Hunters who spend a lot of time sitting in a tree stand or a hunting blind will understand just how cold it can get. If you're not properly equipped with suitable hunting clothes, and key to that is a good quality base layer, you are going to get very miserable very fast.
Keeping warm in the coldest weather is a primary concern of all outdoorsmen and this definitely includes hunters. To effectively combat the cold the best strategy is to layer your clothing.
The base layer is possibly the most important layer because it is the one that sits next to the skin. It will keep you warm when you are sitting still, will wick away sweat when you move and should allow easy movement rather than be restrictive.
It is widely acknowledged that the key to an effective base layer is something that is made from wool. And it doesn't get much better than Merino when it comes to wool.
It’s an important step in the process of ensuring that you stay warm and comfortable throughout the day. So understanding its importance we take a look at the items of clothing that will provide you with the best merino wool base layer for hunting.
In the list below we have delved into the woollen base layer tops - short and long sleeves - and are presenting them to you as a great starting point to ensure you don't freeze your behind off this winter.
Merino Wool Base Layer Tops
Make / Model
S - XXL
XS - 6XL
XS - 3XL
S - XL
S - 3XL
S - 3XL
S - XXL
S - 3XL
S - 3XL
S - XXL
Mossy Oak Break Up
S - 4XL
XS - XL
Now that we have taken a brief look at the comparison table that lists all of the basic details of these items of Merino wool hunting clothing we will now head a little deeper and go through some of the features of each shirt. Included in these short reviews is the proportion of Merino wool that is included in each as well as what activities you might wear the shirts for.
Most Popular Base Layer Tops
It is a well-known fact that wool is the best fabric to stay warm and comfortable in cool and wet conditions. There are numerous examples of high quality wool hunting clothes that are durable and feel good next to the skin. They will stop the cold from seeping into your bones when sitting for long hours when on stakeout, but they will also ensure you don’t overheat when you’re on the move.
Benefits of Using Merino Wool Hunting Clothing
- The secret to the success of merino wool for hunting clothing is that it helps to regulate the body’s temperature more effectively. When it is worn against the skin it provides warmth but it doesn’t overheat the wearer. This is possible because of the natural crimps and creases in wool fiber that creates insulating air pockets.
- It effectively wicks moisture away from the skin and will retain warmth even when it is wet. It can do this because the fiber can absorb up to 35 per cent of its dry weight in moisture vapor.
- The wicking process takes place when the fibers of the inner layer start to absorb moisture vapor. When it reaches its absorbing limit any excess moisture is repelled by the layer’s hydrophobic surface and forced into contact with the hydrophilic fibers at the outer layer. In other words, the moisture is transferred quickly from the inner surface near the skin to the outer side.
- Controlling odor is a significant issue for hunters and the use of the natural wool clothing as a base layer will play an important role in minimizing sweat and its resultant smell. The structure of the wool locks away the odor molecules. Also, due to the fact that the moisture vapor is absorbed by the wool the amount of sweat is reduced anyway.
- Stains can be washed out very effectively because Merino fiber has a protective layer that prevent stains from being absorbed
- They are lightweight garments and so there are issues with their durability. They can get holes in them over time through regular wear or repeated abrasion in the same spot (such as where your backpack straps rub).
- They require special cleaning instructions to ensure their shape is maintained and to minimize shrinkage. Once you’ve given them a wash you quickly develop a routine that will prolong the life of your Merino wool shirts but there may be a short learning curve involved.
- Also, merino wool garments are not cheap when compared to cotton or polyester. But you’re paying for their extra special qualities.
Drawbacks Of Merino Wool Shirts
Although Merino wool shirts are outstanding for keeping you comfortable in cooler or wet conditions, there are a couple of problems associated with them and they are frequently documented in customer reviews.
When trying to stay warm and protected against harsh conditions the base layer is acknowledged as the crucial first step. The base layer shirts that have been listed above do not represent a complete range of those that are available in the Merino Wool category, but they do represent the shirts that are most commonly recommended by hunters who have faced the toughest of conditions.