Gear Review: Patagonia Capilene 4 Expedition Weight Zip-Neck

When you want something thick to keep you warm, this baselayer has you covered.

[wicking heavyweight]

Thick, warm baselayers work well when you’re sedentary, but many are too thick to move sweat during hard exercise, or they dry slowly afterward. Yet every tester who used this shirt loved it. “Super-awesome wicking and fast dry times. I can’t rave enough,” writes one who used it for hard bursts of bouldering followed by long rests with temps in the low 40s. Credit goes to a redesigned Polartec High Efficiency Power Dry fabric, made of 91 percent polyester (30 percent of it recycled) and 9 percent spandex. It’s basically a lighter version of Patagonia’s long-revered R1 fabric, but with a more porous outer face and an internal grid pattern with larger gaps. This maintains dead air space, reduces weight and bulk, and provides better moisture dispersal to the outer surface. Testers wore the Cap 4 for four hard days before stink became noticeable, thanks to an amino acid/carbon antibacterial treatment that Patagonia says breaks bacterial cell walls, in addition to absorbing odors. The cherry on top is fit—assuming you like it fairly tight (size up if you’re not into the Spiderman look). The neck cut is generous, while sleeves are loose enough to pull over Popeye forearms. $99; 5.9 oz. (m’s M); m’s XS-XXL, w’s XS-XL;