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Keela Merino Tops and Leggings

The Keela Merino L/S Top made a great base under my Keela Belay Smock out on Dartmoor on a chilly but sunny day – the low winter sunlight has turned Covert Green into a warmer shade [©JG]
Keela have a range of base layer garments, both tops and leggings, to suit most of our needs which have Merino wool in the blend.


It’s that time of year when we look for something to use as a base layer to keep the winter chill out, at least here in the northern hemisphere. Merino wool is now a well-known material to those that need to keep warm but also don’t want to get any more sweaty than they have to; additionally and importantly if washing facilities are limited it will allow the wearer to stay, let’s say, sociable.

The Covert Green Keela Merino L/S Top with the Olive Tasman Merino Top for comparison [©MG]

The Keela Merino L/S (Long Sleeve) Top is light (200gsm) and comfortable, with flatlock stitching, so is comfortable under whatever you have over it and also if load carrying is not likely to create pressure points especially over the shoulders. I have been a Merino fan for years now and I am still impressed how it will keep you warm when it’s cold but also remain comfortable in warmer conditions, and does not itch like other ‘normal’ wool garments. Its ability to remain fresh for days of use is impressive; it works for sheep on the hills so why not us?

The Merino L/S Top has a quarter zip and elasticated cuffs [©MG]

The Merino L/S Top is made from 80% Merino and 20% Polyester and is available in Black as well as Covert Green. It has a quarter length zip to offer some controlled ventilation as required, a feature which I like. The collar can be zipped up around the neck and the zip tucked into its keeper to prevent rubbing. Cuffs are elasticated and close fitting to stop the cold breeze getting in. It is a long fit so tucks in well to prevent any cold drafts into the mid regions – especially important when active. As a base layer this is your final line of defense after the other mid and top layers or perhaps even as your top and only garment in more clement conditions. Therefore, an important item of kit to get right.

The simpler Tasman Merino Top variant with plain neck and cuffs [©MG]

The Tasman Merino Top is made from 100% Merino wool and is available in Blue as well as Olive. This has a thinner feel to the LS Top. The more open neck design is perhaps better suited to the less demanding weather conditions but will certainly maintain control of upper body temperature, as a Merino wool garment should. The sleeves terminate in a less restrictive way and the body length is slightly shorter than the LS top so suited to more casual use, perhaps for runners and casual bikers that need a bit of extra protection in colder conditions.

The Merino Leggings match the L/S Top in material and general style [©MG]

The Merino Leggings have all the same basic but important features as the LS Top so enabling you to keep your legs warm. Especially important when static for a while or slow moving but these will allow for the times when one is active as they are comfortable to wear and control temperature as for the upper garments. They are available in Covert Green, Olive and Black.

A personal note on sizing. These are generally slim or closer fit items, albeit quite stretchy, but in the case of the ones I have been wearing I have had one size up on my normal and find this is perhaps a better option, as easier to wear and perhaps trapping a bit more air to help maintain warmth. Versions of all three garments tailored for the female form are also available.

[images © Mike or Jean Gormley]

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