Smartwool Intraknit Merino 200 Pattern - Women's Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Stylish and functional design, excellent durability and fit, comfortable, no odor
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Smartwool Intraknit Merino 200 Pattern - Women's
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Compare at 3 sellers
$101.50 at Amazon
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Compare at 2 sellers
|$130 List||$50 List|
$49.99 at Amazon
|Pros||Stylish and functional design, excellent durability and fit, comfortable, no odor||Breathable, excellent thermoregulation, extra warmth with hood, easy to layer||Super comfortable, excellent breathability, stylish, eco-conscious, no odor||Cozy fleece interior, easy to layer, warm, versatile, stash pocket, tight fit||Warm, durable, breathable, thumb loops, 1/4 zip design vents well, excellent value, no odor|
|Cons||Expensive||Expensive, takes a few washes to increase next-to-skin comfort||Expensive, lacks durability of thicker fabrics, tricky to layer||More expensive, not super breathable||Need 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 moisture||A top-notch lightweight performer featuring exceptional thermoregulation and breathability with an innovative Merino wool technology that gets softer with every use||A high performing lightweight base layer featuring blended Merino and recycled polyester fabrics for a wide range of thermoregulation||This high performance synthetic layer is ready for pretty much any adventure you dream up||A 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...|
|Comfort and Fit (20%)|
|Layering Ability (20%)|
|Specs||Smartwool Intraknit...||Black Diamond Solut...||Patagonia Capilene...||Arc'teryx Rho LT Zip||Carhartt Force Heav...|
|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|
|UPF (sun protection)||No||No||No||No||No|
|Fit||Trim fit||Runs small||Runs small||Trim fit||Fit is small, size up|
|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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
— Trish Matheny
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