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Patagonia designed its warmest and most breathable baselayer, the Men's Capilene 4 Expedition Weight Zip-Neck Top, for cold belay stations and stormy days at the resort. It has a soft and stretchy feeling that lets you climb comfortably, and its smooth jersey face lets you slide layers over top for super cold days on the mountain. Since the open grid pattern provides lots of warmth, Patagonia extended the front zip for deep venting.

  • Blended polyester and spandex fabric is Patagonia's warmest and most breathable in a baselayer that stretches well
  • Polygiene permanent odor control keeps you smelling as fresh as the moment you started skiing
  • Slim fit allows easy layering for chilly early-morning powder dumps
  • 1/4-length zip front helps you regulate your body temperature so you can cool off on the chairlift and zip up for another high-altitude session
  • Thumb loops ensure wrist coverage and keep the sleeves down during layering
  • Baseball-style hem tucks in pants and harnesses easily and doesn't pull out when you bend down to do up your bindings
  • Reviews
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All about the ribs

  • Familiarity:I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit:True to size
  • Size Bought: large

It's lightweight, warm, and not clammy. The ribs keep you even dryer. I have a closet full of cap 2,3, marmot, and mountain hardware. This is my favorite. I pair it with my R1 and a rab neo shell. That system works great for alpine skiing and hard backcountry skiing. Another reviewer marked it down for odor. Mine gets a little ripe too. I just throw it in the washer. Fit is athletic and a little snug in the torso and shoulders.

My all time favorite base layer

  • Familiarity:I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit:True to size

I've had this shirt for over a year and I use it for hiking, skiing, and just hanging out on cold days in Maine. It is surprisingly warm for such a light shirt and when combined with a loft layer or wind/down layer, acts like a furnace. I'm 6', 190# and the large is perfect (I have a fairly muscular build). If you see it on sale, snag it - you won't regret it. :)

awesome cold weather base layer

    I've written a few other reviews on Capilene 4 pieces, wanted to comment here though. Zip necks tend to be Patagonia's best seller among base layer tops, and this is one of the best offered. Cap 4 fabric is super warm for how light it is, and incredibly breathable when you need it to be. At first glance it doesn't seem super warm, the fabric is a high/low grid and is practically see through, but it definitely packs a punch.

    Kind of... Sort of...

    • Familiarity:I've used it several times
    • Fit:True to size

    I have somewhat of a base layer and mid layer addiction. Having been an R1 devotee due to the gridded fleece, I was intrigued by the Cap 4's striped rows of thicker insulation, and snagged one of these to try out.

    It is fairly warm, reminding me of a 220ish gram Icebreaker. The stripes of different thickness fabric allow it to breath really well, which is nice in high-energy activities.

    It fits great. Slim and contoured the way a base layer should. The shoulder paneling is designed to feel great with a pack on. Could easily be a base or mid layer depending on the conditions. The zipper feels a bit cheap, but is tolerable.

    Where it really fails is odor control. While it does much better than untreated polyester, after a few days of use (in this case just wearing it around the apartment) it will develop what I can only describe as a urine-like smell. The smell is back country tolerable, but unacceptable if you're around civilized society. Having come from the world of merino wool, I will be sticking to merino as my base layer of choice. To me it is worth the money to not smell.

    One thing that I do love about this garment though is that it seems to shed pet hair far better than merino, and the light gray color manages to hide the hairs that remain (I have a white cat). So this remains my bumming around the home top.

    Definitely a slim fit

    • Familiarity:I returned this product before using it

    I'm 5'10" and 163, and this medium size fit me like a 2nd skin. I debated over it, and it's going back - not because it won't do the job, but I'm worried if I gain any weight, it's going to turn from slim fit to sausage skin fit - just too tight for my taste.

    The inner waffle weave and deep zip really had me considering to hold on to it - but I don't want to eat like a dieting ninny just to wear a zip.