kora field test: a ski tour in the alps

kora development athlete Chantelle Robitaille tested out kora’s Shola top and leggings on a five-hour ski tour from Chamonix­ Les Praz to Le Buet.

What did you wear?
On top, a kora yak­ wool base layer, a down sweater and Gore­Tex shell. On the bottom I wore kora leggings and light ski pants.

What was the weather forecast?
Cool at the start, very sunny and warm later in the day.

Did the activity go as planned?
It did! Though it did get a lot hotter than I expected.

Did you need to add or remove layers during the activity?
Yes, I was down to my base layer anytime we were skinning/climbing. Otherwise, I was comfortable with just my base layer and Gore­Tex shell while skiing.­ Others also had on a layer of microfleece or some other midweight piece.

Did the base layer breathe?
I was very comfortable temperature-wise and do feel it breathes well.

Did the base layer wick effectively? Did you notice how quickly it dried?
I did feel quite wet on my back, under my pack. However, it did dry rather quickly and I never felt chilled,  the way some others in my group did.

How comfortable were the garments?
They are always comfortable, keep me warm and move with me. They also keep their shape well and don't get stretched out or thin the way I have seen others do.

Do you like the appearance of the garments?
They look very nice,­ simple and understated. I also really love the coloured tabs -­ very unique. The fabric ­ looks much like merino wool. People are always surprised when I tell them it's yak wool!

Have you worn your base layer again, if so how many hours/days?
Too many to count!

Have you washed the base layer yet?
I have washed them about four times in the last four months. I have washed them on the wool cycle with regular detergent and hung to dry. They dry quickly and aren't pilling or wearing thin.

Have you worn them for other activities?
What haven't I worn them for? I have used the base layers running, skiing, skate skiing, snowshoeing, kiting, motocross riding, cycling, hiking, apres­ ski.

I love the versatility and that I can pack one set of base layers for a trip and they work for all activities. I have also worn the top afterwards. They don't have an “underwear” look so I can get away with wearing the top out after an activity. The leggings­ I have only worn to breakfast, under a down skirt.

Any other comments or suggestions? 
I absolutely love my base layers! I have tried wearing my “old” ones, just to see the difference, but my Shola base layers have definitely become favourites. I wish I carried an extra set around to sell. I often get questions about what I am wearing and it's interesting to tell them the origin of these pieces.

View our yak and merino wool base layers.