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Smartwool Arm Warmer : Lean Sleeves for Cold Days

I'm sure Smartwool's warm, snug-fitting Arm Warmer was designed with cyclists in mind, but I've been happily using mine this winter for power walks and hikes.

When I exercise in cold weather (and by cold I mean near freezing temps), I like to minimize bulk and maximize breathability. I've been wearing a long-sleeved merino top under a vest and a wind shell, plus my Smartwool arm warmers. It's the perfect combination to keep my arms and torso warm and give my under arms plenty of space and ventilation. It's a much more comfortable workout ensemble than wearing a long-sleeved mid-layer because there's less fabric in my armpits.

The arm warmers are long, extending from my wrists to a few inches of my shoulders. They're also plenty snug without ever feeling tight. They stay in place and so far, haven't slipped or moved during my outings. I also like that the ribbing around the wrists is tightly woven and more than an inch wide - that way it doesn't bind or pinch. The ribbing at the other end is similar, though not as thick, with an extra thin band of elastic around the edge for a double grip. The area just beyond the wrist is also reinforced wtih "stretch" to keep the arm warmers contoured to my arms.

I really work up a sweat when I exercise so I love having options with my exercise gear. Smartwool's arm warmers are ideal for helping me stay warm only where I need to stay warm. I know I'll be using them in spring and fall, too, on challenging hikes where I'll get down to a just a tee, but still need arm coverage because of cold air and cool mountain breezes.

Available in men's and women's sizes SM/M and L/XL, in Black, Black/Light Blue, Silver/Orange, and Graphite/Silver. I'm 6" tall and have long, thin arms, and the women's L/XL fit perfectly.

Material: 55% merino wool, 42% nylon, 3% elastane.

Bottom LIne: An essential accessory for cyclists and other exercisers who need to keep their arms warm during winter workouts.--E.D. (Dec '10)

BUY ONLINE : $25, on sale now at Altrec. Shop at REI.

Manufacturer's Site: www.smartwool.com

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