Patagonia Merino 3 Midweight Crew
This is a midweight merino wool/polyester blend base…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $40 on sale
This is a midweight merino wool/polyester blend base layer that Patagonia just reintroduced (yet inexplicably but happily put in the 50% off bin!). Patagonia says it is a "3" on their base layer scale, "1" being very lightweight and "4" being cold weather/expedition weight. This one has a crew neck.
The shirt is fairly close-fitting, which makes sense for wearing it as a base layer. it is soft, stretchy, and not itchy, consistent with other merino wool shirts i have worn. the body of the shirt is on the long side, so it doesn't tend to untuck or ride up.
Also, the stitching through the shoulders is flat and placed in such a way that the seams don't fall directly underneath shoulder straps. the polyester imparts a little more firmness to the fabric, so it does not stretch out of shape the same way that 100% wool tends to do.
While it is too early to tell, I expect the added polyester to give the fabric more strength and resistance from tearing, and the polyester might contribute somewhat to odor issues. it is my experience with 100% merino base layers to date is that independent of brand, they are more prone to sustaining rips and holes than synthetic base layers, and less likely to smell bad.
I have already worn the shirt a number of times either alone or under a nylon wind shirt, soft shell, or waterproof/breathable shell during hikes this winter. it is definitely a cool weather shirt, too much insulating value for most summer and many shoulder season days in the mid-atlantic. so far, I have been uniformly happy with the shirt's warmth, fit and comfort level. it seems to handle moisture similar to other wool base layers i have worn, and so far, it has resisted the synthetic base layer stink that is one advantage of using wool.
One small side note - the shirt has 'thumb loops' at each cuff. i guess these might help someone keep the sleeves from riding up if wearing another form-fitting layer over it, eg powerstretch fleece, but the loops are an odd addition i haven't seen in a base layer before.