To people who don’t explore the outdoors often, the term “layers” conjures images of the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man and toddlers lumbering around in mass-tripling snowsuits. The truth is, layering is one of the most effective ways to deal with fluctuations in both body and air temperature, and you don’t have to look awkward to do it. In fact, with tops like the heavyweight Woolx Blizzard merino as a base or mid layer, you can look downright stylish.
Woolx recommended I try the heavyweight quarter-zip Blizzard because its thickness would provide extra warmth. The recommendation was spot on. However, the top isn’t so thick that it over-stuffed my clothes as a base layer. I was thankful for that. It’s both a pain and unwise to buy tops that are one size too big simply to accommodate the clothing underneath them. You definitely don’t have to worry about making that mistake with the Woolx Blizzard merino wool top.
Based on their sizing chart, my chest was one inch above the recommended girth for a Large, but my waist was a couple of inches smaller. After hemming and hawing about which size to choose, I went with the Large and was generally pleased. It’s a little snug, but not embarrassingly so. And if you’re going to use the Woolx Blizzard merino wool top as a base layer, that slight snugness is totally welcome.
Keep in mind that the whole “1/4-zip” thing means it has a zippered neck, so you could technically wear it as a mid-layer or even on its own as an outer. In fact, I did that twice. Before you buy, I’d recommend giving some serious consideration about how you’re most likely to wear it. The top looks quite fashionable, so it’s tempting and totally appropriate to wear it as a stand-alone shirt. If that’s your primary intention, you might want to choose one size up if you’re near the upper end of their sizing chart. If you’ll use the heavyweight Woolx Blizzard merino top mostly as a base layer, which I did three times and was left quite pleased, you can feel OK choosing a size that in theory seems snug.
If you do choose to wear it as a stand-alone layer, be aware that the zipper isn’t taped. Not that you would do so anyway, but the lack of taping definitely means you won’t want to wear it in the rain without a jacket. However, if you’re in dry conditions, the reinforced seams along the neck, shoulders and arms ensure you can take the top on and off like a “normal” outer layer without worrying about it coming apart.
The Blizzard heavyweight top is incredibly soft, to the point that you don’t need to wear an undershirt if you don’t want to. Coming from someone who always wears an undershirt, that’s saying something. The mock-turtle neck of the Woolx Blizzard merino wool top deserves special kudos for its extra insulated padding. Not only does it help the neck feel extra soft, but it also makes the shirt feel even softer than the body and arms. (Review continues below video.)
Speaking of arms, the extra-long cuffs near the wrist do a great job keeping the quarter-zip Blizzard from riding up when you take a coat on and off. And if you wear the top without a jacket, the elongated cuffs help keep cold air from sneaking inside and cooling your body.
Overcoming the cold in general doesn’t seem to be an issue with this heavyweight merino wool top. Within just 30 seconds of putting it on, I already started to feel a bit flush indoors. Its outdoor insulation was great too, with an impact that was immediately clear upon slipping it on as a base layer. I tested the Woolx Blizzard merino heavyweight in several weather conditions and never felt like my body was chilling. It protects more than just the torso; it also kept my arms surprisingly warm, which isn’t something I often experience with cold-weather tops.
My only complaint about the Blizzard is a total whiny one: it’s not designed for everyday office wear. The mock-turtle design is great for recreational use, but you can’t hide it under a dress shirt in a more professional setting. That’s a bit of a bummer for those of us who need to keep warm even when we’re between outdoor adventures. Woolx offers a few other heavyweight merino wool tops without this neck (this 701, for instance), and I’m curious how they perform. If their cold-busting quality is as good as this 1/4-zip Blizzard, I could absolutely see wearing them to work without anyone ever knowing I had the extra insulation.
For recreational activities, though, the Blizzard seems like a great way to help overcome its namesake. Without question, the heavyweight Woolx Blizzard merino wool top is a worthy and welcome addition to my closet.
The Woolx Blizzard merino wool heavyweight top was provided for review. All opinions and words are my own.
Woolx Blizzard Merino Wool Heavyweight Top
- Very warm as a base layer
- Fashionable enough to wear as a mid or outer layer
- Super soft
- Extra-long wrist areas keep the cold out of your arms
- Neck style doesn’t accommodate daily (work) use
- Sizing seems OK, but people with love handles may struggle a bit