I bought this along with the short sleeve version back in the summer as my Paramo Cambia was showing serious signs of wear. I have had the benefit of wearing it on well over a dozen walks and an overnighter too. Therefore this review is essentially a used and abused appreciation of the top. I was attracted to the top on the basis that it looked light and well made, had a high zipped collar (which i like) and was a reasonable price where I bought it from (£20). It just looked good to me. Worth a punt I thought…
The main features on the top that I therefore appreciated were:
- light (200g)
- thumb loops on the sleeves
- the ability to push the sleeves up in warmer weather
- silver ion technology for reduction of ponginess
- slightly loose fit (like the Cambia) for those, ahem, less athletic than others
- comfortable fabric to wear (non scratchy)
- mesh panels under the arms
Not so important to me but also featured on the top were:
- reflective piping
- a small back pocket
The initial impressions were therefore good and I have worn it almost exclusively since then. So, what are the realities of wearing it? Overall I am really pleased with the top. It has performed well. I really like the thumbloops, which are something I dont normally have on a baselayer. The material is very comfy to wear and the fit is spot on for me. So far so good. The colour and style means that it doesnt look out of place, out and about in town and I admit to wearing it down the pub instead of a teeshirt or shirt with jeans 🙂 Its reasonably cool on hot days and reasonably warm on a cold day (not quite as good as the Cambia though in this respect). The stitching and attention to detail are also good. The value for money I think is excellent as well.
The downsides then…. It snags a little bit more easily than the Cambia so try not to pick up the cat in it! Also the claimed anti-pong silver ion technology, erm, doesnt really work for me. After a full days walk on a warm day, I could smell the pong wafting up. Not overpowering but enough to question whether it would be any good for multiday trips. Lastly, the Berghaus logos on the garment are of the “iron on” variety, and these started to peel away after a few washes (on both garments). Ok, this is not a major point but I would prefer to have none or a little “flash tag” on one of the external seams down the side of garment.
Ok, so overall? A great little baselayer thats good value for money, versatile, good fit and comfy, light and only slightly let down by the lack of claimed antipong properties and a slight fragility of the material finish. Is it as good as the Paramo Cambia? Yes and no. The Cambia is heavier, bulkier but I will happily wear it in the depths of winter and really puts up with abuse on a big scale. The Berghaus Active Baselayer is lighter, less restrictive to wear but I would not perhaps use it for long trips or very cold trips.
Would I buy it again…yes, but I will probably end up getting a Cambia at the same time for all eventualities.