Mountain Hardwear Butter-Man Half Zip

Manufacturer Description

Super lightweight and buttery soft, with a wicking finish.

Features

  • Fabric: 89% polyester, 11% elastane, fine gauge, microfiber jersey
  • Soft, supple hand
  • 40 denier elastane provides good stretch and recovery
  • Wicking finish. 5.4 oz/yd2
  • Half zip
  • Thumb loops
  • High collar
  • Left upper arm zip pocket with audio out
    • 9 cm Wide x 10 cm Tall (3.5 in x 4 in)
  • Right hip zip pocket with audio out
    • 20 cm x 15 cm x 18 cm Triangle (8 in x 6 in x 7 in)
  • Size Medium
    • Weight – 276 g (9.7 oz)
    • Center Back Measurement – 69 cm (27 in)
    • Pit to Pit Measurement – 53 cm (21 in)
    • Sleeve Length – 86 cm (34 in)
  • Retail – $65

YMMV Review

Design & Performance ★★★★☆

First thing you will notice when you grab this top is how soft the fabric is. It really is soft, both on the outside and on the inside. The fabric feels tightly knit and has not snagged on anything yet. While the fabric is soft and stretchy, it resists some wind and is quite warm.  It breathes well though but does not have any finish for weather resistance.

Back

There are two pockets, one on the left sleeve and one on the right hip. Both pockets have an audio out so you can choose where you would like to put your phone or iPod. The arm pocket is slightly tight if you want to put your phone in there but it will bounce less up there as compared to the hip pocket. There is a half zip in the front which allows for venting. The Butter-Man also has Mountain Hardwear’s “Better than thumb loops”. These are more like mini gloves that cover the hand a bit more than other thumb loops I have tried. They are a nice feature.

Fit ★★★★☆

Putting on this top you can feel the stretch in the fabric. It is really comfortable to wear. I normally wear a medium and in this I do as well.

It is a semi-form fit meaning that there is some room in it but it contours the body well. The collar is a good height and is not too tight which makes it more functional than others I have tried. The length in the arms and torso are also plenty long.

Better Than Thumb Loops

The arms are made slightly longer to accommodate the “Better than thumb loops”. They work great and cover my hand well without being constricting. I have not tried this on the bike but feel like it would be a good top for everything except road biking.

My only issue with the fit is in the front upper chest area. There are two seems in the upper chest area, sometimes these have a tendency to have a wave effect when zipped up. While this does not effect performance in any way, it does not sit flush to the skin and that bothered me a bit.

Overall ★★★★☆

I really like this top. I fits good and can be used for a multitude of activities. Pockets are functional for gels, iPod, or keys. My only drawback is I think they could have made this even better with body mapped fabrics in the underarms to help it breathe even better. It is a surprisingly warm top when activity level heats up.  Also, gusseted under arms would be a nice features as well, removing the seam from under the arms.  I have not had a problem with this but could see it being useful with the body mapped fabric. The Butter-Man retails for $65 which is about right for this type of top. I do feel like at 10 ounces it is on the slightly heavy side for lightweight pursuits like backpacking. You can find other items that are better warmth for weight. Overall though, a great top to wear day hiking, running, or around town. Super comfortable and soft against the skin. As with all my reviews, your mileage may vary.

Pros

  • Soft, stretchy fabric
  • Good fit, long arms and torso

Cons

  • Weight for some activities
  • Upper Chest fit

Long Term Check-In

I do not have any real changes to my review after a couple months.  I still really like this top and have a 2nd one of a different color now.  I like to wear them around the house, to the office, and cold weather running.  My wife even has the ladies model.

Adventures

About the author

I am an avid runner, cyclist, swimmer, hiker, climber, skier and many other activities that would make this list too long. I started Your Mileage May Vary Reviews in Early 2011 to combine two of my passions: sports and gear.

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