Smartwool Merino Sport 150 | Long-term Review - Outdoors Magic

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Smartwool Merino Sport 150 | Long-term Review

"I would happily wear this every day if society wasn’t so judgemental about that kind of thing..."

I’ve found myself ranting to people I’ve just met about the qualities of this t-shirt, the Smartwool Merino 150. I like it that much.

As the name suggests, it’s made using merino (56%), that special type of wool from the eponymously named breed of sheep. To bring a bit of extra durability to the garment’s construction there’s polyester (44%) in the weave as well. It’s a combination which makes for a t-shirt that, as I’ve certainly found, does a lot of the things you want a t-shirt to do for you.

I’ve used this a lot over the last summer. I’ve worn it for long distance walks and weekend wild camps, I’ve slept in it, run in it, and been to meetings in it. Sometimes I’ve been for a run and then gone to a meeting in it. In fact, I would happily wear this every day if society wasn’t so judgemental about that kind of thing.

It appears my enthusiasm for it is starting to influence others as well. As I write this, my colleague is sat next to me in the exact same t-shirt. Here we are, two guys sat side-by-side in the same black Smartwool t-shirt, jeans and hiking boots get-up. 

Wearing the Smartwool Merino Sport 150 in the Brecon Beacons on a hot August weekend.

Why so good then? Well, quite simply, it’s that 56% merino wool content. Merino really is an excellent fabric. It’ll keep you nice and warm, so makes for a great layer to wear, say, in your sleeping bag, but it also provides good temperature regulation and this makes it suitable for active use as well. I’ve worn this while hiking right in the middle of summer and haven’t regretted doing so.

Related: Best Hiking Socks Reviewed

What’s really noticeable when wearing it is that it’s so quick at wicking moisture. It lifts any sweat right off you before spreading it thinly across the fabric to allow the fibres to dry out quickly. This performance is at its most evident when you take the t-shirt out of the wash. While all my clothes that I’ll have washed will come out of the machine sodden, this, on the other hand, will be almost dry enough to wear. 

On that note, as I write this, I’ve just spotted on the label that you’re supposed to wash this at a cool 30 degrees. I’ve been washing it at 50 and it’s absolutely fine. I haven’t been tumble drying it – it air dries so quickly that I’ve found there’s not much need for machine assistance. I’ve also found that after six months of near constant use, it’s kept its shape well and feels pretty much good as new.

The other great thing about this t-shirt, and merino wool in general, is that it has anti-microbial properties, which in other words, means it naturally suppresses any of the nasty types of bacteria that will cause cotton or synthetic t-shirts to stink after just a day of use. I’ll be honest, I’ve worn this for four days non-stop before and as far as I could tell it didn’t ever start to smell. My girlfriend and maybe my colleagues might have picked up a pong but no one said anything, so I can only assume – or maybe hope, even – that the merino did the job.



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