Gear Review: Xoskin Long Sleeve Base Layer and Socks
Xoskin is a fairly new company on the market, providing base layers that feature something called RAPIDriCOPPER Technology. Basically, these guys have quietly come up with a totally unique base layer material that is unlike anything else I’ve experienced. Although the company primarily targets runners, I put their gear to the test over dozens of miles hiking to form my opinion of their Long Sleeve Form Fit Base Layer and Crew Socks.
Weight: 6.15 oz
Weight: 2.2 oz
Circumstance of Review
I have been testing these over the last couple of months (February-April) where I’ve been living in Huntsville, AL, to see how they hold up in a variety of difference temperatures and conditions. This ended up being a range of about 30-70 degrees Fahrenheit in everything from a cool light rain to a warm sunny day. I’d typically hike about four to six miles at a time on pretty easy trails.
Being a heavy sweater, I was extremely impressed by the way that the shirt wicked moisture away from my skin. It really was unlike any other base layer that I’ve worn before. The material breathes fantastically, and I could actually feel the moisture separated from my skin.
As for the socks, I was similarly impressed. I wore the crew socks while hiking in both the Altra Olympus and Altra Timps and never felt anything close to a blister. Again, the material on my skin just felt different than any other socks I’ve hiked in. They’re thin and fitted closely to my skin, but they reduce friction enough while I’m hiking that hot spots are adequately prevented.
The most significant feature of these is the material used, the RAPIDriCOPPER. In Xoskin’s own words:
“XOSKIN™ athletic apparel is designed with our state-of-the art RAPIDriCOPPER™ technology. We use PTFE and Copper fibers in all of our 3D seamless knitted designs to provide athletes with an external supportive covering which reduces odor, promotes skin wellness, protects against chafing and blistering, wicks moisture at extreme speed, dries fast and maximizes the comfort of any activity.
The unique RAPIDriCOPPER™ technology used in our apparel functions as an ‘external’ supporting structure for your skin. A frog’s skin can transfer moisture through its body. Their skin is more breathable than human skin because it is more elastic and they have the unique ability to maintain the right balance of moisture on the skin at all times. XOSKIN™ apparel provide athletes with an additional multifunctional ‘layer of skin’ similar to a frogs.”
In addition to the impressive moisture wicking I’ve already harped on a bit, I’ll also comment on the odor reduction of these garments. After two months of wearing both the socks and shirt about once a week, I haven’t washed them. The shirt still doesn’t smell much different than the day I got it, but the socks are definitely ready for a wash. At the end of the day I’d say that the odor resistance is uniquely impressive in the shirt, but in the socks I’d put it right around or just below your average Merino wool sock of choice.
Based on my experience, I would definitely say that these articles are top notch for the market they’re designed for: long-distance runners. I’m not a huge runner myself, but these have become my go-tos for any running I do now, especially on cooler days. I’m not totally sure that these are the best for backpacking, however, at least for me. I do most of my backpacking in the warmer seasons, and during those I’ve decided that I’m at my most comfortable in a light and airy button down of some sort.
The place that I think the base layer shirt could shine, though, would be for winter backpacking. The moisture management of this thing is just awesome. I could definitely see it being a huge benefit when you’re wanting to avoid sweaty skin in blustery winter weather.
- Best moisture wicking material I’ve ever worn.
- Extremely breathable.
- Impressive odor resistance in the shirt.
- Cool unique look and design.
- RAPIDriCOPPER is definitely a material worth checking out.
- The sleeves on the shirt and the cuffs on the socks were a bit on the tight and uncomfortable side, at least for me. This is actually an easy fix, though: the shirt comes in a regular short sleeve and tank version, and the socks come in ankle and no-show lengths.
- Because of the unique materials in the fabrics, these products are hand wash only.
- I think the socks just aren’t quite as comfortable as Merino wool.
At the end of the day, I am extremely impressed by Xoskin. If you run even just occasionally and can afford average priced nice running layers, definitely invest in Xoskin. I’m still not sure if these are the best option for most hikers, which, again, isn’t the market they’re targeting anyway. Even so, I think the long sleeve base layer could find a home in a winter hiker’s kit, and either the short sleeve or sleeveless version would be interesting to test out in the summer.
The crew socks could be a good fit for a day hiker, though again I’d probably lean toward the shorter cuts personally. I don’t think these would be a great fit for long-distance hiking, as the thin material needs to be washed more frequently than wool socks and also may not hold up as well over hundreds of miles.
In conclusion, these clothes are fantastic for the long-distance runners they’re designed for but may not be the absolute best choice for hikers.
**These products were donated for purpose of review
A few comparison items:
This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!
To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.