Product Review- AKU SL Sintesi GTX

22 03 2014

AKU’s Techy Bit:

“The SL Sintesi GTX is designed for serious hikers who are looking for a precision fit, with an emphasis on lightweight construction, stability and protection on variable terrain. The IMS-1 Internal Midsole System in this boot features an anatomically-shaped lasting board with an internal 5mm layer of EVA. This results in immediate comfort (without having to be “broken in”) and reduced weight. Another benefit is that it keeps the hiker low to the ground, weight is evenly distributed, and lateral and frontal slippage is controlled. The 1.8mm suede upper features rubber heel and toe protection and the Vibram Mulaz® outsole features a climbing zone at the toe for precision. The precision lacing system extends further to the toe for a more precise fit.”

  • Usage: These are primarily low-cut with a close fit, sticky rubber soles, and toe rands. Designed for light hiking and scrambling.
  • Upper: Nubuck Leather
  • Membrane: Gore-Tex

AKU Sl Sintesi GTX

Our Thoughts:

With my third pair of La Sportiva Trango’s biting the dust in just 2 and a bit seasons I felt it was time for a change. I am a fan of wearing a more rigid boot on a day to day basis, however I felt I was burning through these ‘scrambling’ boots way too rapidly. I have now decided to get myself a pair of lightweight summer hiking boots (Salamon Cosmics), and so it meant I needed something to fill the void on the boot rack for my scrambling endeavours, a style of mountaineering I probably indulge in the most. With the help of the guys at Keswick Boot Company I landed on the AKU SL Sintesi GTX. Getting my scramble on

Firstly, the boot looks super sexy! People will always say ‘it’s not about the look, it’s about how good they are’, but if something is this good looking then it’s hard to resist. I put them on in the shop and they felt great. There is a fair bit of arch support, and I would say they are more of an average-narrow fit based on the way the toe tapers in. You will see from the pictures that the laces come quite far down the boot, and this gives the boot a more precise fit, more like a laced climbing shoe.

So the boots look good, and feel good in the shop, how do they do in the outdoors?

Since having the boots I have managed to test them on loads of the classic scrambles in the Lakes and beyond including, Striding and Swirral Edge, Halls Fell and Sharp Edge, Sphinx Ridge, Crib Goch, Tryfan and finally the Bristly Ridge. This has meant I have tested them on a variety of rock types, and in varying conditions.

The blurb at the top of this review claims that the shaped last and EVA means that there is no real breaking in period. I actually disagree with this unfortunately. My Salamon Cosmics took zero breaking in, but these did cause me a little bit of pain on the first few wears. I went back to the old method of taping my feet before the walk (just like I had to do with my Trango’s when they were new too mind!) and popped in my Superfeet insoles. A few wears later and the boots were broken in to the point where I didn’t have to bother taping my feet and they cause me no discomfort at all (which technically means that they are comfortable!). All I’m saying with this is just be ready to break them in a little, just like you had to do with every single boot you would buy no more than a decade ago.

Sintesi'sThe Sintesi hosts a Gore-Tex membrane, which coupled with the Nubuck Upper makes them super waterproof. I am not always sold on Gore-Tex Products, I have been let down by a lot of Gore-Tex products, but so far the lining in these has so far proved to be bomber. The sole is a Vibram Mulaz® which has also proven to do what it is meant to do and be super grippy. Even on wet lichen covered rock on Sphinx Ridge in November the boots were constantly biting down and giving me the confidence I needed in such conditions. The sole has ‘climbing zone’ on the toe which again allows greater precision. The rigidity of the boot partnered with this climbing zone means that you can 100% trust them on some quite small footholds.

