulate moisture on the skin, which is one of the best possible ways to regulate your temperature is is to regulate moisture with the base layer. So a lot of it had to be like, okay, it needs to be quick drying, useful to pull moisture off of you and really be that like next to a skin item that takes the edge off of any cold. So if you're wearing them with a short and there's a little bit of a breeze, like you're going to notice that these are on are they like windproof now they're not they're not that kind of a piece but it just takes the edge off If they're underneath the pant, if you're layering underneath the pant, they're going to be very warm in that scenario. Right. Because you've got something that's going to block the wind a little bit more and the knees are a little bit more lofted next to the skin. So when we started to, you know, explore different fabrics and different items, we looked at heavier weight items than this. We looked at a lot of really impressive fabrics, you know, amazing fabrics in the hand as far as hand feel, as far as a very premium feeling piece. And there's just a lot of options out there. And essentially, as we boil it down and down and down just for performance, I would say like, what are you getting for the weight and how likely are you to take them? And just started to go through, you know, even durability, you know, they hold shape, things like that. I feel like we just slowly realized more and more that this fabric was the fabric. Now, this fabric is about 100 grams per square meter. So it's an extremely light fabric that's like a three ounce per yard dish. If you're more familiar with that, about three ounces per yard fabric. So extremely light, it's like for those of you to have like the altitude hoodie that I'm wearing right now, like it's 20 grams heavier. This is 80 grams per square meter. This is 100 grams. Right. So it's an extremely, extremely light fabric. But what we got out of it was just always impressive. Like you wear it and you're like, this is just it just impressed for what it is. Right.

Brigham Crane: I think when we look for materials, everything is a compromise. But you're always trying to find the best balance of compromises with performance like performance and compromise. You try to find the best balance for the intended use. And I think that was what we we became really happy with this fabric because I feel it has the best balance of like even the range of use for for how much it weighs, for how warm it is, for how a breeze, because we could have gone we may have found something that, let's say was a little bit warmer, but it would be the increase in weight would be more so than the increase in warmth. So as soon as we got something a little bit warmer, it would actually maybe be, you know, say 1.5 times heavier. And so we were kind of losing on the balance there and it just didn't make sense. But I feel like we've got a really good balance with this fabric because, well, part of the balance is also not just performance, but usability in terms of year round. So we wouldn't make sense for us to just come out with something that you could only use in the summer or something that you could only use in the winter also, you know, like, yeah, a lot of the Western U.S. winters are long, but that that didn't strike the right balance for us either. If we had something that was just mostly appropriate for only, you know, subfreezing winter use, then that's not we're not happy with that. It just didn't seem that sensible or usable. And so I think we have a really good balance with this fabric that for frigid wintertime use, you know, using it actively. It's got to be pretty darn cold to hike with a pair of, you know, long johns thermal leggings underneath a pair of pants without overheating. And so there's some of that. The balance we had to find there was, well, how warm do we want it to still be able to use it under a pair of pants in the wintertime, but also now let's go to summertime or spring or fall where it's definitely not cold enough to need to put on a pair of long johns underneath a pair of pants. But there's plenty of scenarios where I kind of just call it like the camp routine, whether that's morning or night wear at night, you get to camp. Maybe the sun has just gone down and in spring and fall, the temperature will drop pretty quickly. Yeah. And so now maybe you're if you're hiking in shorts, but you still have to filter water, boil water, eat your dinner, set up camp, just relax, stretch, visit. You know, hang out. I don't want to, like, have to necessarily change into, like, a pair of pants that weighs, you know, 12, 16 ounces. But in that routine, having something in this weight and warmth category, it just makes a lot of sense. It's very usable. Same thing in the mornings. Oftentimes we get up before the sun is up and it's brisk. And if we're just wearing shorts, we want to maintain our body temperature so that we're efficient. And so just being able to put on something that's just warm enough while we're not really highly active and generating a lot of heat, I feel like this is kind of got a really good balance where in milder temperatures, even summer mornings and nights when we're very low on activity and just kind of hanging out like this, these these work really well and just keeping our legs just warm enough to be comfortable. But then in the wintertime, you know, we can actually you know, a lot of people can can put them on underneath a pair of pants and and go do like whether that's a, you know, cross-country skiing or snowshoeing or even if you don't have snow just hiking or even, you know, some of the guys that do downhill skiing and stuff like that, like it it provides a good, I'd say, inappropriate amount of warmth. Anyways, I feel like it's pretty, pretty balanced.

