I’ve had the ATC Short Sleeve Half-zipped base layer for a while, almost as long as the garments title.
For a while it has been a regular runner and one which I’ve never had any irrigation, chaffing or destroyed nipples. Thank fully, the latter is something I’ve yet to experience and long may that continue!
The title of the top is pretty is self explanatory – Short Sleeve/the sleeves are short, Half-Zippered/stops at the base of your sternum & base layer/next to skin. It may not roll of the tongue, but you can’t accuse inov-8 on misleading or confusing you.
So where have I been using it I hear you ask?
In the rear of the above photo are my local trails. A mixture of flat woodland, sand and mud, that forms the basis of most trail training runs. The highest point is a staggering 133ft, and feet is what I shall call it, as the meters equivalent is even more pitiful.
I’ve spent many evenings and mornings, dodging dog walkers, horses and mountain bikers wearing the ATC SSHZBL. Now despite what I thought the first time I put on the half zip, I do use the zip more often than many may imagine. I run hot, and enjoy the extra ventilation it provides, with the ability to quickly zip it shut, should an ice cool breeze come in my path. I’ve worn it on the fells of the Lake District, the Grand Col Ferret at UTMB and on the slopes of Ben Nevis, amongst many other exploits in the mountains.
The length is good. I’m 5ft 7″ and most products in a medium can often be well over my bottom… and when your legs are as short as mine, that can lead to looking like a dress. Not the case for the ATC SSHZBL, perfect length and the arms also offer good cover/sun protection. The rear,sides and under arm are well ventilated, much like a road cycling gilet and this really does let air out. I run hot, sweat a lot and this is noticeable. On the neck, there is also an inner rucksack band, designed to keep your pack at bay. It works. Some may think unnecessary, but if you have a larger pack brimming this does form a comfort layer and barrier. As much I as a fan of the comfort of the SSHZBL, for me it comes a price. That same material which aids to the durability (mine looks new some 12 months on) also runs a little warm. In the heat of summer, I tend not to use it, as I do find I run hotter than in lighter weight options out there. This of course is very much personal preference, as you’ll see me in the middle of winter in shorts and t-shirt…. With cooler temperatures on their way, it is back out on the trails and I’m enjoying reuniting one step at a time. Reflective details on the left chest, arm and neck provide good visibility at night and the Polygiene permanent anti microbial treatment does stop the top from humming after long warm sessions. Trust me, my partners the first to say if I stink if not. Just think of the Lynx man, she’s a lucky lady…..
So, the inov-8 ATC Short Sleeve Half – Zipped Base Layer doesn’t smell, has good ventilation, visibility and stands up well. I may find it runs a little warmer than I’d like, but that is the only grumble I can find.
Now, one catch. It’s discontinued. However you can still get it from inov-8 in smaller sizes HERE.
For those shouting at their screen “James, why did you not tell us sooner??” all is not lost.
Having got hands on with the new Short Sleeve Base Layer and Long Sleeve Base Layer I can confirm they are lighter, feel softer and should be as they state, more breathable. And if proof is required of how long their kit can last, the shorts in the photo were bought by me more than 5 year ago and still going strong.