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Kit review: Finisterre merino wool baselayers

Written by Fiona

April 19 2015

I had very proud mummy moment the other day, although it’s not the kind you might imagine. For most of my daughter’s life she has shunned most things outdoorsy and most outdoors wear.

I have tried my best to introduce Little Miss to the wonders of walking, cycling, trail running, swimming, kayaking, surfing etc but the one thing she has chosen, horse riding, is the one thing I do not care for.

No matter, because it’s great that she is individual and knows what se like, rather than just copying what I like.

It’s been the same with outdoors clothing. Little Miss has worn, when absolutely required, waterproof jackets and hiking boots. But she prefers fashionable apparel and if she is riding she has her own wardrobe of clothes that do not look anything like the kind of things I would wear.

Except the other evening she asked me if she could have “one of those long-sleeved tops that you wear, mum. The kind that keeps you warm but doesn’t make you sweaty and damp”.

Aha! She was after a baselayer and it made me proud that she has a) listened to all my chat about great baselayers over the years and b) decided that a baselayer is just the thing for spending days at the stables.

So I rushed upstairs to find a selection of baselayers for her to try. Aged 16 and a bit taller than me, she is also almost the same size in clothing.

The baselayer that she finally chose is the new Finisterre Eddy. Little Miss told me: “It’s a nice fit; not to too tight and not too loose. It also feels good against my skin, unlike some of the other merino wool baselayers I have tried on.

“I like the colour and the style as well. I’m not saying this is anything like a fashion top but it does look pretty good for being at the stables.”

eddy_baselayer_atlantic_w_staticMore about Finisterre merino wool range

Finisterre’s new range of merino baselayers is made from super soft merino wool, which is sustainably produced with full supply chain traceability. It’s spun by EU eco-label certified spinners and guaranteed “mulesing” free.

(I didn’t realise but “mulesing” is a barbaric practice in which some sheep farmers force live sheep on to their backs, restrain their legs between metal bars and, often without any painkillers, carve huge chunks of skin away from the animals’ backsides.

They do this to prevent “flystrike”, which is when flies are attracted to the moisture created on a hot woolly sheep’s back and the fly then lays eggs in the folds of skin. Hatched maggots can eat the sheep alive and so mulesing is used to cut off chunks of wool.

zephyr_leggings_opal_w_staticBut there are nicer ways of doing this. Sheep can be spared maggot infestation in the first place through humane methods such as diet regulation, spray washing and breeding types of sheep who are better suited for the climate.)

The baselayers, made of mulesing free merino wool, have a soft and luxurious feel and are made to be longer in length for extra cosiness.

Merino wool, if you didn’t already know, is brilliant and resisting the whiff of sweat and is naturally highly breathable so it allows the moisture caused by perspiration to easily evaporate.

Baselayers are useful for all kinds of outdoor activities and I wear mine for walking, cycling, running and skiing. Havana uses her hand-me-along-from-mum Finisterre baselayer for stable management (ie mucking out) and riding.

The long-sleeved Finisterre women’s baselayer top is £42. There is a men’s version for £48.

There are other merino wool baslayers including the Women’s Finisterre Zephyr Hoody, £60, and Zephyr Leggings, £40 for women and £48 for men’s long johns.

I had not come across the Finisterre brand before (it’s a surfing brand apparently) but I like their style, designs and merino wool philosophy. I also think the prices are reasonable because merino wool can be very pricey.

See Finisterre.

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