Tayson Whittaker: Yeah. And I think with that, we need to talk a little bit about what the fabric is, right? Because when you say legging, you can think of like, like, I don't know what I'm trying to say. Just a woven single piece of fabric per say that's more like a I don't say like a tight, if that makes sense.

Brigham Crane: Yeah, I think that's I in the terminology that was like frequently used back, I'd say like 10-20 years ago as people would talk about like silk wait so quite base layers and they're pretty similar to like kind of the weight and the fabric type that the altitude is where it's just yeah, it's not lofted by any means. It's just kind of thin. You can almost call it like t-shirt level thin, but it's, it's just there. It takes more than just fitting. It's and actually, that's on that high line trip. That's what I like. That's what I've used for years like to sleep in and and it's it's fine but we'll get into some interesting points that I have comparing you know kind of the silk way leggings to this

Tayson Whittaker: versus anything that's more lofted if that's the other category. Right. So this piece right here, again, if you're on video, you're going to see or if you go to our website to see this, the outside of this piece is not lofted. It's a smooth, very smooth face. So it's a little bit more durable and whatnot in that sense. But on the inside, when you turn this inside out, it is lifted or brushed or fleeced. So it is just yeah, I mean, essentially the goal of a lofted piece or in its latest piece is to trap air that warmth in there. And that's essentially what this does. And what makes this pretty interesting is this is a fabric coming out of our partners, out of Japan, and they're very, very skilled at the way that they brush this to fleece it so that it's not compromising durability on the outside. Now, keep in mind, this is an ultralight piece and we're not saying this is like some tough pants, Right? This is this is an ultralight thermal legging,

Brigham Crane: not a brush busting piece.

Tayson Whittaker: Yeah, but for what it is, it's still very durable on the exterior and very lofted and very warm on the interior of this. So this is about as light as I think you could possibly get to have a brushed fleece inner inner piece like this. Yeah. But it's a pretty proprietary way that they do this to achieve this exact thing. So yeah this is think of this more as a fleece per say a fleeced inner with a with a harder exterior on that but so we've got that silk way that we just talked about which is like, like, like it's a T-shirt or like this altitude fabric. You've got more of this fleece bottom and then I guess you could have something like a full insulate of bottom, but we're not really going to talk about that would be like pared down pants or something. That's right. So we found that this particular fabric or my opinion on this is that it's very, very it lands in a very unique spot. A silk weight. Yes. It will manage moisture on the skin. Right. It will pull moisture off, evaporate it and just take that edge off. But then you get like these fleece bottoms and they're almost too warm. Right. Because if you start to do any activity, you can start to heat up too much or, you know, there's just it's just tough. But so this really landed in this really unique spot where it punches above its weight category for warmth. But because it's still so thin and light, you know, you can do some light movement in this. If you're in shorts, you can do a decent amount of movement in this in pants, a little bit less. But so it just hits in this really unique spot where it's not just some silk weight t shirt type thickness on your legs, but it's not a big piece that's going to overheat you. And so what that does, just like Brigham alluded to, is it gives you a very wide range of usability in this piece. Summertime, I take these I've taken these on every summer trip we've had for over 12 months, and I've also taken them on every winter trip I've had in the last 12 months because there's just such a usable versatility, you know, like wide range of use out of these because of the weight category that they land in and just for the warmth category that they land at. And we built some other things into these, which we can talk about in a second to help with that as well. But yeah, I mean, does that does that kind of wrap up, I guess the the fabric itself and yeah,

Brigham Crane: I'd say it sums it up like to a tee. I mean that just the wide range of usability I feel like is just it's, it's a really good balance. Like I've just like you, I've taken that on every trip for sale since we started getting the prototypes made. And so that includes every season of the year. So one over a year in total in terms of time. And so and that's, you know, to really prove out the usability, like that's why we do that we internally do that testing and validation so that we can say like, okay, this was usable, you know, in a July trip because and we can get into use cases. But yeah, for sure, year round usability, I felt like we just found a really good balance when we talk about things like the silk weight. I think one of the interesting things is you could take a silk weight, basically something that's just it's just a knit fabric. It's just that both inside and outside surfaces are going to appear the same. It's just a consistently knit through thin, lightweight fabric. It's going to weigh, let's just say, you know, you mentioned the altitude. That's an 80 gram per square meter fabric. There's not really much out there in this type of knit fabric that's going to be lighter than that. But let's just say let's just call it 100 grams per square meter fabric and there's plenty of silk weight base layer type fabrics that are in that class. The interesting thing about this fabric and the highline legging is it's the same weight, but it's like 2 to 3 times warmer. Yeah, sometimes. So kind of that's where the interesting thing is, is like we can do, you know, we could take a really lightweight fabric and just make a pair of leggings out of it. But if we compare them, you know, weight for weight like one is just going to be way warmer than the other. And so it's not like they're warmer because there's a weight penalty. I think that the greatest part about them is they're they're warmer because of the fabric construction type and how they're brushed and fleeced, but there's no there's no weight penalty for that. So like, you essentially can't get, you know, a warmer legging for the weight, You know, I mean,

