So where to start? How much can one really go on about liking or disliking a base layer? As it turns out, with the Woolpower range, probably quite a lot. Both staff and customers can be very opinionated about what they like or dislike about a baselayer, and rightly so as it can be a real deal breaker when it comes to your safety and wellbeing. Particularly when out tackling the elements for fun, work, or just generally being comfortable when the weather isn’t quite perfect, which lets face it, happens regularly. The other big thing about base layers is that this is what you wear directly against your skin (the largest organ in the human body) which makes it pretty important, particularly when subjecting your body to highly changeable temperatures.


My reasons for testing and reviewing this piece of kit are as follows:


 1. I have tried out a LOT of base layers over the last 20 years. All of which have been used and abused. Some of which are still going strong while others have been retired due to excessive wear and tear.


 2. I firmly believe that there is no such thing as a bad base layer and more that people tend to buy the wrong items for the wrong job most of the time. Whether this is due to budget, lack of choice or poor guidance I don’t know. A person’s end use can often change too, so they no longer like or require a certain style of base layer.


 3. Unless you have ethical reasons for not wanting any Merino wool product, then I know of no good reason why you wouldn’t want this product or get on with it. Especially when it has been made by these guys.


This is a simple multifunctional, long sleeve, Merino wool, crewneck, lightweight base layer (what a mouthful). I have owned and used similar garments from Smartwool and Icebreaker, which I still have and use today! In my opinion, this is the one I will be reaching for time and again, all year round, and not because it’s the newest in my wardrobe..


The fit for me is great and, as someone who’s weight tends to yo-yo a bit it through the year, the slightly ribbed construction allows me to get a great close to the skin fit without the garment ever getting tight or restrictive. It really is that comfortable to wear. The longer cut is also great for those who are wanting a functional base layer when climbing or doing any kind of physical activity. As a keen climber and golfer this is my favourite base layer to date. I have a larger than average torso, so when climbing or golfing I hate it when my lower back becomes exposed to the elements when my arms are raised above my head. I often find this to be a problem with a majority of the sportier synthetic styles of base layer which are forever riding up when climbing.


I’ve used this base layer on scrambles and walks in the middle of the summer in both the Scottish highlands and North Wales, where it proved to be a much better option when the wind picked up and temperatures dropped.


With regards to ‘the lengthwise seams being placed further back for optimal comfort and the raglan sleeve design preventing any seam rub when carrying a backpack’, I have to agree that I found this great. Although this sort of thing is nothing new these days, when buying a top end well thought out product. For me this level of thought is great because when carrying 2 or 3 bouldering pads or a heavy set of clubs on my back for a miles I really don’t want any annoying seams digging into my shoulders and back.


If you are in the market for a functional merino wool base layer, I would highly recommend trying one on to see if it’s the right product for you too. So far in store, most who have tried them have bought one and gone on to try more of the range.


Last but not least, and quite the bombshell, all the wool power products can be washed at 60oC without shrinking! Not that you actually have to wash them very often as they take a while to start smelling bad (days not hours).


- Jack