Tag Archives: baselayer

Icebreaker Anatomica Long Sleeve Crewe

Icebreaker Anatomica Long Sleeve Crewe Collar

I’ll start like I start all of my reviews; with a disclaimer. That way you can decide if you want to read on or not. This Icebreaker Anatomica Long Sleeve Crewe was sent to me by Hannah at Snow+Rock to review. Hannah contacted me. I was given the choice of a few bits of kit that I could have to review. Snow+Rock were kind enough to send me Icebreaker Anatomica and I get to keep it. I have no vested interest in Snow+Rock or Icebreaker who make the merino top itself other than to share my views and opinions; good, bad or otherwise.

Out the box, yes it came in a nifty wee box, so once I got it out the box the Icebreaker Anatomica Long Sleeve Crewe felt light and soft. I have a couple of merino tops as I’m a fan of them, they are around the 200/260 weight. This was 150 weighted merino fabric and I could feel the difference. The top is made from 96% merino and 4% elstane which I assume is to help with keeping it’s shape. I stuck it on the scales and it came in at 155 grams for the size medium. Definitely lightweight. Icebreaker are marketing this more as underwear than a base layer. Not sure what the difference there is unless they are going for the, you can wear it everyday not just on the hills, other outdoor activities? I got the monsoon (grey)/heat(orange) colourway which measns some colourful contrasting stitching for the seams in a bright orange. All these seems are forward facing which really helps to stop the chaffing. Nothing fancy going on just practical well made top. I like long sleeves as you can pull them up and down depending on how I feel, the weather, midges These ones are raglan sleeves for extra freedom of movement, it also means no seams on the top of your shoulder for rucksack straps to sit on.

Icebreaker Anatomica Long Sleeve Crewe BaaCode

What I did really like about what Icebreaker do with clothes and not just the Anatomica Long Sleeve Crewe and I thought was a bit different, was the baacode. You see what they did there baacode. Made me chuckle. You can trace where the wool and sheep originated from back to the source through the supply chain. They’re trying to be different, trying to show that they have nothing to hide. It’s a laudable concept and maybe one that more manufacturers could follow. My baacode took me to 3 stations out of a possible 120. All on the south island of New Zealand, Middlehurst Station, Te Akatawara Station and Walter Peak Station. The site gave me the names of the farmers, size of the farm. All sorts of stuff and some videos as well. It also made have a look at the nifty box that the top came in to see what it’s green credentials were. If your care that much for the animal and it’s well being then you should what your packaging is doing. I’m please to say that this born out with the package using sustainable inks and cardboard. Good show.

Icebreaker Anatomica Long Sleeve Crewe Icebreaker

Next step was to try it on. The Icebreaker Anatomica Long Sleeve Crewe has a slim athletic fit which is tight but not in a restrictive way, it’s comfortable. It just means that if you’re built like me and not an model/athlete/body builder then there’s no hiding the big beer kite or those moobs. It also means there’s no embarrassing photos of me wearing it. Wouldn’t want to put you off your tea and I sure as hell don’t want to see myself. I put it through the Tookie Indoor Gear Test™. Which basically means I crawl about the house in it, relax on the couch, do the dishes and my daughter and I play with the Barbies in the toy room. I’m Ken obviously. You’ll be glad to know that it passed. No itching, scratching, chafing, riding up or any other general annoyance. Nice and light to wear. Never too warm or too cold. On this top the sleeves are long for me and stretch over my hand. It means they end up bunching at my wrists. Both cuffs have different stitching. Not sure if that’s deliberate or because it’s a sample that I have. Anyway I like it makes it easier to tell me left from my right. It’s also long length-wise for me which is great means it can tuck it in properly and keeps my lower back cosy and protected. Remember I’m 5′ 7″ on a good day with a reach of 30 odd inches.

Icebreaker Anatomica Long Sleeve Crewe Cuff Details

I’ve been pulling this on all the time when I’ve been going out and not just up the hills or walking through the woods. It’s even been on when I’ve been out tidying the garden but like all merino tops the Icebreaker Anatomica Long Sleeve Crewe has a tendency to get soggy especially around your pack where there’s less ventilation and restricted airflow but I found this one to be better than the others that I own. I’m no expert but it may just be down to the weight and fineness of the fabric that it dries out really quickly. It never really felt wet. I was never cold with this top on and most of the time I wore it under a wind shirt. It’s comfortable on the move, none of the itch I’ve had with other merino tops. I know for various reasons that merino is not everyone’s favourite material for a base layer but I’m a fan. You almost don’t know you have it on at times. If I could change something it would be to add monkey thumbs. Tops with monkey thumbs are great. It’s not a deal breaker the Icebreaker Anatomica Long Sleeve Crewe is still a good base-layer a very good one. It’s a winner for me.

You can see more photographs of the top on flickr here.

Review – Paramo Mountain Vent Pull On

On the Throne...