Tayson Whittaker: if they were to just go out,

Brigham Crane: there may be something out there, but it's not going to have just this. Like, for example, I have these I was issued actually in the military, some really good layering system pieces. And that's what I've used over the years, is some of these highly developed and the layering systems I'm talking about were developed by a big massive player in the outdoor industry, in the clothing industry. And so they're the methodology, the science behind it is all like really it's really valid. But so I've weighed them out. You know, I've got these, they're all all even the brand that makes the fabric of these leggings I have is polar tech. It's just a very silk weight. So great the base layer they weigh almost identical. It might be like a quarter of an ounce heavier than the Highline leggings, but they're just a completely flat base layer fabric, just like the altitude. So weight for weight, they're half the warmth. And so there's just there's just no gain, you know. And so I think that's one of the interesting things about the Highline leggings is there's this significant gain and warmth for zero gain in weight.

Tayson Whittaker: Yeah, I would agree 100% with that. It's these, these are in the class as far as weight goes with those pieces you just described. But they're punching I would say like 2 to 3 times, at least in a warmer, you know, above that weight class. As far as warmth goes, it is really phenomenal. And it's something we've proved over and over again just in the field, just through experience. But it's well, I'm glad you called that out because most pieces that are fleece like this are going to start at about 150 grams per square meter. Right. And we said this one is at 100 grams per square meter. So it really just, you know, for 50% less weight, we're still getting a fleece impressively warm piece.

Brigham Crane: And the reason for that is it's really hard to take such a thin, lightweight and low density knit fabric and brush it without compromising it. That's why there's not very many fleeces even close to this weight category, just because it's just hard to do. And so it's not very cost effective for a brand to do it. So

Tayson Whittaker: I think that's like to the point of what these are going to cost versus, you know, if you went down to WalMart and bought a silk weight base layer. Right. Like there's going to be a massive difference in price. You know what going to be 20 bucks and one's going to be, you know, closer to 80. So there is a lot of technology, technical skill development that goes into just the fabric portion of this, let alone the different pieces we put into this. So. All right. So let's talk a little bit about the cut, the length, the waistband and then the gusset. So, yeah, just walk us through how they should fit, how long they are and go from there.

Brigham Crane: Yeah, they should. They should fit pretty close to the skin without being tight, like running tights or running leggings or. I don't know what they are called. The leggings that a lot of women wear just out to the outside of leggings. They're just leggings. They're not, they're not that

Tayson Whittaker: Lululemon leggings.

Brigham Crane: Yeah. They're not that form fitting and we don't really want them to be but they are supposed to fit is

Tayson Whittaker: Oh no there's dude there's a whole another category now it's getting developed in that I don't know if you've seen those that are like these these like we fashion get into this like they're like, they're like literal name is like crap booty something, you know what I mean? And they're just like, all, like super tight and technical that just,

Brigham Crane: yeah, these are, these are not designed to, like, enter crevices and reveal that's a certain oh I guess anatomy or I don't know you're not supposed to

Tayson Whittaker: you did not want to make your butt look big in these is what I'm hearing from you. Break them. That was not the design and no. Okay, so moving on from tiktok trends here. These are not tiktok trend leggings yet. Maybe someone will figure out how to make them trending on there. But I mean, they're so yeah, they're meant to be a little bit looser so that they're not, you know so that they can stay lifted. Right. Essentially,

