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Matek Men's Gentoo Base Layer Review

A bodysuit base layer that feels comfortable enough to be your cold weather second skin.

By: Neonconflagrations + Save to a List


materials: 84% nylon (using REPREVE recycled fibers), 16% spandex power mesh

buttons manufactured from palm tree nuts

functional front fly and butt-flap

Where To Get It:

Price: $189 - Matek Clothing

Our Experience:

Navigating the seemingly infinite selection of cold weather base layers on the market is something that most people with a taste for outdoor cold weather activities will be familiar with. When it comes down to it, comfort and warmth are the main factors. And while a man's bodysuit may be something of a novelty in this area, I gave Matek's Gentoo technical base layer a try and found the design to have some advantages that I may have been missing out on.

Button front construction makes putting on and taking off the bodysuit simple.

Labelled as a technical performance intimate, the Gentoo is essentially a base layer undersuit built with a stretchy sweat-wicking nylon that is both comfortable and helps insulate heat while not getting bogged down or clammy once you start getting active. Materials and stitching all seem durable and of high quality, with attention to detail such as in the lower leg mesh area meant to easily accommodate winter and ski socks. 

Made in California with nylon sourced from recycled materials and buttons made from palm tree nuts.

The origins of Matek is a designer who has worked previously as a technical designer and product developer at Nike, and it appears that the Gentoo has merged the sleek appearance and efficient function of the athletics giant with a more eco-friendly mindset. Matek uses recycled and more eco-friendly materials to construct the Gentoo with such as REPREVE nylon, which sources materials from recycled fibers and plastic bottles. Even the buttons on the suit are made from palm tree nuts.

The sweat-wicking nylon helps retain heat but keep you comfortable, giving the Gentoo a performance tech feel.

Living near Lake Tahoe, I'm very familiar with layering up for the cold weather or to head out to the slopes. One benefit of the Gentoo is for activities such as snowshoeing or cross country skiing, where the one-piece design prevents any sort of shirt riding up or bottoms beginning to sag with the movement. The fully functional fly and butt-flap allows for responding to nature's calls indoors or out on the trails. And the combination of the softness of the nylon along with the form fit of a bodysuit makes the Gentoo feel like a comfortable second skin, I can confidently say more so than typical base layer top and bottom combinations which I've worn for years.

The Gentoo comes with a small stuff sack, making it easy to grab and throw into a day pack or suitcase.

The Gentoo is available in multiple colorways, with similar suits available for women and kids. Matek designs and manufactures out of California. Overall I found the Gentoo to be a comfortable and warm fit, with its sweat-wicking materials making it great for outdoor use, and the fit and warmth of a bodysuit making it fine for casual indoor wear... though maybe not in the company of others. The suit's emphasis on functional design and materials considerate of their impact on the environment have made this one of my go-to's for the cold weather season.

The Matek men's Gentoo cold weather performance base layer.

The Gentoo has a thin mesh over the calves for a better fit with socks.

A novel one-piece base layer with attention to material and details made this one of my preferred cold weather base layers.

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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