I am totally in love with my Smartwool base layers. Most specifically, the Smartwool Microweight Long Sleeve Crew. This is my go-to shirt for almost any ride and is comfortable for me in weather from 45 degrees to about 70 degrees just as it is.
I typically use a lightweight, short sleeve shirt underneath to combat the dreaded “hard nipple” syndrome and to cut down on the associated chafing of the sensitive parts. BTW, this is not just for Wool layers but for any outer layer I wear.
When it gets colder this is still my base layer. Get it? It is at the base of any other gear I wear. I sweat quite a bit when I ride so I try to tailor my clothing to pretty specific situations with a temp difference of even 5 degrees skewing my jersey or coat selection one way or the other.
Speaking of sweating, the Microweight Crew does a good job of transporting moisture away from my skin but my internal furnace may overwhelm it at times and it is surprisingly warm when wet, especially if I have a shell on over it. Plus, it dries very quickly so that stop for chow and a brew at the local pub will give it a chance to air out making your foray into the chill when you leave comfortable again. As a bonus, even though it get wet with sweat, it tends not to get funky for several wearings.
Quite possibly my favorite thing about the Smartwool gear in general, aside from the obvious performance, is that it is machine washable and, this is important here, machine dryable on the delicate cycle. Easy care is where it’s at. Gone are the days when wool was an itchy, hard-to-care-for piece of clothing. If you get quality gear like Smartwool you will be rewarded with some of the most versatile gear you own.
Wisconsin still has winter and it does get cold here just not really that cold any more and not for that long either. That may change but I doubt I’ll ever ride when it is 40 below like our pards up in The AK but I’d bet that if I do I’d have on a Smartwool Microweight on!
I bought this gear with my own, hard-earned cash. However, regardless of how we get test products, for review from a manufacturer, bought with our own $$$ or borrowed from friends, our reviews will always give our honest opinion and real-world experience!