Brigham Crane: Yeah. So we don't want them so tight that we lose that loft that traps the dead air and keeps your legs warm. But they are supposed to be clothes fairly form fitting so that they're efficient in terms of layering. So they're designed to fit close to the contours of the leg which enables, you know, the user to be able to pull up a pair of pants over top of them and have the pants have the freedom of movement that they need to function properly. And then also on the close fitting side, we wanted them to be close fitting so that we could put them under a pair of shorts. Let's just say a weather system comes in on a backpacking trip and you're wearing shorts and it's actually quite cool for several hours in the morning. Then we want it to make a lot of sense to wear these underneath a pair of hiking shorts, like running shorts, skyline trail shorts and be able to just just hit the trail and go comfortably. That being said, we have, you know, vetted this out ourselves where we we you can pull these on up over a pair of running shorts like we have the skyline trail shorts that are they're they're basically a running short designed for the trail kind of and like I've pulled these up over the shorts and that style of short works really well because they're so low bulk, they're not like this bulky, heavy thing. So it's not going to look great. It's not you know, you're going to have the shorts kind of puffing out a little bit underneath the leggings, but it can be done. And and it's worth noting, so

Tayson Whittaker: I'll just quickly share a story from a week or so ago when I was out doing some sportsman activities with my brother. We're clear out in the wilderness and I what I like to do now and this is kind of for both sides of whether it's backpacking or whatnot, but I typically bring well, I guess this isn't totally true, but for this scenario, I had one pair of underwear and then I had Skyline Trail shorts, and I use the Skyline Trail shorts almost like they're boxers. And so when I'm doing my actual hiking to get into places, I'll just wear those shorts because they're lighter. They're they're very quick to move in. And if I sweat and get them smelling like I'm not worried about that because I have this other pair of shorts that I can wear for other things. So what I ended up doing one of the mornings or more is I was I don't know if I slept in them or not, but I was just using the Skyline Trail shorts like they're basically boxers. And I had the line version and I was like, Well, it's going to be cold, but I know I'm going to be peeling these back off pretty soon. So I got a hike ahead of me, so I pulled the Highline leggings over the top of those and then I put a pair of pants on to and from it I don't know about visually. Right. Like I'm not checking myself out in a mirror, you know, ten miles into the backcountry. But from a performance standpoint, like, I didn't even notice that I had the Skyline Trail shorts on underneath it because they're so light, so thin. Like they're, they're basically the weight of a lot of people's boxers, right, on a scale. And then as the day went on, morning got up and I decided to go do this hiking section, I just could peel off my pants and my thermals. And I was sitting there in my skyline shorts. So you really can like it if they do fit over the top of something as light and thin as the skyline shorts or the design intent was that mainly they'd be worn underneath pants or underneath the shorts. But yeah, I just wanted to throw that out. There's kind of a use case now. I really liked it because then I didn't have to, you know, take the shorts off and then take the thermals off and then put the shorts back on in that case where I knew. So, so I guess what that would mean is like in the mornings when you're getting ready to go, I would just pull these on over the top of something like a skyline short, because usually you're only going to be in it while you're putting away camp, and then you're either going to take them off or you're going to hike for 20 minutes and then take them off or something like that. So in that scenario, it works well to just go right over the top. But for the most, most scenarios, we are advising, I guess that they're designed to fit underneath the pants or the shorts.

Brigham Crane: Yeah, I just think it's it's kind of helpful for people to know like what they can do,

Tayson Whittaker: you know what I mean?

Brigham Crane: Like, totally sure. They're designed to, most of the time just go under everything but don't like don't hesitate to try. You know? I mean, because everybody's body shape and, you know, dimensions are going to be a little bit different. So, you know, they're going to fit me a little bit differently than somebody else. But for the most part, I think the way we've described them is what to expect.

Tayson Whittaker: Full length.

Brigham Crane: Yeah, full length. Yeah. They should hit most people just above that ankle bone, you know, the ones that kind of stick out above your foot.

Tayson Whittaker: And so if you're wearing a mid cut sock, it's going to be right to that. Mm hmm. If you got like a low cut socket, I wouldn't reach down that low waistband on this. Do we use this waistband on anything else right now?

Brigham Crane: Nope.

Tayson Whittaker: Nope. So this is a new waistband. I don't know how to describe this other than it's just a very thin, comfortable, stretchy, nice waistband.

Brigham Crane: Yeah, It's not ribbed or anything. It's just a smooth inside and out,

Tayson Whittaker: not bulky.

Brigham Crane: Yeah,

Tayson Whittaker: So it works. That's one thing with layering, right? If you start to get any piece that's bulky and you're adding more and more layers, it starts to add up. And then let's talk about the gusset. So we did gusset these with a crotch gusset, but we didn't just do that. We added in a new piece of fabric right here, we swapped out the, the main fabric of this for a different piece of fabric. So talk through what we did there and why.

