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Merino baselayer other than icebreaker

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I am considering getting a Merino wool base layer (also considering Odlo atm). I know a lot of people are happy with icebreaker, although it does tend to tear after a while. Regardless, 85 quid for a top of base layer is WAAAY too much by any standard IMO, so I was looking for sth reasonable, but also tested and reliable.

Any suggestions for 200-260 merino baselayer?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I got XTM stuff from TK Maxx for £20 - but haven't seen it there recently.

Their shop is still cheaper than Icebreaker....especially the discounted stuff : http://www.xtm-shop.com/mens-c-38_30_52.html

Also, keep an eye on Sport Pursuit for Merino stuff.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Mons
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Isobaa on sport pursuit is excellent quality and fairly good value - is very comfortable and a great fit but can be a little fragile. I've had a few rewoolution base and mid layers that have lasted ages but haven't seen the brand for a while (also from SP)
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XTM and Mons are similar prices to icebreaker..
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@bober02, the trick is to get them at half price. Wait till the end of the season.
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bober02 wrote:
XTM and Mons are similar prices to icebreaker..

€55 (£46) is considerably cheaper than £85 (for Grey Zip Top).....even the full price ones are £58 using today's exchange rate.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Mountain Warehouse currently have their merino base layers on sale for £29 a pop. I picked up a top and legs last year for similar money, I can't compare them to any other merino kit but they were certainly a step up from the regular base layers I wore previously both in terms of temperature control and not stinking to high heaven after one day's use.
https://www.mountainwarehouse.com/mens/base-layers/mens-merino-thermals/
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Try Cosco, I bought 4 long sleeve @ $11 each (may be available in UK stores). . . took all 4 to Italy . . . wore only 1.
I'm deeply impressed with both the warmth and resistance to ponging
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@bober02,
Quote:

icebreaker, although it does tend to tear after a while.
Really? I wear mine constantly (not just to ski) have had them for years and they go in the washing machine (40 degrees, light spin). They seem to me to be completely indestructible.
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Hurtle wrote:
@bober02,
Quote:

icebreaker, although it does tend to tear after a while.
Really? I wear mine constantly (not just to ski) have had them for years and they go in the washing machine (40 degrees, light spin). They seem to me to be completely indestructible.


+1
Although mine have a tendency to shrink every year. Must be the wrong washing machine setting Puzzled
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@AL9000, Laughing
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Icebreaker are okay, I don’t think the price premium is worth it over all the other merino wool stuff I have so I stop buying them unless I find a very good bargain.

Helly Hansen Lifa Merino is what I use for skiing. Not 100% merino wool but very good at wicking sweat and keeping me warm.

https://www.hellyhansen.com/en_gb/mens/base-layer/base-layer-tops

Devold is very good if you can find them. Expensive at full price but here in Norway I can find them at 50-70% off in the sales.

https://www.devold.com/en-GB/shop/368/0/?g=MEN

Norrøna has some men’s merino wool baselayer at 50% off in their online outlet store (need to register to see the prices).

https://www.norrona.com/en-GB/o/men/?s=1&h=2835&vm=small
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Hurtle wrote:
@bober02,
Quote:

icebreaker, although it does tend to tear after a while.
Really? I wear mine constantly (not just to ski) have had them for years and they go in the washing machine (40 degrees, light spin). They seem to me to be completely indestructible.


this
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
BAM.

obviously its bamboo not merino, but the bamboo plants are easier to shear than a merino sheep as they move about less.

very soft warm and comfy and great wicking / non-ponging properties
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Aldi have good quality stuff at a good price more durable than isobaa. I also like super natural merino.
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t4tomo wrote:
BAM.

....but the bamboo plants are easier to shear than a merino sheep as they move about less.


Unless they are cross-pollinated with a Triffid. Madeye-Smiley
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Another Merino fan - bought icebreaker years ago and its still going strong, also have some Rewoolution and Isobaa from SP both good, but I don't wear them as baselayers - just casual T shirts.
Another one I've used and is good is smartwool - great stuff as lasts well too.

A lot of merino on the market is a blend of wool and polyester - this to give it strength, and keep costs down wink However look after the pure stuff and it does tend to last in my experience.

Bamboo is a good soft fabric but personally haven't found it as warm as merino, for the equivalent weight - tend to wear it too for casual wear in the summer, as its very cooling. Its usually as cellulose blend with cotton.

Sports Pursuit is always worth checking for merino/baselayers as they come up on there quite often.

edited to correct Embarassed


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Thu 13-02-20 19:40; edited 1 time in total
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Bones wrote:
..
A lo(t) of merino on the market is a blend of wool and polyester - this to give it strength, and keep costs down wink ..


I suspect so too. I tried a Uniqlo merino jumper recently and there was a slight whiff the first day. Out it goes!
Icebreaker is the real deal ime.
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@t4tomo, interesting - I found that the BAM stuff held on to moisture (possibly the cotton content rather than the bamboo), so it's relegated to non active use now!
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Grandma Sunshine wrote:
Aldi have good quality stuff at a good price more durable than isobaa.

I didn't spot any in the weekly offers this year, I only saw merino/polyester mix items.
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@rjs, I managed to get a merino T-shirt for £17
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Spoon wrote:
Icebreaker are okay, I don’t think the price premium is worth it over all the other merino wool stuff I have so I stop buying them unless I find a very good bargain.

