Some base layers we looked at were designed to cover a number of activities – including skiing and yachting. But the Montane Dragonfly Shirt has obviously been designed for UK walking. Utilising two grades of Polartec Powerdry fabric, the back and arms get high-wicking fabric while the chest and underarms get a stretchier weave, which is tough and enables excellent movement. The zip is the perfect length for venting, the seams are off chafe zones, the cut has a longer rear, and the sleeves are easy to push up. Plus it feels tough – despite the ‘featherlight’ branding. The Dragonfly incorporates features suited to the rigours of walking, climbing and scrambling at a reasonable price. But the Montane Dragonfly Shirt base layer is a little heavy, the anti-odour is only a treatment as opposed to being inherent in the fabric (as in merino wool) therefore in theory may lose its effect with time, and a few remarks were made about the aesthetics of the panelling design. But, all in all, no major problems to report.
Fabric Polartec PowerDry midweight and featherweight (100% polyester)
Colours burnt orange, black, true blue
Sizes XS-XXL (men’s); 8-18 (women’s)
Weight 233g (men’s size S)
Made in China
Stores in the UK 100
Verdict: It’s tough to imagine a base layer better suited to the multi-activity tumult of the UK hill-walker than the Montane Dragonfly Shirt. For that reason it won the ‘Best in Test’ accolade.
Review by Simon Ingram
First published in Trail magazine October 2009