REI Merino Midweight Half-Zip Base Layer Prime Assessment


REI Midweight Merino Half-Zip Base Layer Top Review

REI’s Merino Midweight Half-Zip Base Layer Prime is a 200-gram wool base layer obtainable in men’s and women’s sizes.  It falls in between Minus 33’s mid-weight Sierra 1/four Zip (230 gram) and the Minus 33 lightweight (170 gram) 1/four zip tops, at a comparable value.   Nonetheless, REI regularly has these on sale, and you will not ever locate Minus 33 on sale.

I’m a rather massive fan of merino wool base layers and hiking clothes.  I locate Merino wool to be really comfy and noticeably significantly less stinky than synthetics. This is even correct of blended garments. But you will need to care for Merino adequately to make it final. That can be annoying based on the garments care guidelines.

Washing Merino Wool

1 should really usually verify for washing guidelines on any Merino solutions because the guidelines differ fairly a bit by the manufacturer. Every single Icebreaker wool garment I personal calls for “line dry only” which demands vigilance in the laundry area to make positive absolutely nothing sneaks into the dryer that shouldn’t be there.  This REI shirt is machine washable, gentle cycle, with likable colors, and the guidelines advise drying at a low temperature.  I have a front loading washer, so I just wash it with all the things else rather than operating a gentle cycle.  Immediately after 9 washes and dries, it is nonetheless like new and hasn’t shrunk.


The Merino Midweight Half-Zip Prime is sewn with flat seams to cut down chafing.  It has underarm gussets to increase variety of movement and a drop tail hem for coverage which aids maintain it beneath the hip belt on your pack.  The half zip offers you a lot of ventilation when required.  The mock neck is snug adequate to maintain out drafts with no choking you, and your neck and chin are properly protected from the zipper.  The top rated is also obtainable in some good colors, like this blue either.

The Half-length Zipper supplies a lot of ventilation.

At 200 grams, REI’s merino fabric is a affordable weight for a base or second layer in cold climate.  Note that you should really decide on your merino layers primarily based on the weight (grams) rather than “lightweight” and “mid-weight” nomenclature because a single company’s light could be the identical as a different company’s mid.

Wool fabric is measured by weight in grams per square meter (gsm) of the fabric. The bigger the gsm, the heavier and the warmer the garment.

  • Pretty lightweight: significantly less than 150 gsm
  • Lightweight: 160-190 gsm
  • Midweight: 195 – 250 gsm
  • Heavy: Higher than 250 gsm


Now for the match.  This shirt follows a existing trend toward snugness in women’s lengthy sleeve knit tops made for an athletic user.  The sleeves are really snug on me, specially in the upper arms.  This is fine on a base layer, but placing it more than a brief sleeve shirt can outcome in bunching of the brief sleeves. I advise attempting a single on just before purchasing if you can.  The sleeves are fairly lengthy and do not include things like thumb holes to enable justify the lengthy length.  Granted, I’m type of brief (5’3”), but I got a compact and the sleeves are 2” as well lengthy.  I’d like to see shorter sleeves in a compact.  If I had gotten a medium, there may well have been a slight improvement in the tightness, but the sleeves would be even longer.

A soft chinguard protects your face from the zipper
A soft chin guard protects your face from the zipper


The REI’s Merino Midweight Half-Zip Base Layer Top is the type of shirt you can put on on a multi-day backpacking trip with no smelling stinky. (Ask me how I know.) The fabric is soft and not itchy.  While the sleeves are snug when you 1st place it on right after washing, they loosen up with put on.  The zip neck is pleasantly snug with no getting tight.  It is conveniently washed and cared for with no sign of put on or pilling.  It gives very good warmth for its weight.  If you can catch REI Merino base layers on sale, they can be a excellent deal.

Evaluate four Costs

Final updated: 2019-10-04 02:31:04

Disclosure: SectionHiker bought this solution for evaluation.

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