I run cold. I always have. While other people are comfortable and relaxed, I'm huddled into a shivering ball trying to keep warm. This is how it's always been and I wanted to make sure I wasn't going to let cold, tense nights ruin an otherwise perfectly good sleepover in the woods. Little did I know, this would be one of the purchases I would be most happy about.
MEC's Long-sleeved mid-weight base layer is an affordable $30 plus taxes. Along with the majority of reviews being positive, this garment had several key features I was looking for in an all purpose mid-weight base layer: Slim fit, cotton free, zipper free, slim fit, moisture wicking and 100% synthetic.
The moment I tried it on, I could feel it collecting my body's heat while remaining non-stifling. It was soft on my skin and moved very will with my body. It felt right, so I got it. It wasn't until I was hiking did I realize just how well it would perform.
As I mentioned before, I run COLD. Not cool. COLD. My hands and feet are constantly frozen like little blocks of ice attached to the stubs are the end of my arms and legs. Even as I type this, my socked and slippered feet are noticeably cold and fingers are being warmed by a mug of coffee every few sentences. My thermostat reads 19.4°C. When I hold my girlfriend's hand and my fingers are actually warm, it's generally cause for surprise. During my last hike as we stopped for a picnic in the middle of a cool windy day, when I took my jacket off revealing my last remaining layer, the MEC mid-weight long-sleeved base layer, I was perfectly comfortable. Suffice to say, when I looked over at my friend Richard, who was is generally an over-heating sweaty mess, to see him huddling to keep warm, I was pleased at my new shirt's performance.
As we hiked on, I only needed to wear my thin North Face Mountain Lite Gore-Tex shell over top of my base layer and was very comfortable in and out of the sun and wind and during all times of the day. This is important to note as I generally need: a long sleeve, a short sleeve over that, a sweater over that, then a jacket over the sweater. Even at night, when the temperature dipped to 3°C, I was nice and toasty all night in my Marmot Trestles Sleeping bag wearing nothing but this shirt and matching long underwear.
As a very cold person, I give this product two thumbs up. It comfortable and keeps my temperature well regulated. Check it out for yourself: MEC Midweight Long-Sleeved Crew