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Kora ‘Shola 230’ Leggings

with 11 comments

Kora Shola 230 Leggings - 000Greetings Adventurers!

Recently I was able to acquire a pair of Kora ‘Shola 230’ leggings. This will be an on-going article as I use them over the next few hiking seasons.

Kora, a company based out of Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, manufacturers base layer garments made from Yak wool, rather than the all so popular sheep wool. The company goes into great detail of the superiority of Yak wool over sheep wool on their Yak Wool Fabric page, it is very much worth checking out.

Statements such as this are enough to get the attention of most folks:

It’s 40% warmer weight for weight, 66% more breathable and is 17% better at transporting water vapour away from the skin. Just like merino, it’s soft and naturally odour-resistant.

Now, my readers know that I place a huge value on thermoregulation. If you are new to my articles, meander over here for more on that topic, so when a company starts talking thermal qualities of garments, it tends to get my attention. Here is a study that shows how the Kora garments, made from Yak wool, performed in one thermal study.

kora_thermal_loss

Now, for me, while I do tend to get a bit too geeked out when it comes to numbers and pretty graphs, especially when it comes to fabrics, all the numbers in the world mean nothing if the proof is not in the pudding.

At this point I have very few miles, and days, wearing the Kora ‘Shola 230’ leggings, and over the months, and hopefully years, ahead, I will keep things updated on how they perform; but here is what I can say for now:

  1. These are, without a doubt, the most comfortable next to skin (NtS) bottoms I have ever worn.
  2. No leg hair pulling.
  3. No squeezing.
  4. No itchy feeling.
  5. No overheating (thus, good breathability).
  6. Staying warm in the rain.
  7. Keeping my legs warm at night inside a quilt rated warmer than I should be using on cold nights.
  8. Simply luxurious to the feel. Oh, yeah, that was point number one, but worth repeating :)

 

IMG_0363

On my scale they register at 175 grams (6.17oz) for a size large.

It is my hope to acquire a Kora ‘Shola 230 Zip‘ Top baselayer here very soon to wear as a NtS top baselayer. I am very much looking forward to seeing how Yak wool is able to handle thermoregulation as a NtS top base layer within the type of conditions I tend to spend most of my time. If/when I do acquire the tops I will post photos of them as well.

Kora is not a name widely known within the hiking/backpacking community, nor the bikepacking, biking, rafting, trail running, or just about any other industry, minus perhaps the world of expeditions / explorers. But Kora is attempting to change that and my initial thoughts are they are not going to have too much of a problem doing so. Their price point is on par with the other top name super high performance wool garments, perhaps a bit higher, but if the fabric proves to perform at the higher level – above and beyond merino wool – that they claim, and those numbers work out to be real-life performance and not just pretty graphs, well the extra 10-15% costs above the top end merino wool I am use to buying, could be, absolutely, worth it. But regardless, I have a feeling that Kora is one of those names that could, rather quickly, make some big inroads into the outdoor communities, beyond just the extreme expeditions. My long time readers know I am not the kind of person to jump on every new bandwagon that comes along. I might only have a very short time using these legging garments, but sometimes quality just immediately shows itself.

Where To Buy:

You can buy the Kora products on their website: http://www.kora.net/

Written by John B. Abela - HikeLighter.Com

March 8, 2016 at 8:57 pm

11 Responses

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  1. I’ll be reading all future comment’s avidly John. Better start wearing out my large Icebreaker wardrobe by the sound of it!

    Andrew

    March 8, 2016 at 11:26 pm

    • I hear ya Andrew! I could keep wearing my IB top, but the elbow holes are starting to turn into secondary sleeve holes lol, so figured this could be a good time to upgrade. Just have to resolve the wallet issue. Start of the hiking season, money is always the issue, eh.

      John B. Abela

      March 9, 2016 at 7:36 am

  2. John, I thought my icebreakers are expensive… No they are quite a bargain compared to this. How good it is? Is it really that better than merino wool? Merino wool is most comfortable next-to-skin layer for me. Also no itching or something. Also pretty warm and not hot (but very sexy :) )

    thehikingdad

    March 9, 2016 at 1:23 am

    • I think I can answer your two questions much better after I get the Zip Top and get a couple months of use on it. Agree with you on the NtS factor. 1300+ days wearing the IB Tech TShirt.

      John B. Abela

      March 9, 2016 at 7:33 am

  3. I wonder how it compares to cashmere. The most appreciated item of all the gear I have is a thin sweater made out of 70% cashmere and 30% silk. It’s amazing how it keeps me warm or cool as needed and I can’t imagine anything more pleasant against my skin. Great wicking and odour is a non issue no matter how long I wear it.

    Mike

    March 9, 2016 at 1:31 am

    • That is awesome Mike! Honestly have no idea how to answer your question. Totally would, you know, if I had any first hand knowledge and thus able to answer it.

      John B. Abela

      March 9, 2016 at 7:31 am

  4. Being as I’ve been fooled by Asian sizing before what about theirs? Do they run small in some odd way?

    Chuck Tintera

    March 9, 2016 at 2:22 am

    • Hey Chuck, yeah, pay close attention to their sizing chart. That seems to be the case.

      John B. Abela

      March 9, 2016 at 7:26 am

  5. Assuming all they claim is true, I would suggest that proving a greater durability relative to that of Merino wool will be the key factor in gaining acceptance for the higher price point.

    Bob Bankhead

    March 10, 2016 at 9:33 am

  6. I have often looked at yak wool, there are a lot of claims and not many reviews.
    The prices are really high even compared to merino which is already high. So for me it would have to be significantly better before i would invest.
    If i could get hold of the fabric i would make some gear myself first.
    Will be interesting to see how it goes :)

    Tacblades

    March 28, 2016 at 3:42 pm

  7. […] this year I wrote about the Kora ‘Shola 230 Leggings’ and mentioned that I wanted to order the upper body base layer (top garment) of the same product […]


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