/ Which base layer
I'm looking at buying some new base layers as my smelly hellys are on there way out. I have had a look on the forums but it goes into makes, which there is a greater choice now since I last brought base layers. I'm thinking of Merino Wool but want to get peoples views, I would be using them all year round for summer climbing, winter mountaineering as well as the walks in. So would be looking at getting 4 (2 for summer, 2 for winter), also anyone got any recommedations for underwear that wicks away sweat - I currently have Under armour which is alright, but I reckon there are better out there.
Stick with the Icebreaker range, awesome stuff .
I've had a few Merino tops and have mixed views on them. I think they're great for cool days, but find them far too hot for warmer days, and they don;t actually wick that well IME, they also get a bit damp and heavy I think, especially for something like running.
The best tops IME are Patagonia's Capilene, and the merino mix tops like the Rab MeCo.
I get by with 4 styles of base layer top for all year round: a tshirt, a long sleeve tshirt, a zip neck long sleeve top, and then a Patagonia R1 hoody..
Rab MeCo are the exception, they're a mix of merino & cocona, I quite like my light weight one.
Usually, I stick to the Patagonia Capilene or Arcteryx Phase layers which are expensive but are quite frankly awesome.
As others have said Merino is generally too hot for summer but good in winter. Icebreaker is decent but is very prone to getting small holes/tears in the lighter weight fabrics. Smartwool is pretty similar as just as good.
For synthetic I've used Berghaus stuff for years, it's reasonably cheap and seems to last for ages.
I have used Berghaus the last few years, and as you say very effective & bombproof plus cheap.
Have had one Helly Hansen Lifa which was fantastic at wicking. Think you can get them much cheaper now than they used to be.
Used Merino last winter & didn't get on well with it at all, spent most of the day damp (but I am a bit of a sweat monster mind)
Find smell after two weeks continuous wear alot more bearable than synthetics but then i have'nt ever got a second opinion on that
Oh...and woolly undies an socks too
(apologies if that's too much detail)
I've been wearing Ronhill running Tees (bought cheap in GoOutdoors) for summer climbing and walking, they wick very well, they're really light, I've worn for two days and would have done longer if needed.
Berghaus for colder weather, a bit thicker material for warmth but still wick fairly well and don't get smelly.
Patagonia underwear is good - mine are women's but would assume Mens similar.
The better smelling thing is true, wool's much better than synthetics generally, but I think you can get the advantages with merino mix, with none of the disadvantages.
Oh yeah, moths love eating wool too, have lost a few tops to the little f*ckers. Merino pants and socks seem to be fine for me, but wouldn't buy another pure merino top, only a mix.
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