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My first encounter with the Ninja Suit was at a Denver based ski and board store. They proudly had this grown man/woman size onesie displayed on a manikin and to be honest, my first reaction was one of laughing out loud. But my curiosity got the better of me and I was intrigued by the sign saying something to the effect of “the best base layer you’ll ever own”. I picked up the box and read about the design and material and decided that this might be a very cool onesie, despite my initial thoughts of it being funny. When I came across their fish patterned merino wool suit I knew I needed to get one to bring to the TrueFly audience as a review, thinking these just might be really kick ass under waders as well.
I got in touch with the guys at Airbalster, who make the Ninja Suit, and they were happy to get one in our hands- they even sent the fish print merino wool edition! I couldn’t wait to try it on. So, with almost a foot of snow on the ground and my trusty dog Ivy along for the adventure I took it outside and this grown man did karate in my new onesie! It was surprisingly warm for how lightweight it was for a full body suit with a hood and being 16 degrees out.
When I buy a base layer I look for perks like comfort and how easily I’ll be able to move in it. When I’m outdoors I’m pretty active and the last thing I want is my base layer binding me up and restricting my movements. I also want a base layer that has good moisture wicking attributes. I sweat when I’m active, whether it’s hot or cold out, so I need my base layer to wick moisture away from my body and then dry quickly and insulate well so I don’t have cold wet fabric keeping me chilled all day. I’ll get more into my review of it but here is the bulleted pros and cons:
Let’s be honest- it has a great name and cool logo!
Body wrapped seamlessly head to toe in merino wool.
Up the shirt back drafts are a thing of the past.
Lightweight and comfortable.
Fit was very good.
Stretchy material means no binding for outdoor activities.
The fish pattern is very cool, but for those blander tastes they have a lot of styles to choose from.
Built in hood for total seamless wrapping head to toe.
Bathroom access for #1 was super easy.
You feel like a Ninja in it.
Easy to put on and get off.
Cons (Honestly there are very few cons to the product, but being an honest review, here some of the things that any person would find:
It’s a onesie!
Awkward to get out of.
The merino was a little itchy at first.
The #2 bathroom access was a little difficult as I expected but workable, and that’s all I’ll say about that!
As with all wool products there is special washing instructions and my wife was quick to inform me to find someone else to wash it.
My first use of this suit was an all-day outing riding at Telluride and it more than outperformed my expectations. I covered my onesie with a pair of gym shorts and a T-shirt over it and headed to Telluride. It was my only layer under my boarding pants, and I was toasty all day. It was very comfortable and I hardly remembered I was wearing a wool base layer. I didn’t even notice any itchiness from the wool. I was easily able to head down the mountain without feeling any bunching or binding. And best of all that cold back draft that could sneak up your shirt if it came untucked during a fall or especially crazy movement never happened. Seamless protection from the chill all day long. It was great.
I didn’t get too hot and after a hard day of riding I wasn’t uncomfortably wet or cold. I should mention here that there are thumb holes in the ninja suit which worked out very well with my glove and helped keep my hands warm and offered a more seamless protection. I was very impressed with how it performed and it was way more comfortable than my very expensive two-piece base layer I usually wear from a well-known outdoor/sporting company we all know and I won’t mention. All said and done minus the #2 bathroom experience I would say outing number one was a success.
For outing number two, I again put on the ninja suit and pair of gym shorts, t-shirt, and hoody, packed up my fishing gear and headed to the river. I fish more in the winter than I ride my snowboard so this was a must! I threw my waders on and only wore the base layer underneath. I forgot my wool socks! I was super toasty fishing all day. The river was partially frozen to give you an idea for the temperatures. My feet got the pins and needles because I forgot my wool socks but my legs and core and arms had no issues. Using the flies from the November TrueFly Supply Drop I was able to land a half dozen or so fish. I was a little wet on one leg because I think my waders got a hole in them but because of the wool I didn’t notice the cold. I moved through the river with ease and felt like I only had on waders. I made my way back to the truck and got the waders off. I was pretty dry minus the wet leg but by the time I made it back home it had pretty much dried. I would say it was another successful outing minus the hole I found in my waders!
Overall the Ninja Suit base layer met all my requirements I look for in a base layer and actually exceeded them. It was comfortable, really barely noticeable. The hood actually comes in handy and with a beanie you’re set. I love the thumb holes and how easy it was to put on. Thank you to the guys at Airblaster for introducing this to the fly fishing community!
TrueFly Supply seal of approval: YES