We recently took the opportunity to test the latest Arc’teryx Phase SL base layers. A varied bunch of ten individuals; female, male, tall and not so tall, put the product to the test over the autumn and early winter months. Activities included cycling, running, walking and even indoor climbing.
Next to skin comfort in the fitting room and beyond is crucial to the success of any garment and the Phase SL scored 8 out of 10. Off to a good start then. Even when paired with your preferred size of garment there are always going to be niggles and "tight across the shoulders" was the view of several colleagues, but generally the fit was considered good. In particular the generous length of body and sleeve.
Moisture management is always a talking point when selling base layers. We are forever being asked “Will this stop me sweating?” No it won’t, but it will wick that moisture away. Again our guys scored it 8 out 10.
So if a garment is doing a successful job of wicking moisture and keeping you dry, how will it stand up in terms of odour? Our guys gave it 7 out of 10, not bad for a synthetic garment. Just about bearable enough to wear to the pub after your activity. A couple said they’d give it a second wear but the general consensus was to wash it after every wear.
With all that washing going on how did the Phase SL react in terms of performance and keeping its shape? The response was unanimous! “No loss of performance”, “No noticeable difference”, “Keeps its shape”, “Perfect, no change” and so on. A 10 out 10 there then.
Given that the SL refers to Superlight, how did it measure up to autumn and early winter use? “Surprisingly warm” said one “Warm enough” said others. The SL is naturally more geared towards spring summer with the AR (All Round) being preferred for autumn. However worn under a fleece, softshell or wind shirt, the SL certainly held its own in what was admittedly a relatively mild period.
So, if you’re looking for a light weight synthetic base layer offering great next to skin comfort, with a good length of body and sleeve, that successfully wicks moisture and won’t lose performance or shape after many, many washes; then the Arc’teryx Phase SL is certainly worth a shot.
6 January 2017 by Mark Wright
5 Peaks Challenge in the Lake District to be completed in 5 hours Challenge
10 Peaks Challenge in the Lake District to be completed in 10 hours.
Julie Carter will be joining us for an evening talk on THE ART OF ADVENTURE