Brand: Ridge Merino
Model: Aspect Highneck
Our take The Aspect defeats the dreaded “wind down the back of your neck” shivers with a built-in balaclava. When not in use, the extra fabric drapes like a turtleneck; when you need coverage, pull it over your chin or all the way over your head for a shot of coziness that’s snugger and warmer than the typical hooded baselayer. Note: The extra neck coverage means this is a layer for colder temps (subfreezing) or more moderate excursions, not aerobic sweatfests.
The Details The downy-soft fabric is made of merino threads (84 percent) wrapped around a nylon core (16 percent), keeping wool’s wicking and anti-stink powers against the skin while nylon adds durability and speeds dry times. “It dried in 10 minutes on a 30°F day when I stopped during a snowshoe in Mammoth Lakes Basin,” one tester says. And we wore it for a week without offending our hiking partners.
Trail cred “After months of wear, this fits the same as it did the first day—zero stretching or bagging out,” one tester says.
7 oz. (w’s M); w’s XS-L