Best Merino Wool Base Layers 2020: Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

1. Mountain Warehouse2. Mountain Warehouse3. Merino & More
Mountain Warehouse Merino Best Merino Wool Base Layer

Mountain Warehouse Merino Long Sleeve

Merino & More Men's Ski Base Layer


Merino wool fibres are harvested from Merino sheep, and these natural fibres are well known for their most desirable qualities like breathability, moisture-wicking, odour resistance and UV resistance.

It is no wonder why there is huge demand for Merino wool garments in the market during the winter seasons. But how do you look for the best Merino wool base layers for hiking?


If you are looking for Merino wool base layers, then you are just on the right page, as here you will find a comprehensive guide on some of the most popular Merino wool base layers along with their pros and cons, and a link to buy them from.

We will also enlist a few factors that you should keep in mind when shopping for these garments.

Top 10 Best Merino Wool Base Layers 2020

1. Mountain Warehouse Merino

Mountain Warehouse Merino Best Merino Wool Base LayerThe Merino thermal base layer top for men is a quality product from the well-known brand, Mountain Warehouse. The lightweight and antibacterial sweatshirt will keep you warm and comfortable, and it is quick drying too.

This is a perfect wool base layer for winters, and the fibres of the sweatshirt are naturally antibacterial and odour-free. Mountain Warehouse is a trusted brand that has been manufacturing the best outdoor gear since 1997.

Made from 80% Merino and 20% polyester wool, the breathable high wicking formula of the high-performance sweatshirt keeps you warm and dry, and that makes it ideal for skiing and hiking.

The garment can withstand rainfall and will not let any moisture in. The high wicking and quick-drying properties of the top prevent odour build-up and offer long-lasting UV protection. The top with long sleeves is easy to wear and is machine washable.


  • Warm and comfortable
  • Naturally antibacterial and odour free
  • Lightweight and breathable fabric
  • UV protection
  • Easy care and machine washable
  • Available in four colours


  • A bit smelly and itchy

2. Mountain Warehouse Merino Long Sleeve

Mountain Warehouse Merino Long SleeveWhat makes this one of the best Merino wool base layers available in the market is the Merino Wool quality and the Mountain Warehouse brand.

It can keep your body perfectly warm, dry, and comfortable even in the cold and wet conditions. The natural fabric will regulate body temperature and keep it at the comfortable best.

Enjoy effective UV protection and prevent odour build-up, as the base layer makes use of high wicking and quick-drying fibres. This is your perfect choice when walking, hiking, cycling, or enjoying other outdoor adventures during winters.

Wear the base layers tonal top the whole day and feel fresh the whole day long, as it is naturally antibacterial and odour-free.

It is very easy to wear it and take it off and clean and maintain, as it is machine washable. The intelligent and breathable fabric composition offers you the layer of protection without feeling any weight or bulk. Merino Wool is known to regulate body temperature in both warm & cold climates.


  • 80% Merino, 20% Polyester
  • Naturally antibacterial and odour free
  • Good UV protection
  • Breathable and lightweight fabrics
  • Laboratory tested as waterproof
  • Available in four colours


  • Tight fitting than its actual size

3. Merino & More Men’s Ski Base Layer

Merino & More Men's Ski Base LayerThe reputed Austrian company, Merino & More, has developed this innovative base layer for men that is made out of Merino wool. The high-grade functional shirt meets the precise needs of professional athletes and is used as a functional ski undershirt.

The well-known Merino 2-layer system combines the superfine Merino wool with polycolon fibre to create a high-performance fabric that absorbs moisture and keeps you sweat-free.

The breathable and warming base layer is preferred by most, as it keeps the body warm and allows the skin to breathe and shows excellent climate-regulating properties. The self-cleaning power of Merino wool makes the layer odourless and quick-drying, as the wool absorbs the moisture.

The seamless knitting technology makes it comfortable and robust, and the polyamidee reinforcement ensures that there is no stretching. As it offers a soft and snug fit, it is just ideal for outdoor sports during the cold season.


