Gear to hit the cold

Layer up with merino wool to keep warm (and smell-free) when the temperature drops.
Team Kufsteiner Kaiser Schitourer hiking up the mountain.
Team Kufsteiner Kaiser Schitourer - Action © Jakob Schweighofer / Atomic / Red Bull Content Pool
By Toby Archer

When the cold weather hits, adventurers reach for merino thanks to its natural softness and warmth. But it's also a natural choice for multi-day adventures as it's antibacterial and stops smells from developing, something you (and your travel partners) soon appreciate when wearing your baselayers day after day without washing. Toby Archer looks at a couple of offerings.

Wool blends are a popular choice.
RAB MeCo © Rab

Rab’s MeCo underwear is a high performance base layer made of a 65/35 mix of merino and specially treated polyester. It seems to hit a sweet spot of keeping the best attributes of merino with noticeably faster drying times, where synthetics are superior to wool.


The t-shirt makes a perfect baselayer for action sports; the mid-weight hoodie works well as either a cold-weather base or a light mid-layer. A long-sleeve zip tee is available for the coldest days. And it really does refuse to smell even after days of use without washing.

Rab MeCo tee, €65

Sierra Long Sleeve Zip © Icebreaker

Wool is now also used in performance mid-layers. The Sierra Long Sleeve Zip is such a piece from Icebreaker, the New Zealand merino specialists. Icebreaker have dubbed their mid-layers “real fleece” thanks to its genuine wool properties. It also fights off whiffs during extended use and, best of all, it looks and feels great for urban use too. It's perfect for cycle commuting when you don’t get chance to change before meeting colleagues, but works just as well for skiing or hiking at the weekend.

Sierra Long Sleeve Zip, €210 

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