As I’ve been completing these scrambles the boots have of course been subject to a bit of a bashing by the rough rock. I have even had to stop and look at the boot a few times expecting there to be a hole in the side based on the sound that came from below. The Sintesi’s have not shown any signs of a beating despite all of this, not even a single seam looks ready to come undone. This is probably what I am most impressed with, they are incredibly tough, especially for quite a lightweight boot (550g’s). To add to the durability AKU have fitted a rubber toe and heel rand. From my experience this was always the first point of weakness with my La Sportiva’s. AKU seemed to have done a really good job at blending the rubber into the nubuck so there is hardly a seam for any rock to pull at, whereas there is certainly one on the Sportivas.

To Conclude:

If you enjoy a lot of scrambling, or even hiking fairly fast on rocky terrain, then I would certainly recommend you get a pair of these on your feet. At £195 they are not a cheap option, but the build quality, durability and performance makes them worth every single penny.

I must also recommend that you head to the folks at Keswick Boot Company as they will be able to provide you with a superb fitting service, backed up by great Knowledge.

AKU SL Sintesi GTX on Crib Goch


Product Review- Oktang GORE-TEX® Pro Shell Bib Pant

24 02 2014

Berghaus’s Techy Bit:

  • Durable and breathable Men’s Oktang GORE-TEX® Pro Bib Pant – offering a considered design and cut for all EXTREM™ mountaineering activities.
  • The 4-way stretch bib offers excellent comfort and protection against spindrift whilst giving an additional layer to provide warmth.
  • Full side zips allows ease-of-use while wearing crampons or skis
  • SuperFabric® reinforcement patch delivers the ultimate in crampon protection.
  • Weight (approx.): 704g

Oktang Bib Waterproof Trousers

Our Thoughts:

I am going to start this review where I should finish it, but I am going to let you know now that I think the trousers are absolutely fantastic! I have never had a pair of bibbed waterproofs before, but for winter mountaineering I am a convert.

The softshell bib offers an extra layer or warmth, probably equivalent to a thin micro fleece to your core, so you have to take this in to consideration when layering up at the start of the day. There are a couple of pockets high on the bib which are useful for a phone or compass if you wanted to store them somewhere other than in your jacket. The trousers do have pockets in the conventional place but I never found myself using them.

The trousers almost feel like softshell, they have a very soft feel to them. They barely rustle when walking and are just so comfortable to wear. Whilst testing them I found myself stopping and saying ‘these trousers are just so comfortable!’ (Clive Bontoft can vouch for that!) They seem durable enough and certainly show no signs of wear so far, time will tell.

I have a few pairs of salopettes, all with slightly different braces. These were the first pair I’ve had with velcro. Although a little aprehensive at first thinking it would be more likely to ping off then the others, I found they were spot on. Having a pair of bibbed waterproofs with a decent brace on come into their own when wearing a harness loaded with gear. Usually as your harness starts to slip a little it drags your trousers down with it, exposing the small of your back to the elements, but that simply can’t happen with these trousers, ideal! Below Central Gully, Great End

The trousers have a 2 way YKK Aquaguard  Vislon zip up the side right to the hip. I generally wear them from the car with a pair of leggings underneath, but I’d imagine there would be zero hassle putting them on over crampons (or Ski’s). The 2 way zip of course offers you the opportunity to go to the toilet without having to take off the braces.

One of my favorite features of the trousers has to be the reinforced kicker patch on the inside of the legs. The amount of times I have put my crampons through my trousers just above the novelty sized protector patch, it is great to see Berghaus  have put on a decent level of protection so clumsy clowns like myself don’t destroy a great pair of trousers in one kick. On the inside of the trouser you will also find a removable snow gaiter.

These trousers use the new generation Gore-Tex Pro. My feelings about it’s performance are the same as how I felt about it on the Ulvetanna. I hate having wet legs, but I loathe having warm legs even more. Not once whilst wearing these trousers did my legs feel like they were overheating. Besides, if you do run warm then you have a whole legs worth of zip to vent off if needed. I suppose, most importantly for a set of waterproofs, it might be worth mentioning they have always kept me dry.

