Sherpa Baans Tech Quarter-Zip Top

On behalf of Sherpa Adventure Gear, Mountain Training asked me to review the Baans Tech Quarter-Zip Top, I was very chuffed, as I believe I've had the pleasure of using some very worthwhile kit.

Sherpa Beans Half Zip Top The ethos, branding and technical quality of Sherpa Adventure Gear is picking its way into the outdoor gear market with a very wholesome, sustainable and attractive image. What better way of promoting a product than using the most fabulous photography and images from those high Himalayan giants and the people who live and work in their shadows.

You want to like and use their products, because you want to feel part of that mountain culture, no? Very clever. So you may be forgiven for being initially sceptical about the quality of fabrics or technical detail from a new supplier...but I feel this product did not disappoint me.

I've been wearing the Baans Tech Quarter-Zip Top during cooler UK days over summer, either on its own or under a hard shell only. It's not 'too' lightweight and has a close fit, especially as it's pretty snug around the shoulders and under arms and it feels substantial enough on its own as well as under layers. Sometimes I've used the thumbholes and sometimes they've been too much on a warm day – but I do like this detail and I will definitely be using this layer in winter for these reasons.

I have sweated in it leading groups on challenge events and it washes and drys well and I like the fact you can tumble dry the fabric (unlike wool) for when I need to turn a kit wash round quickly! The fabric is 75% polyester and 25% bamboo charcoal so there's your natural fibres coming in to help with its antifungal ability and sustainability claims.

Sherpa Beans Half Zip top 2

There are some great design details: a wee chin guard for the neck zip, a robust neck zip pull with the Sherpa prayer flag colours and the seam stitching is plentiful and comfortable. It's solid, good looking and also ready for winter use I feel. Granted, I have had a few niggles with the shape of the shoulder area and length and tightness of the sleeves towards the wrists – and I would hope that any outdoor gear company will listen to feedback and be constantly evolving its products. But, in terms of function and detail – I feel really positive about this base layer. And it's a really fabulous shade of pink...and I love bright colours on the hill (I'm not usually a pink person!)

I would definitely recommend hunting out some Sherpa gear and seeing how it performs for yourself. Maybe the sleeves will fit you better than me?! But, I love the gorgeous imagery and marketing used for this brand and I am keen to find out more about different products and add them to my repertoire of favourite garments.

To summarise: I'm really pleased with my first introduction to Sherpa and happy to forgo some sizing issues, due to functional fabrics and useful and attractive design detail.

Kate Worthington

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