One of the first things all outdoor enthusiasts learn, is the importance – and power of – a proper baselayer. Regulating body temperature and allowing moisture (read: sweat) to wick outside your clothes and evaporate will make all the difference not only in keeping you comfortable, but also keeping you warm and safe in cold weather. You don’t want to be caught out in freezing temps and winds with wet clothes next to your skin, as that could be a one-way ticket to hypothermia. Instead, you need to be rocking a baselayer, preferably made of merino wool. This year, we’re trying out Woolpower.
First, why merino wool? A few reasons; it’s superbly soft and comfortable, which can make all the difference when you have to wear it for days on end (contrary to popular belief, wool doesn’t have to itch); it doesn’t stink, even after soaking up your sweat for several days, thanks to it’s natural anti-microbial properties (there’s something called lanolin on there); and it’s fantastic at regulating body temperature. Synthetics might be effective, but merino wool is the all-in-one package you should go for.
So why Woolpower? Woolpower is a Swedish company, from the city of Osterund – where the motto is literally Winter City – and they make some of the finest wool winter clothing we’ve tried. Take the Woolpower LITE line; a lineup of flexible, adaptable baselayers, the LITE line rocks an 80% merino, 20% polyamide blend in 200 gm weight for an ultra-lightweight piece – one that fits under your outer layer, is athletic enough to keep you moving freely, and prevents odors from breeding after a couple of sweaty days on the trail. It’s moisture-wicking, temperature-regulating abilities are unbeatable, of course, and will keep you warm when the temperatures drop and reasonably comfortable when they do heat up.
For the ultimate Merino and Woolpower outfit, pair those baselayers with a midlayer from Woolpower’s Ulfrotte Original kit; available in 400 g/m and 600 g/m weights, pieces like the appropriately-named Full Zip Jacket – their thickest midlayer – use a 70/30 merino/polyamide blend to keep the bitter cold out when you need more than just a baselayer (which is most times; read more about proper winter layering). They’ve got heavy bottoms, too, and the obligatory line of wool socks and hats and gloves, ensuring you’re covered from head to toe in Woolpower gear. And when that’s the case, hypothermia seems pretty far off.