Helly Hansen Lifa Merino is what I use for skiing. Not 100% merino wool but very good at wicking sweat and keeping me warm.

https://www.hellyhansen.com/en_gb/mens/base-layer/base-layer-tops

Devold is very good if you can find them. Expensive at full price but here in Norway I can find them at 50-70% off in the sales.

https://www.devold.com/en-GB/shop/368/0/?g=MEN

Norrøna has some men’s merino wool baselayer at 50% off in their online outlet store (need to register to see the prices).

https://www.norrona.com/en-GB/o/men/?s=1&h=2835&vm=small


pretty much this.

that said, I personally can't really tell the difference between a Devold, and a "cheapo" set from Sport Outlet/sports direct/etc. If they keep you dry and warm, then it makes no difference Happy
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I've got a couple of DHB ones from wiggle for ~£30 , and they're 100% merino and have lasted well
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have had Devold stuff for 10 years and still going, got on Sports Pursuit cheap.
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AL9000 wrote:
Hurtle wrote:
@bober02,
Quote:

icebreaker, although it does tend to tear after a while.
Really? I wear mine constantly (not just to ski) have had them for years and they go in the washing machine (40 degrees, light spin). They seem to me to be completely indestructible.


+1
Although mine have a tendency to shrink every year. Must be the wrong washing machine setting Puzzled


Not a problem for me. Spent 4 hours de sludging a blocked washing machine last weekend- still only works on the woollens programme
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Ive had most of my Icebreaker base layers for 10 years plus and they haven’t shrunk, they DO smell though same as any other if you wear a few days......they dry quickly though so just wash through in room whilst away and they are dry for the morning, or better still take two. Best along with Norrona imo, have tried many others and they aren’t as good, keep going back to the old Icebreakers, winter skiing rest of seasons mountain biking, excellent kit - but buy in sales in summer.......just got back from a stormy wet hike in the Yorkshire Dales, super toasty and dry under my Arcteryx shell and all 12-15 years old......sad but true!
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@Jonathan Bell, they don't shrink, even at 40 degrees. @AL9000, was just bemoaning his gradual weight gain. wink
4 hours spent de-sludging a washing machine sounds like no fun at all. Skullie
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You know it makes sense.
Ive had my icebreakers for 9 years and they are still good, they never smell. i had considered replacing them this year but just no point. i will say this that i think the quality was slightly better when they were made in new Zealand compared to the china made stuff now. If you're flexible on colours and buy them in the sale then you can get them at a reasonable price. I just bought some mid-layers in the sale circa 30% off direct from their website.
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@Jonathan Bell, What @Hurtle said.

I have one (early) Icebreaker and it's never let me down (unlike my self restraint). Highly recommend.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
for heavens sake just find something on sportpursuit.com
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Can't speak for the odlo natural tops but the synthetic ones I have are good. Performance light for mild temps and blackcomb warm for when your teeth hurt from the cold. They're fitted rather than loose so they wont suit everyone.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
There is a big merino sale on Sportpursuit at the moment
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i just got odlo and icebreaker, on sale Smile will compare the two and will see which one fit/feel better. Thanks for your help!
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Bob wrote:
for heavens sake just find something on sportpursuit.com
I know this thread is about Merino specifically but how decent are the HH LIFA Active tops regarded? I've only ever skied in Jan/Feb with baselayer (cheap Trespass things) > tshirt > fleece > insulated coat. I always seemed to be hot!

The LIFA Active tops are dirt cheap but wondering if they're going to do the job if it is cold? Although I'm not going until 15th March (Tignes) so I'm expecting it to be warmer than I'm used to anyway. ..

EDIT: Shame Sports Pursuit charge for delivery and return delivery otherwise I'd be all over that. I'm not paying £4 then another £3.50 to return items if they don't fit.
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My wife is allergic to wool and has 2 sets of HH Lifa Active. She runs cold but has never complained about them keeping her warm or dry (using the appropriate mid layer for the temperature).
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Bones wrote:
Another Merino fan - bought icebreaker years ago and its still going strong, also have some Rewoolution and Isobaa from SP both good, but I don't wear them as baselayers - just casual T shirts.
Another one I've used and is good is smartwool - great stuff as lasts well too.

A lot of merino on the market is a blend of wool and polyester - this to give it strength, and keep costs down wink However look after the pure stuff and it does tend to last in my experience.


Yes, check the smartwool numbers for an explanation of blends. Wife thought she'd lost her smartwool gloves and wanted me to buy replacements, I started reading the small print. Luckily she found them again. (Unluckily for this thread I've since forgotten what the small print said...)
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Spoon wrote:
My wife is allergic to wool and has 2 sets of HH Lifa Active. She runs cold but has never complained about them keeping her warm or dry (using the appropriate mid layer for the temperature).
Thanks, I've been so busy not had a time to get to a shop. But they look quite loose and 't-shirty' rather than nice and skintight/slim like other baselayers I've had?
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Locoblade wrote:
Mountain Warehouse currently have their merino base layers on sale for £29 a pop. I picked up a top and legs last year for similar money, I can't compare them to any other merino kit but they were certainly a step up from the regular base layers I wore previously both in terms of temperature control and not stinking to high heaven after one day's use.
https://www.mountainwarehouse.com/mens/base-layers/mens-merino-thermals/

Their kids merino stuff is excellent, don't know about the adult stuff.
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I got 2 Icebreaker Merino tops off Sport pursuit for about £85 delivered a couple of weeks ago. Looks like the sale is still on at the minute.
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