The Arc’teryx Morphic Zip LS is a multi-use layer garment aimed towards alpine, ice & rock climbing. It features the flexible & wicking Arc’teryx Phasic™ AR-X fabric & UPF 50+ protection. We’ve taken the Morphic Zip from hot climates to cold to see how it performed, not only for climbing, but for a multitude of roles.
Comfort & Fit
The Morphic has a form fit, meaning it hugs the body without being quite a tight as baselayer. We found the fit to be very good, especially when wearing a harnesses or other gear there isn’t any loose fabric flapping around getting in the way. The AR-X fabric has a hardy almost corse feel to it, it’s not quite as soft or comfortable as a Merino baselayer (the only downside here) but can be worn on it’s own if required. The elastic feel to the fabric allows for a fantastic freedom of movement, perfect for any climbing activity – or any active pursuit for that matter.
The AR-X fabric is hardy, it shurgs off scrapes against sharp rock with a good resistance to tearing or wear. This durability means the Morphic lends itself quite well as a single layer in mild climates (such as the often damp UK) or summer alpine conditions.
The Morphic wicks and breathes well, the fabric is quite permeable and allows good transportation of moisture away from skin. We tested the Morphic on some long evening runs and found that sweat quickly passed through the fabric and evaporated quickly, keeping you both dry and cool. Another nice feature is the long zipper, it goes pretty much halfway down the front panel allowing you to cool down even more if needed adding to the Morphic’s versatility.
Warmth & Wind Resistance
Due to the excellent permeability of the fabric, the Morphic isn’t very warm and is definitely at home during high intensity exercise. Once you stop moving, a cold wind will quickly cut through the fabric. Again, the performance of the garment is dependant on it’s use, this permeability is either a pro or a con depending on your activity.
There’s an annoying temperature range where wearing a technical t-shirt is too chilly and wearing a softshell or fleece is too much – this is where the Morphic LS seems to come in and we found it’s best use to be for climbing in that temperature range. Overall, the durability and flex of the Morphic makes it a very useful bit of kit for both rock & ice – best of all, it also comes in orange as well as the Dr. Evil grey.