Gear Review: Smartwool Merino 150 Women’s Base Layer Tee
Description: The Smartwool Merino 150 Base Layer Short Sleeve Tee wicks away moisture, keeping you cool and dry. The Merino 150 is the Smartwool’s lightest base layer and can be worn in cool and warm weather.
- Materials:87% Merino Wool, 13% nylon
- Weight: Unknown but claimed to be “lightweight”
Circumstances of Review: After rocking synthetic shirts for half of my thru-hike, I decided I needed a change. I envied fellow hiker’s merino shirts as I stank in my dirty synthetic tee. Now, I’m not sure I’ll ever go back to synthetic after wearing the Smartwool Merino 150 Base Layer Short Sleeve Tee. It really reigns supreme.
Not all Wool is Itchy: Before trying wool, I assumed it itchy and uncomfortable. But, I was wrong. So wrong. My Smartwool Merino 150 Base Layer Short Sleeve Tee was superior to synthetic. Read more here about why Wool rocks. Honestly, I was expecting an itchy christmas sweater feel and I found Merino Wool to be more comfortable than my $10 synthetic Walmart tee’s.
Breathability: Wow. What a difference wool makes in terms of breathability.Even though I claim my clothes were wet half the time due to sweat, this shirt’s wool and nylon blend make for a silky feel. On hot days, the Smartwool Merino 150 Base Layer kept me cool; whereas, with synthetic I felt I was a human toaster oven.
Odor Resistance: I can’t even begin to describe how bad I smell after 4 days of hiking in the woods. The stank is powerful. I mainly used synthetic because it was cheaper than wool but after making the switch odor resistance is one of my favorite perks. Wool’s wicking wonders keep the you/the shirt dry and odor causing bacteria at bay.
Holes: In terms of strength, wool’s an incredibly strong fabric. I don’t know how but I ended up with a couple of holes pretty shortly after I purchased this shirt. Personally, I wasn’t bothered by the few holes because of the other amazing features like the breathability, cooling and wicking wonders of this shirt. Smartwool does have a 2 year warranty but it doesn’t cover general wear and tear. Hikers literally will wear their merino wool shirts until they’re falling off (trust me, I’ve seen it). Having said all this, merino will does require special care. I choose to hand wash my merino wool shirt and air dry. Smartwool’s step by step guide.
Price: For a hiking t-shirt, $75.00 can cause sticker shock. But, this shirt lasted 1500 miles without needing a replacement. My synthetic shirts weren’t falling apart but they became itchy and developed a permanent stank. I didn’t have this issue with wool. As a result, I think the $75.00 is worth the price, given the rate I was going through my $10 synthetic shirts, it adds up. Most importantly, the Merino Wool felt better, kept me cooler and was overall a more comfortable shirt. In fact, I didn’t even mind wearing it every day.
Worth it. If you haven’t tried merino wool for hiking, treat yooooo self. The Smartwool’s Merino 150 Base Layer Short Sleeve Tee is amazing and I will never ever go back to synthetic. Even if the $75.00 initially hurts the bank, the quality, durability and breathability of the shirt are incredible. Plus, it’ll last longer than synthetic, not smell and actually wick away sweat to keep you cool and dry.
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