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What’s the best Merino wool base layer for women?

What are the things you should be paying attention to? Because they clearly aren’t all the same, even though it may look like that at first. There are different styles, fabric weight differs, and they all are made for different purpose. There are ultra-light base layers for summer hiking, and there are also base layers for winter camping, built to keep you warm when it’s Arctic outside.

To read more about the benefits of Merino wool scroll down!

See also: Best Merino Wool Base Layer

Best Merino Wool Base Layer for Women

What are the options? And which one to choose?

Which one is the best Merino wool base layer for women right now?

Best Women’s Merino Wool Base Layer – Our Favorite

1. Minus33 Ossipee Women’s Base Layer 230 GSM (click for more details)

A high quality midweight Merino thermal top for women.

Overall the best women’s Merino base layer, our favorite.

It’s warm, very lightweight and highly versatile. Made of 100% Merino wool, it’s a great choice for everyone who wants a fully natural base layer. It can be worn on its own or under a midlayer. At 230 GSM it’s neither too thin, nor too thick and bulky, and suitable for any season. Only during the winter, and when it’s chilly, of course, you won’t be wearing it on its own — it’s not that warm.

The top shares all the best features of Merino, which includes durability, breathability, outstanding moisture management and odor resistance. Apart from that it’s also very fast drying and protects you from the sun (UPF 50).

FABRIC WEIGHT: 230 GSM

2. MERIWOOL Women’s Base Layer 250 GSM (click for more details)

Super soft midweight Merino wool base layer for women.

The Meriwool thermal crewneck top is made of 100% all natural superfine 18.5-micron Merino wool which ensures comfort all day long. Base layer is the very first layer of clothing you’re wearing. Naturally, you want it to be as comfortable against the skin as possible. You want to feel good wearing it, and Merino wool offers you all of that.

The top is slim-fit, and will keep you cool in summer and warm in winter. Just like other Merino wool tops, the Meriwool thermal long sleeve has moisture wicking and odor-resistant properties to keep you dry and fresh no matter what. The long sleeve is also breathable, quick drying and non-itchy. At 250 GSM, this iterlock-knit Merino wool top can be used both as a base layer or mid-layer.

It is machine-washable in cold water and can be tumble dried on low heat with similar colors. The shirt features a loop for hang drying.

FABRIC WEIGHT: 250 GSM

3. Minus33 Midweight 1/4 Zip Base Layer 230 GSM  (click for more details)

A quality Merino wool base layer womens shirt with a 1/4 zip.

The Minus33 thermal top is the best women’s Merino wool base layer with a zipper. Featuring a regular fit, this three-season Merino wool top will keep you cool in summer and warm in winter. The fabric is moisture wicking and quick-drying. The top is made of no-itch 18.5-micron Merino wool. It is machine washable and dryable.

With this top you don’t have to worry about sunburns. All Minus33 Merino wool thermal tops feature sun protection. Midweight (just like this one) tops have a UPF rating of 50+. It’s all possible thanks to Merino wool.

The top features interlock knit construction with flatlock seams.

FABRIC WEIGHT: 230 GSM

4. Merino.tech Merino Wool Base Layer for Women 250 GSM (click for more details)

A womens base layer top available in different colors and thicknesses.

The Merino.Tech Merino wool base layer top is made of 100% Superfine 18.5 Micron Merino wool. This base layer boasts natural moisture-wicking and odor-resistant properties which will keep you dry and fresh. Just like most Merino base layers, the Merino.Tech Merino wool base layer top regulates the amount of moisture on your skin by absorbing sweat from your body. Then, the absorbed sweat evaporates out of the fabric into the atmosphere.

The top is washing machine / dryer safe — wash it on delicate cycle and tumble dry on low heat setting. However, hand washing and air drying is the gentlest way to wash a Merino wool base layer. Especially, if you’ll be taking the lightest one. Another thing to remember, don’t be too harsh with it — the lightest one not that resistant to tear and wear.

The package comes with free Merino wool hiking socks.

Available in two thicknesses — lightweight and midweight.

FABRIC WEIGHT: 165 and 250 GSM

5. MERIWOOL Merino Wool Womens Top 180 GSM (click for more details)

A lightweight moisture wicking base layer top.

This raglan sleeve crewneck base-layer is made of 17.5 Micron, 100% Merino wool. At 180 GSM, it’s thin and lightweight. It will keep you warm warm and dry in cool weather while preventing you from overheating. The top can be worn as a base and mid-layer, or on its own. Remember, that due to its light weight and thin material, it isn’t suitable for cold weather (not on its own).

Just like other high quality Merino base layer tops, this lightweight 180 GSM MERIWOOL top is moisture wicking and dries quickly, thanks to Merino wool’s natural moisture-wicking and odor-resistance properties.

