A winter baselayer should be warm, but still breathable. A high zipped neck and long hem are also essential. In this group test we've trialled winter weight baselayers from a number of leading brands.
Well, it's a base layer! When faced with reviewing what could be thought of as quite a low-tech bit of clothing, we had to ask ourselves a few questions before we started.
1: Is there anything different about it? Kind of.
2: Will it change your life? Not really if we're honest!
3: But is it really worth a review? Actually, yes it is.
What Mammut have done with these Trovat base layers is use their high-end design and matched it with this new swanky 'Power Wool' from Polartec, which mixes merino wool with synthetic fibres - to give you the 'best of both worlds'.
Doing this mixing isn't actually completely new - several other brands have done it before under various names - but it was new to us, and from what we hear Power Wool is one of the better mixtures (to know that for sure we need to test out some more to compare).
With this technology being new to us - and it seeming like a good idea - we were keen to test whether or not it did actually make any difference in the hills. Getting soaked with sweat on the uphills, then freezing on the lunch stops or belay stops it something many of us can relate to, so anything that helps prevent that, and helps you to stop smelling has got to be worth a second look, right?!
So - how it works: The wool is next to the skin, where it feels great, is nice and soft, and importantly helps with the body smells, and the polyester fabrics on the outside help with wicking and also keeping the shape of the baselayer -this is what Polartec call a bi-component knit structure.
The top we had to try was long-sleeved with a half-zip and a small collar. The quality of the garment was very high, and the fit was good, but we felt was on the slim side - worth keeping in mind.
It weighed in at around 195g and the RRP is £80.
There's a few colours available and it comes in a women's version too if you want.
When working hard in the Trovat we found that it did wick moisture away from the body, perhaps slightly better than just a wool baselayer. It was also a touch warmer than a standard synthetic baselayer - it really was inbetween.
The biggest test was the smell test of course - and this is where we really felt it came up trumps. That's not to say it didn't get a bit stinky after several long trail runs, but it never got that synthetic smell, the one that comes back straight away even after the top has been washed.
Overal, after a few months of use we like the Mammut Trovat, it's a great halfway house between synthetic and wool. The fit is body hugging, so don't size down, and the build quality is excellent. The price is pretty high, but you do get a premium product. Perhaps worth it if you (or your hill partners!) want a not-so-smelly, fast-drying base layer for this winter.
Perfect symbiosis. The Trovat Pro Half Zip Longsleeve is made from Polartec® Power WoolTM material, making it an ideal first choice for cold days. The wool on the inside keeps you warm and makes it feel comfortable to wear, while the synthetic material wicks moisture reliably to the outside.
Cut: Regular Fit
Weight [g]: 195
High-quality, functional Polartec® Power Wool™ material
Extremely comfortable to wear and excellent moisture management due to the combination of wool on the inside and synthetic material on the outside
Extra-long front zip for better ventilation and good fit
Flatlock seams for extra elasticity on the junctions to prevent abrasion
Offset seams reduce friction on the shoulders
Light and stows easily
Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) 20+