Choosing the right base layer is as important as having shoes or boots that fit. It’s one of the key components of staying dry, comfortable and safe in all weather conditions. The base layer is the layer of clothing that will sit closest to your skin. The right base layer can make a huge difference.
Performance base layers are designed to wick moisture away from the skin. They work to moderate your body temperature, keeping you cool when its hot and warm when its cold. Cotton fabric might work for a while but as soon as you start to sweat it will hold onto the water vapor and eventually become soaking wet.
There are three basic categories of fabrics that you should consider for your base layers — synthetic fabrics, silk, and merino wool. There are pros and cons to each. The best choice will depend on both the application and the environment. And of course the specific fabric makeup.
Vertx Full Guard Performance Shirt
Vertx® sent me its Full Guard Performance Short Sleeve Shirt for evaluation. Also available with long sleeves, the Full Guard Performance Shirt features Vertx’s proprietary VaporCore™ powered by 37.5® Active Particle Technology to help maintain your body’s core temperature. Designed for use as a high-performance base layer, the shirt is made of lightweight 4.65 oz 58% polyester and 42% 37.5® polyester blend four-way stretch knit fabric. The fabric has an almost silk-like feel against the skin.
VaporCore with 37.5 Technology is made from naturally derived materials. There are no harsh chemicals to irritate the skin. It dries up to five times faster than other performance fabrics, eliminating wet cling and enhancing both comfort and performance. Although synthetic fabrics continue to insulate when wet, they’re more efficient when dry. The 37.5 Technology has active particles in the yarn that help to control odor, which is an issue with many synthetic fabrics. The active particles never wash out, providing lasting odor control
There’s more to a good base layer than just the fabric. The Full Guard Performance Shirt has a raglan sleeve construction to reduce shoulder constriction. It doesn’t bind up like a typical set-in sleeve shirt would, giving you needed mobility. A gusseted underarm provides an added range of motion. All essential in a base layer that will be employed in a tactical environment.
Stretch flatlock sleeve and main body seams provide added comfort. Flatlock stitching is a type of stitching that results in a flat seam with no bulk. It doesn’t create the pressure points and skin irritation that you might get from typical stitching when layered under other pieces.
For optimal performance, a base layer should fir snugly. The Full Guard Performance Shirt has a semi-compression fit that’s designed to comfortably skim the body without squeezing. It easily layers under low-profile or overt pieces to increase performance. Layering with other 37.5 technology options optimizes performance.
Vertx put considerable thought into the design. The Full Guard Performance Shirt has a long-line hem which helps the shirt stay tucked in during activities when worn that way. There’s a hidden mini stash pocket inside on the hem on the rear of the shirt that allows you to pre-load items up to 2” in length, such as a handcuff key, for example. Definitely not your run of the mill base layer shirt. Other features include tonal branding for reduced visual profile and a soft, stitch-less printed size label.
The Full Guard Performance Short Sleeve Shirt fits well and has proven comfortable and durable. It’s versatile and good for wearing by itself or under other layers. n testing the performance I have worn the shirt during running and rucking in temps that have ranged from highs in the 90s to lows in the mid-30s, when I added a hoodie to help ward off the cold.
The VaporCore with 37.5 Technology does an outstanding job. It has the quickest dry time of any base layer I have evaluated. Even after lengthy wear, I didn’t notice any obvious odor issues. Simply put, its an outstanding base layer garment.
The Vertx Full Guard Performance Shirts come in three colorways — It’s Black, Smoke Grey and Ranger Green. The Full Guard Performance Short Sleeve Shirt has a MSRP of $29.99. MSRP for the Full Guard Performance Long Sleeve Shirt is $34.99. Vertx products are available online from Vertx at vertx.com or at authorized Vertx dealers.
I received the products as a courtesy from the manufacturers so I could test them and give my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give this product a good review. All opinions are my own and are based off my personal experience with the product.
*The views and opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the original authors and contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Spotter Up Magazine, the administrative staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.
Photos courtesy Vertx.