When it comes down to Baselayers, Merino Wool has become my first choice for a long time.
The pros, compared synthetic fabrics are on hand. Merino wool is antibacterial, so it doesn’t smell, even after days. It insulates even when wet. And it is inherently no melt no drip. Woolpower was my long time favorite manufacturer for merino baselayers. Some years ago First Spear released its American made line of merino clothing. This year’s Enforce Tac tradeshow I helped out at First Spears booth. They gave me their Hooded Field Shirt as a gift.
I wore the field shirt for sports, outdoors, firearms- and combatives trainings and even for covert, plain clothes close protection.
Thanks to the civilian look of the shirt it doesn’t catches an eye. It just looks like relaxed casual wear. My shirt came in a steel grey colorway.
This shirt is an excellent baselayer for cold weather but also a great piece as your standalone layer. You can use it standalone to 5 degrees with no problems.
The cut manages to be relaxed and yet athletic, flaring a little bit in the hip area, so it works great when you carry concealed. It’s a great piece of clothing for your typical “Grey man” kit.
First Spears field shirt features a low profile hood and a “V” collar. Both details are featured often in sportswear and European casual clothing. All seams are flat. The label is printed to the inside. So there are absolutely no chaffing spots.
Speaking of chaffing: The Hooded Field Shirt is a great makeshift combat shirt. It simply works in conjunction with a plate carrier.
The shirt also features thumbholes, great for running during cold weather. The hem of the shirt is long enough to tuck it in your pants if you like to.
On the fabric side of things, we already talked about the advantages of merino wool. Disadvantages are that the more merino you use, the less rugged the fabric gets. If you use to less merino, the fabric looses many of the unique attributes of merino wool. First Spear used 38% Merino, 50% Polyester for ruggedness and stretch and 12% modal for comfort and the extreme ruggedness of this natural fibre. So First Spear managed to get a rugged all in one package. After almost six months of use, the shirt shows minimal pilling and no holes. The pilling is comparable to that of a cotton shirt.
The low profile hood works also great in concert with other hooded jackets. It never gets in the way. When you put on the hood it fits like a second skin. So you can wear it under a helmet.
First Spear really managed to put merino wool to the next level and created a casual looking, yet very functional long sleeve shirt. You can source it directly at First Spear.