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Reviews > Clothing > Base Layers and Undies > Coldpruf Classic Base Layers > Test Report by Jenna Steffensen

Classic Merino Wool Base Layers

Test Series by Jenna Steffensen
Initial Report: November 19, 2017
 Field Report: February 4, 2018
Long Term Report: March 28, 2018

Reviewer Information

Name:  Jenna Steffensen
Age: 23
Gender: Female
Height: 5' 5" (1.65 Meters)
Weight: 140 Pounds (64 Kilograms)
Email address: jennasteffensen ATgmailDOTcom
Location: Fernie, British Columbia, Canada

Backpacking Background

I recently started backpacking after moving to the Canadian Rockies last fall. I have been on two short (3-day) backpacking trips but I am very experienced in day hikes and car camping. I’ve hiked mainly in the Utah desert and Canadian Rockies. I still have many trips planned this year in the Rockies (smoke dependent!). I’m looking for the best gear that’s light and durable enough for the Rockies. My current set up is a 2-person tent, a white gas backpacking stove to cook, gravity filters, and hefty trail boots.

Initial Report
November 19, 2017

Product Information

Manufacturer: ColdPruf
Year of Manufacture: 2017packaging.JPG
Manufacturer's Website:
MSRP: $55 USD each

Women's Classic Top Specifications
Material: Merino Wool
Weight: 154 g (5.43 oz)

Available Colour: Black
Available Sizes: S, M, L, XL, 2XL
Size Testing: M

Women's Classic Pant Specifications
Material: Merino Wool
Weight: 137 g (4.83 oz)
Available Colour: Black
Available Sizes: S, M, L, XL, 2XL
Size Testing: S

Product Description
The ColdPruf Classic Merino Wool top and pant are single layer base layers that are typically worn underneath outer clothing to keep warm, dry, and comfortable. Both the top and bottom are made from 100% Merino wool which is a fabric that has the ability to last long with lots of use, be very comfortable next to skin, and is naturally hypoallergenic. The top and bottom have flat seams and are tagless to aid in the comfort factor. The labels printed on the inside of both items say to turn inside out before washing in the machine on cold with like colours and lay flat to dry.


The top has a feminine fit with princess seams which means there are long rounded seams sewn into the top to add a tailored fit of a woman's shape. The shirt also has a countoured waistline and hemmed cuffs.

The pants have a comfort waistband to keep them in place and hemmed cuffs. They also have gussets and front and back rise to provide superior comfort and fit.

Initial Impressions:

The ColfPruf Base Layers came in very informative packaging. I love when a company puts time and effort into creating a well-packaged item. The pant and top look to be well crafted and it seems like a lot of thought was put into creating a comfortable garment to wear. The fabric is soft to the touch and has some elasticity in it which is a convenient feature. The top fits perfectly with the sleeves going to my wrists and it falls just below my waistline. The bottoms are also the perfect length as the website stated it works well with people who are 5'3" (1.60 m) to 5'6"  (1.68 m). Size wise these base layers are spot on and are not too long like some of my other base layers. I am on the shorter side so I was glad to see the sleeves and pants both fit with no excess fabric bunching at my wrists or ankles. After trying these on straight from the packaging they were itchy. I have never owned merino wool so I am not sure yet if it is my skin that is sensitive to it or if the fabric just has that quality about it. I am going to wash it before using it out in the field and see if that makes it more comfortable or not.
I am eager to see how they perform in the field. Most base layers I own ride up a lot at the stomach and ankles. I hope to see these stay in place. I am also interested in seeing how a merino wool base layer does with the cold winters I get up here. I have only owned synthetic base layers before so this will be a huge difference. Hoping they keep me warm and comfy during their use!

Field Report
February 4, 2018

Trip 1: Day Hike (snowshoe)                  4
Location: Montane Hut, Castle Mountain, Fernie, British Columbia
Distance: 5.6 km (3.5 mi) with 115 m (377 ft) elevation gain

Weather: Overcast but warm
Temperature: -3 C (27 F)
Conditions: well packed snow on trail

Trip 2: Day Hike (snowshoe)
Castle Mountain, Fernie, British Columbia
5 km (3.1 mi) with 1610 m (5282 ft) elevation gain
Sunny and freezing cold
-25 C (-13 F)
Fairly loose snow on trail

Trip 3: Day Hike (snowshoe)
Coal Creek Heritage Trail, Fernie, British Columbia
15.5 km (9.6 mi) with 200 m (656 ft) elevation gain
Partially cloudy
-5 C (23 F)
Well packed snow for most of the trail, loose snow on remainder

