SMARTWOOL MERINO 250 ASYM BOT­TOM

Backpacker - - NEWS - $100; 7.4 oz. (M); w’s XS-XL; smartwool.com

OUR TAKE There’s no such thing as bad weather when you have good lay­ers—at least, that’s how th­ese mid­weight, women’sonly merino tights made us feel on the cold­est days. Un­der snow pants, they kept us toasty and dry on subzero ski tours across the Rock­ies in Colorado and Wy­oming. The warmth de­rives as much from the cut as the ma­te­rial. Testers praised the Asym’s tai­lor­ing, which reaches up to the belly but­ton in front, while a higher rise in back pre­vented gaps when we bent over. The merino also kept up with the sweat we pro­duced on sunny days up to 40°F, but th­ese tights’ sweet spot is low- to mod­er­ate-in­ten­sity ac­tiv­ity in cold weather.

THE DE­TAILS The Asym adds all-day com­fort with a snug, 3-inch waist­band that never dug into our sides: “I never got that stuffed-sausage feel­ing,” one tester says. While not as flexy as elas­tane blends, merino’s slight nat­u­ral stretch proved suf­fi­cient.

TRAIL CRED “Th­ese tights aren’t thin, but they’re stretchy enough to skin up steep ter­rain with zero mo­bil­ity is­sues,” reports one Colorado tester.

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