Price wise the Oktang Bib retails at £300. This may seem pretty expensive for a pair of waterproof trousers, but if you do a quick Google search on some of the other big brands on the market such as Rab, ME, TNF, and Haglofs you will see that £250-£400 is the going rate for a decent set.

So to round it up, the Oktang Bib is a fab set of waterproofs trousers for those who want supreme comfort and protection, whether you are a walker or climber.

These trousers were tested on a variety of winter climbs and walks in the Lake District and Scotland.

Climbing at Brown Cove Crags

All photos taken by Clive Bontoft.

Product Review- Berghaus Ulvetanna Gore-Tex Pro Jacket

24 02 2014

Berghaus’s Techy Bit:

  • Developed with Berghaus athlete Leo Houlding for his expedition to Ulvetanna in Antarctica, the Men’s Ulvetanna GORE-TEX®Pro Jacket
  • Incorporating a unique, multi-adjustable hood that can be drawn tight for protection against the harshest conditions and allowing you to battle forward through the elements.
  • Uncompromised durability and breathability is achieved through utilising two grades of new generation GORE-TEX® Pro fabric
  • Streamlined 3D vents will keep you cool through times of high exertion.
  • Weight (approx.): 650g

Berghaus Ulvetnna

Our Thoughts:

When I got asked by Berghaus to select a jacket to test for them my eyes were immediately drawn towards the Ulvetanna, mostly because it was a bit different to a lot of other jackets I have worn in the past.

The Ulvetanna would fall into the category of  ‘heavyweight’ mountaineering jacket, although at 650g compared to the Rab Latok at 730g it could almost be regarded as lightweight! The feel and sound of the jacket would also give the impression of a much heavier jacket, but in the hands it doesn’t feel all that weighty. The jacket does sound ‘crunchy’, but I think once out on that crag getting battered by spindrift it adds a certain level of security, knowing that you are inside your fortress. Berghuas have utlisied tougher fabrics on the outside of the arms, shoulders, hood and hips to make the jacket more durable. With the vision that it would mostly be winter climbers wearing this jacket it also has a longer cut in order to provide further protection to the kidneys. I have never had a jacket this long before, and I was a bit apprehensive about it when I first tried it on. In all honesty, I began to love the longer cut. As Berghaus intended, it does offer loads more protection when climbing, but it is also quite nice when walking to have more protection from the rain and wind over the rear. It is also worth noting that there is plenty of volume within the jacket to layer up with an insulation layer without making the jacket seem too baggy without one on. Ulvetanna on Striding Edge

The main zip on the jacket curves to finish just off the center of the jacket. This is to make room for the X-Vent. I know years ago Berghaus did this on one of their jackets, but then it disappeared again. This was another feature I’ve never had on a jacket, but I do know how annoying it is to have your collar up and be steaming up your goggles or soaking the inside of the jacket. The X-Vent got a really good test when we were walking in to tackle Striding Edge in February. As we rounded the hill we were hit by strong winds transporting a lot of spindrift. I got my goggles on, got the hood up and pulled the zip to the top. We walked into the wind and I was in my own little cocoon. The high collar was fantastic and although there was some moisture building up on the inside of the vent, it would have been much worse without it- plus the goggles didn’t steam up. I ended wearing the jacket like this for the best part of the hour and at no point did it feel claustrophobic or irritating.

This brings me nicely onto the hood of the jacket. The hood is helmet compatible and has a stiffened peak which is very effective. With a helmet on the hood is great, but without it is probably the least desirable feature on the jacket, at first anyway. There is such a large amount of volume in the hood that it is hard to get it small enough to just fit a head. After a lot of playing around with the hood I did manage to get it small enough to operate without a helmet, the trick seemed to be in using the adjusters at the side instead of the back. I guess once again Berghaus envisaged the end user to probably be wearing a helmet most of the time whilst in the jacket, but there is no escaping the fact that the weather can be rubbish when walking in or out of the climb! The adjusters on the hood, although maybe a bit limiting, are nice and easy to use, especially with big  gloves.

