The sniff test: Montane Primino crew neck t-shirt
Montane’s Primino baselayer range claims to “set new standards in baselayer technology”. The British outdoor gear brand’s new Primino Baselayer range has been designed to offer the “ultimate in comfort and fast drying abilities” thanks to a merino wool and 25 per cent synthetic PrimaLoft insulation mix.
It also uses “cutting edge odour management technology thanks to Polygiene”. Polygiene is applied to the fabric during the finishing stages of the baselayers. It is a permanent treatment so it won’t wash out and doesn’t need reapplying.
More about Polygiene
Polygiene contains silver salt (silver chloride, which is naturally present in water and soil) that inhibits the growth of odour-causing bacteria. Odour usually develops when bacteria settles into fabric, mixes with sweat and multiplies to causes nasty niffs. Polygiene stops this from happening.
Polygiene treatment also helps to prolong the lifetime of garments as it guards against fabric-deteriorating mould fungus and bacteria.
Other benefits of using Polygiene treated gear, such as Montane’s Primino base layers, include:
- Less washing required so reduced -energy consumption.
- Longer lifetime span because the fibres in garments live longer due to the elimination of bacteria and excessive washing.
- Recyclable when worn-out.
I was asked by Montane to put the Primino crew neck baselayer (£42) to the sniff test. I wore it for as many days and training sessions as I could before the underarms began to smell. In normal synthetic tops I would normally expect to put it in the wash after one session, or sometimes two, because of odour. Many synthetic tops end up having to be binned because it’s difficult to wash out the smell of body odour after a couple of years of wear (and that’s with washing!).
In pure merino wool, which I can’t wear against the skin, I have managed to hold off washing a baselayer for around a week. (I was testing it, rather than being unhygienic!) Merino wool baselayers also have the advantage of being very long-lasting. I have one that is still going strong after about eight years of being worn.
But the Primino range offers a combination of good things: The fabric is softer against the skin because it is synthetic mix and it has anti-whiff properties thanks to the Polygiene. It is also highly recyclable.
I wore the top for almost a week of training and some general day-to-day wear. Training sessions ranged from hill runs and mountain bike rides, to dog walking. I did sweat a lot on occasions. No one complained about the smell of me and I checked many times to make sure I wasn’t whiffy. It was only on the sixth day of fairly intensive wear that I became aware of the underarm area being a bit whiffy.
At £42 for a t-shirt baselayer, it’s not the cheapest but if you look for pure merino wool baselayers you’ll usually pay more. There are various different styles in the range including long-sleeve, and quarter zip. They come in men and women’s fit.
For sports clothing that can be worn a few days at a time, for example, when on a multi-day waking or cycling adventure, the Montane Primino range is a good choice. You’ll also be doing your bit for the environment if you wear this range because you can get away with washing it less.