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The "new" merino wool thermals are pretty nice. They've come a long ways over 15+ years. But they are pricey and still suffer from less durability than synthetic underwear.

Given the chance Patagonia Capilene is still pretty amazing but there price point is rough. And they stopped using any real odor prevention for environmental reasons years ago. The smell can start to linger after a few seasons of you use them regularly.

People seems to swear by companies like First Lite but I've never used them. I found a Sitka thermal shirt on sale years ago and had a gift card. I've been happy with them. My friend almost exclusively hunts in their hoody version of their thermal shirts and loves it. Given its Gore they tend to use higher end textiles.
 

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My first sunhoody from them does carry enough stench to make folks puke 😁

Just looked up prices. Impressed that Ice Breaker hasn't shot up more.

And they have a wider array of options if you want pure merino. The gram system they use for base layer weight helps you hone in on the exact product you need as well.

I will say their ideal model is very New Zealand like and not the American dad bod 😁🤪
 

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Cotton really isn't a great layer at all for cool to cold weather. It retains moisture which ultimately robs you of heat (to evaporate the moisture). If you aren't exercising it doesn't matter quite as much, though sleeping in it can be problematic.

On the other hand, my friends and I use to joke that cotton is the original technical fabric for summer because the evaporative cooling helps in the heat of the day.
 
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