If you’re looking for a tight-fitting, active base layer for moving fast outdoors, the Craft Active Extreme X Crew Neck is an excellent choice. The fit – dubbed ‘supertight’ by Craft – might seem more like running than hiking attire and put some off. For me, the use of Coolmax-Air fibre and a channel-knitted design meant it felt like a second skin and flatlock seams meant no rubbing during full days of walking, The look is very ‘active’ but the material feels like a (very soft) t-shirt. The crew neck fits fairly high and tight, but has enough stretch not to rub.
Price: £50 | Weight: 98g (women’s size M) | Materials: 40% polyester, 39% SeaQual, 21% ‘Coolmax’ recycled | Features: athletic fit, Coolmax-Air fibre | Sizes: XS – XXL | Men’s version: Yes | craftofscandinavia.se
I do run hot and, at times, found the Active Extreme X base layer a little on the warm side. Craft say it is designed to be worn in temperatures of -5 to 10 degrees and I would choose to wear it at the lower end of that range. On warmer days, I was impressed with the mesh inserts at the armpits. In these hotspots, I felt comfortable and well-ventilated while my core temperature remained on an even keel.
Craft give this base layer a ‘moisture transport’ rating of 5 out of 5. As an unashamedly sweaty hiker, I can confirm this claim stands up to the test and it barely felt damp enough for me to worry about its moisture management properties in the first place. It’s also made from SeaQual – recycled from fishing nets and plastic discarded in the oceans.