Quick Layer Up – Find the Best Wool Base Layers

best merino wool base layers

It’s important to wrap up warm in cold conditions, and with winter here, there isn’t a better time to start putting on those extra layers. A wool base layer will ensure that heat is retained and that you are kept warm when you are out hiking or skiing in countries that have cold winters.

Of course, it is not always easy to know what to get – especially with so many different sleeping bags on the market - but we are here to help. In order to help you find the best Merino wool base layer, we have put this guide together, compiling all of the relevant wool base layer reviews in one place, so you can find the best one for your next trip.

Best Merino Wool Base Layer for Hunting – Brass Monkeys

Brass Monkeys is a good brand to go with, especially if you are looking for a wool base layer for men. Our next hunting trip could be your warmest yet with one of these, so take the time to read the reviews below and see if it’s right for you.

The Good
This base layer comes in a classic black and is made from 100% Merino wool (215mg). As a result, you know that you are getting something that will be both comfortable and warm throughout the year.

The wool is ethically sourced, and the base layer is manufactured in New Zealand, making it a great option for the ethically conscious.

Designed for ultimate warmth, this base layer has long-sleeves, a slim fit, crew neck, and a shaped tail to bring you as much warmth as possible.

At the same time, it remains breathable so that you don’t end up drenched in sweat. Soft and comfortable, it is odour resistant so that you don’t need to wash it after multiple uses.

This wool base layer fits beautifully, no chaffing, nice and cosy even during the very chilly English weather. The long sleeve undershirt has been a pleasure to wear during the freezing weather; it has served exceptionally well and makes them cold days out a little easier.

The Not So Good
Some customers found that the sizing came up a little small, so keep this in mind when you go to buy.

Our View
This wool base layer comes at a very reasonable price, especially when you consider that is has been ethically sourced and made in New Zealand.

Of course, the sizing can be a little small for some, and so it is important to think of this when you go to order it. This base layer has been designed to be comfortable and warm, which is something that the majority of customers who bought this seem to agree on.

Best Merino Wool Base Layer for Skiing – Sub Sports

This base layer for women is everything you need if you are heading off on a skiing trip. Comfortable and warm, there isn’t much more you could ask of a base layer, so check out the reviews below to see for yourself.

The Good
This thermal base layer comes in a traditional black with a white logo on the sleeve. It has long-sleeves with soft brushed internal fibres to help keep your body warm in snowy and cold conditions.

Plus, the four-way stretch fabric gives you the freedom to move and a responsive fit that won’t leave you feeling constricted.

The moisture wicking fabric redirects all of your sweat, making the material breathable and preventing you from skiing while soaked.

The carefully finished seams prevent any chafing, and the compression fit ensures an improved flow of oxygen in the blood and delivery to the muscles. Ideal for skiing, as well as other sports, it is sure to keep you warm in the mountains. 

The top is comfy and a fabulous feel although it is a very tight fit for the size sent, I'm a 12 and ordered a large, and it fits very very snug where it touches. However, I knew it would be tight as this is a layer to go underneath other clothes, but if you want a slightly better fit with more movement in I would go XL. It isn't bulky at all a fragile material, but it is fleecy backed and very warm.

The Not So Good
Some customers have found that the sizing can come up a little large, and so it is important to keep this in mind when you go to buy.

Our View
This wool base layer for skiing comes at an incredibly affordable price, and is one that you will not want to miss out on for your next skiing trip. Incredibly warm and comfortable, you are sure to feel toasty while you glide down the slopes.

While the sizing can be a little off, ordering a size down is often the best solution. It’s worth a try for this fantastic and very comfortable Merino wool base layer.

Best Merino Wool Base Layer for Walking – Icebreaker

Another great brand, Icebreaker is a good one for outdoor clothing. If you are searching for a base layer to take walking with you, then this could be the perfect one for you. Read the reviews below and see if it’s what you need in your life.

