Review: First look – Alpkit Kepler Merino Baselayer Range.
With the likes of Rab and Icebreaker retailing some serious high-end performance products the competition is stiff.
Alpkit use 100% Genuine New Zealand – Mulesing Free – Merino Wool in 160gsm weight. On first inspection it is soft to the touch and feels really nice on the skin. The colours are nice too.
Mens: Tarmac, or blue (All tee’s and boxers), tarmac over blue, and blue over tarmac! (Tee’s only). Four choices and they all look good.
Womens: Eggplant and Lupin. (I’m a man so I don’t actually know what those colours are but I’m certain that all you ladies out there will know immediately, and appreciate them). They look nice too.
All of the products come with flat-locked seams as you would expect these days.
Everything looks and feels well made, always a good sign.
And with Alpkit’s direct sell policy the prices are very attractive. No High Street mark-up’s going on here, just a lot of bang for your buck.
Long and Short Sleeved Tee’s £39.00/£29.00.
I’m a medium (38″- 40″ chest) and the cut is just right for me, fitted but not tight, comfortable. The length is good too.
The long sleeved variety has useful thumb loops; nice for tucking in to your gloves on a cold day.
The only minor concern I have with the tops is the neckline, it’s just a little bit wide and deep for my taste and it might prove to be draughty on the bike. The Rab Meco Tee’s, for example, have a much closer fitted neckline which I personally prefer. Time will tell on that.
I used the short sleeve tee on a recent overnight bikepacking adventure, conditions were variable and it performed really well. I didn’t overheat during steep climbs in the sunshine and it kept me nice and warm on the higher ridges when exposed to a cooling wind. A good start 🙂
|Mens Long Sleeve Tee|
The Boxers £18.00:
I wasn’t sure about The Boxers at first glance, they are long and have a high, wide, waistband. And then I tried them on. And then I changed my mind.
The fit is great, they really are comfortable. With the aforementioned long legs and high waistband they feel really supportive. I like them a lot. These could well be my new best travel buddy.
(The wife will also be pleased if you strut around the house you in these too! Well, I say that; perhaps she will if you’ve got buttocks like David Beckham.)
The range also currently includes Long Johns and a Draught Excluder/Necktube (Am I allowed to call it a Buff?). I’m fairly certain that Alpkit will be extending the range progressively; I’ll keep you posted on that. I’d really like to see slightly higher necked 1/4 zip tee added to the range, something similar to a cycling jersey would be very nice! 🙂
There is a long way to go, and a lot of testing over the next year or so, before I can say with any certainty that the Alpkit Baselayers will replace my trusted Rab Baselayers but, pound for pound, first impressions are very favourable.
They’ll be having some high altitude adventures in The Himalaya, and be subjected to a lot of Mountain Biking and Trail Running. I’ll report back here when I’m satisfied that they have withstood some rigorous use.
If they can survive Asian laundries they’ll pass the test!
Short Sleeved Tee:
Alpkit – £29.00
Rab – £45.00
Icebreaker – £50-60.00
Long Sleeved Tee:
Rab – £50.00
Icebreaker – £60-90.00
Alpkit – £18.00
Rab – £27.00
Icebreaker – £35.00