FABRIC WEIGHT: 180 GSM

6. MERIWOOL Merino Wool Womens Heavyweight Top 400 GSM (click for more details)

A heavyweight Merino long sleeve base layer for winter.

The best Merino wool base layer for women who are looking for thermal underwear for cold days. At 400 GSM, it is the thickest and warmest womens base layer shirt on our list. It is perfect for hiking in cold and freezing weather, as well as a base layer for winter camping or snow sports. The shirt can be worn as a base and mid-layer.

The base layer boasts natural moisture-wicking and odor-resistant properties. If you wear this top alone, you don’t have to worry about sunburns as it features sun protection — UPF rating of 50+.

FABRIC WEIGHT: 400 GSM

Man wearing a red t-shirt

5 Reasons to Choose Merino Wool Clothing

Is Merino wool itchy? Is Merino wool warm?

Here are the top benefits of Merino wool.

1. Odor Resistance

Merino wool is naturally antibacterial.

What it means for you is that it doesn’t well. Well, of course, it will start smelling at some point, but it takes much longer to get to that point when compared to most other fabrics used in activewear and everyday clothing (most of activewear is made of synthetic fabrics).

2. It’s a Natural Material

Merino wool is a wool from merino sheep (New Zealand, Australia).

As a 100% natural material it’s also much safer than synthetics for most us. In fact, Merino wool allergy neutrality is one of the top reasons why people choose Merino wool clothing. You won’t get any allergic reactions while wearing a 100% Merino clothing. It’s important to remember that not all Merino clothing is made of Merino wool only, there are also a lot of blends on the market (some of them are worse, others – more superior technically). Make sure you know what you are getting.

Being 100% biodegradable, Merino wool is also safer for our planet.

3. Outstanding Moisture Management

Merino wool adjusts to you and the weather.

If it’s hot, it will keep you cool by transporting all the sweat and moisture away from your skin. If it’s cold, it will keep you warm. It’s all possible due to its fully natural moisture management system and moisture wicking features. Speaking of the cold weather, to stay warm it’s equally important to choose the right fabric weight — not all Merino wool base layers are good for winter.

For winter use look for fabric weight of at least 250 GSM.

4. Breathability

Great breathability is a must in a base layer clothing.

It’s what allows you to keep going long while staying comfortable. It’s one of the main factors that affect your comfort. And Merino is just great at that.

5. Ease of Use and Longevity

Not only Merino wool is durable, but also easy to take care of.

Merino wool is machine washable. But make sure to refer to the care instructions of the manufacturer of your shirt or pants, as they may differ. If you plan to wash your clothes while traveling, see our guide here.

And here we talk about showering while camping.

Woman wearing merino wool long sleeve t-shirt

Photo by Gantas Vaičiulėnas from Pexels

How to Choose a Merino Wool Base Layer?

How to find the best Merino wool base layer for yourself?

Let’s make this super simple.

Generally speaking it’s about these 4 simple things.

1. Fabric Weight

What are you going to use it for? In what weather?

Fabric weight is one of the main characteristic of Merino wool clothing. These 160 GSM, 200 GSM, 250 GSM (other times – g/m2), … to put it simply, they show how thin or thick is the fabric. The bigger the number, the warmer this base layer or these pants will be. If you want something for everything, look for midweight clothing, 200 – 230 GSM.

For cold weather and activities that include a lot of sitting or standing in one position – 250 GSM+. If you know you get cold easily, choose something like 400 GSM, and pack extra layers as well.

If you want the most lightweight base layer, look for 165 – 180 GSM.

2. Style and Fit

Are you planning to wear it on its own?

There are several kind of base layers. While some look great also when you wear them on their own, others are made to be worn under a mid-layer jacket. Some are more athletic fit, while others – casual. Choose what suits you the best!

3. Features

What kind of user are you?

Do you need this base layer for hiking and sports, or you plan to use it only for camping? Are you going to be moving around a lot, or will you be sitting or standing in one position a lot.

Remember also that not always 100% Merino wool will be the best option. In fact, for advanced users there are more superior fabrics, for example, a mix of Merino and polyamide and polyester. Because while Merino wool is a great natural material, it still has its own limitations, something that can be improved upon with the right manufacturing techniques, designs and blends.

Some merino tops feature thumb loops — a very useful feature in winter.

4. Your Budget

Decide upon your budget.

And choose the base layer that fits into it, and the one you like the most. There’s no reason to pay more for features you don’t need. Likewise, it’s not a good idea to get a cheap Merino wool base layer, if you plan to use it a lot — higher price often also means better quality and comfort.

What is your experience with Merino wool apparel? What’s the best Merino wool base layer for women you have tried so far? 

Featured photo by Eric Dekker from Pexels


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