This is the closest I have come to finding something to replace my old The North Face Apex shirt, without actually buying another one. The Mountain Equipment Arrow Zip T is the lightest sample in this mini-comparative review and, to be fair to the others, this is a shirt as opposed to an outer jacket. It’s a three-season garment, ideal for a bit of cragging or to keep the chill at bay on a summer evening.
The EXOlite 1 fabric is stretchy, lightweight, showerproof and substantially windproof, and for this reason makes a great windshirt for three-season use.
There is nothing fancy on show – the design is simple, a pullover style with a single zipped chest pocket and a reasonable collar to keep the chill off your neck. The sleeves have an articulated construction so feel comfortable and the back is slightly scooped. It has a twin-needle and flatlocked seam construction. I’ve used it backpacking, hillwalking right through to autumn and it makes a great mountain biking shirt. In these days of often over-complicated gear I just love the simplicity of this top. It also packs away into a tiny ball and takes up virtually no space in your pack. Great too for travelling and trekking.