Berguas UlvetannaMoving on to the pockets of the jacket. The jacket hosts 2 internal compartments which would be useful for keeping a phone or camera out of the elements, 2 chest pockets, and then a small pass pocket on the arm. The two front pockets are a little frustrating as they are tall and narrow. Ideal for carrying a camera, energy bars or a compass, but not much else. If you wanted to store your gloves in these pockets you would have to put one in each pocket. You will see from the pictures the jacket actually has 4 zips on the front of the jacket, but you may have also noticed that nothing has been said so far about underarm venting zips. The 2 outer zips are actually vents and not pockets, but when the vents are not in use they can easily be used as a pocket.  The vents are really effective, and as intended provide great core ventilation. The placement of the zips is also superb, and they are far easier to use than any underarm vent. My biggest gripe with this combination of pockets and vents is that there isn’t really anywhere to put anything. You can’t really use the vents as a pocket and a vent at the same time because you risk losing the items or getting them covered in snow or rain. You could put the bits inside the jacket and utilise the snowskirt to stop them from falling out the bottom, but then your putting stuff against the body that you are trying to cool down. A positive to draw is that the pockets are all nicely raised with large toggles for ease of use with a harness and gloves.

All this talk of venting naturally brings me onto the breathability of the jacket. The jacket uses two grades of the new generation Gore-Tex Pro, which is meant to be up to 28% more breathable than it’s predecessor. I must say I was really impressed! What with the jacket having such thick face fabrics to make it durable  I was expecting it to be quite a warm jacket to wear when walking, but it is anything but. To date, it is probably the most comfortable jacket I have ever worn in terms of climate control, superb. Matt Le Voi in the Ulvetanna

The cuffs on the jacket are absolutely bomber and never showed any signs of coming undone. They also provide enough room to allow the entire sleeve to come over gauntlet style climbing gloves. The removable snowskirt is a nice feature which adds to that ‘fortress’ feel whilst out in bad weather. The hem of the jacket also has an adjuster, which is nicely concealed out of the way so it’s not getting in the way of your climbing kit.

To conclude, it is obvious Berghaus had an intended end user for this jacket, and for the most part I think they have nailed it. If you are a winter mountaineer and you want 100% protection and durability, and want to feel comfortable whilst doing it all then you will like this jacket very much. Although it can be used just for walking, I feel think the voluminous hood would get a little frustrating. The biggest downside of the jacket would be the lack of pocket space, but if you are a fan of great vents and don’t really load up your pockets anyway then once again, this jacket is for you!

This jacket was tested on a variety of winter climbs and scrambles in both the Lake District and Scotland. 

Views from the summit of HelvellynAll above photos taken by Clive Bontoft.

George testing his Ulvetanna in Scotland

George Lloyd in the alternative colour option

Product Review- Mammut Peludo Softshell

7 11 2013

Mammut’s Techy Bit:

  • Comfortable, elastic Soft Shell fabric
  • Pre-shaped sleeves with Velcro cuffs
  • 2 side pockets with zips
  • 1 chest pocket with zip
  • Drawcord hem, adjustable using one hand

Mammut Peludo Jacket

Our thoughts:

When I first got this jacket from Blacks Outdoor to take onto the hills and test I was a little stumped as to how I was going to do it. In Mammut’s own words it is ‘designed for everyday wear’, and looking at the jacket it just looks like a plain black softshell with no real distinguishing technical features. Saying this, I have had multiple Mammut products, namely the Rime Pro insulated jacket and the Trion Element 30 rucksack, both of which are versatile and excellent pieces of kit. Based on these experiences, and my knowledge of Mammut and their ‘Absolute Alpine’ ethos, I knew there had to be more to this jacket then for it to be worn through town or down the pub. So I took it out to see if I was right…

The weather forecast for our day on the hills was to be windy with strong gusts and the occasional shower, perfect for testing a softshell. Softshell’s are ideally suited to cold and dry environments, which is why they are a popular garment to be worn when Alpine Mountaineering, but they also have their uses in the UK too.

