Model: Merino Base-layer
Merino performance doesn’t come cheap—at least, not usually. Yet, Cabela’s kept this set down at synthetic prices without sacrificing any of wool’s essential perks. (The company credits its negotiating skills with suppliers and ability to place large orders for the discount.) We bundled into it for ski tours and Colorado resort days that dipped as cold as a -30°F with windchill (layered under a puffy and insulated pants) and wore the top on its own into the 30s. And though we sometimes worked up a sweat, the layers never felt swampy; they’re fairly thin, and the merino pulls moisture away from the skin even when the fabric itself is not totally dry. But check fit first: A tall, thin tester reported the top to be tight in the shoulders and arms.
You get a simple, no-frills design, although the drop-tail hem on the top is a nice touch. Bummer: The set isn’t available in women’s sizes.
“Given their price, I thought they would lose their shape quickly,” reports a Colorado ski patroller. “But the neck and sleeves never stretched out.”
Top: $50, 8 oz. Bottom: $50, 8 oz. cabelas.com