When base layers perform at their best, they succeed by you not noticing them. You don’t get hot or cold or itchy, and they are thin enough to not be bothersome under a middle or top layer. So it’s a compliment to say that when testing GoLite’s BL2 base layers in the mountains, I hardly noticed them at all.
GoLite BL2 Base Layer Features:
- Materials: 100% recycled polyester
- Fit: top garmet is semi-fitted, bottom garment is regular fit
- Anti-chafe flatlock construction
- Weight: 5.0 oz / 140g (each, top and bottom garments)
- MSRP: $24.99 each
Warmth, Comfort and Moisture Management
Autumn comes slowly to Monterey, CA, so I made sure to pack my BL2 baselayers for a week-long trip to the Sierra Nevadas earlier this month. I used them for base layers while hiking and running at high elevation, and have used the top as a stand-alone layer on slightly cool runs back home near the coast.
GoLite gets high marks for green construction with the BL2, as the material is 100% recycled polyester. It’s hard to fathom that discarded soda bottles can be reformulated into a material that feels as soft against the skin as these layers do, but I’m impressed with the overall comfort of the layers against bare skin. One hiking outing this month turned into an 8-hour trail day, and I was pleased to avoid any chafing, irritation, or discomfort from the BL2.
The top layer is fairly light at 140g, but provides solid insulation during activity when combined with a respectable top layer. I hiked to a cold, windy 9700’ peak wearing nothing but the BL2 and a Patagonia Houdini (review coming soon) shell, and these two garments (plus gloves) kept my upper body warm the whole way. Moisture transfer is solid for higher intensity activity, and the BL2 only retains mild odor after extended activity.
My only quibbles are with the fit, as the BL2 sleeves are almost excessively long in comparison to the rest of the garment. This doesn’t work well if you like your sleeves to stay underneath a jacket, but on the plus side, if you ever forget your gloves it’s easy to turtle your hands into the sleeves. With the bottom garment, I have a similar issue with the BL2 as I have with other bottom layers: because I’m relatively tall (6’2”), a medium size falls short on my ankles, while a large size feels a bit roomy through the waist. Because this is a base layer, I prefer to err on the side of being tighter and shorter underneath a regular pair of pants.
- Green construction
- Comfortable for long trail days
- Good warmth to weight
- Length of sleeves on top garment
The Bottom Line
GoLite’s BL2 garments do what good base layers are supposed to. They keep you warm and comfortable, and effectively manage moisture away from the skin, with a thin enough profile to fit easily under a middle or top layer.
Buy Now: Available at GoLite.com