Marmot Midweight Zip Neck LS base layer £40.00
Marmot have been producing high quality mountain equipment for quite a while now but has not ventured far into the mountain biking world very far. This base layer could still be considered as a multi-sports garment, but seemed pretty well adapted for biking.
It’s a fairly straightforward fleece made out of Polartec Power Dry; a fast wicking, highly breathable and fast drying material with a fleecy backing and a more tightly knit outer later, aiding a little in wind proofing if you were to wear it on its own
The fit and finish is excellent as you would expect from such a well-established brand and it felt very light for something with a decent amount of loft. It also had a zip-up collar that didn’t feel like it was strangling you, keeping the draughts out and remaining comfortable
First impressions suggested that it would probably be a bit too warm for most biking activities, but I was left pleasantly surprised by its performance. It’s highly breathable and even comfortable against the skin (it is aimed to be a versatile top, being usable as a base layer through to being worn as an outer layer). This combined with its low weight meant it was more versatile than initially expected.
While it did seem a bit bulkier than what I would usually choose, the extra thickness was welcome on more bitterly and windy winter rides - that additional loft between your jacket and skin can make a really difference. It was also good on lower tempo rides or ones that might have more than your average number of stops. It has also seen a decent amount of use running, walking, snowboarding, and keeping warm at work.
While it has performed flawlessly since I have had it, the light grey parts of the fleece (which is a lot of it) started to look pretty grubby after a handful of outings and it looks in a worse state than similar far cheaper garment s that have seen a few years use. You may also find very similar performance at a much lower price.
A highly functional base layer that is a useful addition to a mountain biker’s winter wardrobe, but it comes at a price.