Consistent with all snowgrrl reviews of products tested, this Brynje Lady Top review states my honest opinion about this product received at no charge from Brynje of Norway.
How Brynje describes the Lady Top
- Thermo Wool Mesh
- Perfect for any sport year round
- Mesh allows air flow to be trapped
- Keeps you warm while minimizing dampness and overheating
- Made of Merino wool and strengthened with synthetic fibers
I received an email before the SnowShow/Outdoor Retailer describing some new products, including the Brynje Lady Top. The black mesh sleeves and brightly colored front panel combine the styles of Madonna and a Norwegian fisherman, so I was intrigued. The Brynje rep at the SnowShow talked on and on about how the mesh creates heat pockets. I left skeptical, but intrigued. I knew I had to do a Brynje Lady Top review. It sounded a little too good to be true.
Where was it tested?
I conducted the Brynje Lady Top review over three different days. First, I wore it alone under a NILS jacket during the SnowShow demo days at Copper Mountain in January, when the temperature was around 30 degrees Farenheit. Next, I wore it beneath a SmartWool base layer and a warm NILS jacket on a frigid February day at Vail, with temps between zero and eight degrees. Then, I wore it the next day at Vail, under a Kari Traa wool half-zip and a lighter weight NILS jacket on a thirtyish degree day.
How did it perform?
The Bryne Lady Top was very comfortable. The front panel makes it modest enough so that you do not feel like you are revealing every bit of skin as soon as you unzip your jacket. Wearing it alone under a jacket at Copper Mountain, I felt warm and not overheated on the mountain. However, when I took my jacket off for the après-ski party in the lodge, I felt a little chilly. Someone remarked that it was because I was “only wearing half a shirt.” I replied with some vague mumbling about heat pockets, but then I remembered the Brynje rep talking about how the “second layer does the wicking.” In email correspondence, it was confirmed that you always need a second layer on top of the mesh to trap air if you want to be warm. That made sense to me, though it also makes this top slightly less practical. If you’re heading to the mountains for a few days, you’ll always need to pack this top plus something else. Then again, the top doesn’t take up much room.
I was thrilled that the top kept me toasty warm when I wore it as recommended, underneath a second layer, on the second and third days I tried the top. Even on an extremely chilly day, I did not feel cold, nor did I notice any uncomfortable moisture trapped on my skin when I worked so hard to keep up with my friends in the back bowls. I really only intended to test it twice for this review, but it was so comfortable that I wore it two days in a row. As a tall woman, I appreciated the longer length of the top and sleeves. I guess Norwegians come a little larger than Americans!
Room for Improvement?
While the Brynje Lady Top review showed it to be a very comfortable and practical top, I wonder if the company could make the mesh knit a little tighter. I am in decent shape, but when I wore the top on its own at the SnowShow après ski party, some lustful looks made me uncomfortable. Some people assumed that I wore a mesh-backed top for sex appeal rather than practicality. A tighter knit might make the top look slightly more conservative and less racy. But would it still wick moisture and trap heat that way?
I recommend the Brynje Lady Top. The top kept my body temperature regulated. Together with another layer, it can be a really versatile and comfortable for days on the mountain.