The Odlo Performance Blackcomb Base Layer Shirt is a hooded and body-mapped synthetic baselayer shirt that’s good for aerobic cold-weather sports where you need a wicking baselayer that pulls moisture away from your skin so you stay dry and don’t get chilled.
Specs at a Glance
- Weight: Men’s XL – 9.6 oz
- Fabric: 79% polyamide/16% polyester/5% elastane
- Shirt style: Mock/Turtleneck
- Warmth: Midweight
I cross-country ski in winter, in addition to hiking, and this Odlo Hoody makes a good base layer for really cold days. It’s heavyweight enough, in terms of warmth, that it can serve as a base layer and a mid-layer when you’re working hard. But it’s not wind resistant, so I usually wear it under a breathable wind shirt.
The hood is a nice feature, but it’s definitely not a facemask because it doesn’t cover your nose. It serves the same function as a Buff worn as neck insulation, but you’ll want to wear a fleece hat inside the hood to keep your ears and head warm because the hood material is quite thin. I find the hood scratchy on my face because I have a beard and thick mustache, so I prefer to wear it down around my neck like a turtleneck.
The one thing you have to understand about this shirt is that it sized tight. You get used to it, but it really feels like you’re wearing a compression sleeve over your torso. It doesn’t inhibit movement or range of motion, but the look is definitely not flattering unless you’re an Olympic athlete.
Of course, the skin-tight fit is why the Blackcomb Base Layer wicks sweat so well. If you reach under it when you’ve been perspiring, your skin will be surprisingly dry. On the flip side, the fabric of the shirt stinks up when you perspire which is to be expected in a synthetic garment, but unpleasant all the same.
The Bottom Line
The Odlo Performance Blackcomb Base Layer Shirt w/ Facemask is a very warm baselayer shirt that is ideal for highly aerobic cold-weather sports where you want to reduce the number of layers you want to wear or carry. It wicks moisture away from your skin very well, but the fit is very snug and doesn’t loosen up with repeated use. Personally, I prefer wearing several thinner layers and a looser fit, but I can see how the Blackcomb Base Layer Shirt would appeal to athletes who want to wear fewer layers.
Disclosure: REI provided the author with a sample garment for this review.Editor's note: Help support this site by making your next gear purchase through one of the links above. Click a link, buy what you need, and the seller will contribute a portion of the purchase price to support SectionHiker's unsponsored gear reviews, articles, and hiking guides.