Smartwool NTS 150 Pattern Tee Women’s Merino Base-Layer
112g Size XL as tested £54.99
There’s nothing quite like 100% merino - and there’s nothing quite like the prices of 100% merino - but the Smartwool NTS 150 Pattern Tee Base-Layer has lots offer in its designated role and as a wear-alone top for outdoor activity - the best New Zealand merino combined with USA know-how and Vietnamese manufacture.
NTS? Next to the Skin; silky texture and snug fit make for a garment you actually want to wear. Ours served beneath fleece on chilly mornings and a non-breathable waterproof on some of those rare rainy days. Despite some brisk movement, the merino kept the skin sweat free; warm on those fresh morning commutes and cool on a muggy evening escapade.
Sizing was true. Yep, a snug fit, but that is how a base-later is meant to be. Whilst I prefer a v-neck a curved neck-line may well be best for wearing beneath other layers. Even so, casual rides to the local have displayed it as a tee-shirt. Thankfully, any creases are soon pulled into place, so whilst my Mum would iron it - along with sheets and pillowcases - I wouldn’t bother. It is what is says on the box: “Easy Care.”
Washing has failed to persuade it to lose shape or fade. Our Desert Purple is one of four colours available; Silver Gray Heather, Bright Pink and Capri, and there are long-sleeved siblings in the wardrobe, too.
Oversewn seams and elasticity on the sleeve hems are neat details, keeping the garment in place and causing no discomfort when loaded with a rucsac or messenger bag - even better, preventing loose threads. Likewise, my relatively long back doesn’t get exposed to elements or on-lookers when leaning onto my tourer’s butterfly bars.
Drying rapidly when worn - say ten to fifteen minutes after a mediocre shower, has been a real plus in the summer of 2016.
Overall, I really like this and will put it and its siblings on my wish list. Personally, I’d go for the brighter colours, but you can’t have too much of a good thing. Only downside is the price.
Smartwool also have a range of garments for men.
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