Merino wool is the bee’s knees as far as I’m concerned. But, not all Merino is created equal. I’ve been flogging the new Sherpa Vayu base layer for several months and have appreciated the goodness of this lightweight top.

Sherpa Adventure Gear Vayu L/S Crew Features:

  • Primaloft and Merino wool blend
  • Dries 20% faster than traditional Merino
  • Flat seams for better comfort
  • Ultrafine fibers make for a soft feel
  • Raglan sleeves
  • Thumb ports
  • Price: $89
Testing the Sherpa Adventure Gear Vayu Crew

The Sherpa Adventure Gear Vayu L/S Crew Inside


Vayu Means Wind, or Merino

Merino blended with Primaloft fibers eh? That’s exactly what Sherpa Adventure Gear chose for their latest high-performance base layer, the Vayu. This long-sleeve base layer delivers softness that bests cashmere and delivers the best of both modern and age-old fabrics.

When selecting a base layer, I’m a fan of Merino blends, but sometimes they can get soggy and misshapen when worn during extreme aerobic activity. To combat this, most Merino base layers are blended with synthetic fibers. In this case, it is Primaloft. Now, Primaloft fibers are hydrophobic while Merino fibers are hydrophilic — meaning that they act together to pull moisture away from the body and into the air.

Moisture is wicked away fast and dissipates in a jiffy - Sherpa Adventure Gear Vayu Crew Review

The fabric helps transmit perspiration away from the body.

Not only does the Vayu promise performance, but in my testing it delivers on that promise (nice work, Sherpa!). This has been one of my primary base layers for winter trail running and I’ve always found it to be one of the best-performing base layers in the stable. It remains soft and has never caused any chaffing whatsoever. The fabric maintains its shape — even when soaked with sweat. And, it dries in a jiffy.

The Vayu is really an ultralight base layer as it is very thin. But, it maintains warmth beyond what you’d expect while obviously remaining very breathable.

Sherpa Adventure Gear Vayu Crew - Thumb Ports

Thumb holes come in handy.

With a spot-on fit, the size Large is perfect for my 5’11” 170 lb. frame. The sleeve length is perfect with the ability to use the thumb ports, when needed. And, the overall length is just right as well.

I will say that the collar is a little odd. It’s odd because it features very little stretch — so much that if you have a large size noggin, you may not be able to pull this thing on without ripping it. The fabric is stretchy everywhere else, but that the collar. I just took extra care pulling it on and off and have had no ill effects so far.

The Good

  • Unique Primaloft/Merino blend performs as promised
  • Very soft next-to-skin
  • Doesn’t stretch or sag when saturated
  • Dries in a jiffy
  • Can be worn on consecutive days

The Bad

  • Collar doesn’t stretch at all — large noggins beware

The Bottom Line: Vayu Baselayer

Sherpa Adventure Gear really has a great base layer in the Vayu. It is extra comfortable under intense aerobic conditions and dries faster than other Merino base layers I’ve tested.

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About Author

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Jason quickly developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 -- sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.

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