We started out from a windy Seathwaite Farm in the heart of the Borrowdale Valley and our target for the day was to be Great Gable via one of the classic scrambles on it’s southern slopes, Spinx Ridge. As it was pretty cold I had coupled the Peludo up with my EDZ Merino base layer and the recently tested Berghaus Smoulder Half Zip.

Testing the Peludo on a scramble

We made quick progress along the valley bottom and up towards Taylorgill Force waterfall. Alongside the waterfall the path turns into a short easy scramble, and with it my first opportunity to test the Peludo. As I reached for the first hand hold I realised Mammut had nailed it with the arm length as the sleeve didn’t shoot up my arm, nor did the jacket ride up my body as I stretched…Doing well so far!

As we reached Styhead Pass we were in the stronger winds, and of course it was getting much cooler. Although the Peludo doesn’t host a Windstopper membrane or similar I found it did cut out a lot of the wind. This coupled with the microfleece backer meant that I had quite a nice warm torso. A great feature about softshells is their excellent level of breathability. On the walk in of 2 miles at a fair pace I didn’t feel like I was heating up inside the jacket, nor making it clammy or sweaty.

Water Beading on the Peludo

As we joined the Climber’s traverse on the south side of Gable we we’re joined by the strong South westerly wind, and with it came a shower. I popped my gloves on and the velcro tabs on the cuffs meant I could get a good tight fit over the glove, excluding any drafts and heat loss. The collar also sits quite high giving a nice amount of protection around the neckline. The jacket acted as it should with the wind driven rain and just shielded it off perfectly, not once did I think I should exchange it for my waterproof. Getting my scramble on

Soon enough we had ‘Threaded’ the iconic Napes Needle and joined Spinx Ridge, a classic Grade 2 scramble that leads towards the summit. The jacket continued to give me the freedom of movement when scrambling and didn’t ride up or cause me any other issues whilst I was scrambling. I did notice that the pockets sit quite low so they would be useless if wearing  a climbing harness, however there is a chest pocket to put your phone or camera in instead.

After reaching the summit and being hit by a few more showers we made a quick escape off of the fells back to the car at Seathwaite via Styhead Pass.

Napes NeedleThis ‘everyday wear’ softshell had been put through a rigorous mountain day and I must say it certainly met my expectations. I would be interested to see how the jacket would fair after multiple scrambles or climbs, but the jacket didn’t show any major signs of abrasion from when I did drag it over a rock. The jacket may not appeal to those who like a more technical looking jacket as it is quite plain, but then it does mean you can wear it down the pub or as a casual piece. If you are looking for a basic but capable softshell which doesn’t look like it has just been sent down from a spaceship, then the Mammut Peludo may be for you!

Pub Testing!


Product Review- Berghaus Smoulder Half Zip

25 10 2013

Berghaus’s Techy Bit:

  • POLARTEC® POWERDRY® High Efficiency fabric offers excellent insulation, moisture management and packability creating a highly versatile year round piece of kit for your mountain adventures
  • The multi-zone body-mapped design allows for maximum comfort and insulation taking into account your body’s natural thermoregulatory system
  • Essentials can be kept at hand in the bonded sleeve pocket

RRP £90

Berghaus Smoulder FleeceOur Thoughts:

Wow! What a nice fleece! As soon as I took it out of the packet I loved this fleece. The Smoulder fleece looks fantastic with it’s highlighted seams, and the micro grid feel the Polartec Powerdry gives it just feels amazing.

There isn’t too much to say in terms of features about the fleece, it’s still just a fleece. It hosts a pocket on the arm which would easily hold an energy gel or bit of money, or in my case, business cards! The fleece also has some well designed thumb loops that are also really comfortable to wear, unlike some which just seem to be frustrating.

