Posted: Jun 21 2011
The picture above is me and a friend climbing Gaustatoppen in Telemark, Norway. Fantastic mountain, with fantastic views.....except when the cloud rolls in! Here I had my trusty Ron Hill leggings, a Brynje Arctic Base layer and a Montane Featherlite wind shirt. My legs did get a little cold, but my top was mostly warm and more importantly dry thanks to the Arctic top. Wind was blowing hard on the ridge, which made the 1 degree temp feel somewhere around -10C. The Arctic has a Polypropylene mesh lining which wicks the moisture to the outer Merino layer, while also trapping air to act as an additional thermal layer. This works very well......better than anything I have worn in these conditions in terms of base layer fleece mid layer combo. The other nice feature is that it seems to be able to regulate body temperature very well. I didn't feel hot until we got back to the road and we were bathed in hot sun....then I had to roll the sleeves up a little. You can really feel the moisture transfer, as my friend found out when I stuck his hand onto my naked back so he could feel how little moisture there was (Phil, don't worry I won't tell anybody it was you ;). The fit is long, and comes down a good way, which is handy when scrambling or climbing, so you don't suddenly expose naked skin to the elements! I've yet to make my mind up on the long sleeves with the thumb holes, but I certainly don't see them as a disadvantage.
This is an extremely versatile top for many conditions and activities. I had much the same experience cross country skiing in Beitostølen , although I would say that it's too hot for anything above - 5 C, if your working fairly hard like I have to!
Finally, if I ever have a chill in the house, or just want to be warm and snug, this is the one I reach for.......although there is also the Skipull Fleece............but that's a whole new post!!! Later