Gear Review: Arc'teryx Phase AR Zip Neck Long Sleeve and Bottoms Baselayer

This layer raises the bar in moisture wicking technology.

[moisture mover]

Testers deemed these lightweight layers the year’s best new sweat busters, thanks to a lighter, redesigned fabric with yarns layered for push-pull moisture management. The hydrophobic (water-hating) polypropylene on the skin side “pushes” perspiration away from hot skin toward the colder outer surface, while the hydrophilic (water-loving) polyester outer face pulls moisture through and spreads it for faster evaporation. We’ve seen the combo before, but this shirt raises the bar thanks to better wicking, a soft, comfortable feel against the skin, and silk-weight panels under the armpits that increase venting and comfort range during hard exercise. Drying time is superior, thanks to mechanically crimped fibers that provide stretch without slow-to-dry spandex. One tester who used the ARs for more than 30 days of cross-country skiing says, “I was always drenched in sweat, but never felt chilled afterward because the fabric was dry by the time I cooled down.” Another found that during Wasatch ski tours, “The thinner fabric in the arm and knee pits moved sweat fast in those sticky places.” Stink was minimal for an all-synthetic fabric, due to an effective silver ion antibacterial treatment. Top: $79; 6 oz. (m’s M); m’s S-XXL, w’s XS-XL; Pants: $75; 4 oz. (m’s M); S-XXL, w’s XS-XL;