Checking out the High Route Grid Air 1/4-Zip from Eddie Bauer

By: The Outbound Collective + Save to a List

Two-time Freeride World Champ & Eddie Bauer ski athlete Drew Tabke puts this mid layer piece to the test.

I’ve recently been wearing and testing the new High Route Grid Air 1/4-Zip top from Eddie Bauer. The High Route Grid Air is a midweight baselayer (or mid layer) piece that has been indispensable in my layering system this winter when it comes to mild and cold-weather pursuits.

When to wear it?

In the winter I do a lot of resort skiing, ski touring, and a bit of trail running on the in-between days. The High Route Grid Air is simply a perfect baselayer for these cold weather activities. It is highly breathable, so I stay cool if I strip down and put my outer layer(s) in my backpack. Plus, the grid fleece backing of the fabric is super cozy and warm when wearing other layers over the top.

The biggest issue I’ve had with the piece is that I’m wearing it too often…it just works that well for my everyday activities. It’s a synthetic fabric, and while it’s true that synthetic base layers have a reputation for becoming a little stinky after much use, the High Route Grid Air fabric features anti-odor technology which really does make a difference. Still, this layer is meant to absorb and wick perspiration, so it’s a good idea to wash it frequently (just follow the care instructions on the tag).

High Route Grid Air designed for a close-to-body fit

How this mid layer fits

The piece has an athletic, close-to-body fit, which I really appreciate as I don’t like base layers that are too boxy or baggy-feeling. There are also some sneakily-placed thumb loops in the wrist cuff. You won’t notice them if you don’t need them, but if you’re moving at an aerobic pace right on the line of sweating and being too cold, it can be the perfect way to add just a little extra degree of warmth at the wrist and back of hand. It comes in a Crewneck and a 1/4-Zip, and personally, I really like the 1/4-Zip. Unzipping is just an effective way to dump a little more heat if I’m really working hard and sweating a lot.

Overall, the High Route Grid Air is an indispensable piece of kit for all my winter pursuits, and I definitely see myself having plenty of use for it in all four seasons.

Cover photo courtesy of Drew Tabke for Eddie Bauer

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