  • High-grade functional shirt
  • Merino 2-layer system
  • Comfortable and robust
  • Breathable and warming base
  • Seamless knitting technology
  • Polyamidee reinforcement


  • Only one colour available

4. Helly Hansen

Helly HansenAnother example of the best Merino base layer comes from the brand Helly Hansen, that creates the performance base layer for high-performance activities and everyday use.

Made from 100 Percent LIFA fabric, the base layer is extremely breathable, lightweight, and quick-drying. That makes it perfect for hiking, resort skiing, trekking, and mountaineering, or any other outdoor activity.

You will remain warm, dry, and comfortable because of the Lifa stripe and a yarn technology that transports all the moisture away from your skin and towards the outer surface of the fabric. Enjoy warm, dry, and comfortable feel all through the day, even when it is cold and rainy.

The long-sleeved shirt is made of natural stretch fabric and carries a flatlock seams design. Helly Hansen is a trusted name one among professional workers and athletes out there on the oceans, mountains, and worksites.


  • Perfect fit and comfort
  • 100 Percent LIFA fabric
  • Lightweight and high-performance base layer
  • Breathable and quick-drying
  • Flatlock seams design
  • Available in three colours
  • Available in multiple sizes
  • Machine washable


  • Since it is tight fitting, you have to order one size bigger than your normal size

5. Brass Monkeys Long Sleeve

Brass Monkeys Long SleeveThis is a great product from a great brand, Brass Monkeys. The long sleeve base layer is specially designed for extra warmth. The slim fit, crew neck base layer is made from 100% Merino wool, and the resulting fabric promises ultimate comfort & warmth all through the year. There is no itchiness and chafing in this top-quality product.

Made in New Zealand, the material of the fabric is sourced & manufactured ethically. The Merino wool makes the layer very soft & comfortable, and it feels very light and comfortable against your skin.

Because of the natural antibacterial properties, the long-sleeved undershirt is odour resistant and can be worn multiple times without the need to wash.

Customers absolutely love this product and find it simply amazing. The athletes and runners recommend the product for outdoor training and find it incredible.


  • Incredible and amazing
  • 100% Merino wool
  • Ultimate comfort & warmth
  • Antibacterial properties
  • Odour free
  • Zero itchiness and zero chafing
  • Multiple in all sizes ranging from Small to 3XL


  • Not super durable
  • Only one colour available

6. Fit Nation Long Sleeve Thermal Base Layers

Fit Nation Long Sleeve Thermal Base LayersFit Nation is a brand that enjoys a high customer trust and reputation in the market when it comes to manufacturing the best Merino wool base layers. Made from ultra-breathable and moisture-wicking fabric, this men’s base layer will keep the sweat away.

It also dries faster because of the quick-drying breathability. Thus, you can be sure of keeping any unpleasant odours away and remain warm, dry and comfortable.

Even when you are out in the cold, snow, and extreme temperatures, you will stay warmer for longer and without feeling hot and sweaty if you are wearing these thermal base layers.

Made of 88% polyester and 12% elastane, the stretchable & durable material of the underlayer allows you full flexibility to move around freely. The thermal set is outdoor sports ready, and you can wear it for any kind of outdoor or indoor adventures.


  • Set of top and bottoms
  • 88% polyester and 12% elastane
  • Moisture wicking fabric
  • Light and ultra-breathable
  • Quick drying and no unpleasant odours
  • Stretchable & durable material
  • Cheap price


  • Available in three sizes only

7. Mountain Warehouse Merino Thermal Baselayer

Mountain Warehouse Merino Thermal BaselayerAnother great product from Mountain Warehouse, this Thermal Baselayer will keep you warm and comfortable the whole day long.

Made from Merino wool blend, the base layer top is lightweight, breathable and naturally antibacterial. The use of high quality and extra warm wool makes it lightweight and highly breathable.

The Merino thermal base layer is perfect activewear for men who are out skiing, trekking, and mountaineering in cold weather. The high wicking fabric of this half zip top will wick any moisture away from the skin and keep you dry and comfortable the whole day long.

