I’ve always been quite a big fan of Berghaus baselayers, since I got their original X-static top, back in 2004, or there abouts. They’ve always had a good mix of reasonable performance at a reasonable price.
Sure, they don’t have merino wool, but you don’t pay the same price, so it all works out in the end.
Recently, the Berghaus range of baselayers has expanded a fair bit – there’s now relaxed fit, active fit, argentium cool, etc…
I went for the Relaxed Fit baselayer because of its slightly looser fit (I’m not a big fan of skin tight tops) and because it’s the lowest priced baselayer they offer (I got them for £18 each from Gaynors)
Ok, so on to the top itself. It boasts all the usual stuff you’d expect from Berghaus, such as a wicking fabric, Argentium technology (Silver ion fibres to reduce the build up of odour) and SPF30+.
Being long-sleeved, it is also (in my opinion) a little more versatile for all-year use. You can bunch the sleeves up in the summer months, and keep them down in the winter.
In the same vein, the zip top provides additional venting options, on particularly warm or cold days
How does it work, though?
Well, it seems reasonably good at wicking. Compared to a basic cotton t-shirt, there’s a massive difference. Compared to another baselayer in the same price range? It’s probably slightly better, but not massively, I wouldn’t say.
The argentium technology seems to work ok over a couple of days (I’ve not tried longer than that, yet), with no noticeable pong coming from the top, so that gets a thumbs up.
I can also vouch for the SPF of the top, since I’ve got very brown arms and a very white chest!
However, it’s not all good. The way the tops are made, with the stripe down each arm, has its downsides. If you’ve got a big pack on, the seams can cause chafing to the shoulders. Believe it or not, the short-sleeve crew neck version resolves this, with raglan sleeves, so that there are no seams underneath the shoulder straps.
All in all, though, it’s definitely not a bad baselayer. It’s not the lightest in weight, the best wicking, the most odour resistant or anything, really. It’s a jack of all trades. It does all of the jobs well enough to get by.
Also, they come in quite a wide range of colours, to suit most preferences. I tend to go for the bright colours (I’m still a strong believer that bright colours on the hills are a good thing, should anything happen!), but they’ve got more muted colour choices, as well as the usual black option
You’d probably struggle to find as good a baselayer for the same price, that’s for sure!