I’ll start like I started my last review;  with a disclaimer, that this Paramo Mountain Vent Pull On base layer  was sent to me by GO Outdoors to review. I have no vested interest in GO Outdoors, Paramo or the base layer itself other than to share my views and opinions; good, bad or otherwise.

GO Outdoors have a large range of fleeces and base layers I selected the Mountain Vent Pull On from the Paramo range available at GO Outdoors, in a size medium and in black.

I received email notification that my order was placed on the Friday and I had the top in my hands on the Tuesday. Not to shabby at all for standard delivery. 2 working days. Once in my hands I was impressed with the workmanship. Very good quality, no loose threads or ragged edges. I had only ever seen Paramo shells before as they are popular with a lot of winter walkers in Scotland, so I knew of them but hadn’t realised that they also do a line of base layers. It was never a brand that was on my radar until now.

Paramo Mountain Vent Pull-on Parameta S label(2)

Having unwrapped the base layer and released it from it’s plastic prison and parcel taped hell. I was impressed the initial feel of the garment. It has a soft smooth almost shiny pile on the outside and nice short fleece velour style pile on the inside. It’s made from Paramo’s own proprierty fabric Parameta S, it’s a reversible fabric, the fleece side against the skin to retain your heat or turn it inside out and wear the smooth side against your body to cool you down.

Paramo Mountain Vent Pull-on

Probably like all reviewers I’m a bit pedantic and anal so after having a good feel and heft of the top I had a look round at the stitching and general workmanship. To that end it was a very clean top; no missed hems, loose stitches or anything that would catch the eye. Very well put together indeed. I did notice on this first look and nice deep chest zip and push button studs on the cuffs a bit like a dress shirt. It also has a secure chest pocket with a zip closure. It’s only really big enough to hold your mobile phone, spare camera battery, keys and things of that ilk. An extra pocket is always handy though.

Paramo Mountain Vent Pull-on

I had noticed on the GO Outdoors and on Paramo’s own website had different weights for the base layer. 389 grams and 354 grams respectively so out came my electronic scales; lo and behold, a different weight. 361 grams for the size medium which seems to me to be good and light for a base/mid layer.

After all that there was nothing left to do; off came the t-shirt, well it is marketed as a next to the skin base layer, and on went the top. I felt good and comfortable on. I like the cut of the cloth however I did and still do think the sleeves are a little short for a size medium. I’m not the tallest or smallest. The length of my arm from wrist to shoulder is approximately 52 cm and the cuff sits nicely on my wrist. I have no problem with sleeve riding up due to the articulated shoulders and elbows but I’m not so sure of some one with longer arms will get on as well. One thing I didn’t like is where the vents were on the arms. The zips run down the from of the sleeves over your biceps and every time I bent my arms I could fell them, as obviously the zips are stiffer than then fabric. I think that could get annoying if walking with poles and constantly moving your arms. That or it’s because the top was just new.

It does have something I really like in a base layer or fleece a really high collar. Nothing worse than draft down the back of your neck because there’s a big gaping gap between yir bunnet and your collar. No such trouble with this top. I also liked the scooped tail at the back no worries about exposing your back to the elements.

Paramo Mountain Vent Pull-on Front Zip(1)

Having given the top what is now becoming the standard once over and initial indoor test of rolling around the floor, carrying on and playing games with the toddler. Lounging on the couch, drinking beer, watching the football. Hard strenuous but unscientific tests.  Well I’ve done that twice now so we can call that the Tookie-start-off-standardTM. I found the base layer more than adequate if a little too warm but the house is warm and chasing around a toddler can be very exhausting. It was time to get the top out into it’s natural a habit, outside.

The only problem I have had with the outdoor testing as been the mildness of the winter here in Scotland. Compared to the last 2 years it has been positively tropical. Not much snow and not much cold if any. Ho Hum but I just have to get on with it. I’ve had the top on at nearly every opportunity, even for trips to the shop not just the wilds of Ayrshire and Lanarkshire.

I’ve worn it as a base layer, as a mid layer and also under a hard shell. However not how Paramo envisaged it being used; As the following quote from their website states, ‘the Paramo Mountain Vent Pull-On has been designed to work ‘systemically’ with the Paramo Aspira and Alta Directional Waterproof Jackets providing excellent temperature control and breathability. When combined with your jacket, the two garments become a powerful unit which can be quickly adjusted to meet the rigours of terrain and weather.’ Yeah don’t think they want it being paired with a North Face HyVent Alpha hard shell. Oops, but in saying that the top was fine, great in fact. I had no issue it with as a base layer under the shell. Not to hot and not to cold. Which is good as I run warm and usually find as soon as the waterproof layer goes on I start to over heat.

Paramo Mountain Vent Pull-on

My only real complaint and it is probably just a personal one, is the vents on the sleeves. I just found them annoying as I noticed them when I lift my arms. Maybe I’m just used to venting options being under my arms. It’s not a major thing and something others my not even bother about. It’s a good quality top and does what Paramo states, ‘next to skin’ garments for mountain activities. Offering exceptional comfort and function. I’ll continue to wear it and hope it gets colder so I can test it properly.