The Montane Dart Long Sleeve T-Shirt is versatile and excellent value – it can be used for all sorts of outdoor active pursuits, and will perform well for many years.
Non-recycled synthetic materials
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Super lightweight, the fully synthetic Montane Dart Long Sleeve T-Shirt is a no-frills base layer that offers versatile functionality and performance without all the bells and whistles. You can wear it whatever you’re doing – walking, cycling, running, canoeing, climbing.
While the synthetic materials used are not eco friendly, Montane do use inks that are free from PVC and phthalates, and employ ethical supply chains, and their website offers advice on how best to minimize the release of microfibers when washing garments. And synthetics will last forever – which is part of the problem because they’ll never biodegrade – but it also means you will get long years of service from this top, and it is better for your pocket and the planet if you don’t have to keep buying new gear.
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For a simple top, it has a nice design, and for a few more quid you can get a version with a half-length zip, for quick venting if you get overly warm (there’s also a short-sleeved version for summer for £26). It does lack a few little touches, such as thumb hoops, but it’s a good garment for a good price.
• RRP: £32 (no zip) / £38 (with zip)
• Gender availability: Male / Female
• Materials: Polyester
• Weight (male large): 135g / 4.8oz
• Sizes: XXS–XL
• Colors: Men’s: Black / Shadow / Electric Blue / Alpine Red / Antarctic Blue / Orion Blue Women’s: Blue Ridge / Saskatoon Berry / Narwhal Blue / Nordic Grey
• Compatibility: Hiking, biking, trail running, climbing
In the field
As we discovered first hand during some rain-strafed trail runs in the not-so-sunny south west of England, the manmade materials used in the Montane Dart Long Sleeve T-Shirt maintain their thermal properties even when wet, because they absorbs very little water, which also means the top doesn’t get significantly heavier when damp, and it will dry quickly.
The downside to synthetic clothes is that they tend to get a bit stinky after time, but the Dart has been treated with an odour-control agent to stop this happening. So far so good with our review sample, although you wouldn’t expect a persistent pong to present itself until a top had been used for quite some time.
We have given the Dart the sweat test, though, wearing it on multiple running, hiking and biking adventures, plus a paddle in wintery conditions, and it performed well as a warm base layer in all scenarios.
While camping, even in warmer months, this will be a good, light, long-sleeve top to pull on to ward off mosquitoes and the evening chill. Plus, being so light (and relatively cheap), it’s the perfect extra layer to throw into a backpack or hydration pack pocket all year round, ‘just in case’ you discover you need another layer when the sun goes in, or if you get wet, or as a thermal insurance cover in case an injury or mishap means you’re caught out on the trails longer than you expect to be out there.
Author of Caving, Canyoning, Coasteering…, a recently released book about all kinds of outdoor adventures around Britain, Pat has spent 20 years pursuing stories involving boots, bikes, boats, beers and bruises. En route he’s canoed Canada’s Yukon River, climbed Mont Blanc and Kilimanjaro, skied and mountain biked through the Norwegian Alps, run an ultra across the roof of Mauritius, and set short-lived records for trail-running Australia’s highest peaks and New Zealand’s Great Walks. He’s authored walking guides to Devon and Dorset, and once wrote a whole book about Toilets for Lonely Planet. Follow Pat’s escapades on Strava here and instagram here.