You will feel fresh and odour-free because of the use of naturally antibacterial fibres used to make the garment.

As it is compact and lightweight, it is easy to carry and travel with. It is also easy to care for, as it is machine washable.


  • Merino wool blend
  • Lightweight, breathable and antibacterial
  • Fresh and odour free
  • High wicking fabric
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Machine washable
  • Available in two colours
  • Available in all sizes between XS and XXL


  • The sleeves are a little on the longer side

8. Lapasa Thermal Underwear Tops

Lapasa Thermal Underwear TopsLAPASA brand indeed makes life better, and if you are looking for the best Merino wool base layers for men, then check out this product.

Available in three option packs, it comes in packs of two or one pieces of lightweight or middleweight tops. The top-quality thermal vests for men are soft, comfortable, and non-bulky.

The non-shrink and non-static fabric help to maintain the original shape, ensures a good fit, and looks even after many washes.

The moisture-wicking property of the fabric keeps you dry and comfortable, as it wicks sweat away from your body. The back-brushed single layer helps to lock in the body heat and give you the snug fit, while minimizing any heat loss.

Draping tailoring offers a super body fit and supports freedom, and reinforced edges add to the durability. These heavyweight thermals are simply perfect for everyday wear as well as for your outdoor adventures.


  • Best Merino wool
  • Available in three pack options
  • Top-quality thermal vests
  • Non-shrink and non-static fabric
  • Moisture-wicking poverty
  • Back-brushed single layer tech
  • Draping tailoring and reinforced edges
  • Available in several colours


  • The material is very thin

9. Mountain Warehouse Talus

Mountain Warehouse TalusThe Talus Men’s long-sleeved round neck thermal base layer from Mountain Warehouse is meant to keep you cool and comfortable. It needs minimum and easy care, as it is machine washable.

The breathable fabric allows perspiration to escape and keeps you comfortable, fresh, and odour-free the whole day long.

The soft, thermal base layer is made of ISOTHERM fabric that makes it lightweight and breathable and just perfect for activities like skiing and snowboarding.

The densely packed fibres help to retain the heat and keep the body warmth locked in without adding bulk or weight to the garment. As it is lightweight and compact, it is comfortable to wear and easy to pack, and that makes it great for holiday wear.


  • Cool and comfortable
  • IsoTherm technical fabric
  • Machine washable
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Wicking fabric
  • A good fit
  • Very cheap price


  • Material looks cheap

10. Dilling Merino Base Layer

Dilling Merino Base LayerThis thermal vest from Dilling is made up of 100% Merino wool without any added polyester. All the itch hairs have been removed using 16-hour enzyme treatment method, thereby making it extremely soft on the skin. Due to its non-itching fabric, it remains perfect for people with skin sensitivity as well.

The fabric keeps you comfortable and warm during different types of outdoor activities, such as skiing, running, cycling, hiking, mountaineering, etc. Due to its high sweat absorbing ability, it can keep you dry throughout.

As far as maintenance is concerned, you can wash it in wool detergent on wool program of your machine, but do not tumble dry it.


  • Made up of 100% Merino wool
  • No added polyester
  • Extremely soft on the skin
  • Non-itching fabric makes it suitable for sensitive skin as well
  • High sweat absorption


  • Does not support normal machine drying

Factors To Look For When Buying The Best Merino Wool Base Layer

As a customer, you should know exactly what to look for when shopping for Merino wool base layers. After all, it is essential to understand the very purpose of buying the base layer and what you expect from it.

1. Quality Of The Material

The first and foremost aspect to keep in mind when shopping for the best Merino wool base layers is the quality of the material.

As Merino wool fabrics can differ based on the diameter, density, and porosity of fibres, you can get different qualities in Merino base layers. The smaller the diameter of the Merino wool fibre is, the softer will be the fabric.

Base layers are usually made of Merino wool fibres with a diameter between 17 and 24 microns, and the density may range between 130g/m2 and 250 g/m2. Often, Merino wool fabrics carry blends of synthetic fibres to increase the lifespan.