The main technical feature of this fleece is the Polartec Powerdy. The Polartec Powerdry is designed to provide excellent levels of warmth to weight, but most importantly super efficient moisture management.
I decided to take the fleece out for a fell run up Latrigg on a rather mild evening. Underneath I was wearing a synthetic tech tee. I started the run through the trees and thought – ‘I shouldn’t have bothered with the fleece!’ After just a few minutes I completely forgot about the fleece and I didn’t seem to be overheating at all. It continued to be comfortable all the way to the top. After a short rest on the top we started with our long descent off of the back, but now in the wind I decided to utilise the thumb loops and give my hands a bit of protection. I never usually like wearing thumb loops on jackets, but to be honest I actually forgot I even had my thumbs in the loops, a real testament to the design. We finished our run and I got back in the car to drive home. I decided to feel around the fleece to see if it was damp. Amazingly my underarms were hardly damp at all and my back was just slightly damp because I had been wearing a pack, I was impressed!

So in short, if you want a good looking fleece that would be just as useful as a warm but non-bulky midlayer when hiking as it would as an outerlayer when running or biking, then the Smoulder Fleece by Berghaus would be a fine contender!
Berghaus also make a hooded version for those of you who are into hooded fleeces 😀



Product Review – The North Face Catalyst Micro

23 10 2013

The North Face’s Technical Bit:

  • 800 fill Hungarian down offers superior warmth yet remains extremely compressible
  • Flash Dry™ panels under arms enhance comfort
  • Slimmer downchambers with deep baffles capture and maintain more warmth
  • Sleek hood with elastic binding swivels with head for a natural, unobstructed view
  • Zip handwarmer pockets are generous and easy to access
  • Stuffs into its own handwarmer pocket
  • Water-resistant Down treatment keeps moisture at bay

Retail Price: £200

Matt in front of Mera Peak

Our thoughts:

I managed to pick my Catalyst Micro up in a TNF Sample Sale so unfortunately it doesn’t have the new Thermoball technology that the jackets now host so I am unable to comment on the efficiency of this new technology.

My Dinner Jacket

The main aim of getting the jacket was to have it as a warm layer for our trip to Nepal to climb Mera Peak. As an item from TNF’s Summit Series range I was expecting a very technical piece of kit which was designed for purpose, after all it has been tested and approved by their sponsored athletes. Along with this you should also expect the highest quality of manufacturing so it can withstand everything you are going to throw at it on your adventure- did I get this?

For the first week or so of usage the jacket was purging a lot of feathers, so much so that I thought I was going to come home with a piece of limp red fabric which was once a down jacket! However, this is normal for down jackets, and it is for this reason that manufacturers will over-stuff jackets.

The jacket got tonnes of use when on the trip, probably my most used item of clothing! It would quite often be the first thing on in the morning or at lunchtimes and I also spent pretty much every evening wearing it in the tent or when having dinner. A couple of times I did wear it whilst actually trekking and I can honestly say it was great. The jacket also showed no obvious signs of wear on the shoulders after having worn it with a pack. I found the jacket made a fab warm, but non bulky mid-layer on summit day when I actually wore it under another bigger TNF down Jacket. With the two coupled together and my merino base layers I felt quite toasty at 6000m+

The elastic cuffs on the jacket are great as it means there is less faff when wanting to get the jacket on or off quickly and the stretchy sections under the arms do provide comfort as TNF state, and it also means you don’t have a load of down underneath your armpits inducing unwanted sweat.

Matt pretending he knows how to read a map...The hood is a nice addition although you can get one without it. It is helmet compatible but sized sensibly so it isn’t huge when not wearing a helmet. The neck on the jacket has also got quite a high cut to it, so when fully zipped up it covers your chin and mouth and therefore gives you your own little cocoon to get warm in.

The Catalyst Micro packs down superbly, and even stows into it’s own pocket. The level of warmth the jacket provides is also superb. The jacket has a Durable Water Resistant (DWR) coating which holds off any drizzle or snow well as it should.

