Columbia Total Zero Short Sleeve
Base Layers for Men
Product Review / Walking Gear Test
Total Zero Short Sleeve
Base Layer for Men
Colours: Wham (light green), Black, White, Hyper Blue (light blue)
Sizes: S, M, L, XL, XXL
Columbia says:"All-over Omni-FreezeŽ ZERO technology reacts with sweat to lower the temperature of the material, while UPF 50 protects you during intense activity in the heat."
Features to Note:
- 92% polyester/8% elastane ZERO jersey
- Omni-Wick ®technology actively breathes and pulls sweat away from your body to keep you dry and cool
- Omni-FreezeŽ ZERO technology reacts with sweat to lower the temperature of the material
- Omni-Shade ® UPF 50 provides premium protection from the sun
- 4-way comfort stretch
- Women's range available
- Made in Sri Lanka
Columbia's Total Zero base layers uses a plethora of proprietary technologies (Omni-Wick®, Omni-FreezeŽ ZERO Technology and Omni-Shade UPF 50) in garments that, it is claimed, will keep you dry, cool and provide protection from the sun - and this tester found that they all worked remarkably well!
Tested during steady walking on some very hot and sunny North Yorkshire Moors, the Columbia Total Zero™ Short Sleeve base layer wicked sweat away from my body quickly and efficiently, whilst remarkably keeping my core relatively cool when compared to my face which was hot and dripping with sweat! In fact, this super-efficient cooling effect can almost be a bit OTT in periods of low activity especially if there's not much wind to evaporate the moisture which can be seen on the surface of the fabric.
The material has a slightly odd feel to it - it is silky smooth, thin and slightly stretchy - but for me the fit was very good without being too tight. I'm an XL and a bit self-conscious. Columbia claim on their website that the fit is 'slightly small' - but I thought it was perfect.
Another bonus was that the odour retention was pretty minimal - I was quite happy wearing the same top for 3-4 days without feeling I needed a change.
That having been said I have now washed it several times- it's kept its shape and dries reasonably quickly - though not as quickly as some other base layers I use regularly. Thus far, there's been no reduction in performance. The washing instructions suggest that it should be washed at 30 degrees - this has been by only gripe so far with this garment because I found that some stains (eg toothpaste!) have stubbornly remained through several washes.
Columbia's Total Zero base layer is certainly an interesting garment! It's extremely light weight and the fabric has a lovely silky feeling. In use, it's a good fit without being too clingy and is very comfortable with good freedom of movement. At its best for use in high energy situations in warm conditions.
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