- Embers Merino base layers
- Forest S/S: £39.95; Reeds L/S: £47.95
Embers Merino is a clothing company based in Derbyshire but co-founded by a New Zealander. Given the NZ angle (and of course the presence of the word “Merino” in the company name), you won’t be surprised to learn that Embers specialises in garments made from the magical wool of New Zealand’s legendary sheep. Which is a good thing by us – Merino wool is natural, sustainable and amazingly effective. Merino garments manage to be warm, cool, breathable, odour resistant and machine washable all at once. Clever stuff, nature.
There’s a whole host of Merino base layers out there, so Embers is getting into a pretty crowded market. Its USP is to aim to move beyond purely performance-oriented gear And produce stuff that you can just wear without feeling a bit daft. Hence its base layers come in a choice of colours and with various subtle designs screened on to them.
We’re looking at two Embers base layers here. Both are made from super-fine 195gsm Merino wool, which is amazingly soft and comfy stuff. Adding to the comfort is the fact that Embers has foregone the traditional stitched-in neck label in favour of a printed one.
The black one is the short-sleeved Forest. It’s a close-fitting top, with raglan-cut sleeves and extra underarm panels for freedom of movement. It’s also notably long, which is great for riding – no drafty gaps round the back. The red one is the long-sleeved Reeds – same fabric but with a more relaxed cut and, of course, long sleeves.
Both are very comfortable thanks to the lovely fabric and flat-lock seams. The Reeds is the one that you’re most likely to wear on its own unless you’re into showing off your pecs – the Forest is best suited to being a base layer under something else.
Positives: Versatile, comfy, very well priced
Negatives: Designs may not be to all tastes
It’s hard to go wrong with Merino as your starting point, and Embers’s offerings are every bit as comfy as anyone else’s. The prices are very competitive too. Definitely worth a look.