The Allez Micro hoodie is part of Montaneâ€™s VIA Trail collection ofÂ running and walking gear.
You can easily imagine that my baselayer drawer is filled to bursting. I have baselayers in a all kinds ofÂ colours, styles and fabrics. I use most of them on a fairly regular basis for different activities, including running, cycling, walking and generally being outdoors.
But I always like to try new baselayers, especially if they look a bit different. The Allez Micro Hoodie comes in appealing colours and the design includes a new Polartec Power Grid fabric.
The fabric actually looks like a grid and it is claimed as offeringÂ â€œenhanced wicking efficiency and breathabilityâ€. It does this by â€œgenerating channels of targeted touch points that absorb and transport moisture vapour for faster evaporationâ€.
The fabric is also lightweight so it dries quickly if it gets wet and offers good levels of warmth for the weight of the fabric.
The baselayer can be worn against the skin and is aimed at trail and mountain runners, as well as walkers.
Additional features include:
- Articulated arms for reach, freedom of movement and tailored to reduced hem lift.
- Stretchy, snug-fitting hood
- Flatlock seams throughout for comfort
- Low-profile cuffs with thumb loops
- Silver ion odour resistance
- Third-height zip
- Bluesign certified fabric, which means it is manufactured to strict environmental standards to eliminate the use of harmful substances.
The colour of the hoodie that I tested is an attractively bright Dahlia with laser green zips. There are other colours, including blue and black, if you prefer your outdoors clothes to be a bit more subdued.
The fit of the UK 12 is just about perfect, with room for wider hips and curves in the right places.Â I would have preferred a slightly slimmer fit as I am usually a UK10 but I do like the arms and length to be longer because I am tall so I went for the roomier UK12.
So, the torso length and arm length of the UK12Â also good and, for once, the thumb loops work for me without tugging at my hands. I have long arms so most thumb loops are pointless because they are too uncomfortable to use.
I really like the snug-fitting hood. With the front zip done up to the top and the hood over my head I could immediately feel the warmth generated by the baselayer fabric. The hood does not fall down when running and the zip sits perfectly on the chin. It does remind me a little of the Teletubbies, but in a fun and cute way!
I have very sensitive skin so I canâ€™t wear many fabrics, other than super soft synthetics, on bare skin. This Allez Hoodie is fine for me over a t-shirt and I expect that most people would find it is soft enough to wear on bare skin. The flatlock seams are a nice added feature for more comfortable wear.
When it comes to warmth and breathability the top does do what it says on the label. I wore the top as a base/outer layer on a mild day and as a baselayer under a waterproof jacket on a cool and wet day.
The grid fabric generates a good level of warmth between the skin and the top. Perhaps this is because body warmth is trapped in the grid pattern. If you want to cool down a little, the zip is a helpful added feature.
While I did sweat, especially when walking fast uphill, the top stayed fairly dry. When sweat did collect it didnâ€™t stay for long. I was careful to look out for this and because of the colour of the top it was easy to see damp spots.
The grid fabric does appear to be a functional piece of technology. For times when the wind picks up or you climb to higher altitudes the hood adds extra windproofing and warmth. Windproofing is not brilliant, but then this isn’t the claim. It’s a lightweight layer for fast-moving summer activities.
I liked that when I stopped for a break on chillier mountain summits I could pull the thump loops over my hands and inside gloves and the hood up and over my head and under a hat. The top also tucks inside walking trousers if you want to keep the chill from your torso skin.
This makes the baselayer a great additional mid-layer on chillier outings.
At Â£85 this is a fairly substantial outlay for a single baselayer. I would normally expect to pay that for a merino baselayer, which I do usually prefer for sweat wicking and warmth performance.
The Montane Allez Hoodie actually works as well as a merino wool product and has the addition of Silver ion for odour resistance. I checked for whiffy armpits and I was pleasantly surprised that they smelled okay after a couple of wears.
You might want to hunt around to see if you can find the top for a little cheaper. I have spotted it for around Â£70.
P.S. If you are looking for a detergent that will properly wash your synthetic baselayers and at temperatures as low as 30C, try ODO Sport Revive Sports Kit Wash. It works a treat.