Montane Primino (2014)

Features
New this autumn from British brand Montane, the Primino is an unflashy zip-neck top with minimal features (on a base layer, though, so you may not want them!) and clever fabric that’s useful for standalone use in autumn/spring and as a layer in winter. A women’s fit is available. 4/5

Fabric
A clever idea (common to several other brands), the Primino mixes 50 per cent merino wool with 25 per cent Primaloft yarns and 25 per cent polyester – for excellent warmth, odour resistance, wicking and breathability. The result is warm considering its light weight – 168g (size M) – and soft, open feel, and has a good stretch. 5/5

Fit
Fit is long and quite close, though the easy stretch ensures the latter isn’t oppressive. Good freedom in the arms, though the cuffs are uncomfortably tight when pushed up. 4/5

In use
The Montane Primino is a very comfy top – particularly as wool can itch. It’s tight with the collar zipped up, but feels great – and when you start to sweat the fabric moves moisture well. It’s hard to tell if the merino/Primaloft mix offers the best of both worlds or half the benefits of each, but it certainly seems an asset – it dries quicker than pure wool, offers extra warmth, while the Primaloft offers even more thermal benefit when wet, making this a great do-anything layer. It’s warm for summer, but breathable enough to get away with it. 5/5

Value
Sixty quid is a lot and would buy you a basic 100 per cent merino layer, but it wouldn’t have these extra benefits. Overall, a good price. 4/5

Verdict
Innovative and impressive, the Montane Primino is a very comfortable hybrid of natural and man-made fibres. It wins Trail’s ‘approved’ accolade. 4.4/5

www.montane.co.uk

Review by Simon Ingram
First published in Trail magazine October 2014