Apologies for the use of stock photography in this review, but there’s no way I’m posting up pictures of me wearing this brilliant little base-layer from Aclima. And that’s an integral point about this review, I suppose; the T-shirt is a really nice performing bit of kit, but there’s a certain amount of body-confidence needed if you’re in any position where you’ll be taking off your midlayers!
Nipples! There, I’ve said it and gotten it out of the way now. Let’s dwell no more on them and move right along to what makes this innovative Scandinavian undergarment so good…
Insulation in clothing all pretty much works the same way. By trapping pockets of air against your skin, which then form an invisible duvet of warmth around you. And the massive (by clothing standards) holes in this WoolNet garment trap enough air that, providing your mid-layer is snug and windproof, you can get really quite warm indeed wearing what logically looks to be a warm-weather top.
It makes perfect sense on a scientific level, but not on a first-impressions level. But that is typical of a lot of scandinavian design. Igloos don’t look warm, but they are… same principle of trapping air and letting that do the work for you.
However, the WoolNet garment has a couple of other advantages. IF you do get too warm, simply undo or take off your mid-layer, and a breeze will do away with that insulating warm air, and you’ll cool down nice and quickly as your sweat has ample chance to evaporate. And if you’re too shy to bear your chesticles to the world, you can suffer the sweat safe in the knowledge that the wool won’t begin to pong like a synthetic garment – it’s naturally odor-repellent.
The sides, shoulders and neck of this T-shirt are in a more traditional wool knit, presumably for comfort when wearing a pack on the areas that move the most. I found the neck a little high for a base layer, but can appreciate that on a cold day that would be of benefit, and to be fair I’m used to wearing round-neck casual T-shirts.
Nipples aside, this is a cracking piece of kit, and a very warm base-layer indeed. It wicks very quickly, dries very quickly, and teamed with the right mid-layer will work an absolute treat. BUT, well, nipples aren’t everyone’s cup of tea.
Womens’ version also available, with the chesticle area in non-mesh.