Trip 4: Skiing
Fernie Alpine Resort, Fernie, BC
8 total days
Typically overcast and snowing
-20 C to -2 C (-4 F to 28 F)
Groomed runs and Deep powder days

Performance in the Field: The Coldpruf merino wool base layers keep me warm and dry. I have only owned synthetic base layers in the past but have heard great things about merino wool base layers. The Coldpruf base layers kept me super warm even on those freezing cold days. Whenever I wear synthetic layers the sweat they trap makes them very damp and cold to the touch. I found with the merino wool layers they keep me very dry even if I have sweat a bit. When I took them off they are a little damp to the touch although it was not noticable while wearing them.

When I first received the base layers they were a bit itchy to wear. I decided to wash them prior to first use and I can say they are now super comfy to wear all day. Although the washing instructions say lay flat to dry I decided to dry them the first time I washed them to shrink them a little bit. I prefer my base layers to be skintight. This seemed to work perfectly and they now are tight on my skin but I still have stretch and movement. A huge thing for me when determining if base layers are a must buy is if they ride up around the stomach while using them. I can safely say these do not ride up at all! I have worn them a lot to ski in and where normal base layers tend to ride up during the day these ones did not.

I have washed the base layers around 10 times now. The wool seems to attract a lot of fuzz from being in the washing machine. This doesn't affect the performance but they don't look brand new anymore. There is no pilling yet but I will keep an eye on that and report back after several more uses. Usually my base layers pill between the legs and armpits where there is a lot of movement. I wash the base layers in a machine on the normal setting and lay them flat to dry overnight.

Quick Shots: warm, comfortable after washing, breathable, collect fuzzies

To Be Determined: Durability

Long Term Report
March 28, 2018

Trip: Day Hike       5 
Elko, Fernie, British Columbia
6 km (3.73 mi) with 90 m (295 ft) elevation gain
7 C (44.6 F)
Mostly deep snow on trail with some melting wet spots

The weather has been warmer in Fernie so on this day I wasn't sure if wearing a base layer would be too hot. I normally don't like wearing base layers on warmer days as I get sweaty and the base layer usually gets wet and stays wet for the duration of the hike and if it cools back down it makes me very cold. On this hike I wore the base layers plus a rain shell pant and a synthetic down jacket overtop. At the beginning of the hike I was pretty cold but it warmed up rapidly once the sun was overhead. I quickly took off my jacket and hiked most of the trail with just the base layer on. I did sweat a lot on the way up the mountain but to my surprise the Coldpruf base layer was very good at wicking the sweat away and keeping me dry! Not once during the hike did I feel uncomfortable or cold. I did push up the sleeves of the top when I got really warm to cool me off a bit. The one downside of the top I noticed on this hike was it tended to ride up in the back a bit without another layer overtop to keep it in place. I had a backpack on so this probably contributed to the top riding up a bit.

Durability: I have washed the base layers well over ten times and they still seem new. There are no pulls or fraying to the fabric and it has not stretched out in any places. Like I said when I had initially washed it I dried it to make it a bit slimmer as that is my preference for base layers. However since then it has stayed the same fit to my body.

Summary: I am very impressed with these merino wool base layers. I have always been a synthetic base layer type of gal but these might have converted me to the merino wool side. The biggest feature I liked was its ability to wick away moisture as I sweat to keep me dry. They are also super comfortable to wear all day long with no itchiness or chafing. They are good for all sorts of activities like hiking, snowshoeing, skiing and skating. I found the fit of the top and bottom to be nice lengths and didn't ride up as long as I was able to tuck the shirt in and have a layer overtop. The sleeve cuffs were a good size at the wrist as they weren't too big or too small so I could roll them up if I got hot without being too tight. The pants were also a good fit I liked that the waistband stretched as it felt more secure on my waist. I have worn these base layers with many layers over top when it has been really cold out and it never felt like I couldn't move around despite the bulk. They are a good base layer to layer with just a jacket over top if it's warmer out or a mid layer and shell over top if it's frigid. The shirt was comfortable enough to wear without anything overtop when it got very warm and I didn't feel exposed like I would wearing some of my other base layers.

Thank you to ColdPruf and for allowing me to test the Classic Merino Wool Base Layers.

Read more gear reviews by Jenna Steffensen

Reviews > Clothing > Base Layers and Undies > Coldpruf Classic Base Layers > Test Report by Jenna Steffensen

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