Brigham Crane: So that's just an even lighter weight. Thinner, more breathable. I call it a mesh. It's kind of a mesh fabric. It's I, I call it mesh because technically it's classified as a mesh, but it's not a mesh that is like something you're going to see on the back of a backpack pocket or something like that. It's not see through. It's like an eyelet knit mesh. And so it's the point being for a little bit more breathability and heat dissipation in the crotch gusset area just because that's the hottest area of our lower half and it's actually better to to facilitate extra breathability there rather than retain it. There's very few scenarios where it's beneficial to retain the heat that exists in that area, especially on multi day longer duration trips, bacteria, odor, all those things, they can start to cause problems. So yeah, we just wanted to have a little bit higher breathability in that area. And it's noticeable

Tayson Whittaker: it is noticeable in both ways that you would be using these right. So obviously when you're walking and hiking, it's going to create some venting in there, which is beneficial. Like Brigham said, that's the hardest part of your body and it only takes one hot spot to make a piece uncomfortable. So by venting that area, it allows it to extend the range of use of the product pretty significantly. And then the other one is for those of you, I mean, everyone listening to this probably will fully understand this one. But if you get into a top quilt or a mummy sleeping bag, your legs are together right? I mean, they are pinned together for the most part, very little spacing there. And so what gets hot right there in the crotch area gets very, very hot. And so since these are a piece that we sleep in a lot and again, we're going to use cases in a minute, but sleeping in these, it is noticeable that it keeps that area from getting overly hot because every little bit helps in that scenario. Right. Your legs are just pinned in and it's hard to get any breathability in there and you can overheat there for sure. So it's very noticeable both for sleeping and for activity. And again, the whole whole idea is, you know, extending the range of use extremely extending the comfort of this piece. And I think that adding that gusset in was a very smart and useful, useful thing to do. So not just adding the gusset, but the fabric specifically. So. All right. I think it's time to get into some use case scenarios. How do we use these? When do we use these? Just anything like that. So yeah, why don't you go, I guess, and we can kind of start with summertime, I guess.

Brigham Crane: Yeah, I definitely like that I'm a believer that base layer bottoms or leggings should serve two purposes. One is as a base layer to provide warmth in cold temperatures, but also to be something to be to sleep in. I like I, I don't think they should be separate like I don't think they should be two separate pieces. I think that thermal legging or legging should be used to sleep in. There's a lot of I wouldn't say a lot, but there is a school of thought that it's not necessary to pack, you know, clothes to sleep in that we can, you know, even if we got a bunch of sweaty clothes from a day's hike that we can, you know, just get in our sleeping bags and sleep them dry. And that does work. But I, I am a believer that the drying process of sleeping our clothes dry requires more energy from us. And that may be I don't have the scientific data to to to you know, corroborate this. But from my experience I don't know that it doesn't actually maybe detract from our ability to sleep warm because our body is using as much energy as it can to dry out our clothes. Right. So I'm a believer in sleeping in dry clothes, and they're in the form of base layers. So I always take a pair of base layer bottoms and a like an altitude slash base layer top to change into At the end of the day, because I'm almost always sweaty, the clothes I'm wearing, especially my shorts, are sweaty and I want to sleep well, so I want to sleep well. I don't go to sleep to dry out my clothes. I go to sleep to recover and to sleep well. So that's that's why my belief is that basically your bottoms should be sleeping bottoms as well, because I've just proven it out for myself so many times where I've gotten to camp and my legs are soaked from rain or sleet or snow or hail and wind or sweat, and I am starting to shiver and it's summertime. But I want to immediately feel warm. I don't want to feel warm in an hour. I want to feel warm in 30 seconds. And so when you ask about summertime, that's my use case. These are half of my sleeping system, my sleeping clothes. So 100% of the time I get in the tent, I just take my shorts off and I pull them on and, you know, it's instant. It's an instant relief. Like it's an instant boost in heat and warmth. And now I can just settle in. I fall asleep faster, my sleep is better. And so I that's, that's my summer application

Tayson Whittaker: now to expand on that and because I want to in a few ways. But but first and foremost you substitute these for boxers I believe, right

Brigham Crane: at night.

Tayson Whittaker: Yep.

Brigham Crane: Yeah. So I use the lined skyline shorts. I just take them off and those take their place. And so I'm not like, I'm not putting these on over underwear or anything like they are. They are, but

Tayson Whittaker: they're long underwear. Underwear, right?

