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Craft Shift Stretch Fleece


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When it comes to layering, most active apparel suppliers get fancy with names to differentiate the base layer from the second and third layers. Craft keeps it delightly simple: Layer 1, layer 2, layer 3. Ah, we love such simplicity.

The company’s key layer-2 piece is the long sleeve Shift Stretch top. According to Craft: “The Shift fabric construction creates internal grooves, which run deep into the fabric propelling excess heat from the body. Side stretch panels are knitted with a larger loop configuration allowing the fabric to dry quickly and ventilate excess heat.”

OK, so how did in perform in test? The following comments from our testers:

>> “I’ve worn the Shift Stretch top over a Craft Pro long sleeve layer 1 undershirt for track and backcountry skiing. The combination is pretty amazing. It’s about all you need on days when temperatures are in the 20s and 30s. On colder days, I’ve found I need only a microfiber jacket over this combination to stay comfortably warm.”

>> “Typically I’ve found Craft’s fit excellent — A large really is a large. Other key features I liked include the long front zip (easy to get on and off), the stretch side panels (they flex with body movements), the high, soft collar (snug but not tight) and the longer cut in the back (drapes well down the rear).”

>> “On the plus side is the zippered breast pocket. It holds a wallet and keys or sunscreen and sunglasses easily. On the downside, the Shift Stretch top isn’t comfortable when worn by itself. The inner fabric is soft enough, but the zippers rubbed my skin the wrong way.”

SNEWS Rating: 4 hands clapping (1 to 5 hands clapping possible, with 5 clapping hands representing functional and design perfection.)