We try and get Kev to finally take off his Arc’teryx Morphic Zip Neck Long Sleeve Top and tell us what he thinks of it!
Arc’teryx say that the Morphic Zip Neck Long Sleeve Top is a: “Versatile alpine, ice, expedition and rock climbing Phasic™ AR-X zip neck wicks moisture and provides stretch performance to rock, ice and alpine climbers. Reinforced with Enduraflex™ in zones prone to abrasion.”
Certain pieces of clothing become everyday, go-to items and this usually means that they’re pretty good. Having used the Morphic Zip Neck Long Sleeve Top from Arc’teryx, over the whole of the summer climbing season in both the UK and the European Alps, I have realised that it is one such item. And I have continued to wear it into the Autumn too. (It has been washed during this time, I promise!)
So, the Morphic Zip Neck Long Sleeve Top is a mid weight top, best worn next to the skin. The Phasic AR-X fabric is comfortable and stretchy allowing freedom of movement, with a close fit. As you’d expect from Arc’teryx, the excellent fit comes from an almost tailored anatomical patterning with underarm gussets that allow freedom of movement when climbing and a nice stretch so it fits closely but doesn’t feel restrictive. The waist length cut means it sits nicely under your harness waist belt as well, and it doesn’t ride up when running or wearing a pack.
The zip neck helps with venting on hot, sweaty approaches or when running (which it is also perfect for). I have worn the Morphic whilst approaching alpine routes, running in the mountains, rock climbing, bouldering and as a heavier weight base layer under my shell on cooler days. In some ways, there is not an awful lot to say about it but this definitely does not mean it is ordinary. In my opinion the best kit is usually pretty simple and it is generally this simplicity that means it “just works”! This is definitely the case with the Morphic.
The main “feature” that makes it a little bit different is the addition of enduraflex fabric (a kind of light softshell fabric) on the high wear areas of the forearms. This is definitely an area that wears out quickly on many of my other baselayer tops that I use a lot whilst rock climbing. On the Morphic however, there is no sign of any wear at all. The fabric is nice and stretchy and also light and smooth against the skin too. One final feature I’d like to mention is that the Morphic sports factor 50+ UPF sun protection. This is great if you are of the sun intolerant, albino brand of skin that I’m made of!
So, to conclude, the Morphic Zip Neck Long Sleeve Top from Arc’teryx is a versatile mid weight thermal top with a twist. It is perfect for summer rock climbs, running or alpine routes on hot days. It is also the basis of a great layering system. Wear it on the approach then layer up over the top as you slow down on more technical ground. A great cut, high quality, durable fabrics and excellent wicking ability make it a mountain wardrobe favourite. Simple does the trick again!
Also available as a crew neck.
- RRP: £80
- Find out more and buy at the Arc’teryx website.
Arc’teryx Morphic Zip Neck Long Sleeve Top – Climbing Gear Review