FR - OR Radiant LT Zip Top - Kristine Mar
- Enclosed is my FR for the Outdoor Research Women's Radiant LT Zip Top. The html version of the report can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/25xwacz
I look forward to receiving your edits. The text version of my report is below:
Field Report - January 3, 2011
I used the Outdoor Research Radiant LT Zip Top a total of 18 times over the last two months. I used the top as a second layer 8 times. The top was worn over a long-sleeved synthetic base layer for weekend hiking in the Northeast. The weather temperatures ranged from 47F (8C) to 60F (16C) and the hikes ranged from 3 miles (5 km) to 10 miles (16 km). The hikes were at various parks in the states of New York and Connecticut and included trails at the Kitchawan Preserve, Cranberry Lake Preserve, Croton Point Park, Paugussett and Naugatuck State Forests, and Kettletown State Park. The trails were all easy to moderate and never exceeded more than 1,000 feet (304 m) in elevation gain. As the weather cooled down, I also used the top as a base layer 10 times for my 5 mile (8 km) runs in Manhattan. The top was worn only with a light windbreaker to protect me from snow flurries, light drizzle, and wind. The temperature ranges for the top being used as a base layer ranged from 26F (-3C) to 35F (2C).
The Outdoor Research Radiant LT Zip Top has quickly become one of my favorite tops. As a second layer on my hikes on warmer days, which to me is anything above 50F (10C), I found I quickly warmed up and removed the second layer. However, since the top was easily packable, it fit easily into my small backpack which has a capacity of 700 cubic inches (11 liters). The weather seems to change quickly in the fall here in the Northeast, and as the sun started to go down, and the weather cooled off, it was always nice to have a second layer which I could easily put back on.
As a base layer, the top was perfect. As long as I kept moving during my runs, I stayed warm even with snow flurries and temperatures as low as 26F (-3C). The zipper was great for regulating my temperature during my runs, and always worked smoothly, never pushing against my neck even when wearing a neck gaiter. The soft waffle-like fleece felt great against my skin and the top did a good job of wicking the moisture away from my body, since I never felt cold or damp.
The top is well constructed and even with machine or hand washing after each use in warm or cold water, and hanging to dry, the top still looks as new as the day I received it, with no noticeable fading in color or fraying at the seams. The thumb holes on the sleeves are a nice added feature. While both hiking and running, I generally use the thumb holes for added warmth to my hands and to help the sleeves to stay in place.
So far, I have no complaints about this top. I love the way the shirt fits and feels against the skin. I also like the weight of the top. It's lightweight enough to easily pack into my pack, but yet keeps me warm on really cold days as long as I remain active. The zipper does a great job in helping to regulate my temperature, and continues to work smoothly without getting caught on the fabric or getting stuck. The shirt washes well and the thumb holes are a nice added feature for convenience.
This concludes my Field Report on the Outdoor Research Women's Radiant LT Zip Top. I would like to thank Outdoor Research and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this product. Please check back in two months for my final results.