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Thread: Minus33 Clothing Company

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    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
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    Minus33 Clothing Company

    Has anyone heard of Minus33? They bill themselves as:

    Minus33 is an American company founded in New Hampshire by L.W Packard & Co. in 2001.[1][2] Minus33 is claimed to have 100 years of textile manufacturing experience behind it in parent company L.W. Packard & Co.


    I'd never heard of them until I read a review of outdoor clothing in the Wirecutter section of the NYT.

    Any users of their gear here? Is it really that good?
    Don't let your mind write a check your body canít cash

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    Yup, excellent merino wool garments, although pricey. Still based in Ashland, N.H. They give SAR team members a discount. :-)

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    So marketing and sock r&d are in Ashland. Where are the actual garments made?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spiny Norman View Post
    So marketing and sock r&d are in Ashland. Where are the actual garments made?
    According to their website, about 80% of their socks are now made in Ashland, with other garments made overseas. Plan is for 100% of the socks to be made in the USA. The merino sheep are farmed in Australia.

    I remember a couple of decades ago Tom Chappell, after he sold Tom’s of Maine, tried to organize merino sheep farming in New England, but I do not know what happened with that idea.

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    Last thing I knew, the bulk of the manufacturing was China, good to hear they hae some production in the US. I have a couple of minus 33 items, they are high quality far better than the Terramar Merino gear. Last time I bought some gear it was between them and Beans and I bought the Beans despite Beans shutting down the lifetime warranty.

    I think there was a NH Crossroads show on once where they interviewed the owners, I think it was the common story that it was an old New England manufacturer that was driven out of business by foreign competition, and they recreated themselves by offshoring production. Except for places like Darn Tough and Ragged Mountain that supply the military that requires US manufacture, there is very little garment manufacturing left in the US especially New England. Its labor intensive and easy to offshore. Labonville's in Gorham still has a small shop that makes some of their gear like their chainsaw chaps used by the USFS and NPS and bombproof logging pants, that a lot of snowmakers use. BTW speaking of Labonville's, 20% off next Friday, 30% off if you find a copy of the Berlin Sun for a coupon. Great gear for outdoors workers.

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    I was actually planning a trip to Labonville next week to replace my steel toe rubber winter logger boots, but discovered a new choice in Kamik that is cheaper and actually made in Canada. Found them 10 bucks cheaper in Littleton at Supershoes, and got a 10 dollar coupon for my next purchase (found they sell work pants). Labonville was my go-to for gear when I lived in Gorham.

    It was funny yesterday when I went to the store in that I noticed a few other guys kinda like me show up at the same time; driving less than new pickups, obviously just came out of the woods, off a tractor, or out of a barn. and wearing old fashioned clothes. Said to myself "Geez, all the yankees seem to have discovered their boots aren't gonna cut it this winter!" As we were all trying to negotiate the tight aisles, one of them chimed in exactly what I was thinking with some funny wry statement in his thick northern accent.

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    Senior Member Hillwalker's Avatar
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    I found it interesting that the Labonville on-line catalog lists Limmer Boot Grease for sale. Seems now I don't have to drive the 200 miles round trip over to North Conway when I need more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisB View Post
    Has anyone heard of Minus33? They bill themselves as:

    Minus33 is an American company founded in New Hampshire by L.W Packard & Co. in 2001.[1][2] Minus33 is claimed to have 100 years of textile manufacturing experience behind it in parent company L.W. Packard & Co.


    I'd never heard of them until I read a review of outdoor clothing in the Wirecutter section of the NYT.

    Any users of their gear here? Is it really that good?
    I bought a pair of their boxer briefs a couple of months ago and have worn them a few times. They are very comfortable, but I don't know how durable they will be. If you are familiar with other brands of merino wool base layers (Icebreaker, Smartwool, Ibex, Ridge Merino), you will find the Minus33 brand to be of similar quality.

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    Member Montana's Avatar
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    I’ve been a merino wool fan for many years. Had a pro deal with Ibex when it was the technical merino clothing company. Since switched to Minus 33 exclusively for base layers top and bottom. Found them to be a no frills reliable and durable product. Some of the garments can even go thru a low dry cycle. Use their stuff 4 seasons backpacking, back country skiing and mountain biking. Even use it on summer paddles. Maybe a bit expensive but less so than the brand names. Color options limited. Another company I have been buying from is Paka Apparel. MostLy to support a company with a great mission. I’ve used the socks hiking and one of the sweaters in shoulder season and was pretty happy. Worth a look.

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    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    I bought a pair of their midweight merino wool long underwear about 5 years ago. They are excellent and the most comfortable underwear I have ever purchased. Still look brand new after much use, I do care for them closely as merino wool needs care. Ironically, I was just on their sire looking at tops. After many years of wearing Patagonia capaline, Minus33 is a much better product.

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    Senior Member TCD's Avatar
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    Merino wool has gained much popularity. Deservedly; it's good stuff. There are many suppliers out there.

    We're ski patrollers, so like the doctor, we lean towards brands that offer "pro deals."

    We have some Minus 33. Also some "Meriwool Layers" stuff, which is not in the "pro deal" system, but their retail prices are about the same as "pro prices."

    Have moved away from Terramar and Smartwool, as once they had name recognition, their quality went in the Sh**ter. The last Smartwool garment I bought was so badly made I donated it to the clothing box.

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    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TCD View Post
    Merino wool has gained much popularity. Deservedly; it's good stuff. There are many suppliers out there.

    We're ski patrollers, so like the doctor, we lean towards brands that offer "pro deals."

    We have some Minus 33. Also some "Meriwool Layers" stuff, which is not in the "pro deal" system, but their retail prices are about the same as "pro prices."

    Have moved away from Terramar and Smartwool, as once they had name recognition, their quality went in the Sh**ter. The last Smartwool garment I bought was so badly made I donated it to the clothing box.
    I bought my first Smartwool product last year, a long sleeve shirt. It not only had the worst fit imaginable, it just felt horrible. I sent it back and it took 8 weeks to get a refund. Needless to say, I will not be a returning customer.

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    Senior Member nartreb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Dasypodidae View Post
    According to their website, about 80% of their socks are now made in Ashland, with other garments made overseas. Plan is for 100% of the socks to be made in the USA. The merino sheep are farmed in Australia.

    I remember a couple of decades ago Tom Chappell, after he sold Tomís of Maine, tried to organize merino sheep farming in New England, but I do not know what happened with that idea.
    Merino wool used to be big business in New England. Towns like Waltham had huge mills, and practically all the woods nearby were cut down to make room for grazing. As I recall the original breeding stock (a few hundred sheep) was smuggled out of Spain via Portugal, during the Napoleonic wars.

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    Senior Member bignslow's Avatar
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    The other really nice thing about Minus33 is their sizes are reasonable. I've found Icebreaker and Ibex are a full size smaller than what I wear in street clothes (i.e. for most shirts/jackets I'm size large, but in their stuff, I need to be XL to fit reasonably). I also have a longer torso, so I'm in heaven with the Minus33 medium tall size (for a performance fit in their Chocoura thermal top). Agreed pricey, but they're definitely my go-to brand for base layers.
    Warning: BigNSlow may not actually be all that slow

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    Senior Member Salty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nartreb View Post
    Merino wool used to be big business in New England. Towns like Waltham had huge mills, and practically all the woods nearby were cut down to make room for grazing. As I recall the original breeding stock (a few hundred sheep) was smuggled out of Spain via Portugal, during the Napoleonic wars.
    I was about to say they should bring the sheep here, we still have all the rock walls for them.

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