Made by these people… https://www.varusteleka.com/en
A little background on the company itself.
Varustelekea is a Finnish company that deals mainly in military surplus.
The company is best be described as unusual, they have a quirky sense of humour, and they don’t take themselves too seriously, apart from their goal of world domination – they’re damn serious about that bit.
Visit their website at the above link for a better understanding of who they are and what they are about.
I’ve said they deal mainly in surplus, however they do have their own brand, Särmä
TST which they are continuing to develop and plan to field to the Finnish Army.
The way Face Book works their, Varusteleka, ads pop up from time to time and my attention was caught by one for a merino wool mix mid layer.
I debated with myself for a while and eventually took the plunge.
The L2, Level 2, is a mid-layer, mid weight garment and is designed to wick moisture forward from the base layer.
Despite being a mid-layer, it can be worn as a base layer, who is going to check up on you?
It’s made from an 80% merino wool and 20% polyamide, weighing in at 250 g/m2.
Why not 100% merino wool if it’s so good then?
Well my young Padawan the polyamide is added to give the whole thing some abrasion resistance as the wool itself is weak.
There’s a word I may keep repeating throughout this review…Warm.
Straight out of the packet the shirt is a little itchy but that was because I was cold in the office, yep a wimp I know. It did start to feel warmer within minutes of putting it on.
Once washed the top becomes soft to touch, due to it being merino wool, well wool in general cleans itself by some sort of magical jiggery pokery so just wash it when you really start to smell.
The ability of this natural fibre to keep itself clean was of great benefit the last two weeks on Barry Buddon Training Area as it was never off my back.
Being made of wool it also keeps you warm even when wet and especially when subjected to freezing horizontal rain that Barry was throwing at us.
I’m very happy with my purchase, it’s lightweight, packs down to next to nothing taking up very little space in bergan etc.
The fit of the garment can best be described as loose, which aids heat retention as well.
It kept me toasty warm the entire two weeks on Barry Buddon and I only took it off at night to sleep.
The quarter length zip at the neck is the only place where you can vent if you can’t stand being too warm.
Other than its initial laundering it’s not been washed again and doesn’t smell, well not that I can tell…
There is a small strip of Velcro loop on the left arm, supposedly for the Finnish rank slide system, it had no effect on the garments properties, so I just left it in place.
If you follow https://www.varusteleka.com/en/product/sarma-tst-l2-turtleneck-shirt-merino-wool/52079 you’ll go straight to the shirt missing out all the other fun stuff these Finns sell.
• Cost – £££££: £53.09 for the L2, the L1 goes for £35.39
• Value for money 1-5: 5, It keeps me well warm therefore as far as I’m concerned worth every penny, I’m worth it.
• Ease of use 1-5: 5, you simply ensure the neck zip is undone, put your arms in the sleeves and pull it over your head…fairly maintenance free, wash it when you start to smell bad.
• Construction 1-5: 4, don’t be put off by the thinness of the garment. Some loose thread ends but not many. In my opinion it misses a trick by not having thumb loops
• Allyness 1-5: 1, very low but who cares, it’s well toasty and will keep you warm when others are cold.
Oh and it’s also available in Black…
All photos are from Varusteleka themselves
This Kit Pest Review was written by Gorgeous Jim Shoebridge. Hopefully you enjoyed it and if you have any thoughts or comments related to this article then leave a comment!