Merino wool is a natural fiber that has many benefits for athletes and outdoor enthusiasts. It is soft, lightweight, and breathable, making it the perfect material for base layers. In this article, we will discuss the different factors you should consider when choosing a merino wool base layer.
Is Merino Wool A Good Base Layer?
Merino Wool (click to read the a merino wool care guide) is a soft, breathable, and odor resistant material with great moisture wicking capabilities.
It is also lightweight and non-itchy, making it the perfect material for base layers. Base layers are the first layer of clothing that you put on, and they should be close fitting to your skin.
A good base layer, is comfortable, moisture wicking, fits pretty tight to the body, and can repel odors. Merino wool is extremely good at this, making it a fantastic base layer material that rivals polyester, nylon, silk, and cotton, and likely is the best all around option.
Also, be sure to check out our articles comparing merino wool to other materials:
Wool Vs Polyester, Wool Vs Cotton, Wool Vs Fleece
How to Pick the Best Merino Wool Underlayer/Base Layer?
Now that you know the benefits of merino wool, how do you pick the best one? There are a few factors to consider:
Shop By Thickness / Weight
Merino wool is available in a variety of weights. The weight of the fabric is measured in microns, and the lower the number, the finer the wool. Superfine merino wool has a micron count of 17.0 or less, while superfine merino wool has a micron count of 19.0 or less. When choosing a merino wool base layer, it is important to consider the activity you will be using it for. If you are looking for a base layer for high-intensity activities, such as running or cross-country skiing, you will want to choose a lighter weight fabric. For lower intensity activities, such as hiking or walking, you can choose a heavier weight fabric.
Another factor to consider when choosing a merino wool base layer is the fit. Merino wool base layers are available in a variety of fits, from slim to relaxed. If you are looking for a base layer to wear under your clothing, you will want to choose a slim fit. If you are looking for a base layer to wear as your outer layer, you can choose a relaxed fit.
If you are buying Merino Wool garments as a hunter or fisherman, you don’t want anything in electric blue. Try to match even your base layers to the terrain colours you are in. You don’t want to risk a piece of clothing giving away your position. You may be wearing it underneath other garments, but it can still poke through, or if you shed your other layers, you’ll want to stay not so visible. The opposite is true for hikers, backcountry skiers, and climbers where you want others to be able to easily spot you if your basel ayer is your outer layer.
Picking the best merino wool base layer is not difficult if you know what to look for. Be sure to consider the activity you will be using it for, the fit, and the color. With so many benefits, a merino wool base layer is a great choice for any athlete.
Max DesMarais is the founder of Hiking & Fishing. He has a passion for the outdoors and making outdoor education and adventure more accessible. Max is a published author for various outdoor and marketing websites. He is an experienced hiker, backpacker, fly fisherman, trail runner, and spends his free time in the outdoors. These adventures allow him to test gear, learn new skills, and experience new places so that he can educate others. You can read more about him here: hikingandfishing/about