Here’s a wild idea: We deserve our clothes to not only fit us and feel amazing but to also be capable and technical enough for a range of activities.
I’ve layered the Alpine Fit Rendezvous Ridge and Backcountry Base Layers for skiing, chilly tent nights, winter camping, dog walking, and ice climbing. I can strip down to just these at night when I’m camping and the temps drop, and get a great night’s sleep thanks to their warmth.
Recently, I wore them under hiking pants, just walking around town in 12-degree weather (because I didn’t have my puffy pants on hand). Not once did I feel the fabric was too thin, too itchy, or too bulky.
I put these base layers on and never noticed any issues with feel or fit, so I didn’t feel the need to take them off. (On one occasion in the mountains, I wore this set 6 days in a row. I promise I showered in between!)
And dudes, before you swipe past this review, please note: Alpine Fit doesn’t just make women’s base layers! Alpine Fit uses “fit blocks” that are better tailored for different body shapes, instead of using one standard fit that’s sized up or down. And that goes for men and women. While I’ve only reviewed the fit block that worked best for me, I still encourage readers to check out the other fit block styles because of my experience.
In short: I cannot stress enough how awesome these base layers are when it comes to fit and performance. If you’ve ever been annoyed with a base layer set that’s too tight in the hips, doesn’t leave room for boobs, is too restricting, too baggy, too bulky, or not warm enough, give Alpine Fit’s Base Layers a try. For me, the fit block options I tried were simply perfect. They are light, warm, and functional. They’ve been durable enough to last consistent weekly use for me since August in the frontcountry, backcountry, and everywhere in between. Plus, Alpine Fit is part of One Percent for the Planet, Certified Climate Neutral, and made in Anchorage, Alaska.
Alpine Fit Women’s Base Layers Review
Alpine Fit Block Options
My fellow editors would agree with me when I say that generally, men have far fewer issues finding comfortably or accurately fitting apparel. That’s because “standard” fit blocks are built on a male anatomy. And when you go from something that requires less-exact fitted measurements, like say, a ski jacket, down to body-conforming base layers, the issue is only compounded. All people, no matter their anatomy, are shaped differently. What works for me might also work for you. Or not.
Sizing across the board in the outdoor apparel industry started not-so-great, and has gotten eons better. But base layers? They are tricky. They are meant to be worn next to the skin. That means they need to be fitted but not constricting. They need to offer some wiggle room in the fabric for movement and functionality, but not too much so that a layer is too wide, too baggy, or too long at the hips, back, or arms.
And how the heck do you accomplish all this within one model of base layer? For hundreds or thousands of different people?
Base layers are not one size or one style fits all, so this brand made a few. That is the concept at the heart of Alpine Fit. The brand uses four different fit models: two fit blocks for women and two fit blocks for men.
A Fit Like They Were Made for Me
Alpine Fits fit block options for women are the Wild Iris and Azelea fits. The men’s options are the Cinder and Granite. For all layers, sizing ranges from XS to 2XL (numerical 0-22 sizes).
And heck: you don’t have to restrict yourself to the binary. If you think the men’s Granite or women’s Wild Iris fit works best for your body shape and measurements, go for it. Personally, I shop within women’s sizing for apparel. But arguably, these “fits” don’t even need to be gendered. It’s based on hips, chest, shoulders, waist, and body shape. That’s the whole point.
So even though I have years of experience as a gear tester, and generally know my sizing across different brands, I retook all my measurements to compare with Alpine Fit’s sizing chart and fit recommendations. I went with testing the Azalea fit. The set arrived in minimal, recyclable packaging.
As soon as I first put them I immediately fell in love. They felt like they were made for me — from the arm and torso lengths, to where the bottom layers fell just above my hips. I was kind of upset I’d have to wait for colder weather to test them. But it wouldn’t be long before I busted them out.
Through August, I wore the set at night when the temps dropped on three different overnight backpacking and camping trips. In September, I wore the set one fall night, camping in a friend’s backyard over on the Western Slope.
Since receiving these base layers, I’ve worn them for half a dozen activities over different trips. I tested them from the Front Range of Colorado to Ouray in the west, and from the wilderness of Rocky Mountain National Park up to central Montana in November. I’ve put in over 80 hours of testing and wear over the past few months.
Performance, Fit, and Features
The best way to describe these base layers is light. They kept me warm, but aren’t overly thick, bulky, or as warm as a grid fleece. There’s a time and place for uber-warm base layers, but for most occasions, a lightweight to midweight layer does the job.
These fit the bill, and also pack up well; I stuffed mine into a packing cube and tossed them around in a suitcase for over a week. They didn’t wrinkle. The fabric is soft and comfortable to the touch. The fit works perfectly with my body shape but isn’t too tight.
I really love the length of the arms, the room in the upper biceps and shoulders, and the hems at the cuffs. I’m taller than the average woman, so I’ve experienced issues with finding the right length for tops and bottoms before. Not with these.
The only con in my book: I wish the top had thumbholes. It’s a bonus feature that makes base layers pair more effectively with gloves. They’re also just nice for keeping your wrists covered and warm when you’re moving around.
Recently, I was comfortable wearing these layers all day at a winter cabin up north (hovering around 10 degrees, with about 6 inches of snow outside). I discovered they are a base layer you can lounge around in inside a drafty winter cabin, or use to keep warm while you’re on the move walking, skiing, or shoveling snow. All in all, I tested within a range of temps from single digits to 35 degrees Fahrenheit.
Base layers are for layering. But to be comfortable with three or more layers on, your base layers should fit accurately and comfortably. Overall they should just fit well.
On top of that, they should be versatile, and durable, and work for a variety of activities. Why invest in multiple different base layer items if one set can do it all? Few truly accomplish this — Alpine Fit is among them.
This brand makes some damn good fitting base layers. And they happen to be comfortable, provide a great range of movement, and perform very well overall. The fit block options are a novel way of offering improved fit and comfort for different body types. And the fact that the brand is a member of One Percent for the Planet, Certified Climate Neutral, and made in the USA is just the cherry on top.
I recommend anyone who struggles with traditional sizing to give Alpine Fit a try.