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It is that time of year. Time to break out the cold weather hiking gear and put away the shorts and short sleeve clothing in favor of more suitable apparel. As the air gets crisp and the fall colors are in full splendor, here are four long sleeve crew base layer shirts from: Polarmax, Ice Breaker, Columbia, and Core Layers that will be sure to keep you warm, dry, and comfortable on your next cold weather adventure.

Polarmax MaxRide Crew

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Polarmax’s MaxRide Crew is a comfortable loose-fitting base layer. I found that it breathed well and dried fairly quickly when wet. It kept me warm in chilly weather and, despite numerous washings, the shirt never pilled and the neck and wrist openings did not lose their elasticity. I liked the off-grey oatmeal color that I tested, but unfortunately the black shirt with contrast seams is the only option currently available. It would be nice if it came in more colors but then again black goes with almost anything.

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Date available: Currently Available

MSRP: $29.95

Actual Weight: 205 grams

Materials: 100% Acclimate Dry Performance Fabric
Warranty info: If our Product does not live up to your expectations – just return it to the store you bought it from or mail back to Polarmax® for replacement or repair.
Normal wear and tear damage will be repaired at a reasonable charge.


Icebreaker Oasis Long Sleeve Crewe

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Icebreaker’s Oasis Crewe is made with Merino wool from New Zealand. At first it was very itchy, but after one or two washings it softened up considerably. The Oasis Crewe dried quickly; the quickest out of the bunch, in fact. This is probably due in part to how thin the material is. Although this thinness was a welcome feature, it also meant that the shirt did not stay very warm when the wind picked up. It comes in numerous colors from: Black, Dark Grey, Grey, Navy Blue, Orange, Tan, Blue, and Olive Drab. The style is a more tight fit than the other crew base layers in this review, which makes it wick a little faster.

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Date available: Currently Available

MSRP: $89.99

Actual Weight: 154 grams

Materials: 100% Merino Wool

Warranty info: We will replace your Icebreaker garment within a year of purchase if it has been damaged by faulty fabric, stitching or manufacturing. Please return your garment as soon as possible so we can assess its condition and send you a replacement. Damage that occurs after a year is usually caused by wear and tear.


Columbia Omni Freeze Degree 1/2 zip long sleeve crew

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Columbia’s Omni Freeze Degree 1/2 Zip was another great technical garment from Columbia. We have had the pleasure of testing a few Columbia products in the past and this 1/2 zip did not disappoint. It too is available in a plethora of colors, including: Foliage (which I tested), Radiation, Black, Splash, and Mountain. Having the zipper was great in helping cool me down and the Omni Freeze technology really kicked in on a hike in northern Maryland when the temps and humidity were higher than I expected. I stayed surprisingly comfortable and dry when other base layer options would have left me overheating.

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Date available: Currently Available

MSRP: $60.00

Actual Weight: 200 grams

Materials: Omni-Shade Omni-Freeze ZERO inserts at arms and torso: 92% polyester/8% elastane ZERO jersey/Omni-Wick EVAP inserts underarms and center back: 92% polyester/8% elastane EVAP jersey

Warranty info: At Columbia Sportswear, we expect our products to be free of manufacturer defects. However, should you have a warranty issue, return the item to us for evaluation. We will repair it if possible or replace all valid warranty items…Outerwear and equipment have a limited lifetime warranty, all other products are warranted for one year.


Core Layers Old Faithful 

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Core layers

Core Layers’s Old Faithful is made from Polartec Power Dry bi-component fabric, which I found to be quite comfortable and breathable. Out of all the crews in this review it was the warmest; this was due most likely to the thicker feel of the fabric, which also gives it a UPF 30 Sun Protection level. It is available in Earth, Vivid, Verdant, and Hazelnut. I wore the Old Faithful on a few dates out on the town and my wife was surprised when I told her it was a backpacking base layer. It looks quite sharp with the contrasting color waves artfully sewn into the shirt. It is also worth mentioning that Core Layers is designed in Idaho, Built in Washington.

Date available: Currently Available

MSRP: $59.00

Actual Weight: 242 grams

Materials: 100% Polyester Recycled Polartec Power Dry

Warranty Info: Core Concepts offers a lifetime guarantee on all of our products. If something doesn’t perform to your standards, contact us and we’ll take care of you.

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