Kora Shola Crew Review
It might be cold outside but you don’t have to be. The Kora Shola Crew is a versatile base layer top that is perfect for all cold weather adventures. Behind each garment from Kora there is a great story. Each product made at Kora originated from Himalayan Yak Wool. The wool is harvested by the nomadic farmers and purchased at fair world market value. The wool that has kept the yaks warm in subzero temperatures now has been spun into apparel that is designed to keep outdoor enthusiasts warm in the coldest conditions. Over the past few months I have put the Kora Shola Crew to the test in the mountains of Colorado.
Initial Thoughts of the Kora Shola Crew
I have many different types of base layers in my closet but I didn’t have one made of yak wool. I was definitely excited to see how the yak wool of the Kora Shola Crew would stand up to the merino wool and the synthetic layers that I have used for years.
The feel of yak wool is similar to that of the merino wool, soft to the touch. When wearing the crew without an undershirt there is a very slight rough feel. This was only noticeable when I would first put it on. Once moving around this was not very noticeable. For me, merino wool is a bit softer as I do not notice any itch when wearing.
The Kora Shola Crew has a tight athletic fit. I wear a medium or large in all of my base layers. Size large usually has a bit of room. However with the Kora Shola Crew the large is snug. I would not want to go down to a size medium. The arms are a perfect fit and even when raised above my head they do not rise at all.
The overall appearance of the Kora Shola Crew is fairly basic. The majority of the color is black with brown stitching. One feature I really find cool is that there is a Tibetan Prayer Flag on the cuff of the right sleeve.
Performance Review of the Kora Shola Crew
A base layer is one of the most important pieces of outdoor clothing. It must keep you warm when it is cold, not overheat you when working hard, wick moisture away from the body, and maybe most importantly not smell rancid on multi day excursions. The Kora Shola Crew fits this bill.
If it is Warm Enough for a Yak then it Will Keep You Warm
Kora Shola Crew for me is the perfect underlayer for skiing, snowshoeing, cold hikes, and fishing in the winter. I find that during any of the strenuous activities such as skiing, snowshoeing, and hiking wearing the Kora Shola Crew and a shell is enough to keep me warm. I have skied in 20 degree temperatures and been comfortable with only the single layer underneath. When fishing in the cold temperatures of winter, I only need one additional layer over the top of Kora Shola Crew to keep warm. That being said, the Kora Shola Crew is one of the warmest base layers I have worn. It is nice to have so few layers on when playing in the cold.
Once you work up a sweat, the Kora Shola Crew does is pretty good at regulating temperatures. I find when the temps stay cold the Kora Shola Crew breathes easily. When temperatures rise, I find the Kora Shola Crew to be a little on the toasty side. One morning when I was guiding a fly fishing trip, the temperature started out at a cold 25 degrees on the water and by noon the temperature was over 50 degrees. During the warmest part of that day I felt a bit on the warm side and needed to cool off in the icy water. That being said on days where the temperatures stay cool the Kora Shola Crew is awesome. I can fish in a half frozen river with the wind howling and stay comfortable with minimal layering.
Keeping me Dry
The Kora Shola Crew is also very good at wicking moisture from the body. After a strenuous workout I find that I am dry and warm even after I have cooled off. This is why I find the Kora Shola Crew to be perfect as my only base layer under a shell when skiing.
Usually base layers need to get a thorough washing after they get worn. The Kora Shola Crew is superb at resisting odor. I am easily able to get multiple excursions out of this base layer without my wife even noticing. Although it is winter here in Colorado, in the summer this will definitely be going on my backpacking trips where my clothes will get worn day in and day out.
Specs of the Kora Shola Crew taken from the Kora Website
- MSRP $145
- Ergonomic fit
- Extra-long body length
- Long Sleeves
- Flat-locked seams
- Low profile crew neck collar
Final Thoughts on the Kora Shola Crew
Want a base layer that keeps you warm, regulates your temperature, comes from a sustainable source, and doesn’t stink after it is used? Then look no further to the Kora Shola Crew. The Kora Shola Crew is a great cold weather base layer that is perfect for all winter and cold weather activities like skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, and fly fishing. Although not the cheapest piece of clothing, the Kora Shola Crew should last many seasons and be one of your go to pieces of apparel on cold weather outings.