This time of year, you can’t have too many thermal running tops to choose from. All that’s well and good, but half the time the full on winter tops tend to be too thick and I find myself getting too warm half way into the run. So when a thermal base layer from DamartSport found itself on the Mud and Routes review shelf, I thought things were going to start warming up even more unless winter arrived.
Fortunately, this base-layer from DamartSport is not too warm and has an active fit without being a compression top. While I do like compression tops, sometimes you prefer something that once you get on, you can get off again! It’s classed as having Grade 4 Thermolactyl Intense warmth, suitable for subzero temperatures. That, obviously is in conjunction with the sort of clothing you’d wear in sub zero conditions down to -15°C, or with fewer layers at milder temperatures as I did. If you don’t know about the layering system, then read this article about the layering system. Damart has been producing quality thermal baselayers for 60 years using their Thermolactyl fabric technology. It has been tested in the coldest environments and even sponsored Everest expeditions including Messner and Habeler’s first ascent without oxygen (but the headline proudly boasts but not without Damart).
I wore this on a number of runs during January, which for those of you who haven’t noticed, has been both wet and thoroughly miserable. This meant that I’ve been running in my Paramo Quito jacket as a matter of course, with summer tops underneath. I did use one of my thicker tops, but that’s a combo that I can only cope with when the temperature’s nearer zero.
This baselayer is very lightweight and has a brushed inner that’s really comfortable against the skin. The fit is active, but still sufficiently loose that you can fit your HRM strap after you put it on! While thumb-loops are one of those love/hate things, I can take them or leave them. They’re handy if they’re there, but annoyingly cover your watch. The Damart Thermal Top doesn’t come with thumb-loops, or overly long arms suited to an orang-outang like some brands, fitting perfectly for me but you may need to size up if you do have arms akin to a ginger haired monkey (Did I just hear an OOK!?). That means you’ll need thin gloves in colder weather, and if the conditions are so extreme that you’ll suffer without them then thumb-loops are hardly going to make much difference.
While running, I honestly forgot it was there, which really is all you can expect from a base-layer. It wicked sweat fine, didn’t get in the way, didn’t need adjusting up or down or sideways and didn’t chafe in unfortunate places thanks to the flat seams. There’s also an antibacterial treatment, which I only managed to test by wearing it a couple of times without washing – the top, not me – and while that’s not always a popular test with any running or walking companions, it didn’t start walking off into the wash basket of it’s own accord which is always a plus. What more do you want for £30? You can find cheaper tops, and plenty of more expensive ones so this falls in that comfortable middle ground.
For more information, visit the Damart 60th anniversary celebration page.