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When the door of opportunity came knocking along to try the new range of base layers from Gondwana I was really excited. Super happy can’t control my tail puppy kind of excited. So for the past few months I’ve been putting the Gondwana ladies body map base layers, Elidon and Namadgi to the test, as well as the McKenzie fleece jacket.

The Science of Me.
There are two things in this world which I really hate, makes me upset and are generally speaking are 100% within my power to change. Bad coffee and being cold. Any small addition to my day that can remove one of these two is a winner in my world. So with an open mind, warm feet and a latte or two along the way here’s my road test results.

Promise from Gondwana

Your first layer for comfort and protection. With the integration of two high performance materials for warmth, moisture wicking and quick dry time, the Body Map Base Layer is an essential layer for the hard-core adventurers.

Snowbunny Sunday time

Snowbunny Sunday time in my Gondwana Eildon top

Functionality-Is the item/s able to be used in more then the way it was intended.
I don’t have a lot of time or patience for things that only do one job and need a lot of attention. I usually have a set of regular favorites on high rotation, until they fall apart. All my daily clothes need to be able to do the cafe rounds, walk/jogging with dogs, horse related activities. After four odd months of wear and tear the Body Map Base Layers are still going strong.

Being a lady with long legs, long arms and nil torso I was surprised at how well these fitted. True to size and with a generous butt hugging top. I’ve since been informed that in the fashion industry this is known as a drop tail. Either way it keeps your butt warm and this made me happy. The way that the layers wrap around you made them easy to wear underneath jeans, jodphurs and ski gear. Without feeling like to proverbial Michelin Man.

Performance-Did the item performance to declared standards?
These layers were unbelievably comfortable. Unlike other thermal layers the soft material is more akin to wearing pajamas or gym designed wear, rather then restrictive or ultra loose stretched out thermals. The soft elastic waist band help up the pants and never cut in. Even under my ski pants, and easily fitted over my snow socks.

On road trips up to Mount Buller I happily curled up in the car and slept in complete comfort and warmth/ This is on both legs of the journey too. When we camped out in the Grampians I didn’t bother changing into my pajamas. It seemed like too much effort to change when I was already so toasty warm and comfortable in my sleeping bag.

The quick drying fabric was really noticeable and appreciated on ski trips and early morning adventures (jogging, horse riding). I never got that sticky sweaty feeling or smell, which can happen with items that aren’t pure cotton.

As all three items were quick drying they were superbly easy to care for. One we got home all were thrown into a cold wash and hung up to dry. It was amazing how easily the dirt, dog hair and even horse hair just washed away. No soaking, scrubbing


Getting ready to hike up to that pointy bit-Halls Gap. Victoria

The Stats-

Eildon- top
• 55% Nylon
• 40% Polypropylene
• 5% Elastane
• Double faced fabric
• Quick-drying
• Moisture wicking
• Lightweight-Weight 152g
• Superior insulation and thermal regulation
• Moisture management

• 55% Nylon
• 40% Polypropylene
• 5% Elastane
• Double faced fabric
• Quick-drying
• Moisture wicking
• Lightweight
• Superior insulation and thermal regulation
• Moisture management

• Weight 116g
• Full length pant
• Ribbed waistband
• Ergonomically mapped thermal zones

McKenzie Jacket

The modern design of the McKenzie Bondi Fleece Jacket with its feminine fit, will see you from a day pounding the rocky trail to your evening dinner without a hassle.Features
• 100% Polyester
• Fleece weight 285g
• Contrast colour inner
• Warm
• Easy care
• Modern styling

• Weight 420g
• Intergrated hood with multi adjustment and chin guard
• Invisible chest and hand pockets
• Contrast elastic bound hood, hem and cuffs
• Drop tail hem
• Contrast bonded fleece inner – See more at:


Final thoughts?

I love these base layers. Comfortable, versatile and easy to care for. My only qualm is that they aren’t as warm as other thermal layers. In all honesty these really are more suited for the hard core adventurer, who is most likely moving around quite a bit creating their own warmth and wonder.

The lightweight nature of all three items made them incredibly easy to pack for a weekend away. The stylish design made it so much easier to wear these out and about. Walking into a cafe with the dogs I felt like any other gym junkie in my snazzy outfit. The pants didn’t scream out mid-50s outdoor enthusiast.

The McKenzie jacket is such a versatile and easy jacket to wear. One teeny tiny fault-No Thumb loops. I can hear the bemusement as you’re reading this. The length of the sleeves is maginifcent but almost impracticable with no thumb loops to keep hands extra warm.

Unlike other well known high performance brands these won’t kill your budget. $60 each for the base layers and  $80 for the McKenzie fleece jacket

I’m even more excited to be incorporating these base layers into my morning training sessions in preparation for my next Adventure Race.


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