Base Layers - Merino v Synthetics?

toadmeister

Member
Nov 28, 2015
62
0
NE Iowa
This is the endless debate like Chile with beans or without.

What works for you or me is highly subjective. Personally I like Merino for cold and synthetics for warmer weather but there's a lot of grey area..

I wear a merino wool base layer. I like the feel, the odor control, fairly light weight and moisture wicking.

It seems like a lot of guys are wearing synthetics now. Have synthetics caught up? What do you wear?


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mcseal2

Veteran member
Mar 1, 2011
1,146
143
midwest
I love the First Lite Aerowool. It dries faster than normal merino but keeps the scent control qualities. Next to skin it's definitely my favorite.
 

Slugz

Veteran member
Oct 12, 2014
3,166
1,137
51
Woodland Park, Colorado
I think they have caught up...just a few years back the scent control I thought in the synthetics was not good. Now I see no difference at all and it's just a matter of size, fit and brand preference.
 

Outdoorsman

New Member
Nov 24, 2016
37
0
Pensacola Fl
+1 on the First Lite aerowool for warm weather for sure. Haven’t tried them yet for cold weather. Quick drying odor resistant and they feel great for a next to skin layer. I have been wearing the merino llanos for colder weather.
 

Outdoorsman

New Member
Nov 24, 2016
37
0
Pensacola Fl
What temps are you using as a reference for that? Warmer weather ? Like high country Aug Sep ?

Outdoorsman are you familiar with Grits a Ya Ya?
Ha of course! I get it from a local restaurant called the Fish House! I used the aerowool on a recent trip with highs in the 80’s and lows in the 30’s in South Dakota and it performed well.
 

Slugz

Veteran member
Oct 12, 2014
3,166
1,137
51
Woodland Park, Colorado
Ha of course! I get it from a local restaurant called the Fish House! I used the aerowool on a recent trip with highs in the 80’s and lows in the 30’s in South Dakota and it performed well.
Thanks....appreciate it....I'm gonna give them a try I think for our Aug/Sep archery season this year.

Yep.....that's where I had it also......I think they have the best recipe......I played Navy in my prior life so I was in and out of P Cola for over 30 years.
 

hoshour

Veteran member
What temps are you using as a reference for that? Warmer weather ? Like high country Aug Sep ?

Outdoorsman are you familiar with Grits a Ya Ya?
I wear mine from Sept - Dec. I may pick up a short sleeve version for early Sept which can be pretty hot here. If I’m bow hunting deer here in NC, I normally wear one to to walk in and climb up, then put it in a zip loc bag and put a fresh shirt on. Out west, I just stick with the same top and that’s one reason scent control is such a big factor.
 

ppine

New Member
May 20, 2018
15
0
northern Nevada
Many fabrics will work. Once you are out there a while around 4-5 days synthetic fabrics start to smell like a rank human. Wool smells like a wet sheep. Therefore I chose wool. In Alaska we would start the day with a long handled suit of Stanfield's wool underwear even in July and August.
 

tim

Veteran member
Jun 4, 2011
1,997
467
north idaho
I got a pair of cheap synthetics for Christmas. I found myself using them a lot. for the price, you can get 3 shirts for the price of my favorite smart wool shirt. they both work well. the smart wool is just a nicer shirt, but this is a base layer.
 

mcseal2

Veteran member
Mar 1, 2011
1,146
143
midwest
I use the Aerowool next to skin even when it's cold. I use a short sleeve Aerowool T and throw a merino Chama or Sawtooth over it if it's colder, which depending on the temp. I really like the hoods on those two. Over those a Sitka Mountain jacket or vest often gets used, again depending on the temp. Sometimes instead I'll take a heavier Kryptek Dalibor II instead if I want a hooded softshell. Add in a puffy matched to the temp (Kuiu Kenai or Kifaru Lost Park) and maybe a rain jacket if it seems worth the weight, and I stay pretty comfy. My set-up changes as I add new items and sell old ones, but that's what I'm using for now and I'm happy with it. I like having a few options to match to the expected temps and precipitation. I only go in with a few of those, but having the others in a tote in the truck is nice. I have done all my out of state hunts with a rifle so seasons are usually later.
 

HuskyMusky

Veteran member
Nov 29, 2011
1,182
73
IL
I'd love to try the wools, if they don't itch... I don't see how they could possibly smell as bad as the synthetics...

1 day/ 1 workout, not a big deal,

but a 7-10 day hunt... I'd assume wool is the way to ago, again assuming no itch...?
 

OkieHuntr5

New Member
Jun 6, 2018
7
0
Piedmont, OK
I've been wearing First Lite merino wool baselayers and outer wear for a few years now. Not the cheapest out there but the quality is first class. It performs well in a large range of temps when layered correctly. I haven't found any other material you can where multiple days in the field without a stinch especially on warmer hunts.