Brigham Crane: Yeah, long. And that's, again, that's why, you know, having the increased breathability in the crotch kind of was just a must have because it's me, I want to air things out. I want to provide the ability to, to, to dry out and just overall, day after day, night after night of just higher quality sleep, higher quality of experience.

Tayson Whittaker: So you're adding, you know, 3.7 ounces or something like that of weight, but you're eliminating an extra pair of underwear because I believe if you're like me and I think you were, you would bring an extra pair of underwear before you started to go straight into these, right?
Brigham Crane: Yeah. Like when we were developing our shorts, we were testing, you know, all kinds of things, different versions, different underwear combinations with unlined shorts. And that's why I just that's where I became a huge, huge believer in just the line shorts and no underwear because I can at night put these on in place of my shorts.

Tayson Whittaker: Yeah, it's really I mean, it's an extremely powerful and ultra light way of getting way more performance without getting hardly any extra weight, especially when you look at it that way. Right. So then it's, it's almost a no brainer to be taking these on every trip. It can be a safety thing, it can be a comfort thing, it can be whatever. But you're not really adding much more because you know, it's face it most boxers are going to be, you know, even an ultralight pair. Boxers might still be two ounces. Right. So, yeah, you're adding like an ounce and a half of weight over an ultralight of boxers to bring a full long pair of underwear to sleep in and to have that comfort. So I'm the same way in the summer. I do the same thing as Brigham. I, I, I just sleep in these no boxers, no anything. And yeah, just allows me to eliminate another piece out of the kit and to bring those points to about like drying out gear. That's a really interesting one. And I think we're probably going to have people with conflicting thoughts on this. I would say I'm kind of in the middle, but let me explain. So I like to put on dry clothes any time I try to not do that. I mean, I just had an experience a week and a half ago where I'm like, you know, just going to sleep and dry these shorts out. And after 30 minutes, I was still not warm. You know, my butt essentially is still freezing. So I took off the wet clothes and put on the dry clothes, you know, instant warmth, instantly getting more comfortable. So what I do is I'll typically pick 1 to 2 items maximum that I may attempt to dry out in my bag. And usually that's going straight down into my foot box. I'm not trying to wear that against my skin because it just takes away so much of the comfort of sleeping that it's just not worth it to me. So, you know, maybe a pair of socks shove that down in the bottom or maybe a pair of socks and a top or a pair of socks and a pair of shorts. But they're going down to the bottom. And do they dry fully? Sometimes they do. Do they? Every time? Not always. Sometimes they get kind of watered up and they just don't get enough exposure to fully dry out. But I mean, either way, they're drying to an extent and I sleep better. It's more comfortable and, you know, so on, so forth. But it is remarkable, absolutely remarkable how much instant warmth comes from changing a wet layer to a dry layer. And so, yeah, I fall into that same train of thought of, you know, it's just not worth trying to wear the wet clothes to bed if you're already cold, especially two plus. I mean, again, I always try to relate this back to something that's a little more understandable, but imagine having wet clothes on and then climbing in your bed at home. Why would you ever do that? Right. I guess you're never going to do that and think, I'm going to be totally comfortable doing this. I'm going to sleep like a baby all night. You know, this is going to be sticky, not and you know, whatever. Like you're not going to be thinking about maybe being cold, but you're going to think about how uncomfortable that is. And so when you relate that to the backcountry, it's like, why would you do that? You know, you're just going to be sacrificing simple comfort. So. All right. So we use these in the summers for sleeping. You also talked earlier on on the podcast about using them like just at camp, sitting around camp. I use them like that all the time. Get into camp, maybe throw up your tent, let your clothes kind of dry while you're pitching your tent and climb in the tent and either add a layer on or change up your layering and get these on so that when you climb back out and you're, you know, cooking dinner, talking with the people at camp just adds a another dimension of comfort, especially when you've been hiking in shorts in the summer and so on, so forth. So I use them a lot around camp. And then yeah, like I alluded to as well, like in the mornings it can be really nice to be able to keep these on. When you're putting away camp. You haven't developed a lot of body temperature yet in the morning. You're not moving and producing a lot of body heat. So, you know, putting away your kit and packing up your bag and all that can be nice. But we keep these on and then, you know, pull them off or at the last minute or or even start down the trail a little bit and then pull them off. But yeah, I mean, that's that that to me covers a ton of use like summer or spring fall for the most part. And so let's talk about getting into colder seasons and how you use them. We may slightly differ here, but we'll see. I mean, in the fall, a lot of times I switch back to pants, let's say in the fall. So I'm still not wanting to hike in these a ton in spring and fall because just with the pair of pants, I'm going to be generating more heat and holding in more heat. So that's not usually like I'm pretty much never hiking in these until it gets too full in winter. And, even then it can be day dependent, right? Because sometimes you get a real sunny day in the winter, you're on skis, you're on snowshoes, and it's not needed. Other times the wind's blowing, right, or something like that. And it's just constantly cutting through and in those scenarios, I have definitely worn these for ski trips and things like that. And sometimes I'm still venting, like I'm pulling down the zipper on the side of my pants to vent. But I'll still use these just to take that edge off at times. But yeah, I mean, I mean, for the most part I'm unless it's the middle of winter, I'm not doing extended amounts of activity in these because they are, they are still very warm.

