The Cambia Zip Neck base layer is reversible, with two face fabrics using Nikwax directional Parameta T+ technology. One keeps water close to skin for maximum cooling while the other wicks it away. I have worn this layer very comfortably in winter and mild low-level days and have even switched the top ‘inside out’ mid-hike on steep ascents when the ‘dry’ face felt too hot. I cooled down comfortably while the base layer dried fast, so the brand’s claims hold up very well. The Páramo logo appears on both sides.
Price: £60 | Weight: 184g (women’s size L) | Materials: 100% polyester | Features: Nikwax directional Parameta T+ technology, UV protection | Sizes: XS – XL | Men’s version: Yes
The Cambia is incredibly lightweight given the two-in-one concept and feels like a second skin. The material is smooth to the touch on both sides. The seams caused no rubbing at the shoulders or hips, even when wearing under a heavy pack.
I might avoid from using the Cambia Zip Neck on multi-day backpacking trips as the odour control was lacking in comparison to other base layers on this test. This is a shame as the reversibility would make it ideal for a few days of changeable climes and overnight camps.
However, I found it effective as a base layer and – even though it’s designed to be worn next to the skin – also as a mid-layer with a thin tee underneath, especially given the high collar and half-zip design. I did feel it was lacking thumb loops or an elasticated wrist – the cut does sag a little – conversely, this means the sleeves are easy to pull up and ventilate the wrists and arms.
The Cambia is ethically made in Columbia and complies with the World Fair Trade Standard – which should make you feel good enough to ignore your own stench.