The Smartwool NTS Light 195 is a crew cut 100% Merino Wool baselayer featuring contoured sleeve cuffs, a drop tail hem as well as vented side panels and a UPF rating of 35. We’ve been using this baselayer in a range of climates in activities ranging from climbing to hiking and running to see how it performed.
The NTS 195 is a form fitting garment that fits fairly snugly following the contours of the body (we used a medium size at 186cm / 6’1″, 82cm / 32″ waist and could perhaps size down for a tighter fit). The Merino Wool is very comfortable against the skin and does not itch or hold bad odours, this baselayer is also quite lightweight so lends itself to aerobic activities in mild climates, or as part of a laying system.
The flatlock outer seams minimise rubbing/chafing and add to the comfort of the baselayer, whilst the side panels (and underarms) are made from a material that is more air permeable then the main body panels. Because of this, we found that the NTS 195 wicks very well – it never seemed to get wet from sweat and vents exactly where you need it to.
Overall the NTS 195 measures up as a very capable and versatile baselayer. In the past, we’ve experienced some discomfort and itching from Merino products, but not in this case – the 195’s Merino Wool performs very well and always remained dry and comfortable. The weight/warmth of NTS 195 is on the lighter side (195g/m2) so it’s worth baring this in mind (Smartwool do produce a more heavyweight 250g/m2 version for colder climates) but for cool conditions the NTS 195 Light is an excellent consideration.