Mountain Warehouse sent me a sample of their Shimano Merino zip top for review at the start of the year. You can read my first impressions in the original post.
This top has endured quite a bit of use in the weeks since the original review. It has continued to serve as my commuter jersey – only replaced by a thinner merino top recently when the weather started to be a little more kind… kind of (!)
I also used it as a secondary layer on my Peak winter camp and on a number of day strolls and short wanders over the boggy hills near my home.
Consequently, it’s been washed a couple of times according to the manufacturer’s instructions (a 30 degree wool wash).
So how has it performed? Overall, very well.
One factor which sets merino wool (or merino mix as is the case here) apart from most man-made competitors is its natural antibacterial – read anti-stink – characteristic due to the lanolin content. It also wicks very well too.
In this regard, the Mountain Warehouse top has performed very well, as good as any other merino I have in my wardrobe. As a test, I commuted for a month without washing the top in period when the weather got warmer and my commute sweatier. The top handled these conditions well, comparable to others I’ve used.
On the negative side, the top has lost a bit of its shape and is, perhaps, a little shorter in the body than when I first received it.
Another minor drawback of this fabric is its lack of resistance to pilling. While the main body of the garment has worn well, the inside of the collar has rubbed up quite badly. If this is the wool pilling, then it may settle down over time. If it is the man-made content then it is likely to remain.
That said, I still would recommend this top for those people seeking a warmer base layer or an additional garment in their layering system… and at a very keen price.