Here at We Go Wild we are always on the look out for quality products. We are also keen to promote the UK and all it offers those who love the outdoors. When we heard about the work that the staff at True Mountain were doing we were excited about the products they were producing.
When you pick up the Lightweight Sportwool base layer, similarly to the other products from True Mountain, you immediately feel the quality. There is always that indefinable knowledge when you first pick up a piece of outdoor gear, that makes you believe in its abilities. This garment had this and our first impressions were gladly backed up in our further tests.
We tested the base layer in different conditions. We used it on a colder morning hike, using it in combination with the Ultralite Jacket, also from True Mountain. We found in this instance it kept a lot of warmth in, keeping us comfortable without needing to add another layer. We also found that even when worn on its own before adding the second layer, it was fairly good at cutting out the wind. Not something you would expect from a base layer, but an added bonus.
But, as we all know, a base layer is only as good as its wicking capability (its ability to move moisture from the skin). This can make or break a product and result in an uncomfortable days activity. Thankfully this proved to be one of the best features of the Lightweight Sportwool base layer. We never found any discomfort which we have found with lesser garments in the past, leaving us to enjoy the activity unimpeded. In fact, it tends to become that comfortable on a hike that you forget you even have the base layer on.
We also tested the base layer in warmer conditions. In these instances, we wore the base layer on its own. Now, we don’t judge a product merely on its looks, but there are some base layers on the market which we quite frankly, we feel would look better covered up. The True Mountain version does not fall into that bracket. Its got the looks of a mid layer, with all the benefits of the base layer, ideal on those warmer days. Whilst we’re talking about warmth, we will again refer back to the wicking properties. The garment features two types of fabric. There is a sportwool fabric covering the majority, but there is also a stretch meryl fabric running under the arm and along the seam, allowing more heat and moisture to escape. This leaves you at a comfortable regulated temperature. The stretch element also has another plus point, which becomes apparent when you use the base layer for more active pursuits.
We are keen rock climbers and enjoy the odd scramble, so we put the base layer really through its paces by taking it along with us. Having gone through several sessions of this there is no visible difference in the fabric, making us feel it really has the durability required for particularly active pursuits. During these sessions, we really enjoyed the fit of the base layer. It was a close fit without being clingy, in fact True Mountain describe it as an ‘athletic fit’ on their site and this is exactly what it feels like. Again you don’t really notice the base layer being there whilst going about your business and that is a really positive thing, as you want your focus to be on not falling off a rock, not on clinging fabric.
There are some additional features which we enjoyed which we haven’t touched on yet. The half zip is solid and the zipper features a silicon grip, making it easy to move in a hurry or with gloves on. The zip also features a wind baffle behind. This is something usually only found on jackets etc so this was a nice touch and added a little added warmth. And lastly the base layer also features thumb loops. In the past we have not always been big fans of the thumb loop. This isn’t because we didn’t like wearing them, because we did. The issue in the past was that when not wearing them they had a tendency to flap around. Happily again this isn’t an issue for the True Mountain version. They have succeeded in giving a great fit, whether you use the thumb loops or not. We hope other manufacturers can follow this example because they just work, much like the rest of the features.
This base layer really ticked all the boxes from our extensive testing. We took it to its limits, wearing it in the cold, the heat and put through rigorous testing in our active pursuits. The Lightweight Sportwool base layer took it all in its stride, coping well with all extremes and more than justified its price tag. This is a garment that will last, is expertly constructed and one thats equally at home in any outdoor situation. A true utility piece of clothing.
We Go Wild UK