If you're like me, and you live in state where you have to consider just how cold is too cold to play golf, then you have a portion of your closet reserved for golf clothes for the cooler months.
For me, if the temperature is above 45 degrees, I'm willing to play golf. I just have to be prepared. That means having clothing that locks in warmth while making sure I don't get the chills sweating out all that heat.
My wardrobe for cooler golf typically has two layers, top and bottom: a base layer to lock in as much of my body warmth as possible and an outer layer to do as much as possible to keep the elements from making me uncomfortable.
Recently, I was introduced to ZeroFit, a Japanese performance brand that is expanding into the United States market. They asked if I would be interested in trying out some of their products for myself and seeing how they stack up against what I would typically wear. It took a little while here in the mid-Atlantic, but autumn finally arrived late, and I got a chance to try out ZeroFit.
The company sent me three pieces: the Heatrub Move, the Heatrub Move hoodies and the Heatrub Ultimate mockneck.
All three came in black, and they were sent in XL. For better or worse, right now I go between an XL and XXL. From a fit standpoint, the XL actually worked out well for both baselayer pieces and the hoodie. A baselayer is meant to be tighter anyhow, and I felt comfortable in both without feeling like I was stuck in a sausage casing. The hoodie was cut larger and looser to allow for a polo or another garment underneath.
The Heatrub Ultimate is amazing. Within seconds of putting it on, I was warm, if not hot. The product is two-thirds acrylic, one-fifth nylon, with wool, polyester and polyurethane rounding out the blend. The acrylic feels soft, while the nylon and poly allow the fabric to move with you without feeling rigid. The long-fiber fabric generates heat by rubbing against your skin. It's recommended for temperatures from 14 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. At $90, this is perfect for a golfer who also wouldn't mind having something lighter to wear when they're shoveling snow, hoping desperately for it to melt so they can play golf again.
The Heatrub Move ($76) isn't quite as warm, or as tight, and it's not meant to be. Whereas ZeroFit says testing shows the Ultimate is five times as warm as traditional base layers, the Move is billed to be twice as warm. The Move is just as light as the Ultimate, but the Move regulates temperature differently, using a 50/45 percent polyester/polypropylene outside/inside construction of the baselayer. The Move is designed to help remove sweat from the skin to prevent that chilling sweatiness that often comes with cooler golf. It's recommended for use in temperatures from 23 to 54 degrees Fahrenheit.
As a base layer, it's ideal. Again, it's meant to be a little tighter to lock in heat, but it's loose enough to allow for some airflow and prevent sweat from pooling on your skin. The product is available as a mock or crew neck in several colors. Odds are, if I'm playing in cooler temperatures, this is my base layer and a quarter-zip is my outer layer. With ZeroFit, I don't feel the need to throw on a thicker quarter-zip to keep out the elements. However, on windy days, I would expect to wear a beanie and perhaps winter golf gloves.
The Move hoodie ($80) was the star for me. It can be used as a base layer, like with the Move, and then you'd have the added benefit of the hood. However, I used it as an outer garment. It was a great, lightweight choice to lock in heat with enough room in the sleeves to not feel constricted at all. It's a versatile piece that is perfect for those days where you want warmth but don't want to have to keep taking on and off an outer layer.
The ZeroFit base layer products have so far lived up to their billing. The biggest challenge for anyone looking to try them out is figuring out sizing. The line is cut with comfort in mind, but for those of us in between sizes, it can be tricky. Performance clothing also comes at more of a premium price tag compared to a cheap thermal shirt. However, a well-crafted, well-constructed piece like these from ZeroFit will last years and prove time and again worth every penny.