Consumer Ephemera: SmartWool Men’s NTS Light 195 Zip T

23:29 Sun 14 Apr 2013. Updated: 00:31 15 Apr 2013
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As I’ve written previously, I tend to get frustrated when companies stop making products I like. On the other hand, presumably this turnover of products has a part to play when I find things that I like; perhaps my complaint is more that production should be halted on things that other people like, not things that I like.

A recent discovery is this top:

That’s the first SmartWool piece of clothing I’ve ever had, and I’ve been extremely happy with it. I bought it to use on my attempted hike of Mount Whitney last year, and it served fairly well—certainly, I can’t blame the garment for the fact that I didn’t make it to the top.

Since then, though, I’ve found that it might be the perfect San Francisco sweater.

It’s supposed to be a base layer, but I don’t use it that way. I wear a T-shirt under it, and pull it on when the city gets chilly. Since getting it, I haven’t needed much more than that plus a jacket.

It’s light and packs easily, making it very convenient to carry, but it’s warm enough that I don’t need to carry another layer. It’s proven to be fairly resilient since then, enduring almost daily wear (admittedly, I have more than one) without any signs of fraying. I’ve been extremely happy with it.

How it works as a base layer for colder weather, I have no idea, although I assume it would do fine. When I have worn it next to my skin it’s been comfortable.

I think it looks good as a sweater; the photo makes it look much tighter and shinier than it is[1]. In reality it looks rather more like a typical non-“performance” piece of clothing.

I also have the slightly heavier Men’s NTS Mid 250 Zip T, which is quite similar and which I like almost as much.

If you’re in San Francisco or a similar climate, I highly recommend it.

[1] The photo gives the impression that it looks like this UnderArmour top that I do wear as a base layer when working out, and there’s very little similarity between how the two look in the real world.

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