In winter, a mid layer can make or break a trip. Having a down jacket in your bag is fine for rest stops and camps, but having the right degree of insulation when you’re on the move is a a trickier proposition. This top is from Montura, and Italian company which is soon to make it’s debut in the UK, and it’s a thing of multiple fabrics. It has windproof shelled primaloft insulation across the chest and tops of the arms and powerstretch around the waist, back and sides to aid movement and maximise breathability. You have a mix of wind resistance, stretch and warmth, only in the right places. As a concept it looks like several tops have been cut up and stuck together but in practice it’s complete genius. Slogging uphill, the shell jacket could stay firmly in my pack, the wind resistance and warmth were perfect for a February day. Breathability was excellent, with no signs of sweat across my back despite a 60l bag on there. I lived in this for two days, and it was the most comfortable mid layer I’ve ever worn. It fits snugly and moves with you, so you’re barely aware that it’s there. I’d love to post a pic of me looking wonderfully intrepid wearing it, but I didn’t take any.   John from Ardblair did get one of me looking suitably gormless :

Photo courtesy of John Owens

 I did manage a blurry grab shot which shows this tops killer feature. It has a patch of furry pile across the upper back up to the collar. Putting it on is like getting a wee hug. It’s a wonderful tiny detail, but one which swung it for me. The whole package is unbeatable.  This was the standout piece of clothing for me, the perfect midlayer, such a rare thing to find. Love it.

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