The Alpinist Mountain Standards reviews apply Alpinist's tradition of excellence and authenticity to gear reviews by providing unbiased, candid feedback and anecdotal commentary to equipment tested (hard) in the field. Our panel is comprised of climbers who use the gear every day as part of their work and play. Only the gear they would actually buy themselves, at retail price, qualifies for the Alpinist Mountain Standards award. The five-star rating system is as follows:
One Star = Piece of junk.
Two Stars = Has one or more significant flaws, with some redeeming qualities.
Three Stars = Average. This solid piece of gear is middle-of-the-road on the current market.
Four Stars = Better than most comparable gear on the market. It has one or two drawbacks, but still 90% positive.
Five Stars = Is there such thing as perfection? An Alpinist Mountain Standards award-winner.
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Nau Base2 Longsleeve Snap: Nau...But Not Forever
Posted on: May 23, 2008
Weight: 9.2 oz (260 grams)
I was quite excited to test my new base layer from the new-ish company Nau. It’s the softest and nicest feeling base layer I’ve donned to date, has a subtle urban flair to it, and the more I found out about the company the more excited I became by what they described as their “business activism”. So it was with regret I learned that this young company has closed its doors already.
As for the one product I tested, I can attest to its attractiveness and performance. The Base2 Longsleeve Snap offered an incomparable, cozy feel for a base layer with its brushed fleece back. The long sleeves, collar, v-neck with button snaps, and excellent color scheme gives it a fashionable look so that you could go from the crag to the bar and chat up the poor working folk.
I’m a big fan of climbing in this shirt. It just feels so good, has a good cut with ample sleeve length, and with its added spandex is one of the few shirts I’ve owned that actually stays tucked into your harness for a whole day of multipitch climbing. I’m also a big fan of collars to keep the sun or a cool breeze off my neck, and the three-button v offers decent ventilation. It wicks as well as any base layer I’ve worn and there’s obvious attention to detail in their design like placing their seams where they don’t irritate and having minimal cuffs. After a couple of days of wear there is a distinct smell to the item, but this goes for all my layers on a multiday trip.
Normally, I wouldn’t bother to discuss the company making the gear I use at all, however, Nau’s corporate philosophy was so integral to my experience with the product that I felt compelled to pen the following: Founded in 2004 by some ex-executives of Nike, Patagonia and Marmot, Nau (Maori for Welcome! / Come In!) started selling their goods last spring, and based their design philosophy on three principles: beauty, performance and sustainability. Their lofty goals were environmentally and socially conscious but obviously this was not enough to keep their investors happy.
So why bother to write a review at all? Well, they still have a bunch of stock to unload and are offering their full line at 50% off—all made entirely of recycled and recyclable polyester, wool from “happy sheep”, certified organic cotton, or polylactic acids (PLAs), which are synthesized from corn, non-GMO when possible, and recyclable. Check out their site for a full list of their inventory and some idea of what the company was about and tried to promote in the business world.
I was hoping to see more from this company; I guess it won’t be Nau, but maybe sometime, somewhere down the road.
Pros: comfortable, great cut/fit, good range of motion, wicks well, style-y.
Cons: a subtle, ‘ripe’ smell after a day or more of wear (or is that just me?).