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Recommend me wool base layer for chilly commutes

Old 11-29-15, 10:36 PM
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Recommend me wool base layer for chilly commutes

Brand name and / or model name.
Looking to not spend more than $50 if possible.
I need something to wear under a jersey or t-shirt and my wind jacket on those early morning chill rides.

Bonus points if it's available on Amazon. Links are helpful either way.

Thanks!
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Old 11-29-15, 11:02 PM
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I've had a traditional red wool union suit for decades - long johns. I don't recall the name - they're still in the bottom of the closet in the winter wear bag, since it's not quite cold enough yet here in Texas. But they came from LL Bean, Lands' End or some place like that. Good quality. The only noticeable sign of age is a few tiny holes from critters nibbling. Over the decades I've worn them for winter commuting by motorcycle, while doing yard work, etc. Very soft and comfortable, even when wet from rain or snow. Perspiration wicks away properly, so they're comfortable even when working hard.

I'll dig 'em out soon since we've had a snap of chilly rainy weather and I'd still like to ride my bike.

I also have two or three sets of two-piece synthetic winter underwear, poly-something or other. Comfortable and warm, but I still prefer the traditional wool. Both the wool and poly-whatever have been warmer than silk. I like silk shirts for sweaty humid summer wear, but it's not as good for winter wear.
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Old 11-30-15, 05:38 AM
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I have two of these. Like them a lot. $41.Stoic Merino 150 Crew - Long-Sleeve - Men's | Backcountry.com
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Old 11-30-15, 06:49 AM
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I bought these tops & bottoms @ Costco. My favorite base layers. https://www.amazon.com/Paradox-dri-release-Merino-Blend-Layer/dp/B00KDP9ZBW
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Old 11-30-15, 07:03 AM
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I have yet to find anything available here in the states that is 100% wool and in that price range. The Stoic Merino 150 fabric is a 60% merino/40% polypropylene blend.

However it seems that BackCountry has the SmartWool Micro 150 (100% Merino wool) on sale right now... down from $75. https://www.backcountry.com/smartwool...F0MTExMTAxMzA=

Last edited by BassNotBass; 11-30-15 at 07:09 AM.
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Old 11-30-15, 08:10 AM
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It's hard to find 100% wool - google "Smartwool" for one brand. There's also "Coldpruf", which is two layered - 100% cotton inner and 50/50 cotton/wool outer. It's ok for hiking, but I don't think it would work for running or cycling, where you sweat more.

You might try Steep and Cheap. I've found reasonable buys there, but when you find something, search for it on Google Shop. You can sometimes find it cheaper from Amazon or a closeout (REI, Nashbar, etc). I also dislike that they make it hard to search for a specific item.
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Old 11-30-15, 09:16 AM
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Icebreaker has great stuff, and Rivendell has great stuff. Very hard to get tops or bottoms for $50 unless you paitiently wait for sales. 100% wool is worth it, though.
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Old 11-30-15, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by revcp View Post
I have two of these. Like them a lot. $41.Stoic Merino 150 Crew - Long-Sleeve - Men's | Backcountry.com
What % wool are they?
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Old 11-30-15, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by HardyWeinberg View Post
What % wool are they?
Click the link. If the specifics aren't listed then BC has a "chat now" dialogue box bottom left.
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Old 11-30-15, 12:13 PM
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Costco often has nice Merino base layers but it comes and goes... you have to check.
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Old 11-30-15, 12:15 PM
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I like my Patagonia wool base layers, good prices can be had by digging through the bins of close outs and seconds in the outlet stores. New like $ 80.00 though. Most are 80% merino wool.
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Old 11-30-15, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by asmac View Post
Costco often has nice Merino base layers but it comes and goes... you have to check.
Costco has some merino in it but not much, <20%; in general I would avoid paying more than $20 for anything but 100% for a shirt.

Last edited by HardyWeinberg; 11-30-15 at 12:47 PM.
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Old 11-30-15, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by revcp View Post
Click the link. If the specifics aren't listed then BC has a "chat now" dialogue box bottom left.
It wasn't on the page that was linked, other stuff from that mfr at that site were 60% merino I think.
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Old 11-30-15, 12:38 PM
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I got some telluride wool base layer 2x LS shirts 1x pants for about $30 at marshalls, I could not believe it when I found them.
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Old 11-30-15, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by HardyWeinberg View Post
What % wool are they?
These are blend 60% merino, 40% polypropylene
Stoic Alpine Merino 150 Crew - Long-Sleeve Reviews - Trailspace.com
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Old 11-30-15, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by HardyWeinberg View Post
It wasn't on the page that was linked, other stuff from that mfr at that site were 60% merino I think.
Yep, 60% wool, 40% polypro. As mentioned, I have two. They insulate well, dry quickly and hold no odor (I wear one daily in the winter, including my commute to and from work and fat biking on the weekend, and wash them maybe every three weeks). I also have 100% merino Smartwool that I wear. Can't tell a difference between the two, except that the SW is double the cost.
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Old 11-30-15, 01:07 PM
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100% wool is nice, but if there's at least 15 or 20% nylon (or other), it can be more durable and isn't necessarily less comfy.

If you want to save money, I think a regular old wool sweater, not cycling specific, can be OK.
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Old 11-30-15, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by BassNotBass View Post
I have yet to find anything available here in the states that is 100% wool and in that price range. The Stoic Merino 150 fabric is a 60% merino/40% polypropylene blend.

However it seems that BackCountry has the SmartWool Micro 150 (100% Merino wool) on sale right now... down from $75. SmartWool Micro 150 Crew - Long-Sleeve - Men's | Backcountry.com

There are some icebreaker for 30$/40$/50$ (40%/50%/60% sale) available all year but it's Canada only
Men's Clothing in the category Merino Wool, tops sweaters & dress shirts - The Last Hunt


I also have a few from MEC that are 100% but quality will vary. Since they've chosen to go environmentally friendly merino quality has gone down drastically. That's the price to pay if one care for environment. They should have improved their processes by now....or not? My old one are like new and my new one all have holes in them
Hopefully, glue makes wonders on merino

Last edited by erig007; 11-30-15 at 01:41 PM.
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Old 11-30-15, 01:12 PM
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light, charity shop, wool sweaters.. Merino is a Kind of Sheep.
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Old 11-30-15, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Hub Spanner View Post
Icebreaker has great stuff, and Rivendell has great stuff. Very hard to get tops or bottoms for $50 unless you paitiently wait for sales. 100% wool is worth it, though.
I'll agree to this. An Icebreaker base layer is great, zippered neck allows good climate control and sleeves with thumb holes makes sure the arms are well covered. On cold days I wear one 260gm shirt, and a thicker rain jacket and have a great ride. They really last. I just got a new one, sale for 110 CDN, and bought one about 4 years ago. Look great off the bike too and keep well.
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Old 11-30-15, 06:19 PM
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I wear these. 50% merino wool 50% acrylic. Wore one today under a thermal jersey and hi-vis vest, the Garmin says it was about 28* F this morning and I was just fine
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