I first tested the Merino+ 160 on a mountain bivvy in the summer months, at which it excelled. Being made of midweight merino it’s well-built for warmth retention, while Rab’s addition of polyester to the “Merino+” fabric helped it wick away sweat more effectively than pure merino baselayers I’ve worn in the past. It’s not as swift at shifting moisture as a truly synthetic alternative (which feel less clammy than wool of any kind) but it was certainly comfortable enough on the warm hike up – particularly thanks to the lower-rib length neck zip for venting. The big advantage came overnight, where the beautifully fitted material trapped a good amount of heat, with the thumb-loops and excellently slender and stretchy hood helping to keep it snug around my whole body from the waist up. Being merino it’s not only relatively smooth on the skin but naturally anti-bacterial too so doesn’t smell even after multi-day use: always appreciated by your walking/climbing partner when sleeping off-grid. The only barrier is the price. Think about it as a year-round, every-trip, top-end baselayer for big fans of woollen garments and it becomes easier to stomach.
VERDICT: A warm, do-it-all option with a premium price tag.
BEST FOR: Year-round mountaineers.
Review by Dan Aspel @