Are you in search of a durable Merino wool option? The Kari Traa Rose Half Zip features a 100% Merino wool construct that will keep you toasty on the nippiest days. It layers well with its tight fit that doesn't bunch. As a bonus, the face fabric is tightly knit, providing a little wind-resistance and fantastic durability. Plus, most of us loved the cute patterns of the material (some of our testers didn't) and the flattering design. With all those pluses, there are a few caveats, however, that gave this shirt our lowest score in the review.
While Merino wool is supposed to be touchably soft, like the Smartwool competitors, our testers reported this shirt it be itchy and less comfortable than other options. The fabric is so tightly knit that it doesn't do an outstanding job (comparatively speaking) of thermoregulating from warm to cold temperatures. As a result, we don't recommend it for highly aerobic activities like winter running or backcountry skiing. A great alternative to these caveats presented in this layer is the Smartwool Merino 250 Crew - our Top Pick for everyday wear. Otherwise, this is a great option for wearing under a jacket around town or on its own during cool days of the Fall or Spring.