2. Durability

Keep in mind that any garment made of pure Merino wool will not be as durable as synthetic materials. This is why many manufacturers prefer to use blends of Merino wool with synthetic materials.

While the higher content of synthetic fibres may increase the lifespan, they tend to overpower the natural properties of the Merino wool. So, look for the right balance of high performance and durability when shopping for Merino garments.

3. Warmth And Comfort

You are, of course, looking for the best Merino wool base layers for that warmth and comfort. Generally, the weight of Merino garments is measured in GSM or grams per square meter to give you an idea. 150 GSM ratings are considered optimal for warmer temperatures, while 250 GSM is ideal for the colder climates.

Merino base layers feel very comfortable, as they are made of ultra-fine soft and light fibres that have high breathability. Thus, when you wear these base layers, you feel light and enjoy all the freedom to move your body without any discomfort.

Moreover, Merino carries the property to absorb the moisture and keep your body odour-free and sweat free.

So, check out the quality and GSM ratings of the Merino base layers before buying them.

4. Kind Of Seams

Expert manufacturers use flatlock seams to avoid any rubbing or chafing that cause possible discomfort.

So, check out the seams of the base layer, and if they can be the cause of any discomfort. This is particularly important if you are used to wearing tight-fitting base layers. The best ones carry flatlock seams.

5. Right Fit

The base layer you pick should offer just the right fit and should not be loose or tight. The fit for the base layer influences the performance, and a lot relies on the kind of weather conditions around you.

For example, people living in warmer climates prefer slightly loose fit for better ventilation, while those in cold conditions prefer to buy slightly tight-fitting base layers for a snug and warm fit.

6. Price

The cost factor is often the key deciding factor when buying the best Merino wool base layers. Merino wool and material can be expensive, and it is not uncommon to see highly-priced Merino garments in the market. Some of those Merino shirts can easily cost more than $100, while Merino socks can cost about $20 to $30.

When you start shopping for Merino wool base layers, you will come across a wide range based on brand and quality.

As a general rule, the higher the purity and quality of Merino wool fibres, the more expensive the garment would be. 100% Merino base layers would cost more than synthetic blends of Merino.

FAQs on Merino Wool Base Layers

1. Why A Base Layer Is Made Up Of Merino Wool?

Merino wool is special, as it is naturally antimicrobial and will not leave you smelly and sweaty. Moreover, the soft and breathable material feels nice on the skin and leaves you a lot more comfortable. This is because the Merino wool fibres carry a much smaller diameter when compared to regular wool fibres. Apart from that, they create a lightweight layer and avoid a bulky look, due to which they are often to make a base layer.

2. How To Ensure The Best Quality Merino Wool Garment?

Look for Merino wool products and layers made from 100% Merino wool and variable weights from 150 up to 260 GSM. Make your choice based on the kind of climate you need it for. Merino has become a preferred choice for making base layers.

3. How To Take Care Of Garments Made From Merino Wool?

It is very simple and easy to take care of Merino wool clothes. They can be machine washed at 30° C and thus require the least maintenance. However, to prolong the life of the Merino clothes, put them in a pillowcase before placing them in the washing machine.

4. Which Brands Make The Best Merino Wool Base Layers?

Some of the most popular names include Mountain Warehouse, Merino & More, Helly Hansen, Brass Monkeys, LAPASA, Smartwool, Woolly Henley, Icebreaker Oasis, Minus33 Chocorua and more. When you shop from these brands, you can be sure of purchasing the top-quality base layers made of Merino wool, as well as great customer support and fast shipping.

Stay Snug and Comfortable This Season with the Right Merino Wool Base Layer on your Body

Use this guide to select the best Merino wool base layers out there in the market for your needs and feel confident about your choices. We are sure that the base layers you pick would not only offer a great performance all through the year, but last long as well.

Take advantage of the info given here on this page and determine which product would make the ideal choice for you to stay snug and comfortable through both cold and warm seasons, whether you are indoors or outdoors.

If you have the best quality Merino wool base layer on your skin, you will feel confident even when temperatures are fluctuating and unpredictable.