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I Finally Found the Perfect Cold Weather Shirt for Hiking, Chilling, and Sleeping


Scouting Report: This comfy shirt goes from the desk to the trail to the bedroom

I’m a pretty serious hiker and camper, so I like to stay up-to-date on all the latest outdoorsy gear, from hardcore hiking boots and fire pits to an ultra light tent that doubles as hiking poles. As such, I was psyched to get my hands on the original cold-weather SmartWool base layer shirt.

It’s called a “base layer”shirt because that’s exactly what it’s designed to be – a base layer. Depending on how much warmth you need, you can just wear the shirt on its own or layer up with a fleece, hoodie, jacket, and/or windbreaker for extra warmth. The lightweight shirt is made for all things outdoors – hiking, biking, climbing, camping, skiing, paddling – pretty much any activity where you want moisture (be it rain or sweat) to be wicked away immediately so you stay dry and warm.

I was ready for some outdoor action and I knew this shirt could handle it all. I was going to take it with me to West Virginia to wear hiking around the country’s newest National Park, New River Gorge. Then I planned to wear the base layer shirt on an overnight whitewater rafting trip since I knew I’d get wet and I’d need a shirt that would dry quickly overnight at the campsite. Mountain biking? Why not? This shirt would have my back for everything I planned to do in coal country. It was going to be my new adventure shirt.

Instead, the shirt became my homebody shirt. I mean, yeah, I’ve worn it hiking and biking, but mostly, I’ve just been wearing it around the house because it really is that cozy. Since I work from home, I keep it extra casual during the day, so this cold weather shirt doubles as my go-to home office top too. After work, I’m usually trying to catch up on crime dramas, and I’ve found the base layer shirt is also the perfect top for lounging on the couch.

Now that nights are getting chilly, I see no reason to change out of the shirt when I turn in for bed. I mean, if you can wear it in a sleeping bag in a tent, why not wear it under the covers in an actual bed? Besides, when I get up in the morning, hey, would you look at that? I’m already dressed for work! There’s no shame in my multi-purpose shirt game.

Of course, I do plan on wearing the shirt for snow hikes and winter camping adventures but until that powder falls, I’m quite happy wearing it around the house. Oh, but if you happen to be on a Zoom call with me and see me wearing this shirt, please, be a doll, and don’t ask if I slept in it the previous night.

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