Review: Showers Pass Bamboo-Merino Henley Shirt

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Who says you have to hide your base layers? Though base layers often get buried beneath mid and outer layers, Showers Pass Bamboo-Merino Henley is sharp enough to wear as an everyday shirt. Here’s how it measures up.

Functionality
The goal of any base layer top the ability to keep its wearer dry without sacrificing comfort. Starting with comfort, Showers Pass Bamboo-Merino Henley fits more like a “normal” shirt than your typical base layer top—in a good way. Neither tight nor clingy, it’s a good shirt for casual activities like commuting on your bike (Showers Pass is primarily a company for cyclists) or hitting your favorite ski resort. It’s debatable whether it would be suited for a sweaty trail run or a more intense activity.

But—the million dollar base layer question—will it keep you dry? As any fan of Merino knows, the answer is an astounding yes. Not only will Merino wick that moisture away, but it’ll also keep you warm and non-stinky.

Design and Aesthetic
The sporty shirt is a little different than most base layer tops I’ve come across—the button up Henley style, for one, and the raglan sleeves (think baseball tees). This means that the shirt can easily double as a regular, casual shirt—it’s like two shirts in one. But unlike your everyday tops, the Showers Pass Bamboo-Merino Henley has some key design features that are suited for outdoor activities: thumb loops to keep snow from sneaking down your sleeves, subtle mesh panels under the arms and down the middle of the back to keep you from overheating or chafing, and a longer fit in the torso and sleeves so that the shirt doesn’t ride up when you’re on the go.

Color choices are somewhat limited—guys and girls both get grey, plus men can opt for navy while women can pick a plum color. Sizing is true to size, and the fit is quite relaxed.

Durability
In my experience, Shower’s Pass products are built to last, and the Bamboo-Merino Henley is no exception. You’ll have to give it a little TLC—wash in cold and hang to dry—but on the plus side, its anti-smelling and antibacterial properties means you can wear it several times in a row before having to pop it into the washing machine.

Value
Merino never comes cheap, but at $95, the Shower’s Pass Bamboo-Merino Henley is priced comparably to other quality Merino base layer tops. Knowing that it will last you a long time—and being able to get extra wear out of it as a regular shirt—should help justify the cost.

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