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OUR TAKE Merino per­for­mance doesn’t come cheap—at least, not usu­ally. Yet, Ca­bela’s kept this set down at syn­thetic prices with­out sac­ri­fic­ing any of wool’s es­sen­tial perks. (The com­pany cred­its its ne­go­ti­at­ing skills with sup­pli­ers and abil­ity to place large or­ders for the dis­count.) We bun­dled into it for ski tours and Colorado re­sort days that dipped as cold as a -30°F with wind­chill (lay­ered un­der a puffy and in­su­lated pants) and wore the top on its own into the 30s. And though we some­times worked uo a sweat, the lay­ers never felt swampy; they're fairly thin, and the merino pulls mois­ture away from the skin even when the fab­ric it­self is not to­tally dry. But check fit first: A tall, thin tester re­ported the top to be tight in the shoul­ders and arms.

THE DE­TAILS You get a sim­ple, no-frills de­sign, al­though the drop­tail hem on the top is a nice touch. Bum­mer: The set isn’t avail­able in women’s sizes.

TRAIL CRED “Given their price, I thought they would lose their shape quickly,” reports a Colorado ski pa­troller. “But the neck and sleeves never stretched out.” Top: $50, 8 oz. (m’s L). Bot­tom: $50, 8 oz. (m’s L); m’s M-3XL; ca­

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