This is a well-designed and attractive-looking midlayer that could be a good choice for those seeking decent levels of warmth plus elements of weather-resistance from such a garment.
The Aspen is blessed with striking looks and fits well too, with the pull-cord hem adjuster a handy option.
No option to adjust the wrist fit, so perhaps not ideal if you like a tighter feel around the wrists.
Sunderland Aspen Midlayer Review
Quarter-zip mid-layers have become very popular in recent years, but while there are plenty of options out there, there are still choices to be made over things like fabric thickness, for example.
The Sunderland Aspen midlayer sits in the brand’s ‘wind wear’ and ‘thermal wear’ collections, so it clearly has warmth as well as wind-resistance in mind.
Personal preference will, of course, dictate what are the best golf tops on the market for you.
How tall am I/what is my build?
I'm 5ft 9ins and not the slimmest member of the Golf Monthly team.
What do I normally wear - does it come up big/small?
In tops and waterproof outerwear I vary between Large and XL depending on the brand and how vigorously I'm pursuing some sort of exercise regime at the time! After discussing sizing with the Sunderland team, they were confident Large would be the one to go for.
How did it fit/feel/perform?
It certainly looks eye-catching in the white/navy/red colouring of our sample, which, along with the lightning blue/white/black, is probably the most striking of the six colour choices available.
Looks are obviously important but differing tastes will dictate whether you prefer something bright or a little more subdued. But a little brightness never hurts in the off-season.
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The Aspen is Teflon-coated for shower-resistance, but this doesn’t prevent the polyester fabric from feeling soft to the touch still. Its stretch properties make it comfortable and pretty quiet to swing in.
There are much thinner mid-layers out there, so you’ll need to think about what you really want from this kind of garment. This one certainly offers a greater degree of warmth than some of the thinner options.
Any extra details you noticed?
Most noticeable among the extra features are the pull-cord adjusters to tailor the fit around the hem.
The wrist fit is quite loose, so if you like a more fitted or elasticated wrist, this won’t be for you. But plenty of golfers prefer a looser fit.
The high collar on the Sunderland Aspen midlayer can be zipped up right to the chin guard on those days when you really want to keep the wind out.
Can you wear it off the course?
This will, of course, depend on the individual, but for us there would be no issues. This kind of top could look comfortably at home anywhere these days - it certainly doesn’t cry out ‘golf course only’!
How does it come out after the wash/do you need to iron it?
Washes well and, as with many of this breed of polyester midlayer, if you hang it up to dry straight after washing you should be able to get away without turning the iron on.
If your 'washing machine to wardrobe' process involves a heap of washing in a pile for a few days, you’ll probably need to run a cool iron over it!
Jeremy Ellwood has worked in the golf industry since 1993 and for Golf Monthly since 2002 when he started out as equipment editor. He is now a freelance journalist writing mainly for Golf Monthly across the whole spectrum from courses and Rules to equipment and even instruction despite his own somewhat iffy swing (he knows how to do it, but just can't do it himself). He also edits The Golf Club Secretary Newsletter, has authored or co-authored three books and written for a number of national papers including The Telegraph and The Independent. He is a senior panelist for Golf Monthly's Top 100 UK & Ireland Course Rankings and has played all of the Top 100 plus 89 of the Next 100. He has played well over 900 courses worldwide in 35 countries, but put him on a links course anywhere and he will be blissfully content. On his first trip to Abu Dhabi a decade ago he foolishly asked Paul Casey what sort of a record he had around the course there. "Well, I've won it twice if that's what you mean!" came the reply...
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