Armadillo Johnnie Long Johns

Johnnies 5 star

Neil Braidwood keeps his nether regions warm with this cosy Merino undergarment.

Scotland is a cold place – we all know that – and even as spring approaches, there is still snow on higher ground. It’s important to keep warm while walking at higher altitudes, so I’ve been wearing these long johns by UK clothing company Armadillo.

Armadillo cater mainly for the military and the emergency services, but also count explorers and astronauts among their fans. Don’t worry, if you want to wear them while bagging a couple of Munros that’s fine too!

All Armadillo undergarments are made from the finest Merino fibre spun into a fine, but strong yarn. Being a natural product, the clothing is perfect for organisations like the fire service, as it is completely safe next to the skin – no artificial fibres to melt in extreme heat or fire situations.

Merino wool is well known for its thermoregulation and moisture management properties – so also ideal for outdoor activities during the colder months.

First impressions
The fine Merino wool is extremely soft – nothing like the scratchy long johns I was made to wear as a kid. They are also lightweight – only 85g – meaning you could pack them as a ‘just in case’ garment without too much impact on your rucksack weight.

On test
I’ve worn these over the winter months in a variety of scenarios – hillwalking, camping and hiking. They have been brilliant as an extra layer, especially in exposed areas where the wind chill can send temperatures plummeting.

They have a body hugging fit, so are a bit like a second skin. They have gently elasticated ankle cuffs, and a slightly tighter waistband which stops them slipping down (another problem with the long johns of old). They’ve also got an all important fly. You barely know that you’ve got them on once you’re on the move, due to flatlock seams throughout. Even the care label is stitched on the outside so as not to cause any chafing. This is just a well thought out, well made product.

The Johnnies kept me supremely warm while hillwalking in the snowy Pentlands, but not so much that I felt uncomfortable – as I said, I barely noticed they were there after a while.

Where they came into their own though was while winter camping. Once you’re in the tent, you can take off your wet or muddy trousers and the Johnnies double up as pyjama bottoms! You can snuggle into your sleeping bag remaining deliciously warm. They also retain their shape – no baggy knees. You can wear them for days – or even weeks – on end, and the Merino doesn’t get (too) smelly.

Johnnies come in sizes S to XXL in a variety of colours.

Buy them for £39.99 at Armadillo
Use code SOSpring to get 30% off any Armadillo product until the end of March 2016.

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