Brigham Crane: Yeah. I think let's just call it a hiking activity that will just include cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Yeah I think I would say for me like I'm not going to. I wouldn't really do any hiking with those under a pair of pants until it's approaching zero Fahrenheit, you know, at least single digits. And again, the wind factor is the wind is going to factor into that decision as well. If it's eight degrees, not including the wind and it's 15 mile per hour winds, that's frigid. So I think I would likely be hiking with these underneath a pair of pants if it's 20 degrees and I'm on snowshoes or cross-country skis, that's not cold enough for me to need to wear them underneath a pair of pants there. This category of user is much slimmer than I would even say, like winter backpacking. But in mountaineering, like the alpine ism where people are like kind of over 5000 meters that, yeah, I don't know, 15, 14, 15,000 feet. And they're doing wintertime maybe 1 to 2 night climbs. Yeah, temperatures are going to warrant the application to wear these underneath their softshell pants as if they're going up a mountain because those use cases there's a lot of stop and go. And so you know when they are going there they're really putting forth effort and using those leg muscles. But then they stop, you know, every once in a while. And so, yeah, definitely the colder it is, the more appropriate they'll be to use underneath a pair of pants. But then it's almost like as soon as you get to camp it, they become instantly usable because it is so cold. And then I would also add for sure 100% of the time, like sleeping in these on any winter trip for sure. And that is one area where, you know, there's I don't you know I mentioned I have this, you know, belief that you know base layer should be also sleeping clothes. And I mentioned the thing about drying clothes out versus just sleeping. Now in the wintertime, I will actually sometimes sleep with my pants on over my base layers. And that's like a really good warm setup because by the time I've put these on over underneath my pants and set up camp like the sweat has dried off, all right. It doesn't there's not much sweat to begin with, but it's dried off. And so it's actually just a really handy way to use the layers that I already packed in by wearing them, you know, meaning my pants and those looser pants over the closer fitting leggings create that air space themselves. And that's actually a pretty warm set up that I've found. Works pretty well for me in the wintertime, sometimes in the wintertime, especially like if you have to get up and and go relieve yourself or, you know, in my experience when I've had to get up like that's the last, there's just this feeling of dread of like, I do not want to get dressed just to go pee in the snow, you know? And so, like, that's where it's actually kind of handy to just be sleeping in leggings and a pair of pants. Then you just zip up a puffy and just step out real quick. And so, yeah,

Tayson Whittaker: yeah, I think just going back to sleeping really quick a lot of people probably don't sleep in a full length bottom right now. They probably sleep in shorts and boxers. So I just want to talk for a second about why I think sleeping in something like this is more comfortable. Number one, a lot of you guys are probably sleeping in top quilts by this point. And what are top coats known for for potential drafts, getting some drafts in there and whatnot and having a full length. Anything I think is going to just be helpful with that. If you do get a little bit of a draft, it's not going to hit you or sting you as much per say with a full length piece like this. But the other thing is there's there's this mentality or thought process that if you don't have any clothes on the bottom of your body but you're sleeping in a, say, a lightweight hoodie or something like that on your upper half, you get this differentiation of of temperatures between your upper half and your lower half, and that even that can create discomfort that will affect your sleep. So having a, you know, a pair of socks on then a full length thermal and then something like a turn turn hoodie, which is our lightweight wool hoodie, having something even like that can help not have any bare skin exposed which then can bleed into your total sleep comfort. Personally, I believe that. And for me I'm all about it. Whenever I sleep in shorts, I'm less comfortable than when I sleep in a pair of leggings like this. Right. So yeah, I think I just kind of skipped over that I thought earlier. But sleeping in a full length legging I think has more benefits than, than maybe we touched on there. But yeah, I mean is there any other use case scenarios that we've, we've missed.

