When it's this cold outside, having warm gear is really important. For Christmas my wife got me a great piece of clothing that makes a huge difference on days like today- a merino wool baselayer shirt.
First of all- why merino wool? If you've never worn a merino wool tech shirt, your first thought might be that it doesn't sound that appealing. I've had lots of wool sweaters in my lifetime, and I can't think of too many that I'd want to have on my bare skin when I get sweaty, but these are lightweight, warm, and silky smooth.
There area a few really nice things about this shirt:
- Weight- this is super light weight. For comparison sake, the Duofold polypropylene shirt that I often wear for cold weather running weighs 230g, and this shirt weighs 160g. That may not seem like much, but it just feels like you have very little on.
- Warmth- again, measured against my standard polypro thermal shirt, I'd say this is just as warm, if not warmer.
- Texture- this shirt is very smooth. It definitely does not have a prickly wool sort of feel to it at all
- Length- this is one thing that I find very important in a thermal shirt- I want it to be long enough to tuck in and not worry about it pulling loose as I run. There's nothing worse than getting a cold draft up your back, except if you happen to take a spill (which happens to me not infrequently when running on snowy and icy trails) and get a bunch of snow up your shirt. The other benefit of a long shirt is that you can pull it down nice and far in the front and give your.... how shall I say this...... sensitive areas a bit of extra coverage.
- Smell- this is probably the greatest benefit of merino wool. Polypro gets really stinky, and even after repeated washings it the smell can linger. That doesn't happen nearly as much with wool.
So, there's my $.02 on my new merino wool baselayer shirt. Enough writing about it, now I'm going to put it on, strap on the snowshoes and go for a run in the forest.