Review by Olivia Abbott.
Like many women, hillwalkers on not, I’m a bit self-conscious about tight clothes being unflattering to one’s, shall we say, more curvaceous areas, so I’ve never been particularly keen on clinging base layers. However, I could change my mind for this top.
Persuaded to give it a go by my husband, a keen convert to merino wool base layers, I decided to put this top through its paces as unrevealingly as possible, beginning by wearing it on a run, underneath a light, waterproof slip-on anorak. I was also a bit sceptical about how the wool would feel next to the skin, but I was pleasantly surprised by how smooth it was. Merino apparently has much finer fibres than other wools, which makes it extremely soft. I was also impressed by how comfortable it was heatwise – of course I got sweaty, but my temperature was comfortable throughout the half-hour run.This is another feature of merino wool – it regulates your body temperature, so you don’t get too hot, and not too cold neither.
The Rana’s next task was to stay comfortable during a strenuous Astanga yoga session, done hot on the heels of the run. Again it was more than up to the job – and also this was where the fit came into its own. The top moved with me, flexibly and comfortably, with no flopping around or riding up through the variety of poses and postures, twists and inversions.
The Rana is a good length, coming down over the top of the hips so you don’t get draughts around the waist, and the arms, too, are a generous length. The neck is snug; again not my favourite style as I often find crew necks itchy and irritating, but the Rana certainly isn’t that – I found it perfectly comfy and in fact forgot all about it. And for those who prefer the choice there’s a half-zip version with a higher neck.
Wearing the top in earnest – out on a walk, on a sunny but chilly day, I was genuinely and very pleasantly surprised to find that I could get away with just the Rana and a not-particularly-good-quality fleece jacket and be plenty warm enough.
The Rana is now my top of choice for most activities – walking, running and yoga sessions – so long as I’m in private or wearing something over the top of it!