Layer up and stay warm with these merino base layers

Merino wool is a warm and super soft fabric that’s comfortable on the skin and is especially suited for cyclists when wearing as a base layer due to its natural moisture wicking, warmth and odour-resistance.

Not all natural wool is comfortable, but Merino is super fine, lightweight and soft, which is why it’s often used to make socks, underwear and other close to the skin items. The material is highly breathable and helps regulate your body’s temperature and can absorb a huge amount of moisture whilst keeping its insulating benefits.

Merino is also odour resistant making it perfect for cyclists. Being a natural wool it does a great job or repelling buildups of bacteria that can make other synthetic fibres smell.

Here’s the wevelo guide to some of the best merino base layers.

dhb Merino Base Layer

The dhb Merino M_200 base layer is constructed from the highest quality Australian wool spun into fine yarns for a soft, luxurious and itch-free feel. Merino M_200 is ideal the ideal first layer for comfort during cold weather workouts and extended aerobic activities such as running and cycling. The inner core of the fibre is hydrophilic (water loving) while the outer surface is hydrophobic (water repelling), allowing it to absorb a greater amount of moisture before it feels wet compared to synthetic fibres.

dhb Merino Base Layers

Key specifications

  • Mid-weight 200gsm merino wool base layer for natural technical performance
  • Provides outstanding thermal regulation across a range of climate conditions
  • Superfine grade 18.5 micron merino yarn for high-level comfort against the skin
  • Natural odour resistance, wicking properties, and breathability
  • Fits close to the body
  • Abrasion-free flatlock seams

What we say

I’ve been using the M_200 dhb Merino base layer for over a year now during winter rides and it’s performed perfectly since. Super warm and comfortable and hasn’t lost its shape in all that time. It’s a really nice top and my go-to base layer when it’s cold outside. At £35 it’s one of the better value merino base layers out there!

Where to buy

Price

£35

From

Wiggle

Endura BaaBaa Short Sleeve Merino Base Layer

Short sleeved for more seasonal versatility, the Endura BaaBaa Short Sleeve Merino Cycling Baselayer is perfect for winter rides, yet is great for spring and autumn morning rides too, when it’s just not warm enough. All of the seams are flatlocked for that extra comfort and the base layer is easycare machine wash, so you don’t need to worry about it when it’s laundry time. Offering itchy-free comfort the Merino wool is naturally odour resistant and has an amazing warmth to weight ratio. The anatomic fit is snug and unobtrusive.

Endura BaaBaa Short Sleeve Merino Base Layers

Key specifications

  • Anatomic cycle-specific fit
  • Mercerised for silky, itch-free comfort
  • Naturally odour resistant
  • High warmth to weight ratio even when wet
  • All seams flatlocked for comfort
  • Easycare machine wash

What we say

Soft against the skin and a good fit, the Baa Baa does a good job of keeping you warm and regulating your body temperature. Starting at under £40 it’s not cheap but well priced as far as merino base layers go. Perfect as a single layer under a jersey or softshell top.

Where to buy

Price from

£38.39

From

Tredz

Isadore Merino Short Sleeve Merino Base Layer

A good base layer adds extra comfort to your riding experience. This 100% Merino wool base layer is not only super soft and insulating but will wick away sweat for a luxuriously comfortable and dry feel as you ride. With its label and tags free design you’ll avoid any discomfort plus you’ll find extra collar and side eyelets to safely drive the cables from your favourite multimedia player.

Isadore Merino Short Sleeve Merino Base Layers

Key specifications

  • Super soft to touch
  • Excellent perspiration and wicking
  • Odour resistant
  • 100% Merino wool
  • Label And tag free
  • Proudly handcrafted in Slovakia

What we say

Another excellent looking merino base layer, this time from Isadore. This has all the comfort, heat retention and odour resistant qualities that you would expect from other merino base layers. Isadore also offers several decent colourways. I’ve not tried this one myself, but from other’s reviews, sizing up is a must as the fit is quite tight.

Where to buy

Price

£45

From

Wiggle

Chapeau Merino Base Layer

Our lightweight Short Sleeve Merino Base Layer is designed to sit against the skin underneath a jersey or jacket. With a snug performance fit you’ll barely notice it’s there, apart from the sense of warmth and comfort. Perfect for rides from Autumn through to Spring.

Chapeau Merino Base Layer

Key specifications

  • Moisture wicking
  • Merino is 100% non-mulesed and sourced from Australia
  • Slim fitting
  • Anti-bacterial and odour resistant

What we say

A great looking merino base layer from Chapeau! I’ve not tried this but they produce some excellent and highly rate clothing and from reading other reviews, this will serve you well. The first four merino base layers in this guide are very similarly priced, so it’s more of a ‘brand you like’ matter of choice as they will all perform just as well!

Check out our Chapeau brand highlight guide.

Where to buy

Price

£44.99

From

Chapeau

Rapha Merino Base Layer

Any experienced cyclist knows the value of a good base layer. It will keep you cool on scorching hot cols in July and warm on freezing descents in January. A good base layer helps regulate body temperature whatever the weather, transferring moisture from the skin and proving a vital aid to performance. Rapha base layers are made from 100% merino wool and are naturally anti-bacterial and odour resistant. Wicking moisture vapour extremely quickly, they are soft on the skin and itch free.

Rapha Merino Base Layers

Key specifications

  • Beautifully soft and itch-free
  • Naturally anti-bacterial and odour resistant
  • Close fit with flat-locked stitching for comfort, seams positioned behind shoulders to avoid rub from bags or bib-shorts
  • Short sleeves and sleeveless versions
  • Fabric weight is 150g/m2
  • Super fine New Zealand merino wool

What we say

I have the grey version of the Rapha merino base layer and can say it works incredibly well. Being grey, you can see how much it soaks up moisture, keeping it away from your outer layer. It’s super comfortable, well made and feels just right under a jersey or jacket.

Where to buy

Price

£60

From

Wiggle