Brigham Crane: I mentioned this to Joe the other day because of the stop and go nature. I think they're they're actually a good option for like downhill skiing and snowboarding like at resorts where the legs burn on the way down when you're you're going down a run, but then you're sitting on a lift or you're sitting in line for, who knows, 10 to 30 minutes and then you're on the lift for another 10 minutes. And so there's this huge flux. And so I think these are great application for that or a similar activity where there is that massive swing in intense activity and then being stagnant for, you know, 20 minutes or so because they're breathable so and so even when your legs are burning on the way, like going down a run at a resort, they're still going to breathe. They're going to keep your legs warm and they dry incredibly quickly. So if you do happen to sweat in them, they're going to stay warm. When you stop writing and you're sitting on the left on the lift like they're still going to provide the warmth and they're actually going to be drying while you're sitting there. And so that's just another kind of like a little bit outside the box use case. But definitely, I think they're a great application for that.

Tayson Whittaker: Yeah, they are a 100% polyester piece, so there's no spandex in them. It's going to add weight or trap moisture, not even nylon in them. So because of that, they dry extremely fast, especially with them being lifted lightweight. They can dry extremely, extremely fast. It's the kind of piece that you pull out of a spin cycle on a washing machine and you're like, these fill dry up.

Brigham Crane: And I was just going to say like I 100% endorse this to anybody that advises it. If you want, like put them in the washing machine and then take them out and wear them as soon as you put them on, they'll feel warm. You know what I mean? Like, or just take them and run them under the sink for 10 minutes and or dunk them in a bucket of water and put them on. It's there. It's pretty incredible how warm they are and how difficult it is for them to even get to where they even feel soaked. So

Tayson Whittaker: yeah, so the highlight leggings, definitely an awesome piece, sub four ounces and going to be around that $80 price point. Obviously if you're a member, a live ultralight member, you're going to get them for 10% off. And then when we launch these, which when this podcast goes out, that means that they'll be launched. You'll get some additional discounts on launch week. So go pick up a pair. I do not think you will be disappointed. They're a piece that will live, you know, in the top drawer type of thing. If you're someone who's getting outside a lot, they're a very usable piece in so many different ways that I think that you will end up using them so much like I, I actually, you know historically thermals for me, I've kind of put them in a different area of my house, not like on my daily shelves or my daily drawers. Right. And these have lived on my daily shelves and drawers because I do just use them that much. So phenomenal piece, wide range of use going to provide a lot of comfort, a lot of high end performance in the field. I think you guys are just going to absolutely love these. It's been a very fun piece to develop and bring to market and to yeah, just spend, just spend time testing with these and they've definitely leveled some comfort for me in the field and I'm excited to get them out. So any last words or anything we missed on the leggings I mean we told Joe, there's no way we're going an hour and I'm pretty sure we went over an hour or so. We're at an hour, so we could still talk people off about some of the simplest products.

Brigham Crane: Hey, I think I think kind of what you mentioned at the beginning is what the reason we can talk about it is because we believe in it, because it matters something as simple as these leggings. Like, there's really not much to them, but there's still a lot to talk about. And the fact that we have anything to say about them that we should all that should always exist. Like I know, never say never, but I don't think we'll ever be putting a product out there that we don't have something to say about. And because if we don't, then what's the point?

Tayson Whittaker: Shouldn't be developing it for sure. Okay, well, go snag your guys's Highline Leggings they just launched. Grab them while we've got supply and in your size you're pretty excited about this piece. So go pick them up on outdoorvitals.com. If you've not yet subscribed to the podcast, please do so and make sure you've rated the podcast as well. That really helps us get found by more people and help more people get out into nature. You know, disconnect from this crazy world we live in and reconnect with themselves with relationships. The higher being, whatever it is that that was needed, where it's definitely a needed practice to disconnect from this crazy world we live in. So write to us, subscribe to us again. That just helps us help more people out there. So thanks for joining us. Thanks for joining me on the podcast. Brigham It's always a pleasure to go through a design process and kind of get to the finish line of these projects that you're constantly working on. So it's always fun with that. We'll see you guys out on the trail or on the next podcast.

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Living Ultralight is not just about the lowest pack weight. It's about more enjoyable experiences!

Tayson Whittaker