Merino Wool or Polypropylene for a good warm base layer?

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Merino Wool or Polypropylene for a good warm base layer?

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Ok so I’m struggling on what to take for base layers on my trip. I will be in New Zealand in the height of their winter and will also be climbing some high altitudes throughout my trip so therefore I think I need to pack a decent base layer pair to keep me warm - top & pants.

So I’ve stumbled across 2 and I’m not sure which is best.

There is the Helly Hansen Lifa Twin Pack. Helly Hansen has a very good reputation so I am led to believe. It’s 100% polypropylene.

Then I have stumbled across another pair but made in merino wool by a different brand.

My dilemma is which would keep me warmer polypropylene or merino wool??

I seem to have read more about merino wool keeping you warm but I’m led to believe polypropylene is just as good?

Any advice please?

     
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Hi Lu-Lu,
I Would advise anyone who need a base layer to choose merino wool other any synthetic fabric. In terms of warmth both will be similar as its common for the base layers to be made for a certain temperature or thickness but the wool has so many other advantages:
It will keep you warm even when wet
It can be worn for longer without smelling
It has natural antibacterial properties

Merino wool is normally more expensive but it is worth the extra cost

     
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Tony Lester - 22 October 2013 05:37 PM

Hi Lu-Lu,
I Would advise anyone who need a base layer to choose merino wool other any synthetic fabric. In terms of warmth both will be similar as its common for the base layers to be made for a certain temperature or thickness but the wool has so many other advantages:
It will keep you warm even when wet
It can be worn for longer without smelling
It has natural antibacterial properties

Merino wool is normally more expensive but it is worth the extra cost

Thanks for taking the time to reply.

Does Merino Wool tend to be really bulky though as worried it’ll take up too much space in my 55L backpack. I’m also taking a 3 in 1 fleece / waterproof combo and that’s quite bulky.

Also the merino top I was looking at actually isn’t 100% merino wool it’s 80% merino with 20% Polyester. Will that make much difference? I feel the cold and hate being cold it might be worth mentioning that.

     
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its generally only the slightest bit thicker than synthetics but as a base layer its going to be thin anyway. The polyester part will be to make it stretchy so it fits skin tight, without the polyester youll be left with just the wool you might find it difficult to get a set that fits tight.

     
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Thanks for replying!

I’ve since purchased an ice breaker long sleeve oasis crewe.

After doing a bit of research discovered they are 1 of the better brands to go for as they are 100% merino wool and going to get their leggings too.