We, hikers, pay a lot of money for our gear. We want it to be worth it. In an ideal world, we’re able to make an investment in something that we can use across activities and it’s just as effective in one hobby as it is for another. If any of that resonates with you, this is your shirt.
I put this merino wool shirt through the ringer from activities like strenuous hiking and running to the other end of the spectrum of outdoor spectator sporting events. In every scenario, this shirt met or exceeded my performance expectations.
What better way to test a base layer hoodie than at a chilly NFL football game? Football games, I’m told, are all about being cold. I disagree. I hate being cold. Any garment that can keep me comfortable in cold situations gets an A+ from me. That chilly fall Sunday, all of the men in my party kept commenting on how cold it was, dancing from foot to foot as they breathed warm air into their hands. I’m happy to report I did not share that challenge. This shirt kept me toasty warm under my team gear, with the added bonus of offering great flexibility with the hood. When the wind kicked up, the hood served as the proper shield.
Next up, my daughter had an early morning race for charity, which meant I’d be standing around in the cold. Again, this shirt kept me toasty warm, while people around me complained about the low temperature.
But, that was all just standing around without sweating. Now, it was time to push this shirt. A hash run seemed the perfect event to experiment. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this great pastime, go try a local run immediately. You won’t regret the time investment. For you hashers out there: on-on! Through the woods, over streams, and across soggy fields in the chilly autumn air, this shirt was a dream. I broke a sweat over the five or six miles through varied terrain, but the shirt always dried so quickly that it was as if I wasn’t sweating. At the on-after (for non-hashers, this is the debauchery that is the after party of the run), I didn’t smell. I’m certain I worked up enough sweat to have been ripe. But, odor was not an issue, so I was able to carry on during the social aspect of the event worry-free.
Already in love with the Base Camp Hoodie, I packed it for a moderate/strenuous hike in Patagonia, Chile: Torres del Paine. As expected, it performed perfectly over the 19 km hike (almost 12 miles) on rocky terrain and through fierce winds. I worked up a sweat nearly constantly over the entire ascent and some of the rolling descent, but it dried quickly every time and kept the odor at bay. The wind in Patagonia was so fierce that at one point, it grabbed an empty disposable water bottle from another hiker’s pack and hit me with it in the upper arm, before carrying on its way for further damage to the environment. I had a bruise the next day as a war wound. In places, I was leaning so hard into the wind that if it had suddenly stopped, I would have fallen to the ground. During these winds, I was grateful for the protection of the hood and throughout the hike, I relished in its comfort and high performance. When we returned to “civilization” for dinner, I was dry and didn’t smell. The only evidence of living through our day was the layer of dust and dirt that covered me. If it weren’t for my husband demanding we get cleaned up before dinner, I would have carried on to dinner first.
Functionality aside, this shirt looks great. When I first tried it on for fit, my then 5 year old said, “ooh, Mommy, that looks so pretty on you. You should wear it all the time.” Shortly after the weather turned cool enough to support this new habit, I took her advice and began living in the shirt. Telecommuting on a blustery day, chauffeuring my daughter to various activities, mid-day power walks, lunch with friends – you name it, if the event was appropriate, I opted for this shirt every time.
For cleaning, I’ve never been one to throw performance gear in the dryer. WoolX assured me their products hold up fine in the dryer. I still wouldn’t have done it except that my husband decided to be helpful and do laundry after one of my wearings and tossed this in the dryer. I discovered it after the fact and was delighted that the shirt did, in fact, hold up just fine. After that, I kept drying it and so far it looks great and continues to perform.
Allergic to Wool? No problem. WoolX offers a no-itch guarantee on their merino wool products, but you won’t need it. I am horribly allergic to wool, but have never itched once in any of their products.
✅ Super comfortable. You can live in this shirt – and, you’ll want to!
✅ Dries lightening fast
✅ Odor control is excellent
✅ Keeps you appropriately warm (right warmth when exercising, and toasty warm when standing around at outdoor events)
✅ Extremely flattering
Disclaimer: WoolX 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.