Well, wow! X-Bionic gear comes in a very dramatic box with a full explanation of the science behind how it works, and all of its awards plastered like stickers in a collectors’ book. You could spend hours reading the tiny writing without actually realising what’s inside the box. I’m not sure it’s brilliantly shop-friendly packaging, but it certainly catches the eye.
And then, taking the Energizer MK2 top out of the box reveals a tiny item of clothing like a child’s top – will that actually fit me!?
It is designed to be a snug fit, and on donning it for the first time it’s a slightly odd feeling as everything is held in place, and you’re continually ‘squeezed’ a little bit. After a while this becomes quite comforting like a reassuring hug rather than a claustrophobic experience. You see, it’s padded, folded and shaped in various areas to keep bits warm, and stop other bits from cooling down too quickly; it’s all part of the ‘cools when you sweat, warms when you are cold’ technology.
There’s an enormous amount of information on their various technologies on their website, but we think it boils down to two key features:
– More surface area in the bits where you sweat most, by using 3-d weaving
– More material in the areas where you need warmth, to help keep you regulated
X-Bionic use marketing terms with lots of registered trademark symbols, but in essence the baselayers are constructed more like structures than garments.
The only time I’ve over-heated in it was because I wasn’t sure how well it would work so I put fleece over top of it. And after bouts of intense exercise I didn’t turn into a shivering mess immediately afterwards so it seems to do the regulation thing quite well. Although it doesn’t make you feel warm and cosy like a thermal baselayer, it just stops you from feeling cold, which is a weird thing to describe.
The colour coding of the different sections ‘enhances’ the female figure which might make some people feel a bit self-conscious, and you do end up with stripy arms after wearing it all day. It could be improved by including built in support, as wearing it with a sports bra does lead to a sweaty back and the point of it is to be against one’s chest.
Oh, and it’s also got ‘Skin Nodor’ technology to reduce any whiffiness, which according to my nearest and dearest works well!
But it’s a comfortable top to wear and worth a look for those doing outdoor activities that would benefit from wicking.
It retails at approx. £70 so it’s not cheap, but it washes well, and is well made so should last. Let’s think of it as an investment piece for those people who demand the most from their base-layers and require the most temperature regulation.