Our take If you’re braving the backcountry for more than a day or two, this top is for you. Besides the usual warmth and wicking, you need a baselayer that can handle wild temperature swings, won’t bag out, and keeps body odor manageable. That’s just what you get with the midweight Merino Competition, which felt comfy on subzero resort skiing days (under heavier layers) and during ski tours into the 30s (with a light shell). And after 10 straight days of hard use in Washington’s Cascades, the fit stayed snug and the shirt didn’t stink thanks to its 80 percent merino content.
The Details The Merino Competition has lighter-weight mesh sections on the upper chest, arms, and back, and thicker, warmer sections across the torso, boosting breathability and wicking (similar to the Smartwool Intraknit, but a bit less warm). Ding: Our sample started pilling slightly all over—without affecting performance— after a season of testing.
Trail cred “On a sunny Mt. Rainier ski tour with the temps around freezing, I unzipped to my chest and was comfortable all day,” one tester says.
m’s S-XXL,w’s XS-XL