Lowe Alpine has excelled at producing base layers for many years, and the Lightweight Dryflo Zipneck is a fine exponent of this high quality. It’s exceptionally good at wicking away sweat, utilising different grades of polyester weave on the inside and outside of the fabric to draw moisture to the outside surface. The garment has an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) of 50, which is good news for summer. The collar is well-designed, zip length is good and there’s a Polygiene anti-odour treatment on the fabric. It’s available in a crew neck too. But the feel of the Lowe Alpine Lightweight DryFlo Zipneck’s fabric is an acquired taste. I didn’t like the shinyness of it, and in hot weather it felt slightly oppressive, though this wasn’t caused by sweat as the top is perfectly good at dealing with this. The black colour didn’t help in the sunshine either (and midges are attracted to darker colours also) and while there are other choices – white, grey and dark blue – a livelier option would be nice. The fit is quite close to aid its wicking action, so check you’re okay with this before buying. But these are minor gripes; like all of the finalists, it’s a great base layer.
Fabric DryFlo (100% polyester)
Colours black, white, grey, navy (men’s); white, grey, black (women’s)
Sizes S-XXL (men’s); XS-XL (women’s)
Weight 156g (men’s size S)
Made in Poland
Stores in the UK info not provided
Verdict: A very good, durable, functional base layer that’s ideal for summer – provided it fits and you pick the lighter colours.
Review by Simon Ingram
First published in Trail magazine October 2009