Reviews You Can Rely On

Smartwool Intraknit Merino 200 Pattern - Women's Review

This base layer offers an excellent, slim fit and a wide range of thermoregulation thanks to strategically placed ventilation panels that release excess moisture
Smartwool Intraknit Merino 200 Pattern - Women's
Credit: Smartwool
Top Pick Award
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $120 List | Check Price at REI
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Stylish and functional design, excellent durability and fit, comfortable, no odor
Cons:  Expensive
Manufacturer:   Smartwool
By Trish Matheny ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jun 20, 2022
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
76
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#5 of 17
  • Warmth - 25% 7.0
  • Breathability - 25% 7.0
  • Comfort and Fit - 20% 9.0
  • Layering Ability - 20% 8.0
  • Durability - 10% 7.0

Our Verdict

The Smartwool Intraknit Merino 200 is a solid choice for those willing to invest a little more for a modern base layer crew. This intricately designed knit highlights the next-to-skin comfort and odorless support of Merino wool with the quick-drying capabilities and increased durability of polyester. Throw in a touch of elastane, and this base layer is able to hold its shape after extended use. Strategically placed ventilation not only looks super cool but also functions well to release moisture thanks to a gender specific fit. If you’re looking for a well-engineered, warm, and functional base layer crew that feels lightweight but performs like a midweight layer, this is an exceptional option that doesn’t disappoint.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award 
Price Check Price at REI
Compare at 3 sellers
$145 List
$101.50 at Amazon
Check Price at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
$130 List$50 List
$49.99 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
76
82
81
78
74
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Stylish and functional design, excellent durability and fit, comfortable, no odorBreathable, excellent thermoregulation, extra warmth with hood, easy to layerSuper comfortable, excellent breathability, stylish, eco-conscious, no odorCozy fleece interior, easy to layer, warm, versatile, stash pocket, tight fitWarm, durable, breathable, thumb loops, 1/4 zip design vents well, excellent value, no odor
Cons ExpensiveExpensive, takes a few washes to increase next-to-skin comfortExpensive, lacks durability of thicker fabrics, tricky to layerMore expensive, not super breathableNeed to size up on fit, shorter torso and arm length
Bottom Line This base layer offers an excellent, slim fit and a wide range of thermoregulation thanks to strategically placed ventilation panels that release excess moistureA top-notch lightweight performer featuring exceptional thermoregulation and breathability with an innovative Merino wool technology that gets softer with every useA high performing lightweight base layer featuring blended Merino and recycled polyester fabrics for a wide range of thermoregulationThis high performance synthetic layer is ready for pretty much any adventure you dream upA good looking blended polyester and merino wool top that outperforms its price tag
Rating Categories Smartwool Intraknit... Black Diamond Solut... Patagonia Capilene... Arc'teryx Rho LT Zip Carhartt Force Heav...
Warmth (25%)
7.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
Breathability (25%)
7.0
9.0
9.0
6.0
7.0
Comfort and Fit (20%)
9.0
8.0
8.0
9.0
7.0
Layering Ability (20%)
8.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
7.0
Durability (10%)
7.0
7.0
8.0
9.0
8.0
Specs Smartwool Intraknit... Black Diamond Solut... Patagonia Capilene... Arc'teryx Rho LT Zip Carhartt Force Heav...
Fabric Weight Midweight Lightweight Lightweight Midweight Midweight
Measured Weight 6.2 oz (size small) 6.6 oz (size medium) 5.8 oz (size small) 7.1 oz (size small) 6.8 oz (size medium)
Material 53% Merino wool, 45% polyester, 2% elastane 78% Merino wool, 22% polyester 51% Merino wool, 49% recycled polyester Torrent 190 with Polygiene (84% polyester, 16% elastane) 80% polyester, 20% wool
Avaliable Cuts Crew, 1/4 zip neck Crew, 1/4 zip neck/hoody Crew, hoody/mock turtleneck 1/4 zip 1/4 zip
Odor Control Fabric Naturally odor resistant Naturally odor resistant Naturally odor resistant Polygiene Naturally odor resistant
Thumb Loops? No Yes No No Yes
UPF (sun protection) No No No No No
Length Short Medium Medium Medium Medium
Fit Trim fit Runs small Runs small Trim fit Fit is small, size up
Accessory Pocket? No No No Yes No
Flat-lock Seams? Yes Yes No (seamless) Yes Yes

Our Analysis and Test Results

This base layer features a Merino wool and polyester blend with a touch of elastane that creates a warm and cozy next-to-skin feel. The slim fit allows the layer to trap heat while also shedding excess moisture, and the lightweight feel and smooth construction give a midweight performance. We love the style in addition to the efficiency of this strategically ventilated knit, and it's our current favorite crew base layer.

Performance Comparison


Smartwool Intraknit Merino 200 Pattern - Women's base layer - our testers love the well-engineered knit design as well as the...
Our testers love the well-engineered knit design as well as the strategically placed ventilation panels.
Credit: Steve Mace

Warmth


Spring in the Eastern Sierra is a great time to test base layers as conditions shift daily from cold temperatures and fluffy snow to hot trail runs that make us question whether or not we should have gotten an earlier start due to the sun's intensity. Suffice it to say, we tested this layer in a wide range of conditions, and we were pleased with the overall performance. The Intraknit is a midweight base layer with a lightweight, smooth feel next to your skin. It offers excellent thermoregulation and an exceptional warmth-to-weight ratio.


