Garments with flexibility are important. It’s sometimes the deciding factor on whether or not a piece is worth the investment. This merino wool base layer boasts flattering line darts down the front, which makes it appropriate as either a base layer or a regular shirt.
I began wearing this midweight around the house as the weather started to turn cooler. Let me set the stage by saying I get cold easily. I can’t think of any other physical condition that is more uncomfortably miserable than being cold. Every time I wore this shirt around the house, it kept me warm without the need to burrow under additional layers of clothing or blankets.
Next, I was ready to try this base layer outside. I pulled it on for raking leaves and other outdoor fall yard work. As I broke a sweat, the dampness didn’t stay long. This base layer wicks as promised. I dried quickly and stayed comfortable through all of the outdoor work.
Now it was time to try this out in some fiercely cold weather – Patagonia, Chile. As if the freezing temperature was not enough, the unrelenting wind ripped with such force that seemingly harmless objects became hazards. To give some context, an empty recyclable water bottle flew out of another hiker’s pack and hit me in the upper arm with such force it bruised me. At times, the wind was violent enough that it would push me so far off course, I would have to stop and regroup before vigorously forcing my way back on the trail. Through all of that, this shirt served as a nice base layer. It kept me warm and dry as I was undoubtedly sweating to battle staying upright and on the trail. I even was able to venture outside without a jacket – though very briefly (see above photo). Warmth was okay for the very brief journey outside sans jacket.
The one thing I would change to make this shirt even better would be to increase its length by an inch or two around the waist. It’s fine with my arms down, but whenever I reach my arms up, I find I’m giving everyone a glimpse of my belly button.
If you’re allergic to wool, my advice is to wash this garment once before wearing. I’m so allergic, that my skin will protest from less than 30 seconds of exposure, driving into a breakout of awful hives that take hours and sometimes days to settle down. When I tried this shirt on for fit, I began itching ever so slightly. Washing it before my first official wear did the trick.
Minus33 advertises that you can wash and dry this garment. I’m not usually one to throw performance gear in the dryer, but after Patagonia, space for hang drying gear became slim. I figured I’d try out their claim and to my delight found that it does, in fact, hold up just fine in the dryer.
Thinking of giving this as a gift? The high end packaging is sure to impress the recipient. Nestled in a quality box with a sliding drawer, the packaging truly sets Minus33 apart from competitors. The box is so nice that I’m almost reluctant to admit I’ve held onto it all of these weeks while I’ve been testing the shirt.
✅ Flattering cut makes this versatile as a base layer or shirt
✅ Wicks quickly
✅ Holds up fine in the dryer
✖ Slightly shorter than my preference
Disclaimer: Minus33 provided us with this item to test for this review. All testing is unbiased. Our policy is – if we love the product, we’ll rave about it. If we don’t, well, we’ll be honest about it.