Montane are well known as manufacturers of some of the best lightweight high activity  kit available, being among the first choice for anyone from mountain marathoners to the ‘gram weenie’ backpackers. While their wind-proofs are an essential bit of our ultralight backpacking kit, as well as trail running, the Montane Allez Micro Hoodie was eagerly anticipated. Can anyone actually produce a base-layer that’s not only a decent bit of kit, but actually an interesting bit of kit? Or, could we churn out 500 words on yet another posh t-shirt?

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The most obvious feature is that the Allez Micro Hoodie has a hood! That’s got to be worth at least 100 words, but it

The POLARTEC® Power Grid™ fabric is both comfortable, and owing to the innovative ‘corrugated’ nature is exceptionally warm for it’s weight (195g). The fit is snug, without being restrictive, and used on longish runs (around 20k) while building up the distance and sweat, it didn’t chafe (the problem I had last year!!). The fabric’s also nice and stretchy, without being tight, which means it doesn’t move about and turn into a crop top half way on your run. The torso is also a decent length, which is something of a chronic problem in many running tees where they only just meet the waistband of the shorts.

The lightweight POLARTEC® Power Grid™ fabric delivers a superbly functional garment that can be worn either as a baselayer in colder conditions or a lightweight mid-layer.

In fact, the Allez Micro Hoody is so comfortable it’s going to be difficult to write a review that doesn’t come over all gushing. The moment it crashed through the letterbox at mud and routes towers, I wanted to keep it on and sleep in it, it is that comfortable. Either that, or I’ve a serious new kit fetish (ahem, less said about that, the better. Ed.)

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During runs, the thumb loops are welcome (though we gather some people absolutely despise this feature!) The innovative Power Grid™ fabric by POLARTEC® seems to wick well, which becomes apparent when the wind is blowing as you can feel the evaporative cooling against your skin. This makes the hood just as useful to cool you down under the right circumstances as it is to keep you warm.

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We also reviewed it during some unseasonally cool spring walks, mainly in the chilly evening air, which it seemed well suited. It may well be too warm as an ascent base-layer in warmer months, but is sold as a cool weather base-layer that doubles as an ultralight mid-layer well suited to backpacking. To that end, there fabric is impregnated with silver ion odour resistance, which was tested out with two walks and two runs (one long one!) before washing and it remained fresh.

Of course, there’s a good old price to be paid for all this! £85 to be precise.

Summary. If you want a high quality, warm and light base-layer for trail running or backpacking that adds flexibility by doubling as a mid layer, then you’d not go far wrong with the Montane Allez Hoody if you can afford it!

It’s available in Black (tested), Blue Spark and Alpine Orange.

What the Manufacturer Says

  • POLARTEC® Power Grid™ delivers remarkable wicking and fast drying capabilities together with an exceptional warmth to weight ratio
  • Articulated arms for reach high movement and tailored specifically to reduce hem lift
  • Stretch bound hood that has a comfortable snug fit
  • Flatlocked seams throughout
  • ⅓ length YKK MONTANE® reverse coil semi-auto front zip with wind-strip
  • Low profile cuffs with thumb loops

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