If you think of the kit you always wear, its usually going to contain at least Trainers, shorts and a T-shirt. When you find a good ‘un, you wear it all the time. That’s what has happened here
I did’t use to think to much about T-shirts, but as you start taking that step away from cotton tees towards ‘technical’ tees, you start to notice the differences. For a long time I’ve ran in technical tees that have come as part of finishing event (they are for wearing right!), but the Via Fang Zipped is one of those tees that has changed this approach for me. A quick look at my recent Instagram posts and this tee appears everywhere!
So what makes it so special….well, it is marketed as a high performance trail baselayer with a super lightweight, quick drying super wicking construction (a combination of Apex-Lite and Apex-pro fabric, whatever those are!).
Comfort and Fit
As a baselayer, it fits as ‘second skin’, so an athletic (but not tight or compressing!) fit. I went for the medium and it fits perfectly. The arm length is decent and you don’t get that weird ‘rolling’ of the edges or riding up your arm issues you often get with T-shirts. The fabric structure allows plenty of movement (good for pumping those arms on the run) without any restriction.
It has a flat collar that doesn’t chaff or provide any irritation and is finished with a zip. Great for those super hot days – it has been most welcomed with the British summer of ’18 (if that is a thing?!).
It also looks good. Black and green for me like the rest of my Montane kit, or the Montane red (orange?) and grey. with some Via detailing down one of the sleeves.
When I first un-wrapped it, I was amazed at how thin and light the tee is. That’s not to be confused with cheap and basic! I’ve many high-end tees now, but this felt different, this felt special in how light it was.
When I run (and walk, and most things in fact) I sweat a lot. So fast drying and high-wicking is a ‘must have’ for me. It performs in this regard. Usually I’m wearing it with a pack so my back in particular will overheat. One thing I’ve noticed is how wet the bottom of the tee becomes at the pack as the sweat is wicked away from my skin. It sounds disgusting, but this is the job it is designed to do. It’s working almost as hard as I am! I’ve also found, when I’m not working as hard, or when I’m resting or in the shade, it dries incredibly quickly. 10 minutes in a pub after a run and it is bone dry. I don’t know how it does that.
I mentioned how light it is, this is a huge bonus. I’m often taking a spare tee on a run – either to change into at somepoint for that little boost of freshness, or to change into after the run – and having something so light is a huge benefit in the pack. It is barely noticeable.
What else? Well, that is for me all the essential items ticked, but Montane have more… Like the Via packs, the ViaFang Zip comes coated with those magic hygiene wizards – the POLYGIENE permanent odour control treatment – the wizard squad are packed into to the tee and work the magic, neutralising the sweat and BO and keeping the tee smelling surprisingly fresh. Let’s put it this way, after 12 hours of running in the Alps and no shower, to put the same tee back on the next day and not nearly retch my whole internal organ system up was quite something. After spending another 9 hours of running in it, stuffing it into my bag, travelling through 3 countries and then waiting at all day in work whilst it festered in my bag, I was expecting something toxic to be unpacked when I arrived home. Whilst the rest of my kit (and me!) stank, the Via Fang Zip didn’t. I could quite happily have worn it for another run that evening (if it weren’t for me tired legs!).
I want another one. But I can’t justify it. Why do you need more than one of these when you can just keep wearing it as it doesn’t smell?! The staple of my race kit. If nothing else, I’ll be wearing trainers (and socks!), shorts and the Via Fang Zip!