Thursday, December 23, 2021

Odlo Winter 2021-2022 Reviews: AXALP collection, Zeroweight Ceramiwarm, Chill-Tec for heat and super light Merino 130

Article by Dominique Winebaum, Adam Glueck, and Sam Winebaum


We are huge fans of Swiss Norwegian brand Odlo, the masters of the base layer (and more) and for all seasons. In the article we test and review pieces from their new AXALP collection, Zeroweight Ceramiwarm, Chill-Tec for heat and super light Merino 130.

Dominique (New Hampshire)

ODLO AXALP Winter Tights ($110) & ZEROWEIGHT CERAMIWARM Hoody ($110)

The Tights

Fit and Style

AXALP is a high alpine pasture in the Bernese Oberland above Brienz, in Switzerland, and is a name fitting for this pair of winter tights, specifically designed for the trails given their dirt and water repellent qualities, but which are just as perfect for road running.  Made with CERAMIWARM technology, they provide excellent thermoregulation through “active warming” and “enhanced moisture management.”  Optimized warmth without adding bulk and sleek looking, the AXALP winter tights are low rise with an adjustable waistband.  

Slim-fitted, and even though ODLO recommends sizing up for a looser fit, I would stick to your regular size.  I am typically a size small or medium for tights (hips 36”), however, I received a size large (including the ZEROWEIGHT CERAMIWARM Hoody).  By any measure, the tights look fitted on me (see my derrière picture), however, they are too large around the waist requiring some adjustment,  namely pulling the cord tightly around the waistline.  

In addition,  they are low rise, so sizing up will not help keep your tights snugly in place.  A size small would have been just perfect for me (as opposed to size large), yet I am getting plenty of enjoyment running in my AXALP as winter is here!  

 Interestingly, the ODLO model is tall (5’ 8.5”) and wears a size small – just pointing this out!

Sleek looking and slim fitted, the tights are extremely comfortable and functional.  Plenty of storage that is easily accessible: two side pockets with one zippered and a rear stretch tunnel mesh pocket to safely store your phone.  Reflective dots in the lower back of legs provide some level of visibility.  Black with “siesta” accents along the edges of the two side pockets, they are very attractive and flattering. The waistband is adjustable and sits comfortably in place though a size small would have required less adjustment for me.   



ODLO produces highly performance sportswear with a sustainable platform that are engineered using Odlo multiple fabric technologies or made with natural 100% Merino, depending on the type of products.  

The AXALP winter tights are made with CERAMIWARM Technology: “Ceramic-woven fibres reflect heat while letting moisture escape,” which results in “active warming” and “enhanced moisture management.”  Truly, the comfort level is tip top – the inside of the tights are fleecy delivering plenty of warmth without trapping moisture. 

Noticeably, the comfortable level is constant whether temperatures are mild or cold and even quite cold.  No feeling of being overdressed in mild temperatures and one layer is just right in cold temperatures; today’s run was in the 26° range with a 16° feel. 


Whether it is winter or summer ODLO sportswear, and everything in between (bras and underwear), I absolutely trust the brand for its performance, quality, comfort, durability, fit, design, and style.  With the AXALP winter tights, I am adding another piece of apparel to my ODLO collection, and look forward to seasons of wear running on snowy trails, slushy roads, or just plain cold weather conditions. 

ODLO’s sustainable platform is another reason I like and trust the brand, especially as each piece of apparel has been carefully crafted for durability while it keeps me active outdoors.  

This is a “slim fit” garment, which ODLO recommends sizing up for a looser fit, however, I would personally recommend against it for a snugger fit around the waist and the hips given that it is a low rise tight with an adjustable waistband.  Please keep in mind that the AXALP winter tights are low rise – a matter of preference when selecting tights. 

AXALP Winter Tights Available at ODLO


Fit and Style

A midlayer hoody that I have been wearing as an outer layer running and hiking in damp and mildly cold weather conditions.  Even in 26° F temperatures with a 16° F chill factor, I felt plenty warm wearing it as an outer layer.  In snowy conditions and much colder temperatures, I plan on wearing it as a midlayer. 

My review piece is a size large – I am typically a size medium in tops.  The fit is much tighter on the ODLO model who is quite tall (5’ 8.5”) and is wearing a size small.  

I feel the top is a bit too long and too wide at the bottom in a size large; it looks like a tunic on me.  I would definitely recommend not sizing up  for a regular fit. It is a comfortable style that is highly functional, especially as this midlayer top is a hoody. 

Tall ODLO model is wearing a size small. Below I am wearing a size large.


A lightweight midlayer hoody offering plenty of protection and warmth without trapping moisture.   Made with CERAMIWARM as are the AXALP winter tights.  Unlike some apparel from ODLO, I find that I need to wash it more frequently.  The CERAMIWARM technology makes this midlayer a highly performing hoody.  

The coverage is fantastic when wearing the hood if additional protection is needed. A zippered side pocket provides room for storage, preferably lightweight items – too bouncy for a phone, which I store in the rear stretch tunnel mesh pocket of my AXALP tights.   Distinctively lightweight - this is a ZEROWEIGHT midlayer - I tend to wear it for extended periods of time and not just for a specific workout.  


A lightweight midlayer hoody made with CERAMIWARM technology that is extremely versatile and functional.  In lieu of wearing a jacket with a zipper, I like running with the ZEROWEIGHT CERAMIWARM midlayer hoody as my outer layer as the weather gets colder.  I will probably wear it as a mid layer later in much colder temperatures.  This is not ZEROSCENT apparel (another Odlo tech).   I would also opt for a size medium, which is my regular size for a shorter length and tighter fit.  Available in 3 different colors: black, hyacinth, and siesta.

