Tharkey is the word for development and progress. When you’re in the backcountry for the long haul the Tharkey zip tee is will keep you warm, dry, and stink free.
There is a place for a midalyer in any clothing system, on warm days when you don’t need to wear anything else but the layer and on cold days when it is part of a three or even four layer system. So having one in your climbing wardrobe (come on we all have one!) is a worthwhile investment. The trick is to get it versatile enough to wear often.
What I generally look for in a midlayer is the ‘once on stay on’ factor. I need it to keep me warm enough when climbing but not too hot for hiking for the approach. The Sherpa Tharkey Zip Tee didn’t disappoint and fulfilled the criteria very well.
The Tharkey sits somewhere just between a baselayer and a fleece and when I ordered the test sample I sized it as for a baselayer as I usually like to wear a large in baselayers. This was a mistake and I should have ordered the Tharkey in a medium as when I went into a shop and tried a medium on it fitted fine, so think fleece sizing when you order one.
That said the fit has been very good, comfortable enough to feel I move freely yet tight enough to wick moisture away when moving. The honeycomb fleece inside the top helped move moisture to the hard faced outer so it could be evaporated away nice and easy.
There is a nice deep zip that helped ventilate and the lovely prayer flag coloured zip tag worked well with or without gloves on. There is also a small zipped chest pocket that was big enough for most smartphones and also has a laminated and laser cut headphone slot in the back. The pocket, however, did make the top sag if it wasn’t being worn inside a jacket. It was great for keeping a small printed map though and a compass too.
The fleece is a two sided affair, a more modern hard faced technology which works well as the fleecy inner wicks away moisture whilst the smoother outer face helps spread the moisture over a larger surface and help it evaporate more quickly. The smooth outer also helps getting outer layers on and off easily too. I found the fabric nice on the skin and when I wore the Sherpa Tharkey on a recent trip to Arctic Sweden I found it warm and after 4 days continuous wear (including sleeping) it didn’t smell at all. It was easy to wash too and dried really quickly (within an hour) too.
The sleeves fitted nice and tight although I could push them over my elbows if I needed to and the thumb loops were a godsend when the temperature plummeted down into the negative.
The Sherpa Tharkey Zip Tee is finished with a reflective Sherpa logo on the front and the Endless Knot logo on the back. The build quality is excellent and the made in Nepal provenance means your purchase really is helping local people earn a decent living.
So, The Sherpa Tharkey Zip Tee is a great midlayer top, it’s versatile enough for hiking, climbing and general mountain wear but do remember to size it as if you are buying a fleece and not a baselayer.
Sizes S-XL and comes in colours Black and Korsani (Green). The women’s version comes in sizes XS- XL and colours Black (with blue trim) and Blue (with turquoise trim). The pocket is also on the arm in the women’s version.
- Nice deep zip for ventilation.
- Feels nice against the skin.
- Very warm on cold days.
- Made in Nepal.
- Unnecessary chest pocket.
Dave Sarkar has tested and reviewed climbing, mountaineering and outdoor equipment for almost 10 years. He works as a qualified MIA both in the UK and Internationally: working full time as a mountaineering instructor and expedition leader for his company Wild Spaces. When he isn’t working in the mountains he’s playing in the mountains and enjoys all aspects climbing and mountain sports whether bouldering at his local crag or ice climbing; as long as he’s going upwards he’s happy!