Smartwool Classic Thermal Merino Base Layer Crew | Review - Outdoors Magic

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Mid and Base Layers

Smartwool Classic Thermal Merino Base Layer Crew | Review

An out-and-out winter warmer that’s technical but still casual enough in style to suit off-the-hill use too

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.

I’ve worn a few Smartwool garments over the years and have been really impressed by their odour resistance each time. It genuinely makes me think that I should just wear Merino constantly – it’d save me some money in my utility bills, I’m sure.

“It’s a great bit of kit that I’m sure I’m going to get a heck of a lot of use out of.”

I think it’s also important to highlight the fact that this feels very comfortable to wear. You do sometimes find some Merino garments that feel a little bit itchy but that’s certainly not the case here. That said, those who have allergies to lanolin which is a natural, waxy substance extracted from sheep’s wool, might find it will itch a bit. If you’re not allergic to it then I think you’ll definitely appreciate this product.

As for the thickness, I’ve tried real heavy weight baselayers and super thin ones too. I’d say this is around mid weight. The thickness is kind of the same as a standard cotton t-shirt.

In conclusion, I love it. It’s a great bit of kit that I’m sure I’m going to get a heck of a lot of use out of.

Other Key Things Answered

Are they waterproof? No
Are they machine washable? Yes
Are they suitable for plus-sized people? Craghoppers go up to a women’s 24L and a men’s 44

Smartwool Classic Baselayer

Selected for the Outdoor 100 Winter 23/24
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