Value Rating: 9
Durability Rating: 9
Overall Rating: 9
Location of Test: Mt. Hood, OR and Montage Mountain, PA
Duration of Test: 6 months
Product Name: Women's Merino 250 Base Layer Pattern Crew Shirt
Product Brand: Smartwool
Best Use: Anything active when it's cold

smartwool base layer

The Full Review:
I originally bought this base layer to help aid in some cold Pennsylvania winters, but it quickly became my go-to top for cold weather activities. The shirt is a pretty intense base layer, the 250 weight is fairly thick and plush. I’ve also never experienced it being at all itchy - the fabric is cozy and soft to the touch. The shirt does run a bit big, however. I didn’t find my usual size to be super loose, but if you want a really tight fit I’d suggest going a size down.

The 250 weight is, as it should be, quite warm. I’ve taken to wearing it as my sole layer under my ski coat for skiing on Bachelor and Hood, which has been adequately warm even on exceptionally cold days. Look how warm I look in these pictures! On its own, the top is perfect for cold camping mornings or winter hikes. This base layer does wick sweat and balance temperature really well, so I don’t find myself getting uncomfortably warm if I pair it with another layer. The only negative experience I’ve had with the 250 base layer is that it doesn’t dry as quickly as I’d like after getting substantially wet. After a hike in which I got unexpectedly rained on, the shirt didn’t really fully dry in the following couple hours I was outside. It did still keep me warm (most important!) but remained significantly damp.

I love this shirt as a heavy base layer - it’s comfortable and high-performing. It’s even replaced some of my favorite fleece layers, which is saying a lot.

smartwool base layer

The Good: 
Comfortable, moisture-wicking, very warm

The Bad: 
Slightly loose, doesn’t dry quickly if very wet

The Bottom Line: 
A great thick base layer