Mountain Equipment Crux LS Crew
The Mountain Equipment Crux LS Crew tee is an excellent synthetic (polyester) baselayer suitable for year round use. It features Polygiene anti-microbial technology which works reasonably well to limit odour. The main selling point for me is the excellent construction and durability which has impressed me over the past two years.
- Nice design and good fit
- Polygiene anti-microbial technology
- Excellent construction and durability
- Available in short sleeve and 1/4 zip versions
- Option of thumb holes/loops would be nice for some people (not for me though)
- Price a little high when not on sale
From Mountain Equipment:
A close fitting tee that efficiently wicks moisture away from the skin and dries quickly on the move. Built in Polygiene anti-microbial technology resists odour during intensive use and carefully positioned flatlocked seams prevent abrasion under a harness or rucksack straps.
The Mountain Equipment Crux LS (Long Sleeve) Crew baselayer is the shirt so nice I bought it thrice! I have been using these for nearly two years since discovering them and they are my favourite baselayer. I originally purchased a black/grey/orange one in size large, and then purchased another of similar colour in large, and another in blue/green in medium.
The first one purchased must have been an older model as it boasts Cocona technology, while the latter two use Polygiene, which is what is currently sold/advertised at retailers. Which basically means it is a synthetic polyester shirt impregnated with an antibacterial component. It is also available as a short sleeve crew and 1/4 zip tee.
The look is very much on the sporty side, and there is reflective branding on the chest and behind the neck. It is however fairly minimal and tastefully done. There is also one small tag down the side which denotes the use of Polygiene anti-microbial technology.
Fit and Comfort:
My measurements are a 43-inch chest and 33-inch waist and I typically take a size medium comfortably. Because this is a slim fit, and also from a British brand, and the Brits are a little less generous with their sizing than us North Americans, I can still fit comfortably into a medium, but it is a snug fit, while a large is more relaxed but still well fitting. Unless you like snug clothing, size up when it comes to this shirt.
The shirts are lightweight (190 g for the large, and 172 g for the medium) and pack down very tiny. Excellent in case you want to take extras for a change. The sleeves are adequately long and I have never had them ride up regardless of activity, especially for the medium which fits my arms comfortably snug.
The cuffs are not elasticated and there are no thumb holes. The torso is adequately long to not ride up too easily, and since it is slimmer fitting it tends to hug your torso well enough to keep your back covered during activity.
The shirt is held together by flatlock stitching (see photo above for example) which lends a nice sporty look and provides a strong connection. It also limits points of friction on the underside of the seam. This works very well, as these shirts are very comfortable regardless of the activity (even sleeping in).
Another nice touch is the printed label on the inside (see picture below). This is great as there is no tag to scratch the back of your neck. There is one small tag with washing instructions by the hem (hip area). It is however very soft and not at all noticeable.
Breathability, Odour and Moisture Handling:
Like most quality baselayers, this is very breathable and moves moisture away from your body very well. Even when saturated with sweat, they dry very quickly which makes them ideal for high intensity exercise. I also particularly like them for fast and light overnight trips where I know they will dry out quick and keep me comfortable when it gets colder at night after a day of intense output.
Additionally, the Polygiene anti-microbial technology works reasonably well. I would say it takes on odour quicker than merino baselayers, but it remains reasonably tolerable for longer than most other synthetic tops I have used, and certainly much better than those which had not been treated.
What I have been most surprised by with these shirts has been the quality of their construction and their durability over the past two years of 4 season use. I do expect that level of quality from Mountain Equipment, but I didnt think a thin synthetic baselayer would last as well as these have. None of the stitching has failed even after repeated wear and washing, and there are no loose threads anywhere (a sign of good construction!).
Additionally, and what I found most surprising is that even though I have used these as outer layers during summer, the fabric has not developed any rash or pilling as a result of abrasion from my backpack. In fact the only sign of wear is on the shirt I originally purchased where the reflective branding on the chest has worn away due to friction from my backpacks chest straps (see photo below). Otherwise they are all basically like new and still going strong.
Layering and Warmth:
As far as baselayers go, these are excellent for 3-season use, or 4- if you layer appropriately in winter as they are not thermals. Compared with merino, they are not as warm for the weight, but are immensely more durable. The fact that they are cut fairly slim makes them excellent for layering.
I use these all the time. I have used them from summer when it was hot (sun protection and fast drying when sweaty), to baselayers mountaineering in terrible winter weather. I use them as outer layers, baselayers, layers to sleep in and they perform well under every circumstance. They have been used hiking all over the UK, the alps, and in Canada.
(Mont de Grange, Chablais Alps France)
(Le Moleson, Swiss PreAlps, Switzerland)
An excellent synthetic (polyester) baselayer suitable for year round use. Notable features are Polygiene anti-microbial technology which works reasonably well to limit odour, and the main selling point for me; the excellent construction and durability.
There is nothing else I could ask for from this garment, hence the five star rating. While the price can be a bit high (usually around $50), they can be found on sale (I got both my black ones for $25, and my blue one for $30). Overall, I highly recommend them.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $25-$30
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Reviewers Paid: $25.00