Although this jacket may seem expensive, coming in at £200, it is a mighty fine piece of kit! As I said at the start, a Summit Series logo on the arm automatically sends your expectations soaring, but thankfully in this instance they were easily met and surpassed. If you are a keen outdoor enthusiast  who demands 100% from clothing at all times, then I would deeply recommend you to consider the Catalyst Micro to add to your arsenal as an ace mid/outer layer.

In addition, the jacket not only had a prominent role in my pack in Nepal but I have had good use out of it back here in the UK!


Selfie with the Catalyst

Product Review

5 05 2013

EDZ Merino Base Layer Long sleeve crew 200g 

Price: £39.99

EDZ’s Technical Bit:

100% merino wool 200gsm

machine washable to 30C
flat seams
anti odour properties

EDZ merino wool tops can be worn in hot or cold conditions, soft next the skin & comfortable to wear.  Thanks to the anti odour properties of wool EDZ merino garments can be worn for many days with out needing to be washed. The EDZ long sleeve crew is cut long in the body, has a dropped back & long sleeves.


The Review:

Before our recent trip to Nepal to climb Mera Peak (6476m) EDZ Outdoor gave me one of their new season long sleeve merino t-shirts to test out on the trails.

In recent years merino garments have shot up in popularity, no doubt because people are finally starting to realise that one good merino top is easily equivalent to 3 or 4 synthetic t-shirts. As a working mountain leader I demand a lot from my clothing, and with my experience in outdoor retail, I understand how each garment is designed to perform. These two factors combined would in fact make me a tough critic.

Two years ago I went trekking in Nepal for 12 days and for the entire trek I wore one top from the Icebreaker RedRam range and it performed very well, exactly as you would expect a merino top to do, so the bar had been set high for this new EDZ top.

Naomi in her SS EDZ top

For the start of the trek when we were in the foothills I either wore a short sleeve CoCona t-shirt or a short sleeve synthetic top. It wasn’t until day 9 when we woke to a cooler morning at about 3500m that I thought it was time to test out the top. After about half an hour of walking the sun came over a ridge to our right and we all stripped off our mid layers and I was now down to the EDZ baselayer. The day got hotter and hotter and the top was already beginning to impress me. On a day where I probably should have kept on my lightweight short sleeve top the long sleeve merino layer was keeping me just as cool, and just as comfortable.

Even though I have long sleeve base layers I rarely wear the sleeves down and like to pull them up my forearm. The fitted cuffs on the top are firstly fantastic at staying up when pulled up, but unlike many other long sleeve tops the cuff does not seem to stretch and lose its shape, so when you pull it back down it is still fitted to your wrist.

I hadn’t packed too many tops for this trip but I was only intending on wearing the EDZ top for about 3 days when I would switch to a thicker Icebreaker base layer for the summit bid. The Icebreaker top got bumped and I actually ended up staying in the top, day and night, for about 6 days, and the only reason why I changed out of it was because we had descended back to much warmer temperatures after our successful summit bid.

Now I would say 6 days of trekking, including an arduous 10 hour summit day is a fine way to put a top through it’s paces, and as expected the top didn’t smell at all, it had performed perfectly. Furthermore, being 100% merino the top was very comfortable for the entire time, and once again as expected it didn’t ever itch.

The top has since been washed and still fits as it did the first time I put it on.

In Conclusion:

A fantastic t-shirt which performs exactly as it should. Doesn’t smell after use, doesn’t itch and has a superb fit. Finally, the top is at a great price point even though it easily performs as well, if not better, than it’s competitors items that are twice the price! The best base layer top I now own for sure!

EDZ in the Himalaya

Who Am I?

My Name is Matt Le Voi, Owner and Mountain Guide of Lakeland Mountain Guides as well as a general outdoor enthusiast. Furthermore, I have over 3 years experience in outdoor retail for large outdoor stores.

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