The Good
This black base layer is made from Merino wool, which ensures that it is comfortable and soft to wear. It comes in a crew cut, so you don’t feel constricted, and has a slim fit that will keep you warm in cold weather. Odour resistant, you can wear it for days without needing to wash it – perfect for long hiking and camping trips.

The long-sleeves ensure that heat is retained and that your arms don’t get cold, while the carefully finished seams prevent any air from escaping and also ensure that you are chafe-free when walking.

Breathable and moisture wicking, you won’t be left walking in your own sweat when you go for a hike wearing one of these. 

The Not So Good
While it is excellent for keeping warm, some customers felt the material could have been thicker so that it felt better quality.

Our View
This Merino wool base layer comes at a really reasonable price, and one that you won’t want to miss out on. While some customers felt that it was a little thin, they say that it did keep them warm in cold weather while walking.

Thinking of a December trip to Norway? Packing one of these will not only leave you feeling toasty, but also very grateful that you have one to wear during the cold winter.



Q: What are the washing instructions?

A: Machine wash. lower 40c water.

Best Merino Wool Base Layer for Cycling – Helly Hansen

Helly Hansen is another good brand, and one that many people trust to provide them with great quality at reasonable prices.

If you like to cycle throughout the year, including winter, then you need to invest in a good base layer. Here it is, so take a look and see what you think.

The Good
This base layer comes in a bright blue, which is great if you want something a little different from the norm. After all, bright colours add a little fun to the journey.

It is made from pure Merino wool, so you know that it is going to be really soft and comfortable to wear while you cycle. Made for men, it promises not to itch or cause you discomfort.

The long-sleeves help to retain heat, and the LIFA stay dry technology is not only water resistant but moisture wicking – so you won’t be left to sweat while you ride.

Instead, the tech will ensure that the moisture escapes and leaves you dry. Allergy-neutral and with careful flatlock stitching to prevent chafing, it could be just what you need. 

The Not So Good
The colours do tend to fade a little after being washed a few times.

Our View
This very well-priced base layer is not only made entirely from Merino wool, but is also exceedingly comfortable and sure to leave you feeling pleased that you picked it up. While the colours can fade after a few washes, it’s not a shirt that will normally be seen, so there isn’t much to worry about. Regardless of the colour, it still does everything you need and more.

Further Models of Merino Wool Base Layer

Here are some further models of Merino wool base layer, just in case the ones above do not quite meet your requirements

Mountain Warehouse Merino Round Neck Top

This base layer comes from a trusted brand that is known for their wide selection of outdoor gear and clothing. With an attractive price tag, there is no need to be wary when it comes to Mountain Warehouse. 80% Merino and 20% polyester, it’s the perfect blend of materials to create something that is truly warm.

Naturally anti-bacterial and moisture wicking, it is the ideal piece of clothing for any outdoor adventure.

Helly Hansen Thermal Base Layer

From another trusted brand, this base layer is on a whole new level of stylish. It comes in a cool black design, and feels just as good as it looks.

Made from Merino wool, it makes a promise to keep you warm in any conditions, and the half-zip construction makes it easy to slide on and off.

It implements LIFA stay dry technology, making it water resistant so that you can keep on adventuring. Plus, the material is breathable and moisture wicking so that you don’t need to walk in a pool of your own sweat.

To Conclude

Hopefully, this guide has helped you to find the best Merino wool base layer for your next outing. In this article, we have listed some of the leading brands and models so that you can choose something perfect for you.

Whether you need it for a skiing trip or to go hiking in cold climates, there is a base layer here that has been designed for your every need. Available at a range of prices, at least one of these shirts will fit into your budget, and the selection of brands means that you can afford to be a little picky. We hope that you found exactly what you were looking for.

What did you think of our Merino wool base layer guide? Are there any that you would have liked to see or recommended? We love hearing from you, so make sure to leave us a message in the comments below.