The 5 Best Merino Wool Base Layers in 20186 min read


Being a little cold during winter is common.

Ever been in a situation where no matter how many clothes you have on your body the passing of cool air currents just never stop? And adding more layers don’t help at all? If your answer is yes, then you, my friend, have been wearing an unsuitable base layer.

The first layer of cloth on your body is the most important one.

If the base layer is not good enough then no matter how bulky clothes you wear on top, you will feel chilly at most times.

You will never be able to feel entirely warm and cozy at any given instance.

Thus it is important that you wear a suitable and good quality base layer.

In this article, I will be discussing about base layers in depth and I will be presenting to you the ten best base layers made from Merino Wool.

The Shortlist Best Merino Wool Underlayers

Merino Wool Base Layer Best Feature My Grade
Icebreaker Oasis L/S Crewe Baselayer Top Black Mens Superlight weight A 🏅
Minus33 Merino Wool Men’s Chorcorua Midweight Crew Great for cold weather A
Smartwool NTS Mid 250 Crew Minimal seams A
Ibex Outdoor Clothing Men's All Day Crew Top Made in the US B
Ridge Merino Wool Men's Inversion Midweight Crew Great Value B+

^^Below, I’ve written more detailed reviews, but you can click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.

Why Do We Need Merino Wool Base Layer?

Now you may be asking yourself why you should invest in a base layer, let alone in a Merino Wool base layer.

The thing is, unless you will be basking in the sun in Miami all year around, you will require a base layer.

Base layers are one of the most important gears for hiking or trekking.

If you are involved in a lot of outdoorsman-ship then you must own a good pair of base layers.

There is a misconception that good base layers are required only while doing high intensity works.

However, base layers are just as necessary and useful for everyday usage- prominently during winters.

Base layers keep us warm and cozy at all times.

Merino Wool base layers, especially, are one of the warmest and most advanced base layers available.

One of the best features of the Merino Wool base layers is that they are antibacterial.

They are naturally odor resistant as well.

So you can wear these for many days without washing.

These Merino Wool base layers wick moisture which helps you to remain dry and fresh at all times.

They are extremely soft to touch and breathable as well.

They give you a tight and comfortable fit.

Another great trait of these base layers is that since they are made from Merino Wool they provide you with UV protection.

Moreover, these base layers are machine washable.

Almost all of the Merino Wool base layers in this list are striking and attractive- which is another great feature of these.

How To Choose A Good Merino Wool Base Layer?

There is an enormous range of base layer clothing available in the market.

These base layer clothing are generally made of cotton, polypropylene, Merino Wool and so on.

Sometimes you may get overwhelmed by the huge variety of base layers available in the market.

To avoid this overwhelm and confusion, you will have to get a basic idea about choosing good base layers.

Following are the major factors which you must consider while purchasing a base layer.


The first thing you want to look for is the material.

The densities, fibers’ diameter, porosity, mixture with other fabrics and so on are some factors which influence the materiality of Merino Wool base layers.

Merino Wools’ density ranges from 130g/m² to 250g/m².

Lesser density fabrics are suitable to be worn during warmer climates and as the density of the cloth increase, it becomes apt to be worn during the colder seasons.

Similarly, the fibers’ diameter in Merino Wool ranges from 17 microns to 24 microns.

The lesser microns are the ultrafine ones whereas the greater are the stronger ones.

Merino Wool may be mixed with other fabrics such as Nylon, Lycra, Polypropylene and so on in order to increase its durability, to fasten the drying time or to strengthen the product.

However, be careful about these combined products as they will not be as soft as the products made from 100% Merino Wool.


The seams of base layers must be knitted generously.

They need to be tightly woven so that the cloth will last a long period of time without wearing and tearing.

The base layers need to contain flat lock seams because flat lock seams reduce the friction between the body and the cloth.

This prevents chaffing and irritation which are bound to happen whilst trekking or hiking and even during normal days.

So make sure to check the seams of the base layer properly.

Antibacterial And Odor-Resistance Properties

Merino Wool is antibacterial in nature.

It has a fatty substance called lanolin- which is also known as wool wax or wool grease- which helps to manage the odor and prevent the pungent smell from leaking out.

You want to get a base layer which will control odor for a maximum number of days because when you are on a hike or travel, it is not feasible to carry many base layers or to frequently wash these.

So choose a Merino Wool base layer which is antibacterial and odor resistant.

Moisture Wicking Properties

One of the main functions of a Merino Wool base layer is to keep the sweating to minimum.

When a person sweats a lot, there is loss of important liquids and salts from the body.

This negatively affects your performance.

While doing outdoor activities, you are bound to sweat more than often.

So you need a good base layer which will wick the moisture and keep you dry so that your performance does not get hindered.


One disadvantage of Merino Wool base layers is that they are not as durable as synthetic base layers.

However, with proper care they can last you a good run.

Moreover, if durability is a key point to you, you can opt for Merino Wool base layers which have been combined with other materials for extra durability such as the Ibex All Day Crew.


You want to buy a base layer which has a snug fit.

The fit should be not only tight enough to trap heat inside to keep you warm but also sheltered enough so that your movements do not get restricted.

Close fitting base layers look much attractive compared to baggy base layers.

So choose the base layer which suits you the best.


The major function of base layers is to keep you warm.

Merino Wool itself is a warm material; so almost all of the Merino Wool base layers will provide you with the required heat.

Make sure that you choose a base layer which is just perfect with the climate in which you will be wearing it.

Other Considerations

Other than the aforementioned traits, you may want to look for a Merino Wool base layer which is soft and has UV protection.

Also, pay attention to the breath ability and ventilation which the base layer provides.

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