I've recently discovered Eddie Bauer's First Ascent…
Price Paid: $20 - 60% off
As with my other FA line purchases I'm very happy with the warmth it provides. The midweight base layer is excellent for wearing on its own or under a midlayer (i.e. fleece, down, primaloft). It's extremely light and very packable.
I put it to the test this weekend wearing this with a fleece and shell while I shoveled for 2 hours in the morning...and yes I tried to make it a cardio workout, LOL. It was completely dry when I checked 3 hours later.
I put it back on to go out for a jog (I left it to dry on a hangar), but I will report that it got a little smelly after 2 days of this routine. You might consider this gross, but I wanted to try a 3 day, no wash test. So don't expect Merino wool, you will need to wash after a couple of days use, hahahaha!
Seriously though, I can't stress enough how really comfortable this is; I was not cold at all. It's close fitting as all base layers, but not constricting in any way. Just loose enough at the bottom. Stitching is nice quality and it looks good worn on it's own.
I've worn these around the house with jeans and/or pajamas and feels awesome. I've washed it twice and it doesn't shrink! I went back to the store and bought two more since my others were getting old and I was picking them up for $20 on 60% sale.
CONS: I guess it's that preference of crew neck versus half-zips. I never owned a crew neck base layer, but I like having the option of being able to zip down. I bought a half-zip one to try it, and it works just as well as the crew and is as comfortable. Also, thumbholes are becoming more popular and I wish these had them.
Another option I would like to try is a really lightweight base layer under this midweight one as some have suggested. If I can skip a shell and just wear it with a fleece or down jacket, would be great. I'll report on that later.
Here's some FA Base Layer research for those interested:
Paradise = very light, almost silky. Has thumbholes. Available in stores.
Midweight = middle of the road. No thumbholes. Available in stores.
Ultra-195 Merino baselayer = high end middle/heavy weight. Merino wool so it shouldn't stink. Advertised as not scratchy, but I would probably try it with a really light baselayer underneath for a full day's hike just in case. Has thumbholes.
Expedition = heavy weight, sales rep told me not available in stores (at least none in mine). Not sure if it has thumbholes.