View Full Version : Capilene or EMS smartwool on sale

05-14-2018, 10:27
FYI EMS Smartwool is 40% off right now. I'll be nobo next March and trying to decide what base layers to go with for an early March start.
I know wool is known for not getting as smelly as synthetics and staying dryer but it also doesn't hold up as well. My husband's icebreakers had holes all over after he washed them one time. Right now the smartwool sale ends up being the same price as capilene so I'm tempted to go with the wool but I'm wondering what you all do about washing it on trail specifically drying it because I know it will shrink. Was thinking I should size up for that reason. I know gear is so much of personal preference but I'm just curious to hear what you've used. The EMS sale ends on Tuesday so any advice would be appreciated. I would be using them for camp and sleep clothes.

Sarcasm the elf
05-14-2018, 10:41
Thanks for the head’s up, I’ve been waiting for one of these sales to get some more smartwool. :)

Personally I have found that smartwool base layers hold up reasonably well (emphasis on reasonably) and better than other merino brands I’ve tried, I also find them far more comfortable than capilene.

I couldn’t tell you Whether they’d stand up to a thru hike, as I section hike and use them for frequent day use.
I’ve never had shrinking issues with the 4 smartwool baselayers or the many socks I’ve bought from them. I usually wash them with regular loads of clothes and try to remember to take them out to hang dry, but they’ve all been through my dryer at low heat multiple times.

05-14-2018, 10:44
If only for sleeping, I'd go with lightweight Capilene top and bottom, 7oz total. I have a set, very comfy for sleeping.
Personal preference because I try to avoid wool in any garment used for recreational pursuits. YMMV

05-14-2018, 11:03
Check it my cold weather laying system review at

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05-14-2018, 11:48
In winter I wear military thermal fleece T and pants that I got from Amazon. Very inexpensive, warm and light. I can wear them as baselayer before I get into my sleeping bag.

05-15-2018, 00:36
Go with 150 wt and higher on the merino. Launder alone in small loads according to labels with light wt apparel without velcro, snaps, zips, buttons, etc or at least close all zips. Check inside washer for any burrs, safety pins, etc in any public laundromat. Dry if you must on low heat setting in a very light load. My merino last longer when I dry it flat in the shade.