We’re constantly being told to ‘shop local’, ‘save food miles’ and such like, but what about walking/running/cycling gear?
Yes, lots of companies claim to be British, using stylised Union Flags on their logos or attaching pages of information proudly detailing their English heritage, but, look on the label and invariably the garment was produced several thousand miles away.
Step forward True Mountain.
Their products are manufactured only 40 miles or so from my home and where possible, even the materials and components are sourced from the UK.
I stumbled upon True Mountain via a re-tweeted message on Twitter.
After taking a quick look on their website, I registered for their mailing list then won one of their Expedition Sportwool beanie hats This obviously gained them a few Brownie points!
The beanie is a nice tight fit, stretchy and warm.
Before I had chance to try out the beanie, I ordered the SportWool long sleeve baselayer Shortly after placing the order I received an email stating there was a delay as they had noticed a flaw on the top and were making it again. If this was a problem, I could have a refund.
That’s not the quality of customer service you get from most kit producers!
I ordered my usual size and the fit is good, especially on the arms (often a problem for me).
The top is tight enough to wick away moisture but not too restrictive.
Sportwool (a Merino Wool and Polyester blend) is soft and not itchy like some wool products.
The stretchy side panels gave good flexibility and the thumb loops add a nice additional layer under gloves.
The design is simple but it works, you really don’t need anything too fancy on a baselayer. Another nice touch is the lack of washing instructions. Some companies attach novels, all you end up doing is cut it off. True Mountain print their washing instructions on a separate magnet. Much better idea!
It’s first outing was a few days in the Lake District. I wore the top for three days without it getting smelly, each morning it felt as fresh as if it had just come out from the wash.
Now I am nesh, very nesh. I’d complain about a draught in the Sahara in the middle of summer, however, while others were walking past layered up in jumpers, big coats and hats, I was only wearing this top.
Admittedly, it was unseasonably mild during my Lakes trip, but, in colder weather and on night walks both the top and the hat have kept me nice and toasty.
When they do need a wash, both dry nice and quickly. The top even comes with a little hanging loop on the back.
In conclusion, two very nice items. The baselayer in particular will be a ‘must pack’ on my forthcoming multi day walk