≪ Go to our review of Long Underwear - Women's

Hands-on Gear Review

Patagonia Capilene Midweight Crew - Women's Review

Patagonia Women's Capilene® Midweight Crew
Best Buy Award
Price:   $59 List | $28.83 at REI
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Good temperature regulation, versatile, comfortable, affordable, quick to dry
Cons:  Observed wear and tear, boxy and short fit
Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 
Manufacturer:   Patagonia

Our Verdict

The Patagonia Capilene Midweight Crew is a tried and true base layer that has won our Best Buy Award two reviews in a row! The main author has owned this piece for five years and loves it for its functionality, affordable price, and versatility. Our team of testers agreed - over the course of our three-month testing period they wore it for everything from skiing to rock climbing. As a midweight 100% polyester baselayer, it regulates a wide range of temperatures keeping you warm in temperatures down to 0 degrees F when integrated into a layering system. As a stand-alone top, the Capilene Midweight has great lines and looks cute too! What's more is it shows good overall durability; in three months, we didn't notice any holes or fly away stitches, although there was a little pilling observed.

Overall, this was a functionally awesome layer, but there are still a few things we would change. We'd give it a less boxy fit and use stretchier fabrics like our Editors' Choice Award winner, the Arc'teryx Rho LT Zip - Women's. We would also fit it with more solid thumb loops. Finally, we'd find a way to make it more odor-resistant - instead, we found that it got stinky after one or two uses.

Aside from those few wishes, we thought that for only $59, this top was worth its weight in gold. The Capilene Midweight's top competitor, the SmartWool Merino 250 Base Layer Crew - Women's, was a little cozier, but far more expensive ($95) and delicate. If you're in the market for an affordable synthetic base layer that will dry quickly, take you where you want to go, and won't drain your wallet, this may be for you. If you're looking for an affordable merino wool option, check out the Minus33 Ossipee. Check out the Women's Capilene Midweight Zip-Neck if you're someone who's looking for the layering ease of an added zipper.


RELATED REVIEW: The Best Long Underwear and Base Layers for Women


Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results

Review by:
Amber King

Last Updated:
Wednesday
November 30, 2016

Share:

Hands-On Review


A classic all-around midweight synthetic, the Patagonia Capilene Midweight is affordable, quick to dry, and a perfect temperature regulator. This long underwear top won our Best Buy Award and is loaded with great features for a low price of $59.00.

Performance Comparison


Amber gets ready to switch from hiking uphill to snowboarding down a backcountry mountain. The Capilene 3 was a perfect friend on this powder day: releasing heat while skinning up the mountain and keeping her warm while hanging out talking with friends. This best buy award winner has great quality for a low price.
Amber gets ready to switch from hiking uphill to snowboarding down a backcountry mountain. The Capilene 3 was a perfect friend on this powder day: releasing heat while skinning up the mountain and keeping her warm while hanging out talking with friends. This best buy award winner has great quality for a low price.

Warmth


In both a layered system and as a stand-alone top, the 100% polyester Patagonia Capilene Midweight did a great job keeping us warm and comfortable in all sorts of weather.

We tested our Capilene Midweight on many cold skiing adventures and found that it provided ample warmth, similar to the Hot Chillys Micro-Elite Crew - Women's. The tightly knit fabric provides a bit of wind protection, keeping you warmer in windy weather than the Smartwool NTS Mid 250 Crew. If you are seeking an even warmer synthetic, check out the Arc'teryx Rho LT Zip or if you prefer a merino wool layer, check out the Minus33 Ossipee. If you plan on spending time in sub-zero conditions, we would highly recommend looking at a thicker layer like the Capilene Thermal Weight.

Layered under the Patagonia Nano Air  this Patagonia layer does a great job at keeping us warm at this bachelorette party on Red Mountain Pass.
Layered under the Patagonia Nano Air, this Patagonia layer does a great job at keeping us warm at this bachelorette party on Red Mountain Pass.

Breathability


Not only does the Capilene Midweight keep you toasty, but it also gets rid of unwanted heat when you need it. This makes it a great temperature regulating baselayer. When we took it running on winter mornings and backcountry skiing on warm spring days, we learned that it provides good overall breathability, wicking sweat away from the skin and keeping our testers dry and comfortable. That said, it wasn't quite as breezy as say the Under Armour Base 2.0 Crew - Women's. We usually layered a tank top underneath and shed the Capilene Midweight when the mercury rose above 70 degrees F. That said though, if you are looking for more aerobic purposes, check out women's running shirts for some ultralight options. Also check out the Capilene 1/4 zip option that allows you to zip or unzip the collar whenever you might need it.

Are you planning on going on belay in the desert any time soon? If there's a little nip in the air this Capilene Crew 3 has good enough breathability to wear on warm or cold days as a stand-alone piece.
Are you planning on going on belay in the desert any time soon? If there's a little nip in the air this Capilene Crew 3 has good enough breathability to wear on warm or cold days as a stand-alone piece.

Layering Ability


We thought that layering with the Capilene Midweight was a breeze. Unlike the Smartwool NTS Mid Crew, the Capilene didn't bunch, grab, or twist our layers. We did find though that the fabric wasn't the stretchiest which didn't make it as easy to layer as the Arc'teryx Rho LT. If the fabric had been a bit stretchier, we would have awarded it with a higher layering capability score. However, the hidden thumb loop did help to anchor the sleeve when pulling things one and off - BONUS!

