When we’re traveling or spending time in colder climates, a good base layer is a must. Wool is a great choice for this because it can be worn on its own or layered under other clothing depending on the temperature. It also absorbs sweat and evaporates it, so you don’t have to worry about odors forming from bacteria.
This soft merino shirt from Minus33 is one of our favorite base layers for hiking and camping. It’s made from a lightweight merino blend that’s easy to pack and won’t weigh you down, even on long hikes.
It’s also odour resistant, which is especially helpful on multiday trips where you’ll be wearing it over and over again. Elena (Hiking Hacks on Instagram) wore her Ottie Merino Women’s Short Sleeve Plum tee for 27 days on the Bibbulmun Track in Australia, and it remained odour-free throughout.
The fibers in merino wool are incredibly fine. They’re generally 22 microns across, which is less than the diameter of a human hair.
They’re extremely light, and they can wick sweat better than cotton and other synthetic fabrics. You’ll also feel a lot cooler when you wear it because the fibers in wool can pass your body heat through them, keeping you cool.
For this reason, merino is also a great option for travel t-shirts. We recommend looking for a blend that contains at least 50% merino, and no more than 25% nylon.
If you’re on a budget, we love Wool get more info & Prince for their affordable base layers that are made from excellent wool fabrics. They’re known mainly for their men’s clothing line, but recently they released some women’s options as well.
This tee has an excellent fit and is made from a comfortable blend of merino and tencel, making it super soft to the touch. The combination of these fibers means it doesn’t wrinkle as easily as other tees, and it stays soft after washing.
It dries fast and is odor-resistant, making it a great choice for hitting the gym. Lululemon’s Drysense tech fabric is quick-drying, breathable, and helps the shirt to stay in shape. It also has a little loop on the back of the collar that makes it easy to hang up so it doesn’t stretch out when you sweat.
The best part is that it comes in a variety of colors, so you can find a shirt that’s a match for whatever you’re wearing. This is a great shirt for travelers who like to mix and match gear.
For those who like the look of a regular tee, the Western Rise X cotton tee is an excellent choice that’s quick-drying and odor-resistant. It’s a medium-weight tee that doesn’t wrinkle as much as cotton, and its odor-resistant Polygiene coating makes it easy to re-wear.
For those who are looking for something that’s a little more versatile, we also recommend the Ibex Tencel shirt. It’s made from a blend of 45% merino wool and 45% Tencel, which gives it a silky softness that’s unlike any other wool tee we’ve ever tried. It’s also wrinkle-resistant and doesn’t need ironing after every wear, so you can get away with packing just a couple of shirts.