Smartwool was partly responsible for the surge in popularity of merino wool garments for outdoor use. They have an immense range, exciting colours and great marketing. I’ve used their base layers for years and always got on well with them. So I don’t say this lightly, but I find this top slightly coarse against my skin. I even tried two different constructions in the same Microweight style and found that both the jersey knit and the pointelle versions felt the same. The pointelle, with its miniature-lace eff ect, is available in certain colours. I weighed it at 10g lighter (probably due to the wee holes…) and felt that it dried fractionally faster, too. The style is simple, with a straight cut, fl at-locked seams in conventional places (sides, arms, shoulders) and a relaxed crew neck. The weight is light enough for four-season versatility: on its own in warm weather (sleeves can be pulled up to elbows) or layering in cold weather. Performance characteristics are classic lightweight merino: no pong, fast wicking, slow drying compared with synthetics.
1st August 2012