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Is there room in the market for another merino baselayer brand? We tested the Isobaa 180 Merino LS (long sleeve) to find out.

isobaa 180 ls
Best for...
Those in need of multi-functional baselayers
Overall Score
Great range of tasteful colours

Fans of merino (and who isn't...?) will know enough about its remarkable properties and its perfect suitability for active adventures; the natural wicking, the temperature management (in hot as well as cold weather), the sustainability and the unfathomable resistance to odour.

So in all those areas, merino barely needs to be reviewed - Isobaa's most versatile piece is no exception in excelling for the reasons given above. But what else can the brand bring to the humble long sleeve?

In short, very clever design features. If you've ever been irritated by a plasticky label on the back of your neck, this top is for you. All the care instructions are printed directly onto the fabric to avoid unnecessary tags.

The seams are well thought-out too, using a combination of flatlock stitching and offset seams (at the shoulder, to avoid rubbing from pack straps) to add to the natural comfort of the wool. There is also a gusset in the underarm area to prevent seam-rub there too. And a bit of extra length at the back adds a nice touch to an otherwise superb fit.

But the design prowess doesn't end there. A dizzying array of earth toned options, included stripes, makes for layering that stands out from the crowded market - and even the packaging (a recycled, kind of egg-box inspired affair) adds to the cool.

Added to which is the value - Isobaa's connection with Sport Pursuit means their products are frequently available at huge discounts, and you have an absolute merino bargain. A very impressive take on the workhorse long sleeve baselayer.

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