This year Mark and I hiked the Grand Canyon Track in the NSW Blue Mountains on a frosty cold Autumn morning, heading off at 6am. I didn’t wear my cheap cotton thermals, I opted for a set of premium grade Baselayer pure Merino wool thermals. AND GOD DID IT MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
This was a 6.3 km loop trail through world heritage listed landscape that took a few hours to complete. This track is full of lush vegetation, huge sandstone walls, deep running canyons, lots of freshwater runways and some fun boulder hopping. (I’ve attempted to block out the copious amount of steep steps on the way out!)
The biggest impact for me was the way that these thermals regulated my body temperature. Halfway through the hike, I felt like I was at a completely neutral temperature, not hot, not cold, not sweating from the hiking, just completely neutral. I stopped and talked to Mark about it, blowing out at how it regulated my body temp. I have never experienced this before with thermals.
Let’s look at what makes Baselayers thermals so good! (and so different to my previous thermals).
- I wore the pure merino wool 200 gsm crew neck long sleeved thermal. The crew neck is higher than the normal female neck line (boat neck style) so I think this also made a little bit of a difference. My entire chest was covered (without heading up to the neck so felt completely breathable.)
- It was incredibly soft. There was absolutely no itching which was something I was a little concerned about wearing wool as the base layer (pardon the unintentional pun!) And it’s made from Australian merino wool! Baselayers use ‘superfine’ grade wool fibres (measuring only 18.5 microns across) which may not mean a lot to you but let me tell you, eliminates the itch and makes it feel like your second skin.
- It fit perfectly to my body and had ample stretch. It wasn’t riding up at the waist so I wasn’t playing around with it at all, pulling it down/adjusting it etc. It is definitely true sizing. (I wore a small).
- It was side seem free! This felt awesome and made it feel literally like a second skin.
- I didn’t sweat?! Now, I’m not a big sweater anyway but I would have expected after a few hours of hiking that I would have worked up a sweat at least felt by the thermals but no wet areas at all. Nice!
- The thermal pants (long) felt great as well. The elastic waistband is soft covered so it doesn’t dig into your skin or stomach. You can’t even feel the top of them really.
Another great thing is that Baselayers is Australian owned and run. Wool from the garment is sourced from Australian farmers who practice higher animal welfare standards. It is also sold in smaller Australian owned boutiques/stores, creating more jobs in Australia (many regional) not in large department stores.
Other thermals on the market are 200g single jersey, which tends to “itch” as it has a larger amount of surface area on skin. The knitting machine used to manufacture a single jersey fabric has just one row of needles whereas with interlock, used in some of the Baselayers thermals, there are two. Interlock fabric feels thicker, heavier and firmer. (Baselayers prices are considerably lower than their premium competitors which is a win/win!)
The Baselayers thermals are also stain resistant, anti-wrinkle, machine washable, fire resistant and biodegradable. I don’t think Mark nor I will be wearing anything else! A solid 10/10 from me.
If you are interested in this product, check them out here