When it comes to the best type of material for a baselayer, it’s hard to beat Merino wool. It’s warm, soft and comfortable, it’s good at wicking away sweat, it’ll dry quickly and it takes a long time for it to get smelly. It really is just the perfect material for outdoor use, particularly in cold weather.
This baselayer from Merino wool experts, Smartwool, is pretty much the creme de la creme of baselayers. Made from 100% Merino, it brings all of the super wool’s excellent properties along with a pretty smart look too.
It features seams that are flatlocked and strategically placed to prevent any niggling, particularly when you’re wearing a backpack, it has a crew cut collar and weighs 275g.
Pros: Comfortable, moisture wicking, warm
Cons: Slow to dry once wet
I’ve got this in a medium, my usual size, and it fits really nicely. It hugs the body close enough to keep you feeling warm and comfortable but it’s not so tight that it gives away too much! In fact, I’d say the fit, for me, is forgiving enough that I’ve been happy to wear this out and about, just like a long sleep top.
For one of our recent gear test trips we took a bunch of kit, including this baselayer, to the Cairngorms of Scotland. It was very, very cold there and I’m not exaggerating it when I say that I wore this baselayer constantly for the four days we were there, living and sleeping in it and only taking it off to shower. Funnily enough, I’m writing this about five days down the line from that trip and I’m wearing the baselayer right now – and it still hasn’t been washed.