The Ortovox 185 Rock n' Wool - Women's is built with sustainably sourced wool out of Tasmania. Selling products all around the world, Ortovox is becoming more popular in the USA. Through our testing, this base layer proves to be exceptionally warm, comfortable, with a huge range of thermoregulation. While it advertises a 185-gram weight, it feels much warmer, offering performance in a layered system on the coldest days of winter, or worn on its own on cool summer nights. Wearing it while hiking, camping, canoeing, and running, we learned that you can sweat like crazy in it, then chill out without taking it off. The wool doesn't absorb smells much, even after wearing for several days on end. Unfortunately, in our experience, the Achille's Heel of this top is its lower durability.
Ortovox 185 Rock'N'Wool Long Sleeve - Women's Review
Cons: Poor durability
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Our Analysis and Test Results
After testing this top, we thought to give our Editor's Choice Award to this amazing base layer. But, the Ortovox Rock n' Wool proved to have a less durable architecture than other competitors, wearing through a few holes during our testing period. It stands out for its seemingly lightweight construction that offers amazing warmth and impeccable thermoregulation. We also love its cool patterns and colors that look great.
Constructed with 185-grams of 100% merino wool, this top provides more warmth than expected. We tested it while running and hitting the slopes, and it proved warm in all cases. We would commonly go running with it, then sit down inside and start our work without taking it off.
In super cold weather, its best in a layered system that is insulative to different degrees depending on what you're doing. While skinning uphill during a backcountry ski mission, you'd be fine wearing it on its own in cool weather. In super wet conditions or weather that dips below, a thinner mid-layer is really all you need. Overall, it is a warm top, even though the material feels pretty thin. Ortovox packs a punch into its thin materials.
Offering good thermoregulation, we would use this top for backcountry skiing in the winter, running in the winter, or while backpacking in the summer. While the materials aren't as thin as our lightweight contenders, they wick well and move moisture for the skin efficiently. One thing we did notice is that the fabric does tend to hold moisture, especially if the area isn't properly ventilated. For example, where a bra that holds moisture or a backpack lay. Therefore, make sure the layered system that you wear with it can vent to move moisture effectively. This is typical of pretty much any base layer.
Comfort & Fit
We love the way this crew-cut base layer top fits. The fabrics are stretchy, but don't lose their shape. The 185-g weight is still thin and cozy. We would commonly wear it after our run, and the fabric would be nice and dry. It doesn't stink, even after being worn for several days in a row. We also love the color scheme and style.
The fit is long in both the torso and arms. We were able to try on two different sizes and learned that if you're on the fence, we'd recommend to size up. Our main tester is about 5"7 and 145 lbs. She had to choose between and small and medium and decided on the medium. Other tops she wore were size small. While she could have worn the small, the medium was more comfortable to layer and lounge. Therefore, while the size is relatively true to fit, if you prefer a tight fit, go with the smaller size. If you like it looser, go with the larger size.
This top has about average layering performance. It is loose enough to put a tank top underneath easily. However, the face fabrics are a little grabbier, similar to other midweight merino wool products.
The arms and torso are long enough to easily grab the arm material to get it underneath a thinner mid-layer. However, its not as easy to layer as tighter-fitting synthetics or lightweight competitors.
When looking at our metrics, this base layer top almost took our Editors' Choice Award for its all-around great performance. However, when doing our final fabric inspections, we noticed several small holes in the fabric that would have gone unnoticed had we not taken a closer look.
At this point, we had only tested this top for a couple of months. While we did put it through the paces, wearing it while lugging around firewood, lounging, slogging around backpacks, and wearing it underneath other layers, it proves to be a disappointment in this aspect.
While we love this base layer, it is quite expensive for performance and durability. While the shirt is guaranteed to be sourced from ethically treated sheep, we have a hard time finding the value in this piece. There are other options out there that are less expensive and with more reliable durability.
The Ortovox 185 Rock n' Wool had us very excited during our testing process. It performs exceptionally well with amazing thermoregulation and has great style. We got many compliments on the street, with Ortovox users being die-hard tributes to the brand. However, when we were about to award this our Editors' Choice, we found holes in the face fabric. Unfortunately, durability isn't up to snuff. Aside from that, we love how it performs and will continue to use it despite the small holes we found on the shoulder.
— Amber King