A thoroughly thermal base layer, this functional piece of kit keeps the cold at bay and lets you move in all the ways you want to come cold weather
High performing and odor resistant
Keeps insulating when wet
Flattering, classic fit
No thumb loops
Could be a little softer
Not as durable as synthetic fabrics
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EDZ Merino Base-Layer Long Sleeve 200g: first impressions
EDZ is based in Cumbria so they know a thing or two about cold, wet weather, and they’ve come up with just the solution in this base layer. They’ve gone all in on performance and sacrificed flashy patterns, zips and thumb holes to deliver serious warmth in a classic cut base layer that looks as good around town as it does under your best fleece jacket or waterproof jacket when you’re out in the hills.
• List price: £49.99
• Unisex: Men’s and women’s fits available
• Weight: 5oz / 141g
• Sizes available: Men’s XS - XXXL, Women’s 8 - 18
• Materials: Merino wool
• Colors: Black, blue, gray
• Best use: Winter hiking and trail running, skiing, staying warm
The 100% merino wool composition means this is a winner for wicking away sweat and staying dry when you’re pushing boundaries, and it remains odor-free for quite a few wears without getting wrinkly, making it great for travel, too. Though merino wool is also known for helping you stay cool in hot weather, this base layer is definitely better suited for cold weather expeditions since it traps some serious heat, and for the price it can’t really be beat.
EDZ Merino Base-Layer Long Sleeve 200g: in the field
I love a good merino wool base layer for the majority of my outdoor adventures in most seasons, so I’ve been enjoying testing out a few new ones for Advnture this year and I have to say, this is easily the toastiest one I’ve worn. Made with 100% merino wool, it’s a high performer and I still can’t believe the price.
Here’s how it performed:
Comfort and fit
This base layer fits true to size and wears close to my skin with a classic cut. Though it doesn’t have any added stretchy fabric, it’s woven to provide ample mobility (I’ve even worn it during yoga) and it doesn’t rub or catch anywhere.
I don’t want to go so far as to say it’s scratchy, because it isn’t, but I have worn merino wool base layers that are softer (because they were blends). My boyfriend is particularly sensitive to wool and, having felt this, he doesn’t think he could comfortably wear it, so I think if you’re sensitive to wool, you may not be able to wear it, but for me it’s no problem.
Temperature regulation and breathability
Because the wool isn’t blended with anything else and it’s their heaviest duty base layer at 200gsm, this base layer is seriously toasty. I’ve taken to wearing it around the house and a couple of times I’ve gone out wearing it with a winter coat on top, hopped on the bus and almost melted. It is fantastic for cold weather adventuring, but I think it would be too hot for summer, even if it does wick sweat.
It’s merino wool so I probably don’t have to tell you it’s really breathable and doesn’t get soggy, even when I’ve worn it out on a wet, cold trail run.
Weight and packability
I tested a women’s small which tips the scales at just five ounces, so there’s never going to be an instance where I would question throwing this in my backpack, and without extras like zips it folds up nice and small.
Odor control and durability
I’ve been able to wear this for multiple hikes in a row without washing it, which is ideal, and I’m pleased to say that it is machine washable when it does get stinky. Merino wool isn’t typically as durable as synthetic fabric, but with a couple of months of use it’s still looking great.
Julia Clarke is a staff writer for Advnture.com and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.