Although the name suggests this is a pure wool construction, the Specialized Merino LS Underwear baselayer is actually a combination of Dryarn synthetic inside face with Merino on the outside.
The synthetic layer should boost moisture away from the skin quickly, while the Merino layer should add a great feel and a hit of warmth.
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The top also features long sleeves and a well-proportioned crew neck to help keep out the chill, while there’s body mapping to vary the breathability and warmth of the fabric where appropriate.
As with all baselayers, fit is everything, and the Merino LS Underwear’s is excellent. Its wonderfully soft yet stretchy fabric clung to every curve of my body, while the well-designed sleeves and collar were just the right length and fit for cycling.
That body contact meant it wicked moisture away effectively and reduced any chance of cold and clammy spots. The well-placed areas of heat mapping, such as perforations under the arms and at top of the back, let sweat escape and air circulate, too.
This all added up to making it a favourite of mine for comfort on the bike in a wide range of conditions.
I was a little concerned about durability because the collar started to bobble slightly by the end of the testing period, but it could be bad luck or just a washing issue, but given the price it wouldn’t be great if this persisted.
With a lot of cycling kit, especially Merino, it’s always worth being careful not to wash items with harsher fabrics or potentially damaging features such as undone Velcro.
Despite this, it’s a terrifically comfortable and excellent fitting baselayer, with a gloriously soft feel and effective body mapping that puts the fabric and breathability where it’s most needed. It is a little pricey and the fabric is delicate, so if you do buy one pay close attention to care if you want it to last.