Gear Review: Columbia Mountain Tech Long Sleeve Top

This athletic baselayer feels like cotton but works like high-priced synthetic, for only $35.

Killer Deal

A good baselayer is essential in winter–you'll never take it off–but that doesn't mean you need to overspend. This polyester crewneck has the soft, cozy feel of cotton, thanks to spun yarn and knit construction. It also has the wicking and fast-drying ability of much higher-priced synthetics, plus an antimicrobial treatment that affords moderate stink resistance. Our tester wore it skiing, running, skinning, and even around town while she was doing errands.

It's free of shoulder seams, and side seams are offset, so there are no pressure points under backpack straps. The athletic cut enhances wicking, and the more you wear the shirt the softer the fabric gets (without the pilling that inferior baselayers often suffer from). Downside: Like other synthetics, it will get ripe after a few days of hard use. Also available in a zip-neck version ($40) and a short-sleeve T ($30). $35; 6 oz. (w's medium); men's S-XXL, women's XS-XL; columbia.com