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RedRam Merino Wool Base Layers Review

Brand: 
RedRam
Model: 
Thermal Underwear
Product Type: 
Base Layers
Main Image: 
RedRam Merino Wool Base Layers Review

Keeping warm is something you must always think about when hunting. No matter if you are hunting the high desert of Southern California or the hardwoods of Western New York. When I was given the opportunity to review the new RedRam Merino Wool base layers I couldn't say no. For one, I had never heard of them and two, I had been looking for a decent pair of base layers for a while.

Right out of the box these felt soft. RedRam sent me the long sleeve and short sleeve tops, and the long pants and boxers. They fit true to size and left a little room to stretch if needed. After losing the weight over the past year I am now able to comfortably fit into a large. They fit very well and were even ever-so-slightly larger than I figured, but that means they are just a bit loose. These felt different than other base layers I have tried and immediately I knew why. Others I have tested use a wool blend, but RedRam uses 100% Merino wool. That made a huge difference!

I first tested these out on my trip in November to the farmland hunting grounds of Western NY state. I knew I could be hunting in anything from 25 degrees to 70 degrees, so I had to be prepared. The Merino wool base layers do not feel itchy. It's actually quite the opposite. They feel like a soft shirt going on, but with plenty of warmth. They are not tight to the skin like Spandex. No, these are slightly loose and allow movement. That was a welcome benefit that I hadn't though of.

In a tree stand for two to four hours at a time, I needed to keep warm. The RedRam base layers did keep me warm on those long sits, but keep in mind that if you are not moving in some way you WILL get chilly. When I was stationary for a long period of time I was chilled and had to get up, move around a bit and get the blood flowing. These are not a constant source of heat and are not meant to be. When I was moving to and from my stand or just milling around the base layers kept me very warm and kept the moisture away from my skin. That's what we all want, right? Keep warm, keep the skin dry and have a product that's durable and long lasting.

Back in California, I have used the RedRam base layers countless times on our hunts. They actually keep me so warm on our hikes in that I have decided to only wear the top shirt on our hike in. The temps have been as low as 35-40 degrees in the mornings, but hiking 2-miles up a California foothill will have your body putting out some serious body heat. The wool wicks away the moisture really well and I couldn't be happier. When the temps were reaching 65-70 degrees, well, I had to lose a layer or two. When you are sitting in the sun, even on those cooler days, the RedRam layers retain the heat well and I felt extremely comfortable.

As far as durability goes, I have not one bad thing to say about these. I have worn them over, and over, and over and there are no holes, no seams opening and they feel as comfortable now as the first day I put them on. There was no chaffing, no discomfort whatsoever. I have never worn a better pair of base layers and the Merino wool is a huge bonus for my hunts.

Caring for the base layers is simple. Follow the directions and wash in warm or cold water and line dry them. I did that each time and found them feeling new each time I put them on. I wouldn't recommend putting something like this in the dryer.

Some of the basic info from their website and some good testing guideline:

  • Breathable: I want you to be perfectly warm, not hot and sweaty. That's where RedRam shines. Merino thermal underwear stays drier because it naturally absorbs perspiration from your skin and releases it into the air.

  • Natural Fibre: I like people warming, not global warming. So RedRam couldn't be more natural. The ingredients are grass, water and sunshine. I grow it and it's woven into your thermals. Unlike polyprop underwear which is made from petrochemicals.

  • Stinkiness: You can ski, hike, or fish all day, or run up and down the sideline, whatever the weather. No matter how active you get in your RedRam, it won't get smelly. Synthetic fibres stink to high heaven but Merino is far more efficient than other fibres at releasing sweat and moisture.

  • Comfort: Put on a silky smooth, super light merino garment and you'll enjoy the warmth of a heavy sweater. But you'll have none of the bulk. That's because of merino's finely crimped fibres, which create millions of air pockets to capture your body heat.

  • Sustainable: No use making men's and women's thermal underwear if there's not going to be a world left to wear it in. Fortunately RedRam merino wool is renewable and biodegradable. We merino are shorn each year, then we return to the mountains to grow more underwear. Merino is biodegradable and unlike cotton and synthetics it uses very low-energy production processes.

  • Pure Merino Wool: I am pure merino. And we merino spend our days roaming high in the spacious Southern Alps of New Zealand. Our coats are designed to naturally handle all extremes of weather. And that can mean -20 degrees Celcius in winter.

My only performance issue was the claim of not being stinky and I feel that claim can be misleading. I wore my base layers for five days without washing them. After two days the armpits were definitely emitting an unpleasant aroma. The claim they have is that 'it won't get smelly,' but I disagree with that. From my testing it WILL indeed get smelly depending on your scent and how much you perspire. I have never known anything to be 100% scent-free.

There is issue of availability at local stores. Down here in SoCal you can't get them unless you place an order through the mail. Hopefully, very soon, you will see these in more retail stores around. RedRam is currently available at Gander Mountain and www.dogfunk.com, and will be available at many more stores from Fall/Winter ‘11. The RedRam website says you can find them at Sportsman's Warehouse, but I was unable to locate them on their website.

Now for the question you all want to ask, 'How much are they?' The long sleeve shirt retails for $57.99, the short sleeve for $47.99, the long pants for $57.99 and the boxers for $29.99. To me they are worth every penny. They are not cheap, but they are not super expensive either. For base layers that will last, I would highly recommend getting the RedRam Merino wool base layers. They will keep you toasty warm and last you a long while!