Ever had a Helly Hansen base layer?

They’re not too bad at first, fairly warm and comfortable.

Unfortunately after a few washes they become a little unpleasant.  They start to smell.  and then they begin to stink.  You wash the thing and you only have to wear it for half an hour and it reeks.  It’s a breeding ground for noxious bacteria and there’s no way of killing it off, no magic disinfectant you can add to the wash to kill the smell.

Bring on the Icebreaker Merino baselayer.  They’re from New Zealand and made from sheep.  And they’re very comfy, toasty, and more importantly, they don’t smell.  No longer does your commute to work consist of hiding from colleagues on arrival in case they catch a scent before you change, and hiding on your way out because it still smells from the morning.

Merino doesn’t smell.  Actually, that last statement is not true.  When you’re really sweaty after battling with the traffic on the way in, or you’re overheating because you misjudged the temperature they do have an aroma.  They smell of damp sheep (don’t ask, I just know).  Which is actually quite tolerable.  And once they’ve dried, they no longer smell.

Icebreaker’s come in three thickness’s – the light at 160, normal at 200 and extra warm at 260.  I have a 260 and it’s really too warm for the UK climate.  But the 200 is perfect.  They thrive in an unwashed environment – I wash it weekly and use it twice daily.  Perfect.  Just remember to avoid rough and tumble in the washing/drying environment.

They aren’t cheap – over £40 for one with a short zip and a collar to keep your neck warm, but I’ve had mine 3 years and it’s still going strong.

Get yourself one for Christmas – it’s a present you deserve!