Mountain Warehouse Adrenaline Cycling Jacket – First Impressions

I think being contacted by Mountain Warehouse to review a couple of items of their clothing is a good omen. Since the email and offer of waterproofs, it has been conspicuously dry in the rainy Northwest. I hope this good fortune extends to my three-day backpack in Scotland next week.

Mountain Warehouse Adrenaline cycling jacketNorth of the border I’ll be using the company’s Brisk Extreme mountain jacket. For this ‘first impressions review’ I’m turning my attention to its Adrenaline cycle shell.

Mountain Warehouse has gained some prominence on the high street but, it’s fair to say, is not the first port of call for the function or fashion conscious outdoor enthusiast.

The company supplies own-brand product at very competitive prices. You won’t find much, if any, evidence of GoreTex of eVent swing tickets in its shops, and you may have to dig around for a more technical garment amid the cags-in-bags and clockwork torches. That said, and based on my extended use of the company’s ‘Shimano Merino top’, its more purposeful gear is well designed and durability is on a par with more recognisable manufacturers.

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Mountain Warehouse Shimano Zip Termal Top – three months on

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.

Mountain Warehouse Shimano zip top

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.

Mountain Warehouse Shimano Merino Zip Thermal Baselayer – First Look

The guys at own-brand, high street outdoor equipment supplier Mountain Warehouse have sent me a sample of their ‘Extreme’ Shimano Merino Zip Baselayer for review. Here, I give my first impressions of the top after a week or so commuting across London. I also plan to use it in anger on the hill and this will form the basis of a later review.

Fabric – 100% Merino?

Mountain Warehouse Shimano Extreme Merino BarelayerA wee bit of confusion arises from the swing ticket. This clearly states 100% merino when, in fact, the top is a mix of merino and manmade fibres in an 80/20 mix respectively. One assumes that the 100% applies to the wool element and that the merino is not mixed with other natural fibre. As I said, confusing.

There’s no mention on the ticket as to the provenance of the merino either. While other manufacturers are at pains to point out the quality of the materials used, there’s no breathless marketing here.

Perhaps more important than all this is how the fabric actually feels. It has a ribbed/knitted texture similar and is very soft to the touch and comfortable against the skin. It compared favourably with other tops I’ve tried, more comfortable than some other true ‘100%’ base layers. Continue reading