A new base-layer by Montane could be just the thing for packing in your walking holiday suitcase. The Allez Micro hoodie ticks all the right boxes for versatility, warmth-to-weight ratios, breathability and good looks. It also comes in male and female fit and in a range of appealing colours. The hoodie can be worn against the skin as a baselayer or used as a mid-layer if the conditions are chilly. The top fits nice and neatly (both men and women’s) and has thoughtful extra features such as articulated arms for good reach and freedom of movement, flatlocked seams throughout for comfort, low-profile arm cuffs with thumb loops and a zip. If you need more warmth you simply pull the thumb loops over your hands, do up the zip and pull on the snug hood. When you warm up, take down the hood and undo the zip. All these features make the hoodie a great asset, for example, when it suddenly becomes windy or at the start of a day’s walking when temperatures might be lower.
Polartec Power Grid Fabric
Montane have used Polartec Power Grid fabric in the Allez Micro Hoodie. The fabric looks like a grid and this design is claimed to offer “enhanced wicking efficiency and breathability”. It does this by “generating channels of targeted touch points that absorb and transport moisture vapour for faster evaporation”.
Certainly, when wearing the hoodie in sweaty conditions, the fabric does allow the perspiration vapour to easily evaporate. It is also super fast drying so when you stop for a breather or a bite to eat while walking the top quickly dries out so you do not end up damp and shivering. The fabric is very lightweight and packs into a small space in your walking rucksack if you wanted to keep it as a spare layer. When wearing it as a baselayer it feels amazingly light and airy. The fabric is similar to merino wool and despite being lightweight it generates a good level of warmth between the skin and the top.
I liked that when I stopped for a break on chillier mountain summits I could pull the thump loops over my hands and inside gloves and the hood up and over my head and under a hat. The top also tucks inside walking trousers if you want to keep the chill from your torso skin. In addition, the hoodie includes “silver ion odour resistance” to stop it become too whiffy and it is made with Bluesign certified fabric, which means it is manufactured to strict environmental standards to eliminate the use of harmful substances. The Montane Allez Micro hoodie rrps at £85, although I have seen it for sale at round £70. See male and female.