I do like a good baselayer – especially one as fluffy and soft as my new Shimana merino layer, £29.99 from the fantastic Mountain Warehouse. After a very chilly week skiing in Val Thorens (chilly when not being cuddled by friendly bears) I’ve been wearing it long-distance running, so it’s had a pretty exhaustive test, all in all.
The product description:
“The women’s Shimana merino zip neck top is a great base layer that can be worn on its own or as part of a layering system. The zip neck top is made from pure merino wool which is non itch and features natural antibacterial properties. The women’s merino baselayer is lightweight and breathable, keeping your temperature regulated while enjoying outdoor activities.”
Test 1: Skiing
A perfect choice for the cold, the Shimana layers brilliantly over thermal tops and under ski jackets to keep you warm on chilly chair-lifts, but doesn’t trap heat in when you’re skiing hard over moguls. It doesn’t itch at all despite being made mainly of wool, and it’s the perfect length to wear over salopettes.
The only issue I had with the otherwise soft and gentle Shimana were the thumb holes. Normally a smart design element in anything you wear skiing, the Shimana’s hurt like a bitch. But possibly I just have freakishly long arms.
Test 2: Long distance running
I’m currently in training for what could turn out to be hell on earth, Endurance Life’s extreme coastal half marathon in Exmoor. Just writing that down makes me panic. Anyway, attempting to prepare for it has meant long runs in the chilly January evenings, through rain and sleet and muddy puddles. The Shimana has proved brilliant for this, as it keeps me warm without overheating and is super breathable, so I can run up and down stairs, quietly cursing my life choices, as much as I like. It’s also easy to wash and will still emerge fluffy and soft if you fall over and liberally besplatter yourself with mud. Which is good to know.
A very breathable, soft and comfortable base layer that also looks good on, and a brilliant price for something so well made. Perfect for layering up for skiing or running in the cold. Just avoid the thumb holes.