We were loathe to take off the uber-comfy Merino 250 Sport even after the day’s adventures, often transitioning straight into couch mode with it still on. Unlike baggier fleeces, the lightweight, 100 percent merino Sport’s slim, baselayer-like cut aids moisture management, and the merino retains its shape during high-intensity activities to guard against the “slouchy-sweats” that plague heavier and looser layers. The merino also stays warm when wet, which our tester appreciated on breaks during sweaty trail runs on low-40s days in Utah’s Pine Valley Mountains.
DWR-treated polyester panels on the pockets, shoulders, and hood warded off drizzles, and our tester loved the merino’s natural stretch for moving fast in the mountains.
“The wind-blocking poly on the hood and torso is rare in fleeces, and I loved it on breezy days,” said one tester after hiking up a gusty ridge on the Adirondacks’ Giant Mountain with temps in the mid-30s. smartwool.com