With colder weather upon us, Chris Townsend gives this excellent merino baselayer a coveted ‘Best Buy’ stamp.

Autumn and winter are the time for warmer base layer tops with long sleeves. I like ones with high zip necks too. Sealing in heat at the neck makes a significant difference to warmth and being able to unzip helps with cooling down if you start to get a little too hot. In the first chilly weather this autumn I’ve been trying a merino wool zip neck top from EDZ.

The top is made from 200gs/m merino wool. It’s 100% merino too, rather than a mix with synthetic fabrics as many tops are these days. As well as the zip neck the top has thumb loops and an extended back.

Merino wool is warm, wicks moisture, dries quite quickly, and doesn’t smell after prolonged use. EDZ’s merino wool comes from Australia and New Zealand and is produced under schemes that ensure high standards of animal welfare. Being a natural material merino wool is renewable and biodegradable. I’ve found it lasts well if it’s washed carefully (up to 30°C says EDZ). It doesn’t need washing often anyway as it really can be worn for weeks without it smelling or feeling uncomfortable.

The Zip Neck Top is comfortable next to the skin, with no itching. It’s efficient at moving moisture. When damp – and it does get damp from sweat at times, like all base layers – it still feels warm as the moisture is absorbed into the fibres rather than sitting on the surface. It doesn’t dry as fast as synthetics, but I have worn it in camp in the evening when it’s been damp after a day’s walking and it’s dried out after a few hours, and I’ve then slept in it comfortably. The high double-layer collar fits snugly. The sleeves are long and can be pulled over your hands and then held in place with thumb loops. The length means the top stays tucked into your trousers. The back’s extended so that applies even when you bend over.

The fit is described as slim, so I went for the Large size, which fits me fine, as I don’t like really tight clothing. The top does stretch a little so although it’s body-hugging it moves with you without feeling restrictive.

This is a warm top and although merino wool is comfortable over a wide temperature range, I think it would be too warm on sunny summer days. For most of the year it’s fine though. The cost is good for a merino top, and this is an excellent base layer.

BEST BUY: This product has been awarded our ‘Best Buy’ endorsement, meaning our reviewer believes it to be one of the best items of its kind available.