It’s not often that a Jack Wolfskin product is the cheapest in our group tests, but at £55 the Sutherland Shirt is £20 less than the next option. It’s lightweight (330g in a size XL), packs down very small and is made from a polyester and elastane blend called Nanuk Dynamic, which offers a close fit and a two-way stretch to allow for good freedom of movement.
The Sutherland Shirt isn’t the warmest mid-layer, because it’s designed for winter sports where you generate a lot of heat. The inside of the shirt has a high pile, which will trap insulating air, while the outer has a denser, more abrasion resistant weave. The body-hugging fit coupled with the soft inner makes it very comfortable to wear either by itself or over the top of another layer.
A zip running a third of the way down allows more ventilation when necessary, and a discreet piece of padded fabric keeps the metal of the zip from rubbing on your chin when it’s done up. Thumb loops stop the sleeves from riding up. Our size XL rolls down to not much bigger than a grapefruit, so it will sit relatively unnoticed in a rucksack.
For £55 the Sutherland Shirt is a good buy. It’s not the warmest and it’s not the most exciting product out there, but if you’re going to be moving fast and you want to pack light, check it out.
In a line: A good lightweight mid-layer.
This review first appeared as part of a group test in Adventure Travel magazine issue 121.