Gear Review: Arc'teryx Phase AR Zip Neck

A new fabric makes this synthetic zip-t odor free.

[anti-odor synthetic]

Full disclosure: Half of the six testers who tried this new fabric were not fans. But those who got past the unusual “super-synthetic-y” feel of the fabric—a spongy, slick-faced polyester and polypropylene blend—raved about the shirt’s all-around performance, and especially its odor control, which was remarkable for a synthetic.

“The stink factor was nonexistent, even after 14 straight days of wear,” says a guide who used the top while ski mountaineering in Kyrgyzstan’s Tien Shan. The weave of the hydrophobic fibers disperses moisture quickly, minimizing bacteria build-up, and encapsulated antimicrobial silver ions do the rest. Wicking and insulation are similarly superior. “It kept me dry—and thus warm—through countless sweat-chill cycles, in temps down to -20°F,” the tester adds. That’s because the trim cut wraps every curve, so moisture is immediately sucked into the fabric. Bummer: We wished for chafe-free flat-lock seams. $70; 6.3 oz. (m’s M); m’s S-XXL, w’s XS-XL; arcteryx.com