The unique 3D body-mapping technology on this layer creates gender-specific ventilation, allowing the base layer to release moisture and dry quickly. At the same time, the 53% Merino wool traps the heat your body creates during activity. Still, while the 200 g/m² Merino sport yarn offers excellent warmth, especially for a midweight layer, we recommend layering over the top if you're planning on wearing it during the colder months of the year. However, this is a great stand-alone base layer for the shoulder seasons, providing exceptional warmth compared to any of the similarly weighted crews that we tested.

Smartwool Intraknit Merino 200 Pattern - Women's base layer - an excellent stand alone layer for shoulder seasons, but we...
An excellent stand alone layer for shoulder seasons, but we recommend layering over to maximize warmth during the winter months.
Credit: Steve Mace

Breathability


If Merino wool is known for its breathability and polyester is known for its quick-drying capability, this base layer offers an exceptional blend of both. The fabric combination of this layer, in addition to a body-mapped mesh knit ventilation pattern with gender-specific zones, creates maximum airflow throughout the layer so that you'll remain dry even when picking up the pace.


Our testers were quite impressed with the performance of this base layer. Whether on a spring trail run in the Eastern Sierra or a long multi-pitch rock climb in Zion National Park, this layer held onto the warmth produced during activity thanks to the Merino fabric while also shedding moisture and drying quickly thanks to the polyester blend. While marketed as a midweight, this layer is thinner than most midweight layers that we tested, making it excellent for shoulder seasons and perhaps summer days spent in the alpine. However, if wearing it for winter sports, we recommend layering over the top.

Smartwool Intraknit Merino 200 Pattern - Women's base layer - not only does this innovative design look cool, it also offers...
Not only does this innovative design look cool, it also offers strategically placed ventilation panels to allow the layer to breathe and release moisture.
Credit: Steve Mace

Comfort and Fit


The Intraknit Merino 200 features a 3D body-mapping technology that allows for a near-custom fit for each individual. In addition to the slim fit, which hugs the body impeccably, we also love the ribbed elbows that allow for an increased range of motion. The slim fit feels true to size and trends towards full coverage with adequate length in the torso and arms. The design allows for a little more length in the back than the front of the crew, which we appreciate when wearing a backpack.


Sometimes wool can feel itchy when worn on its own; however, this Merino wool sport yarn felt incredibly soft next to our skin, and the polyester and elastane blend helps it to keep its shape after multiple days of use without washing. If this layer stretches at all, it will bounce right back into shape after washing and laying out to dry.

Smartwool Intraknit Merino 200 Pattern - Women's base layer - the length of the slim fit on the smartwool intraknit is slightly...
The length of the slim fit on the Smartwool Intraknit is slightly longer in the back than the front, offering adequate length in the torso. We love the way this top fits.
Credit: Steve Mace

Layering Ability


Our testers experienced absolutely no trouble layering this slim-fitting base layer. This design's clean finish doesn't feature any zippers, hoods, or bulky designs to prevent easy layering. While marketed as a midweight, it feels more like a lightweight layer, and the polyester construction helps keep the layer in place without riding up during activity.


We found it easy to layer camisoles beneath or jackets over the top, thanks to the smooth fabric that reduces friction between the layers. Whether you're headed out for a short training run or a long day in the mountains, this layer works well as a stand-alone piece or layered below something more substantial to protect you from the elements.

Smartwool Intraknit Merino 200 Pattern - Women's base layer - when the sun goes down and it's time to layer up, you'll have no...
When the sun goes down and it's time to layer up, you'll have no problem layering over this smooth fabric.
Credit: Steve Mace

Durability


Our testers are happy to report they experienced no durability issues with the Intraknit during our extensive testing period. No rips or tears, even after crack climbing and utilizing max friction against the strenuous walls in Zion. We attribute this success to the polyester blend, which allows this layer to efficiently shed moisture and increases overall durability. We also love the ribbed elbows, not only for an increased range of motion and flexibility but also for increased durability while pursuing highly abrasive activities such as crack climbing.


The Smartwool Intraknit Merino 200 is an impressively durable layer, similar to other tried and true Smartwool layers that we've tested. We attribute its durability to the polyester blend fabric that seems to strengthen the merino wool component which typically requires more care than synthetics. Our testers are also happy to report that they detected no significant odor, even after several days of rigorous use.

Smartwool Intraknit Merino 200 Pattern - Women's base layer - durable enough for a day of rock climbing wide cracks, this...
Durable enough for a day of rock climbing wide cracks, this midweight layer is well-constructed and built to last.
Credit: Steve Mace

Value


The Intraknit Merino 200 offers exceptional value and quality compared to other base layer crews we tested. While a bit more expensive, it features a Merino wool and polyester blend that increases warmth, durability, and overall breathability. The knit design is stylish and functions efficiently to shed moisture thanks to 3D body mapping technology. We believe this base layer will perform well for years to come, so if you don't mind a little more cost upfront, this is a great option for your next adventure.

Conclusion


The Smartwool Intraknit Merino 200 stood apart from the rest thanks to its 3D body-mapping technology that offered a custom and individual fit in addition to appropriate ventilation zones, allowing the layer to shed moisture and keep you dry and comfortable during various activities. Our testers love the stylish yet functional design and overall warmth this Merino wool and polyester blend provides.

Smartwool Intraknit Merino 200 Pattern - Women's base layer - excellent thermoregulation, breathability, and a custom fit made...
Excellent thermoregulation, breathability, and a custom fit made this layer one of our favorite base layer crews.
Credit: Steve Mace

Trish Matheny
You Might Also Like

Ad-free. Influence-free. Powered by Testing.

GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.

Learn More