Review: Artilect Boulder125 Crew top


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I have been testing the Artilect Boulder125 Crew top. It’s a long sleeved top and my first impressions are that it’s very light but also a really warm long-sleeved baselayer.

I had not heard of Artilect until I was asked if I wanted to review the top. The brand was born in Boulder, Colorado, which seems like a perfect location for an outdoors apparel company. According to the blurb on the box: Artilect “break rules in a relentless pursuit of progress, setting new standards for explorers and our planet”.

Other bold claims include, a garment that is “more than merino” and has:

  • 5 x faster drying time
  • 35% more stretch (boy is it stretchy but goes back into shape)
  • 35% more loft (less weight)
  • 53% less air permeable
  • 50% more durable (yet so soft)
  • 30% less raw materials.

The crew top is part of Artilect’s inaugural collection and introduces base and mid-layers using NuYarn, a technology that “harnesses the performance of wool but without twisting the life out of it as in traditional methods”.

This is further explained: “Instead of ring or core-spinning merino, which can leave it a bit itchy and susceptible to holing, NuYarn is the result of a new way of spinning that uses longer fibres and drafts them along a performance filament without twisting.”

On test: Artilect Boulder125 Crew

  • Activities: Walking, mountaineering, running, skiing, cycling and climbing.
  • Bluesign® approved 125GSM Nuyarn merino fabric technology
  • Superfine 18 micron non-mulsed Australian merino Wool for maximum softness and wearability
  • “Incredible” stretch and recovery
  • Easy-fit: Modern fit with full coverage
  • Thumb loops
  • Targeted eyelet placements for increased breathability
  • No-chafe flatlock seams
  • Gusseted armpits
  • Machine Washable
  • Hang-dry Loop
  • Price: £75.
  • Male and female colours and fit.
  • Boulder 125 Legging at £75.
  • See Artilect.

The Artilect Boulder125 Crew is described as offering “effortless performance in a modern fit”. Bluesign ultralight Nuyarn 125 merino fabric has been used to create the top, with matching eyelet knit strategically placed under the arms for increased breathability.

It is a very easy top to like. It is lightweight and very comfortable to wear. I find most merino products are itchy on my skin but I can tolerate this top. The material is soft and floaty.

Despite being very lightweight – it almost feels like it’s not there – it is warming. It is not fabulously, luxuriously warming but, somehow, “just right warming”.

The fit is good and the stretch means it fits well but it doesn’t feel too tight. There are thumb loops and the long arms mean I can easily get my thumbs into the loops. This is unusual because I have long arms and usually the sleeves are not long enough for me.

However, I would say that the thumb loops feel a bit tight around my hands and the base of my thumbs. This part of the top is not so stretchy. The cuffs have far less give and I can see why, so that the top keeps it shape at the arms cuffs, but a little more room would be good for comfort.

The torso length is generous and this is great if you want to tuck it into trousers/shorts.

With regards to all these claims, I am not sure it is possible to assess accurately.

  • 5 x faster drying time
  • 35% more stretch (boy is it stretchy but goes back into shape)
  • 35% more loft (less weight)
  • 53% less air permeable
  • 50% more durable (yet so soft)
  • 30% less raw materials.

Comparing a standard merino wool top to the Artilect boulder top is outwith my capabilities but it does feel lighter, warmer and softer than some I already own.

The crew top has a simple design, with breathable panels under the arms and a straightforward look. The colours in the female tops are fairly muted; naturally so.

Basically, this is not a fancy looking long-sleeved base layer but it is a very useful addition to my baselayer collection.

If you are looking for a long sleeved base layer to wear across a range of different activities it’s a good choice. Note, it’s not the cheapest top but merino never is.

See Artilect.