This Patagonia base layer has a smooth face fabric and interior that doesn't bunch, grab, or twist. This helps make it a perfect piece to wear in a functional layering system.

Comfort & Fit


The Capilene Midweight Crew has a long enough torso, is true-to-size, and just feels comfortable. It's flat seam stitching, found in all the base layers we tested, prevent chafing, while the hidden thumb loops add a little versatility. The fabric is not itchy or uncomfortable, but the fit is a bit boxy. Some of our testers thought that the length could have been longer for better comfort, with a tad more stretch and a burlier thumb loop. We also noticed that this piece got stinky fast, despite the Polygiene odor blocker in the fabric. It washed out easily, but if you are planning a multi-day trip where you can't wash your layers, a merino wool option may be a better option. If that's the case, then check out the affordable Minus 33 for only $60.

Getting ready to go on belay in Rocky Mountain National Park. The Capilene 3 1/4 zip is a little more versatile than the crew  but still has all the same perks. Consider this option when looking at what to buy.
Getting ready to go on belay in Rocky Mountain National Park. The Capilene 3 1/4 zip is a little more versatile than the crew, but still has all the same perks. Consider this option when looking at what to buy.

Drying Speed


Even though the Patagonia Capilene Midweight couldn't dry as quickly as the porous fabric of the Under Armour Crew, it was tied for second with the Arc'teryx Rho and Micro-Elite Crewneck during our drying competitions. Feel free to take this on any trip where you might get wet and need to dry out quickly. Over the last 5 years, the author has worn this layer on many fishing and river trips on the Colorado, San Juan, and Green Rivers.

Durability


The author has had a Capilene layer for over 5 years now and has really put it through the wringer on many climbing, backpacking, and boating adventures. Despite some pilling and a couple of thread fly aways, we can vouch for its great durability. The synthetic fibers make this more durable than most merino competitors like the Minus 33 Ossipee and the face fabric weave is nice and tight. We did observe that after a month of use, the Capilene Midweight's face fabric was pilling pretty badly and we did notice a tiny bit of shrinkage (length wise) after the first wash and dry.

Expect to keep and wear this layer for many years to come. And don't be afraid to really get dirty - it will hold up!

Best Applications


Take the Patagonia Capilene Midweight Crew on your next vacation or mission to the mountains. It has great all-around use, ranging from cold morning runs to rafting down the Grand Canyon. Because of its decent and fairly high scores over most categories, it is versatile and ready for anything that you throw at it. For ultra-cold weather, we would recommend the Patagonia Thermal Weight Hoody. This is a heavier and more versatile option suited for sub 0 degree F weather.

Amber  the author  styles it up the Petit Groupon in Rocky Mountain National Park in the Capilene 3 1/4 zip  a variation of the crew neck that we review in this article. There are many options  styles  colors  and features to choose from when you consider your next base layer. Learn about what's out there!
Amber, the author, styles it up the Petit Groupon in Rocky Mountain National Park in the Capilene 3 1/4 zip, a variation of the crew neck that we review in this article. There are many options, styles, colors, and features to choose from when you consider your next base layer. Learn about what's out there!

Value


At only $59, you get a synthetic base layer that will last years and perform well throughout. The Capilene Midweight is a tried and tested piece that saw multiple mountain summits, trail runs, and riverside views during the course of our review. It's a bomber shirt for a bomber price. The Smartwool NTS had a similar overall score to the Capilene Midweight, but the biggest difference was the price tag of $95.00. If you are looking for a more affordable merino, check out the Minus 33. If not, the Capilene Midweight has the best value of all our pieces tested.

Conclusion


Our Best Buy Award winner scores high points in all the major categories with a low price tag of only $59. This classic is the perfect addition for your next big adventure, wherever the wind may blow.

Patagonia's Capilene makes Amber quite happy! She loves everything about it  especially its affordable price and high value in one cute purple package.
Patagonia's Capilene makes Amber quite happy! She loves everything about it, especially its affordable price and high value in one cute purple package.
Amber King


Where to Buy?

Seller Price sort asc Visit
REIon sale
$28.83  -  51% off! see it
Patagoniaon sale
$35.00  -  41% off! see it
MooseJaw $59.00 see it

Thinking about buying some gear we've reviewed? Help OutdoorGearLab out if you do. Just click on any of the above seller links and if you make any purchase, the seller will contribute a portion of the sale to help support this site. It won't cost you anything extra, and it's a simple way to help us fund our testing and reviews. Thanks!

  • Share this article:
You Might Also Like

OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: November 30, 2016
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:     (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 100%  (1)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)


Have you used this product?
Don't hold back. Share your viewpoint by posting a review with your thoughts...

Create an Account to Write a Review
 
Where's the Best Price?
Seller Price
REI $28.83  -  51% off!
Patagonia $35.00  -  41% off!
MooseJaw $59.00
Compare prices at 3 sellers >

*You help support OutdoorGearLab's product testing and reviews by purchasing from our retail partners.


Follow Us


Unbiased.