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Baselayers

Gear Review: Women’s Summer Baselayers

Patagonia Capilene Cool Lightweight Shirt RRP: £40Weight: 60g 4 colour options in sizes XS-XL, long sleeve version also availableMen’s version available in 6 colours sizes XS – XL, long sleeve version Beautifully soft and very light-feeling, this short sleeve T is 100% recycled polyester and certified Fair Trade sewn, which means the people who make it get a fair wage. For the last 3 years I’ve worn a similar long sleeved shirt from Patagonia which has worn incredibly well despite the thinness of the fabric, so I was keen to see what improvements had been made on this version. The

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Posted in Baselayers, Gear reviews, Magazine

Gear review: Alpkit Woodsmoke mountain shirt

Recommended Price: £59Weight: 375g (men’s large) Here’s something a little different for your base or even mid-layer. The Woodsmoke shirt has the looks of a classic lumberjack-style shirt – but re-imagined to make it much more practical for active use out on the trails and hills. The shirt feels as comfortable as cotton to touch, but it’s actually made from a type of polyester with hollow fibres. These trap air to give more warmth than standard polyester. In use, I’ve found the Woodsmoke to be surprisingly warm worn as a baselayer – I wouldn’t want to wear it on the

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Posted in Baselayers, Gear reviews, Magazine

Gear Review: Winter Base Layers

Sprayway 1/2 Zip Roola RRP: £55 (widely available for less)Weight: 195g (men’s large) The lightweight Roola is 50% merino wool and 50% polyester, combined to give a very comfortable base layer with a moderate amount of stretch. It’s extremely soft to touch, quick to dry, wicks well and gives a reasonable amount of warmth – though it’s not as toasty as some of the other bases featured below and will require more layers in the coldest conditions. I do like having a half-zip on winter base layers to give a venting option when needed. It comes in two colours and sizes from S to

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Posted in Baselayers, Gear reviews, Magazine

Gear review: Wicking Underwear

I’d not given much thought to the underpants I wear when walking; the 5 for a tenner cotton briefs from M&S had been adequate. However when Paul’s ancient, quick-drying LGT briefs finally gave up the ghost after over 10 years of walking wear including a year-long backpack with only 2 pairs, we decided a foray into modern wicking underwear was in order. The main advantages to wicking underwear is comfort, lower weight, and quick drying. Whilst good for a day walk, these properties really come into their own on multi-day trips when there’s a need to wash and dry underwear

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Posted in Baselayers, Gear reviews

Gear review: Summer base-layers

I’ve not known a Scottish summer to be as warm as this one so far… and it’s provided the ideal conditions to test out a range of lightweight baselayers. Summer t-shirts for walking are generally one of two fabrics these days: polyester and merino wool (it’s important to avoid cotton which traps moisture next to the skin, becoming cold and uncomfortable). Polyester and merino wool have their advantages and disadvantages; polyester is lighter, cooler, cheaper, quicker drying and more durable, whilst merino wool is softer to touch, requires more care when washing, is warmer, less durable, more comfortable when wet,

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Posted in Baselayers, Gear reviews, Magazine

Gear Review: Alpkit Griffon women’s hooded mid-layer

RRP: £39 (non-Polygeine version currently discounted) Weight: 225g (size 10) Men’s version also available With base and mid-layer tops now regulary priced at well over £50, it’s refreshing to find something at the cheaper end of the spectrum, but wanted plenty of time to put it through its paces in different conditions to see if lower cost equals poor quality. The Griffon women’s hooded top is made from a lightweight, relatively-thin fleece with a grid pattern on the reverse which traps air. The material is stretchy and whilst the design is fitted, the sizing is fairly generous for a top

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Posted in Baselayers, Gear reviews

Gear review: Salewa Ortles Cubic baselayer

Recommended Price: £80 (currently discounted online) Weight: 210g (men’s large) New for this winter, the Salewa Ortles Cubic is a warm fleecy baselayer which I’ve been testing since November. The Ortles is made from Polarlite Fine Grid – a stretchy, warm baselayer fabric; the inside is covered with tiny soft squares which help to trap air, whilst the outer face is smooth – it’s very comfortable worn next to the skin. The raglan sleeves, non-irritating seams and general stretchyness ensure that movement is unrestricted. The cut and general construction quality of the Ortles is excellent, and I expect to get

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Posted in Baselayers, Gear reviews, Magazine

Outdoor shirts group test

If you look through old guide books there’s a good chance you’ll see the folks in the photos wearing button-up shirts along with their hobnail boots and canvas rucksacks. Times changed, we all went over to “proper” baselayers and shirts just seemed to be something that was embroidered with an outdoor shop’s logo and worn by staff. A few years back I rediscovered shirts after a getting a test sample which I wore on hill days and backpacking trips. It was a bit of a revelation for warm weather use as it has great ventilation, you can open it to

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Posted in Baselayers, Gear reviews, Magazine

Baselayers group test

Base layers are something you have to get right to help make sure you’re comfortable and still smiling at the end of a long day on the hill. However, if you’re looking for something new, the proliferation of fabrics and styles claiming all sorts of outlandish benefits at scary prices might make you cling on to that holey and bobbled old crew neck for a little longer. But the news is actually good, current baselayer fabrics perform well at moisture management, odour control is something that is improving all the time in synthetic fabrics and you can get the performance

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Posted in Baselayers, Gear reviews, Magazine

Gear Test – Haglöfs L.I.M system

Usually a gear test takes the best contenders from various brands and weighs them up against each other, but for my first Walkhighlands gear feature I’m going to test a familiar claim made by many of the manufacturers – that they’ve created a clothing system that works perfectly from base layer to shell layer meaning you don’t need to shop elsewhere. I like lighter weight kit, but never at the expense of performance. I want comfort, protection, usability and also durability if I can get it. Haglöfs’ new L.I.M. series seemed to tick all the boxes and they sent through

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Posted in Baselayers, Gear reviews, Jackets, Magazine


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