Product Review: Patagonia Women’s Capilene 3 Midweight Zip-Neck Top

Disclaimer: The following product was donated for the purpose of review.

When I was given the chance to review a piece of gear made by one of my favorite soft goods companies, I jumped at it, particularly because it was a Women’s Capilene 3 Midweight Zip-Neck base layer. My Cap 1 Silkweight Pants are my favorite thing in the world to wear on my legs and I just knew that a Cap 3 would seal the deal on a perfect active wear outfit.

Many of my friends know I am pretty much a poster child for Patagonia. Their clothing consistently meets me right in the middle of ‘looks awesome’ and ‘works for my outdoor lifestyle’. They make clothes in fantastic colors and patterns that are made for wearing while doing what I love to do most! But my favorite thing about Patagonia as a company is hands down their devotion to the environment. Their founder wrote an awesome book about the stringent environmental stance of the company and how it has driven them to remake every possible decision with the health of the environment in the foreground.

Patagonia Capilene 3 Midweight Zip-Neck Top - Women's

So when this Capilene 3 long sleeve was dropped in my lap, I decided to put it through the wringer in as many ways as I could think. I took it out for a spin (or a few) not long ago. The first was a sort bikepacking trip of the Silver Comet Trail and Chief Ladiga Trail, immediately followed by a four day stint on the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina. Despite the cold rush of wind constantly coming at me at 20 miles per hour on a bike, the Cap 3 base layer kept me surprisingly warm during the autumn mornings. As the temperatures rose throughout the day, the shirt was still breathable enough to keep it on, even when riding in the sun. I literally didn’t take it off at all the during the entire bikepacking trip. (Dirtbag Disclaimer: I relish those times in life where you don’t change clothes for days on end.)


Sport the Cap 3 at the Georgia/Alabama State Line

After cycling from Smyrna, GA to Anniston, AL and back, I then turned around and headed straight to the mountains for some backpacking after riding through the flatlands. When layered with a light down jacket, the shirt kept me perfectly warm while sitting around camp at night. When it was too warm to wear it during the day, it compressed down to nothing when I shoved it into my pack.


The next trip was a bouldering session the following weekend at Rocktown followed by a dance party in Chattanooga. No matter what activity I was doing, this long sleeve shirt seemed to shift shapes to what I needed. When climbing, the materials allowed for an excellent range of movement. It was some how both breathable while heating up in the middle of a problem and had the insulation need to keep me warm while taking a break. When dancing like a fool to early nineties hip hop at a ping pong tournament party ($180 cash prize!), the Cap 3 shirt not only didn’t smell too terrible considering all it had gone through, but it also seemed to help keep under wraps the fact that I had been going for quite some time with out a shower. (But, hey, it’s Chattanooga. Everyone always smells like they just left the crag, trail or river.)


Seriously, this shirt oddly didn’t stink and I sweat a lot! What I just said there isn’t even a delusional dirt bag getting too accustom to her own smell and just a little bit of research reveals why. All of Patagonia’s Capilene base layers are treated with Polygiene Odor Control (it’s a real thing!). In layman’s terms, this means silver chloride is applied to the exterior of the garment and it stops the bacteria in sweat from penetrating through your shirt and causing oder. It is sourced from 100% recycled silver from photographic and industrial uses. So all those years in college as a photography major when I poured my fixer in to the silver reclaim I was helping Patagonia make Capilene base layers! (One can dream, right?)


All of Patagonia’s Polygene Odor Control products are also Bluesign approved. Bluesign is a Swiss based company who checks up on companies at all stages of production to make sure they are meeting top notch ethical standards in regards to chemicals used in dyes, the materials themselves and the processes through which the clothing is created. Patagonia and Bluesign have worked together since 2000. Even further, I noticed on Patagonia’s website that they give information about the exact sewing mill and textile mill in which the Capilene 3 Midweight Zip Neck’s are made! As a thoughtful consumer, it feels so good to know that the clothes on my back were thoughtfully made.


Patagonia’s Women’s Capilene 3 Midweight Zip-Neck base layer is a one and done garment. Throw it on with the sleeves rolled up and the zipper down during those chilly summer nights when you’re at elevation. Wear it over a next to skin layer in the spring and fall for added warmth. Layer it up with a down jacket in the winter. I sincerely see this shirt being a staple to all my outdoor living because of it’s versatility and comfort in all situations.

Available at REI

Patagonia Capilene 3 Midweight Zip-Neck Top - Women's

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