Hands-on Gear Review

Compare base layer ratings side-by-side >

Smartwool Microweight Crew Review

   

Base Layer

  • Currently 3.0/5
Overall avg rating 3.0 of 5 based on 1 review. Most recent review: August 21, 2013
Street Price:   Varies from $60 - $85 | Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Light, breathable.
Cons:  Narrow range of usable temperatures.
Best Uses:  Cool-weather running and hiking.
User Rating:       (0.0 of 5) based on 0 reviews
Manufacturer:   Smartwool
Review by: Atherton Phleger ⋅ Review Editor, OutdoorGearLab ⋅ August 21, 2013  
Overview
This is a lightweight, casual-fitting baselayer that is called the NTS Micro 150 Crew on the Smartwool web site. Thankfully, most retailers just call it the Microweight Crew. It breathes well and was reviewed favorably by our testers. There are shirts that we prefer, but for most situations the micro 150 will do just fine. The Micro 150 serves a narrower set of temperatures than other well-reviewed shirts. For something with a bit more versatility, try the Icebreaker GT. If you're looking for a bargain, the Patagonia Capilene 3 is a good choice.

Compare top rated competitors side-by-side >

  • Photos
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge


OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review

Comfort/fit
The saving grace of the similarly thin Icebreaker GT is the close fit. With thin fabrics like those in the Micro, performance in cold temperatures is dependent on a tight fit. The effectiveness decreases enormously when dead air occupies space between the baselayer and skin. The micro has a looser fit than what we would expect of a baselayer with this thickness.

That aside, the arms and chest fit very well. Our long-armed tester would have liked to see an extra half-inch on the sleeve, but the micro's dimensions fit most people well.

Because of the micro's looser fit, we could easily layer it over tighter shirts. The loose fit also makes casual lounging much more comfortable.

Warmth
The Smartwool Micro is noticeably thinner than other baselayers. This has a direct effect on its insulation. On the one hand, this allows the Smartwool Micro to breathe much better in warmer weather. This is not to say that we would wear it in hot weather, but it does work well for strenuous activity in temperatures from 35-50 degrees. Think trailrunning or some other activity with constant movement. But the Micro's thin fabric did come with drawbacks. We felt chilly in temperatures that other baselayers could handle comfortably. We felt that the overall range of the Micro was smaller than other baselayers. That said, the fit allows easy layering and an Icebreaker/Micro combination is very effective.

Wicking
The Smartwool Micro is very effective at wicking. The thin fabric, while not as warm as some other layers, kept us dry during testing. In fact, we can recall no moment while testing when we felt clammy, wet, or uncomfortable. For any drawbacks that the thin weight of the micro might have, this is a clear advantage and a potential buying point.

Best Application
We had a bit of trouble finding the perfect place for the Micro. It's too light to wear as a solo layer in most cold weather, and we'd usually rather use other, thicker (or tighter) layers for very cold days.

We found that the Micro was best suited for moderate to heavy activity at temperatures between 30 and 50 degrees. Trail running or hiking at the warmer end of that spectrum are perfect applications for the Micro.

Atherton Phleger

Compare this product side-by-side to top competitors >

Where to Buy?


Thinking about buying some gear we've reviewed? Help OutdoorGearLab out if you do. Just click on any of the above seller links and if you make any purchase, the seller will contribute a portion of the sale to help support this site. It won't cost you anything extra, and it's a simple way to help us fund our gear reviews. Thanks!

*Most retailers free shipping offers apply only to lower 48 US states using ground/economy shipping. See retailer's website for details.


OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: August 21, 2013
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:     (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 100%  (1)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)


Have you used the Smartwool Microweight Crew?
Don't hold back. Share your viewpoint by posting a review with your thoughts...

Write a Review on this Gear
The Smartwool Microweight
The Smartwool Microweight
Where's the Best Price?
Seller Price
CampSaver $59.96  -  25% off!
REI $80.00
Amazon $84.99
Compare prices at 3 sellers >

*Help support OutdoorGearLab. If you click on one of the seller links and make a purchase, a portion of the sale helps support this site
Related Best-in-Class Review
The Best Base Layer Review

The Best Base Layer Review

We take six of the best baselayers around North America to find the performance shirt for outdoor adventures.
Helpful Buying Tips
Get More OutdoorGearLab
Follow us on Twitter, be a fan on Facebook!
Subscribe to our Newsletter
Related Gear Reviews
Icebreaker Sprint Crew

Icebreaker Sprint Crew
$100
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Editors' Choice Award
Patagonia Capilene 3

Patagonia Capilene 3
$49
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Best Buy Award
Smartwool Midweight Crew

Smartwool Midweight Crew
$95
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Top Pick Award
Ibex Zepher

Ibex Zepher
$115
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Icebreaker Oasis

Icebreaker Oasis
$80
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5