The Keela ADS Long Sleeve Zip Top base layer is a steal at the price; if it was a tenner more it would still be a bargain. Keela is very good at backing up its fine reputation for affordable quality, and this base layer is a great example of a basic yet does-the-job piece of kit which outperforms many comparable items at twice the price. Plus, Keela is a Scottish company, and it bases its designs on the specific rigours of British hill-walking. The base layer is comfortable, the fabric sleek against the skin and the outside durable-feeling and untroubled by an abrasion test. It’s light, and the ADS (Active Dispersal System) is UPF 40 rated and is quick to remove moisture away from your skin. A crew neck is also available. But the Keela ADS Long Sleeve Zip Top base layer is at the lower end of the price range and although it is stunning value, it has a couple of shortcomings that you won’t find on other, more high-end products. The material and overall design don’t appear as refined as base layers such as the Montane, and it does feel quite ‘synthetic’, which – while not unpleasant – won’t appeal to everyone. The neck label rubs a little, and the cut in the sleeves and the back could be a bit more generous, but these are very picky points as this really is a great buy.
Fabric 100% Polyester Keela ADS
Colours black; orange and grey (men’s); black (ladies’)
Sizes XS-XXL (men’s); 10-20 (women’s)
Weight 186g (men’s size S)
Made in Sri Lanka
Stores in the UK info not provided
Verdict: The Keela ADS Long Sleeve Zip Top is an unbeatable-value, high-wicking base layer for British hill-walking that outperforms much higher-priced models. It won ‘Best Value’ in our test.
Review by Simon Ingram
First published in Trail magazine October 2009