Haglöfs L.I.M Z|T Mid Sync 2 | Review - Outdoors Magic

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Mid and Base Layers

Haglöfs L.I.M Z|T Mid Sync 2 | Review

A highly technical garment that, by deploying three different Polartec fabrics, serves as the ‘core engine’ within a multi-layered system designed for advanced mountain missions and tough treks

Why we chose it: Highly innovative, light eco footprint

The result of a close collaboration with technical fabric brand Polartec, this striking midlayer from Haglöfs is one very clever bit of kit. It’s made with three different types of Polartec fabric, each one designed to serve a very specific purpose and the overall result is a garment that’s able to provide very efficient temperature regulation. 

Haglöfs refer to the Mid Sync 2 as the central engine of their new Synchronized Performance Layering System, a collection of four layers designed to offer unrivalled technical performance when all combined together. 

Who is the LIM Z|T Mid Sync 2 for?

It’s fair to say that the whole Synchronised Performance Layering System would be a pretty serious investment for anyone to make, but it is made up of some seriously impressive kit. It’s the kind of thing that’d be suited to explorers of the high alpine; those who need highly functional kit that brings protection without bulk or weight and that’s able to regulate the wearer’s temperature even when they’re going at demanding tempos. 

Within the system you’d have a baselayer first, then this over the top, then the Mid Sync 1 and finally you’d have one of the L.I.M Z|T waterproof shells. According to Haglöfs, this will deliver 30% less humidity within the clothing system compared to conventional modern layering systems.

Unfortunately we haven’t tried out the whole system so can’t put that claim to the test. We have, however, tried the The LIM Z|T Mid Sync 2 by itself and from what we’ve seen, we’d say it would suit a number of different purposes. We can primarily see it as that warm layer worn just with a waterproof jacket on those autumn or spring adventures when light low bulk insulation is needed. We can also see it coming in handy during the winter, forming that principal layer of insulation underneath your down jacket on those really cold winter days and nights. 

Eco Credentials

All three of the Polartec fabrics that are used here are made using recycled content, with 100% recycled polyester used for the Power Air, 100% used for Power Dry and 54% recycled polyester in the Alpha material. Each one also meets bluesign industry standards as well, confirming good sustainable and ethical methods of manufacture. 

Haglöfs say that the whole LIM Z|T collection has been made with repairability in mind. Take for example the inclusion of poppers instead of zips, the latter of which tend to be easier to break and harder to fix. What’s more, all of the carbon emissions from the production of these garments is offset by Haglöfs as part of their climate commitment. Lots of stuff to commend Haglöfs (and Polartec) here for then. 

Materials and Performance

The main fabric throughout this is Polartec Alpha. Originally invented for U.S special forces and the stop start conditions of combat, this material is designed for low bulk, on the go warmth, with its thousands of tiny, almost-hair like fibres knitted around a woven core, trapping heat but also allowing moisture vapour to escape. Being 100% synthetic, this material also has an extremely quick drying time.

Polartec Power Air forms the more durable patches of insulation throughout the mid layer, most notably at the shoulders. The key thing to note about this stuff is that it has insulating fibres that are locked into the fabric in a way that massively reduces any microplastics shedding into the water supply when it’s put in the wash. Over the years, standard fleece has been notoriously bad for that but this is solving the problem. You can read more from us on Power Air and the problem with fleece here

The third Polartec fabric is Polartec Power Dry and this is used on the sides and armpits. Tried and tested over a number of years now, Power Dry is designed primarily to help manage any sweat that your body produces, with its hydrophilic bi-component knitted fibres that are able to lift moisture off the skin before spreading it out thinly to evaporate into the atmosphere. 

Final Details

Details include a short collar that’s designed to prevent spindrift entry, a small security pocket that’s just about big enough to fit a standard sized smartphone (though there’s only a fabric fold for closure) and there are thumb loops on the cuffs. The cut is quite long, the idea being that you can comfortably tuck this into your trousers for optimum heat retention. It’s also a very snug, close fit – it is after all, designed to be worn under a number of other layers. 

At 218g this is actually remarkably light given just how much insulation it provides. It’s low bulk too, so if you were to carry it in your pack it would be easy to tuck into one of its crevasses. 

Tester’s Verdict

Will Renwick, editor of Outdoors Magic

“I used this recently as my mandatory layer of insulation during a 50-mile ultra marathon. My thinking was that its light weight, low bulk and high levels of insulation would make it perfect for the job.

“Turns out I made the right choice. I was really glad to be able to call on this at times throughout the day, particularly when I needed a bit of quick warmth after I’d lingered at a checkpoint for too long. And it was warm, but it didn’t cause me to overheat too quickly after I got moving in it either.

“It was exactly what I needed during the periods of rain too, as it created a nice breathable and warm barrier between my forearms and the clammy inside of my waterproof jacket.”

Haglöfs L.I.M Mid Sync 2

Selected for our Green Gear Guide 2023
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