The Ceramiwarm Run Hoody available

Backcountry HERE

Amazon HERE

Men’s Axalp Ceramiwarm Mid Layer HaIf Zip ($110)

Fit, Style,and Features

My Axalp fits true to my usual medium with a somewhat long and easy going fit.  The fabric has a smoother outer surface with a hint of fleece like texture on the inner surface for a touch of warmth and wicking.

We don’t often get into “features” with a mid layer but we have several of note here.

The top has 2 back sides of hips black mesh pockets which easily and securely hold my iPhone 13 in case.

The shoulders have subtle silicone printing to help prevent abrasion and keep pack straps from slipping. We also have front and back reflective highlights.

The “thumb holes” are more than that and are essentially half gloves

There is “tech” on board in the form of Ceramiwarm which are heat reflective ceramic particles woven into the yarn which can generate up to 3C more heat than other fabrics and which do not interfere with breathability.  This has absolutely been the case with the AXALP and even more so with the super thin and light Zeroweight running pants whose range of comfort is about the best I have ever experienced from well above freezing to well below


I tested at a 4 mile race at just above freezing with a pretty stout breeze as my only layer and was never chilled or overheated. Best of all, after the race it dried quickly and I felt no need to change to dry clothes.  I also ran it at temperatures well above freezing and was just as comfortable.

My final test was in 25 F weather with a 15mph wind so a feel like temp of 11 F or -11C with a light merino blend short sleeve underneath. I was totally fine until I ran into the headwind where things got a bit chilly as AXALP does not have any kind of wind barrier beyond its face fabric, Throw a windbreaker or shell over such as the Odlo Zeroweight Dual Dry or Pro Warm Reflect jackets (RTR Reviews) over and I could run it at yet lower temperatures and with more wind.


The AXALP is a mid layer with more. Pockets, warm yet wide temperature range comfort, breathability, Ceramiwarm fabric, abrasion resistant anti slip shoulders, thumb holes plus, and an easy soft fit. it has been a great running companion and will also be a near ideal layer for hiking, nordic skiing, and daily wear,

Shop for AXALP Midlayer and AXALP at Running Warehouse (Sale ending Jan 2)

Adam Glueck (New Hampshire)

Odlo Merino 130 Crew Short-Sleeve Baselayer Top ($75)

Trail Running in Big Sur

Fit and Style:

I’ve been an enormous fan of Odlo’s baselayers, tights, and jackets in the past, so I was extremely excited to see what they could do with a Merino wool blend baselayer. The look is simple and utilitarian, a semi-tight, black, wool blend base layer with a small logo on the upper chest.  The sleeves roll easily and it’s thin and lightweight.  The fabric is soft and comfortable.  It’s not particularly flashy, but is nicely subtle and goes with pretty much anything.  

Backpacking In Iceland


I like Merino wool for socks but have found that for Baselayers it doesn’t tend to wick as well as synthetics, and is more easily damaged.  This base layer however, is a 50% Wool/Tencel blend, and features an incredibly thin and light fabric.  I found that it excelled at keeping me warm without being too hot, was much softer than my other wool base layers, and maintained warmth even while wet or sweaty.  What impressed me most about the performance was the durability.  

My most recent hike/run in this baselayer was a 15 mile loop through the Silver Peak Wilderness in Big Sur, California.  On the climb up Silver Peak, the trail was overgrown and I went through several miles with sharp branches and bushes scraping at the baselayer.  Despite this, and even with several cuts on my shins, the Odlo was undamaged.  The only wear I’ve seen was that the tiny rubbery text for the Odlo branding has started to fall off, which is unfortunate for Odlo, but has had zero effect on the functionality of the shirt.  

Trail Running in Vermont


While I tend to prefer synthetic base layers over wool, the Merino 130 Baselayer has me reconsidering this stance.  The incredibly thin fabric, good durability, and effective wicking along with the good odor control and easy rolling of sleeves makes me consider this base layer especially favorable on long hikes or trail runs even over my other favorite base layers (The Odlo Blackcomb and Performance Light).  I’ve taken this shirt from backpacking in Iceland, to trail running in the White Mountains, as well as hiking in Big Sur.  While it’s simple and utilitarian, it is functional and comfortable and I expect to stay warm on outdoor adventures wearing it for years to come. 

Shop for Odlo Merino 130 Crew Short-Sleeve at Backcountry

Odlo Men’s Essential Chill-Tec T-Shirt ($45)

Backpacking in Iceland in the Essential Chill-Tec Tee

Fit and Style

This is a simple on the “surface”, grey T-shirt.  The fit is relatively loose with enough room for good shoulder mobility.  The fabric looks like a fine grid up close with lots of ventilation and a slightly rougher outer feel due to the grid. The shirt features Odlo Chill-tec technology which incorporates both high air permeability and convection cooling.

You can see the texture of the shirt up close, which contributes to it’s wicking and prevents it from absorbing water

The fit is relaxed but not baggy.  The fabric isn’t particularly stretchy, but the arms and chest are cut so that despite having wide shoulders, I have good arm mobility.  


This is a fantastically breathable, wicking, and comfortable shirt.  I find that it doesn’t absorb much water. It doesn’t seem to absorb sweat, and wicks incredibly well.  In cold weather and windy conditions, it’s quite cold, but for warm weather running, it’s fantastic.  When mountain running and carrying extra layers in a running vest or backpacking, it also packs down quite small which is helpful when you’re volume constrained.


Although I’m not the biggest fan of the grey color, this is probably my favorite warm-weather running T-shirt.  The combination of well placed seams that have never chafed along with excellent wicking and lightweight fabric create a fantastic lightweight T-Shirt.  

My shirt of choice for a Trail Marathon in Muir Woods National Park

Shop for Odlo Essential and the Chill-Tec T-Shirt at Running Warehouse

Tested samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased through affiliate links in this article. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'

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