Gear Review: Mountain Hardwear Transition Featherweight Zip T

I hate to be a complainer, but there’s one thing that bothers me when I’m out for a snowshoe-run. It seems like I’m cold to begin with-so I put on several layers-but then once I warm up I’m stuck with a pile of clothes. This might not matter when you’re out for a snowshoe-hike and carrying a little knapsack. But when you’re running, it’s nice to keep things simple and uncluttered.

Enter: The Transition Featherweight Zip T, from Mountain Hardwear. I’ve had the opportunity to wear this top for a few months now-and I’ve loved it. So what’s the scope?

This top is unlike any other piece of clothing you have. It’s extremely thin and fits somewhat like long underwear. But unlike long underwear, it has a layer of wind-proof material on the outside so you don’t need to wear a windbreaker. This means that you can put on one layer of clothes, and you’re set for the duration of your run. Now, there’s a lot of technical info about the GORE-TEX N2S (Next-to-Skin) fabric that makes this all happen, but I’ll leave the details to the engineers out there to research on their own.

So how did it perform? I wore the Zip T in cold and colder weather. In the cold weather, about 20-35 degrees, it worked great on its own. I went for long cruises, and even in wind I was comfortable. When the temperature rose a few degrees, I unzipped the zipper a bit and continued on in comfort.

Once it really got cold-under 20 degrees for me-I felt the need to add a vest. The Zip T works great both on its own and as a layer, although the obvious draw is the by-its-self aspect.

The only thing I felt I needed after wearing the Zip T during my runs was a pair of Transition Featherweight tights. Same technology, different part of the body. Maybe next Christmas-I can always wish.

Price: $110.00