The Patagonia Capilene 2 Zip is a fine base layer: very light, with a loose fit that provides plenty of airflow, a relatively open weave that allows plenty of breathability, plus a good cut and a generous zip that means you won’t be overheating. Patagonia has used its own Capilene synthetic fabric, which wicks especially well and is treated with ‘Gladiodour’ control to keep stink down, and the brand’s impressive eco-credentials are evident even here. Its polyester is 54 per cent recycled, you can recycle it through the Common Threads Recycling programme, and 1 per cent of Patagonia’s sales proceeds go into environmental programmes around the world. It’s also available as a crew neck. But the Patagonia Capilene 2 Zip’s fit is a bit vague, and the slightly loose weave and lazy elasticity of the fabric make me wonder how it will cope with repeated stretches and washes as time goes on. The fabric is slightly coarser than others here, though it does seem fairly durable, despite the relative looseness of the weave.
Fabric Capilene 2 (100% polyester = 54% recycled)
Colours black, navy, grey, dark red, dark green (men’s); black, bright blue, claret red (women’s)
Sizes S-XXL (men’s); XS-XL (women’s)
Weight 160g (men’s size S)
Made in Tunisia
Stores in the UK info not provided
Verdict: The Patagonia Capilene 2 Zip base layer is a great-value, comfortable and functional top with a looser fit, which makes it ideal for warmer conditions.
Review by Simon Ingram
First published in Trail magazine October 2009