One of two merino wool tops in this test, and they are both great but pricy. The advantages of merino are well know – it’s warm, doesn’t smell and is comfortable against the skin. This Smartwool one has the lighter weight material of the two. It’s a pullover top with a half zip, with baffle, that is slightly offset at the neck so the seams at the top of the zip don’t rub. Just as well because it fastens closely and fairly high under the chin.

There’s great stretch to it – it is 36% Nylon – and it’s also long allowing it to be tucked in, a feature that few midlayers here have (but should have). There are thumbholes in the long sleeves, but they don’t sit as well as many here. All the seams are flatlocked. There’s a small chest pocket big enough for a phone.

By Daniel Neilson