“ Manufacturer: Mountain Horse / Equestrian - Thermal Underwear „
Considering here on the Lincolnshire/Cambridgeshire border we have had scorching hot temperatures it is a bit strange that I am about to review thermal underwear! Reason for reviewing it is solely because I had suggested the product and if I don't review it now I will simply forget!
Thermal underwear is a much needed item of clothing should you do any outside sport during the winter. It has been said that layering your clothes will keep you warmer than having lots of bulky items of clothing. Therefore, for me my thermal underwear is the first layer and I generally start wearing it as soon as it starts to get uncomfortably cold without it. Because I tend to wear it on a daily basis because of the horses I do try and look for the quality aspect rather than going for cheap versions which don't seem as effective and generally don't last that well.
Last year I bought the Mountain Horse Angel Baselayer from an online equestrian store for £30.00 - for this price you do get the top and leggings. Mountain Horse is a global brand who mainly specialise in clothing for men, women and children. Although not the cheapest of brands they are by no means the most expensive so are pretty accessible to most people on a decent budget. I have had numerous items from Mountain Horse before and they are always great quality and seem to last quite some considerable time so for me paying £30.00 for thermal underwear wasn't such a hard decision.
To look at the Mountain Horse Angel Base Layer is black in colour (they only come in black) with contrast white seams which are sewn with flatlock stitching which provides ultra thin seams as bulky seams can rub or irritate. On the side of the top there is an angel motif which to me although quite nice is pretty unimportant especially as they are worn under your clothing so can't actually be seen. The white contrast seams have also been placed in areas to help avoid chaffing which is certainly a nice feature from Mountain Horse as other thermal underwear I own don't have this so for me this is a real plus.
The base layer is made of knitted rib polyester lycra which apart from being a great material for having insulating properties it is also a great wicking material meaning that although it will keep you warm it won't let you over heat so can wick away any moisture which is ideal especially when riding where you need to keep cool. The top is long sleeved and has a collar which is done up by a zip. This is the first top I've had with a collar and it makes a difference in helping you to keep warm. The leggings are simply pull up so you do need to get your correct size. They do feature foot loops which is great as they prevent any sliding up from the leggings when putting on your jodhpurs so they manage to keep in place easily.
I have had my Mountain Horse Angel Base Layer for probably around a year and they have been worn a lot meaning not only does it get a lot of wear but it also gets washed several times a week. I have however been really impressed that even when washed the fabric doesn't loose any of its elasticity and holds its shape really well nor does it bobble with too much washing and the black is still black, not a washed out colour. Over a year later they haven't become mis-shaped or stretched they look exactly the same. Even the seams are all still in tact with no loose threads anywhere, even the zip on the collar is still in perfect working order.
In terms of being fit for purpose I do find that they do help keep me warm provided I layer my clothing these really do sit close to the skin trapping in your body heat. They are incredibly comfortable to wear as although they sit close to the skin they are not skin tight so you have a little room to move and they are not restrictive in any way as the material is quite stretchy so manages to move with your body movements and for me this is a big plus especially when I am riding or even mucking out a stable I can't be restricted by clothing. The fact that the seams have been put elsewhere on the garments to reduce chaffing definitely works as I wear my jodhpurs over my thermal leggings and on previous thermal leggings I did get a little rubbing especially on my thighs which was caused by the seam but with these they haven't caused a problem.
One big advantage is the material's wicking properties. Regardless of the cold temperature when you ride horses you always build up a sweat so although it is important to keep warm you don't want to sweat, over heat and become generally uncomfortable. The Mountain Horse Angel Baselayer manages to keep me warm yet comfortable and although at times I can feel a bit too warm it doesn't take long to have any excess moisture wicked away. But they certainly do offer a nice warm layer when hacking out on a cold morning, generally when hacking a long the country bridleways you don't keep as warm as you would if schooling in an arena but these thermals manage to keep the chill off.
Overall, I think the Mountain Horse Baselayer is suitable for anyone who spends a lot of time outside in the cold months regardless of whether you ride or not as they still do the same job; keeping you warm! My base layer is still going strong and will hopefully see me through another winter and then hopefully a third given that they are such good quality. Definitely a recommendation and I would give them a well deserved 5 stars.
~ Useful Information ~
Brand: Mountain Horse
Price: From £30.00 upwards
Availability: Mountain Horse Stockists
Sizes: xsmall to xxlarge (adults)