Product Review: SmartWool Women's Merino Midweight Pattern 1/4 Zip Top

It's that time again.






Time to start living in layers, Underarmour 4.0, warm clothing and foot warmers.  (Not toe warmers, don't mess with that, not worth your time.)

For my birthday, my parents got me the SmartWool Women's Merino Midweight Pattern 1/4 Zip Top in black from Riding Warehouse.





I've been wearing it now for two months and Christmas is coming up, so it's time to review this thing.  I gotta say - in every way, I like it better than the Ariat shirt I reviewed a couple of months ago. 

It's warm without being stifling.  It goes down to maybe 45 by itself for me, and maybe 35 with a vest.  Being wool, it's breathable and allows sweat to dissipate, making it perfect for a 50 degree hike when I wore a vest I really didn't need:





It looks good - something I'm not used to with winter clothing.  Not that I care that much, but my winter wardrobe prioritizes warmth so heavily, I regularly look like a hobo.  It's nice to have a shirt that makes it look like I might have looked in the mirror before I ran out the door.  I even wore it to a hair appointment and my way-trendier-than-me hairstylist was gushing over it. 

Ah yes, the ol' "blurry screenshot to show off a shirt where you can't even tell what shirt I'm wearing" trick.  Trust me, it's this one, and it classed up my secondhand Irideon winter tights enough that I would've worn this to a clinic.

It's machine washable.  I wash it with delicates and lay it flat to dry.  But I don't feel the need to wash it too often, I've washed it maybe twice since I got it #woolisawesome.

For sizing reference, I'm wearing the smallest available size (S) and  I'm normally an XS in everything.  It's a little long in the torso and sleeves like almost everything is on me, but it's not terrible.  If you like a roomier fit, you may want to size up one from your normal size.

Someday I will teach my 6'4 husband how to take photos from a lower angle so I don't look like a midget.  That day was not this day.


In both my work and barn wardrobes, I've really started to prioritize things that make me look put together without requiring a lot of thought or layering.  This shirt nails that for me, so much so that I may have pulled the trigger on the green one too.





The place this shirt really shines though, is in construction and longevity.  The Ariat shirt is not wearing well, and is already pilling around the hands.  I rarely spend more than $30 on a shirt, so when I drop $90 on a shirt, it had better hold up for years.  I've worn and washed the SmartWool shirt enough to know it's going to last a long time.

And now I am done buying winter shirts for the next ten years.

Bottom line: For a shirt that will hold up over the long haul, look good enough to wear in public, and keep you warm by itself down into the 30's, you really can't beat this one.  It's expensive, but in terms of cost-per-wear, makes a ton of sense to add to your closet.

What: SmartWool Women's Merino Midweight Pattern 1/4 Zip Top
Price: Currently $89.95
Sizes: S through XL (S fits like an XS, size up if you dislike fitted clothing)
Colors: Black pattern, green pattern

Disclaimer: I bought this shirt with my own hard earned cash and was not compensated or influenced by Smartwool for this review.

14 comments:

  1. I really love the patterns on these too! I picked up one of the Kastel merino tops on clearance this summer and it's definitely been a staple this fall. These are a little classier without branding slapped all over them though ☺️

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    Replies
    1. For sure, Kastel is bad about the logos. Weirdly, the green one has more branding than the black one, but even that is limited to just the little SmartWool guy in the lower corner of the shirt.

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  2. I have a SmartWool 1/4 zip in a solid color and love it! Very comfy, warm, AND pretty! :)

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    Replies
    1. That's awesome! I might be obsessed, lol

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  3. Love SmartWool - I pretty much live in their products. I buy a couple of pieces each fall. Their wool socks are great too...

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    1. I should start doing that too. I do have a pair of socks that I basically wore out, I liked them so much, and a pair of microwool pants I layer under summer breeches in the fall. Can't live without it.

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  4. I started reading this like "nope, it's a cold day in hell when I spent 90 on a shirt" and at the end I was like GIVE IT TO ME I NEED THIS SHIRT

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    1. This is probably why work is trying to get me to transition from engineering to sales, lol

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  5. I hear such good things about smartwool! Very cool!

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  6. This looks amazing and is going on my list!!

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    1. Good! You need it up there in MN, lol.

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  7. But is it itchy?! I CANNOT do wool.. but this sounds so so lovely I'm tempted to try!

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    Replies
    1. I wear both shirts both outside and inside almost 24/7 right now, and I wouldn't if they were itchy! There's definitely some texture there, but I wouldn't call it itchy. Maybe try it from somewhere with a good return policy?

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