Sure it’d be fine on an afternoon stroll, but how does it hold up against freezing winter winds?

Uniqlo is a Japanese fashion brand that sells clothing that’s simple and affordable, and though some people think it’s too cheap and too simple, the brand has gained worldwide success, opening branches in four continents. While they often offer cool fan-service goods like video game-themed clothing, one of their biggest sellers is their HeatTech clothing.

Coming in a range of styles from undershirts and leggings to shirts and pants, HeatTech clothes are specially designed to keep you warm all day. The fabric allows them to collect the kinetic energy from the moisture of your skin and convert it to heat, and they hold heat for longer because they are more tightly knit than regular cotton clothing. They come in three levels for all of your winter needs: HeatTech, HeatTech Extra Warm, and HeatTech Ultra Warm.

Our Japanese language correspondent, Go Hattori, who regularly commutes to work by scooter, usually wears regular HeatTech or HeatTech Extra Warm tights during the winter, and he’s tried a few other warm clothing options from Uniqlo to see how they compare when he’s on his bike. But he’s been wondering if HeatTech Ultra Warm, which is apparently 1.5 times warmer than HeatTech Extra Warm, really will hold up better than its weaker counterparts against the icy winds of winter, so he decided to conduct an experiment to find out.

On the day of his experiment, he put on regular HeatTech socks, and but instead of regular HeatTech underclothes, he picked a pair of Ultra Warm tights with an Ultra Warm shirt. Careful not to skew the results, he purposefully wore ordinary Uniqlo jeans and a turtleneck sweater over them, along with his favorite jacket.

▼ Besides the HeatTech Ultra Warm, it’s just a normal biker fashion day for Go (he normally chooses to take off the face mask before he leaves for the day).

His ride to work was around lunchtime, and it was about nine degrees Celsius (48.2 Fahrenheit), fairly warm for a Tokyo winter day, so he figured he would be nice and toasty all day in his HeatTech Ultra Warm. But he actually ran into the opposite problem: just by taking pictures in his apartment, it almost became too hot for him. Instead of being pleasantly warm, he was grossly sweaty, so he had to turn off his heater.

Unfortunately, that heat didn’t stick around on the ride to work. HeatTech doesn’t yet have wind-breaking technology, so he felt the full force of the cold wind on his legs. Although, he did notice that the warmth that the Ultra Warm provided was comparable to wearing a pair of Uniqlo’s BlockTech Slim Fit Chinos, which are designed to be windbreakers, with HeatTech Extra Warm underneath.

But that was in broad daylight; the real test was the nighttime commute home. Go faced this challenge head-on, knowing from his lunchtime commute that he was greatly unprepared. But, he decided, even though the temperature dropped to four degrees Celsius (39.2 degrees Fahrenheit), if the HeatTech Ultra Warm kept him even a little bit warmer than his usual Extra Warm or regular HeatTech, he’d be happy…

But there wasn’t much difference between Ultra Warm and Extra Warm.

Go admits that for any other use, the Ultra Warm is without a doubt far superior. But for the purpose of riding a motorcycle in the middle of winter, his conclusion is that, for underclothes, Extra Warm and Ultra Warm seem to provide the same amount of warmth.

Ultra Warm is the fourth kind of Uniqlo’s warm technology clothing that Go has tried, so he decided to rank them according to how well they work on a winter motorcycle ride:

Tied for First:
Seamless Down jacket – It’s hands down the warmest, and can be worn with only a T-shirt underneath.
BlockTech Fleece jacket and pants – The pants were worn with no tights underneath and were still pleasantly warm.

Third: HeatTech Ultra Warm

Disqualified: BlockTech Slim Fit Chinos – While they keep the cold from going through the material, they definitely didn’t prevent it from going up and under the material.

In summary, while Go thinks it would be ideal to combine the Ultra Warm with the Seamless Down jacket or the BlockTech Fleece, if he had to choose just one, he would choose the BlockTech Fleece Pants. For regular use, however, the Ultra Warm will hold up just fine. But if you’re one of those who really cannot stand the cold, we recommend you go one step further and wear this Chinese invention, which should easily do the trick. Just perhaps don’t wear it on a motorcycle…it doesn’t look very aerodynamic.

Images ©SoraNews24

[ Read in Japanese ]