Gear Review: Smartwool Light Baselayers

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Last year we almost ended up with a green Christmas, and this year we've had more snow than the past five years. What has been the common thread between the two kooky Winters?  The cold weather! I put both the Smartwool Light 195 bottom and crew top to the test to see just how much of a difference the pair made when exploring the outdoors.

 The baselayers also serve as a wicking layer, removing perspiration and keeping you dry in any temperature

The baselayers also serve as a wicking layer, removing perspiration and keeping you dry in any temperature

When the thermometer needle hits -30, just because your nostrils stick together when you breath in, doesn't mean you should be inside. Don't miss out the opportunity to explore the outdoors, include an insulating baselayer with your clothing! Smartwool has different thicknesses of their base layers (Micro 150, Light 195 and Mid 250), each suited for different temperatures and activities. Thankfully only a handful of days hit the lower temperatures, or else I would have been better suited using the Mid 250 layers. The Light 195 layers is not only great for Winter activities, be is great in the shoulder seasons when temperatures hover around freezing. I'm looking forward to Spring camping and Fall hiking with these, two seasons where staying warm is crucial to an enjoyable day out in the backcountry. Throughout the season, both Smartwool garments were my go-to pair instead of my regular loose-fitting long-johns and shirt baselayers of prior years.

 The baselayers in conjunction with the Smartwool PhD socks made for longer snowshoe adventures

The baselayers in conjunction with the Smartwool PhD socks made for longer snowshoe adventures

So what made the Smartwool garments such a dynamic duo? The fact that they were wool... and not just any wool... 100% Merino wool. My loose fitting long-johns which were far and wide better than no baselayer at all, paled in comparison.

 The bottoms feel moulded to your legs, and are articulated for easy movement

The bottoms feel moulded to your legs, and are articulated for easy movement

These layers were form-fitting, soft to the touch, contoured and best of all, not itchy. By being snug (or as Smartwool dubs it... "Next-to Skin"), they help trap your body heat, and it is remarkable how much heat a thin layer of wool retains. The flat stitching on the crew never rubbed me the wrong way when carrying a day-pack and the soft waistband on the bottoms stayed in place didn't leave me irritated at the end of the day. I forgot my snow pants on a hike one day, and didn't even have to turn back thanks to this additional layer. It just goes to show how important layering is.

Be sure to check out the entire Smartwool baselayer line for Men and Women to find the proper thickness for your seasonal activity, and right fit for you. You won't be disappointed.