When it comes to keeping warm I have plenty of experience with different base and mid layers. Even skiing in the relatively warm PNW I always seem to be cold skiing the resort so wearing good layers has become important.
I have tried Merino Wool and Synthetic base layers but have never tried the Bamboo and Merino mix these particular base layers from Australian brand Le Bent feature. Bamboo may seem a strange choice but upon further investigation I found Bamboo is actually a really good choice to mix with the traditional merino wool. Bamboo is incredibly environmentally friendly. It grows fast with little care and can even help prevent soil erosion, the roots can help prevent soil erosion and when processed the fiber produced is as soft as cashmere or silk. Best of all it naturally contains an antibacterial agent called â€œBamboo Kunâ€. This antibacterial agent stays on the fiber for as many as 50 washes and helps keep the base layers smelling good longer.
Both the top and bottoms are a 200gm weight. If you don't know what this means it basically explains how heavy the fabric used is. The higher the number so thicker the material, the warmer it will be. Generally base layers range from 150-260gm so these sit somewhere in the middle.
The fit is slightly different to most. At 5'11 and 160lbs I am not a small guy so when I was sent a small top and medium bottoms I was concerned they would not fit. However I nee-dent have worried. The bottoms in a medium were perfect and the small top is really not that bad. I would probably go for a medium if I was buying again but the small works fine. One bonus is the top is pretty long, in most smalls the top would be riding up but these base layers fit long.
Unfortunately the bottoms also run long. In a ski boot you only really want the sock inside so I always roll the base layer up, however I have to roll these base layers over 4 times. I'm not sure if I have very short legs but they are way to long on me. Luckily the soft fiber does mean they still fit comfortably rolled up but I would prefer a shorter fit.
Both the top and bottoms feel extremely comfortable to wear. The material is soft and the seams are well placed and very well hidden so there is no rubbing. Te material does not itch and it does wick sweat away well. I did find however it does unfortunately get a little cold when wet compared to some pure merino tops I have worn.
They are certainly a very well made and comfortable set of base layers and although I do like the long fit of the top I would prefer the bottoms to be shorter. On very cold days I would prefer a top in a heavier weight but most people I ski with are fine in a lighter weight like this so its probably just me.
As well as the base layers Le bent also provided a balaclava and a neck tube. The balaclava was my favorite I have ever skied in. It uses the same soft material as the base layers and had a hinge front section rather then just an oval hole. Unfortunately I have lost it or someone has taken it which I am really annoyed about as it really is awesome. I have used the neck tube too and that is comfy too but I really hope I find the balaclava.
Update - I found the balaclava and I have been wearing it all the time. All the Le Bent items are holding up really well after half a season of use and they have become some of my favorite base layers to wear.