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The SmartWool PhD HyFi 1/2-Zip Top's heavyweight merino works as a warm insulator for nasty mid-winter storms. Then, as spring welcomes you into the stable backcountry, you can wear just this top on your way up the skin track—its nylon sleeve panels withstand branch encounters, its zipper can dump excess heat, and its merino wool keeps enough heat inside when a cloud covers the sun.

  • Heavyweight HyFi merino wool fabric holds in heat, regulates your body temperature if you start to warm up, and resists the build-up of odors during long hut trips
  • Nylon sleeve panels add durability and a little water resistance when you're digging a snow pit or snow cave
  • Semi-form fit reduces excess bulk without feeling too tight, while articulated elbows enable unrestricted movement
  • Hip length and drop-tail hem boost coverage
  • 13-Inch front zipper dumps excess heat as you climb in the sun, and a chin guard prevents zipper chafe
  • Low-profile thumbloops secure your sleeves while you layer up
  • Zippered chest pocket features a Durawelt finish for water-resistance
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Great but ill-fitting

  • Familiarity:I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

I bought this with high hopes but the neck proved a tighter fit relative to the how chest fit. At 5'10",182 lbs, I would normally wear a large in most and the chest for a large fit well with a long underwear tight underneath but the neck was uncomfortably tight and restricting. Basically, the neck seemed for me to be out of proportion with the body. Otherwise, the material was awesome and the piece very functional. At this price, however, things need to fit very well.