Gear Review: Haglöfs Puls LS Zip Tee
Haglofs Puls LS & SS Zip Tee:
After getting a little sick of sweaty-back syndrome, (from exertion whilst carrying a pack), I decided to consider products with ‘body-mapped’ panels. In the context of a base layer, this means that the back, and under-arm regions are produced from a more perforated, lighter material than the shoulders, collar and other regions. Theoretically this means that the material is more permeable to water and water vapour, so these areas are able to breathe more easily and evaporate more sweat when you’re working hard, and thus won’t remain wet for as long as traditional materials.
But is this the case in practice? To some extent yes. If carrying a pack, there is always going to be an airflow problem, especially if you’re also wearing a waterproof, or midlayer. However, having the lighter material in these regions, combined with the deep chest zip, certainly helps keeping cool in the first place if you can vent, but also aids drying out quickly when you get a rest.
For me, I sweat a lot when working hard and the obvious first port of call for that moisture is the base layer meaning that, like any other base layer, the Puls tends to get pretty wet, both under the arms and at the central back. Despite this, after several minutes; perhaps on a lunch stop, the Puls dries out completely. Even with a pack on, after 10-15 minutes of a reduction in activity, the Puls dries out pretty quickly. The ‘silver ion’ technology applied to these garments seems to work reasonably well too, having not noticed any untoward smells after a long weekend’s use. Though the silver ion treatments in other garments seem to work just as well, extending smell-free usage by a couple of days, so ‘hats off’ to the technology I guess.
Saying that, the Puls feels neither too warm nor too cool, whilst the dense outer weave of the main body material seems to provide a little water-resistance. The long sleeves, with their open cuffs, and the high collar help to keep the heat in during the cold winters, and they can also be used to protect you from the sun on the brighter days. The flat-locked seams are not noticeable under pack straps, nor do they chafe/rub.
The fit seems to be a standard UK-sizing, (unlike the shorter, more stout fit of their trousers), with me being a 38″ chest and a UK small generally and a small in the Puls too. Additionally, after around 12 months of use, the material has not bobbled or broken anywhere.
The main problem with these types of base layer though, is that they tend to come at a price. I think you can find this version for around £45. I chose the Puls series mainly because I have several other items from the Haglofs brand, (a theme you might notice through this post). They might be a little expensive, but for the levels of functionality and durability in these other products, I figured it would be a safe bet.