Artilect Boulder Crew 125
Material: Nuyarn™ Merino Wool
There’s a new kid on the outdoor clothing block, and Artilect astonished us with the Boulder Crew 125. It was the lightest baselayer that we tried at 25g, but the weight was no reflection on warmth. It almost felt flimsy to put on and sat against our torsos like a second skin. Being made from Nuyarn™ Merino Wool meant that it had all the warming properties of Merino Wool, but at almost half the weight.
It was fully moisture-wicking and dried more quickly than regular Merino wool. We wouldn’t recommend it for snow sports (it’s too thin for that), but it is an incredibly versatile option for thru-hiking and trail running alike.
We loved the look of it too, the exposed seams made us feel as though we were on a mountain catwalk runway. It came with all the design features that you’d want (including thumb loops). For ultralight fans, this one is going to be a must.
Nuyarn merino fabric / ultra lightweight / eyelet knit for increased breathability / moisture-wicking / thumb loops / slim fit / flatlock seams.
Megmeister Drynamo Warm Turtleneck
Material: 44% polypropylene, 44% nylon 6.6, 12% elastane
The big sister of the Megmeister Drynamo Cycle Base Layer, this one would be more suited to thru hiking and very cold conditions. The turtle neck was a fantastic design feature and saves the need to carry a buff.
This was thicker than many of the other baselayers that we tried, and this was noticeable with the level of warmth that it provided. The ventilation was superbly designed, with plenty of breathability particularly on the back of the top, making it a great layer to pair with a backpack. Another great design feature with both of the Megmeister baselayers is that they’re completely seam free, meaning that there’s no risk of chafing.
Body mapped design with ventilation / ultralight / anti-odour and antibacterial function / thumb loops / light compression fit / moisture-wicking / 4 way stretch / seam free.
Jack Wolfskin Snow Sky Halfzip W
Material: 86% recycled polyester, 14% elastane
Unless you’re doing snowsports, we’d describe this as more of a midlayer than a baselayer, but the fabric is soft enough that you can easily wear it directly against your skin and layer it up with hard shells or ski jackets.
The level of warmth provided was really high, but it was also one of the heaviest baselayers that we tested, which is something to take into account if planning a thru-hike. We’d recommend this for snowboarding, skiing and nordic skiing, or trekking in extremely cold conditions.
The fabric was very breathable and stretchy and dried quickly, so fully moisture-wicking overall.
Moisture-wicking / eco-dyed fabric / moisture regulating / stretch fabric / fast drying.
Smartwool Women’s Merino 250 Plant-Based Dye Logo Crew
Material: Merino wool
Being 100% Merino wool, the Smartwool Women’s Merino 250 Baselayer provided excellent levels of warmth. It’s not the lightest Merino wool baselayer on the market, but we did notice the extra layer of insulation and stayed toasty warm all day.
This comes in several designs and we love how Smartwool has been so creative with their colours. Plain grey or black they are not, and we were also impressed with Smartwool’s commitment to creating functional, eco-friendly clothing and using plant-based dye.
We’d thoroughly recommend this as a baselayer for multi-day adventures at altitude or in cold conditions. Being Merino wool we can also vouch for the fact that you won’t smell when you return home!
Plant-based dye / flat lock seams / Merino wool / body enhancing fit / moisture-wicking / interlock knit / odour resistant.
Mammut Aconcagua ML Tights ¾ Women
Material: Polartec® Power Stretch® (33% Polyamide, 57% Polyester, 10% Spandex)
Legs get cold too, and we love it that Mammut has designed such a fantastic baselayer to keep our bottom halves comfortable in low temperatures too. The Aconcagua ML Tights were slim fitting which kept air close to the body and made them extremely insulating. The double-sided knit structure also means that they’re not going to go baggy over time (everyone’s worst fear with leggings).
They felt like a really robust, durable product which would be equally comfortable to wear on a run as on a thru-hike. All in all, we couldn’t believe that such warmth and quality had been achieved on such a lightweight piece of kit.
Super-abrasion-proof nylon surface / elastic waist / abrasion resistance / moisture regulation / double-sided knit structure to keep shape / slim fit.
Main Photo: Finisterre
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