I’ve long been a fan of Gordini’s Lavawool® fabric. This proprietary blend of wool and synthetic fibers represents the best in both thermal properties and quick drying attributes. I tested a pair of the Gordini Vertigo gloves a few years back and that was my first taste of Lavawool fabrics. I was impressed by the feel and function of the fabric–very warm and quick to dry, which are both highly-desirable qualities for gloves.

As Lavawool as gotten more and more acclaim, Gordini has been expanding the Lavawool lineup in recent years–utilizing it in other applications aside from their glove line, such as socks, hats and face protection. The latest application of this fabric is in the new Gordini Lavawool base layers.

Gordini Lavawool Midweight Base Layers Review

About the Gordini Lavawool Midweight Base Layers

The midweight Lavawool base layers are nothing flashy or out of the ordinary in the world of base layers. The only major difference between these and others is the fabric itself. Lavawool is super soft to the touch–much better than straight-up synthetic fabrics. Here’s a little more information on Lavawool from Gordini:

Engineered by Gordini to combine the warmth of wool with the comfort and wicking superiority of fleece, Lavawool in independent tests outperforms 100% wool and leading synthetic fabrics. How? Lavawool utilizes the inherent insulating properties of wool to keep you warm; but, unlike pure wool, which absorbs and retains moisture, Lavawool wicks moisture quickly from your skin and garment with its patented weave of synthetic fibers and wool. This marriage of fibers is the Lavawool advantage—keeping you drier and warmer wherever your cold weather adventures take you.

Using Lavawool in base layers sounds like a match made in heaven. Excellent thermal properties and the best-of-the-best wicking properties all tight against your skin while enjoying winter’s white fluff… what could be better? Gordini says Lavawool offers the warmth of merino wool with the comfort of fleece. Lets see how they fared in my real-world tests.

Gordini Lavawool Midweight Base Layers Review

Gordini Lavawool Midweight Base Layers Review

Out of the box, these thermals are soft to the touch. The box is plastered with graphs and charts showing off both the thermal and drying qualities of Lavawool. I’m interested to see who conducted this research, but it certainly seems to put these thermals in a class by themselves. The size medium top and bottom tested fit perfectly–just the right snugness to be tight against the skin and maximize the thermal properties.

All seams are flat stitched to reduce bulk and add to all-day comfort. This becomes especially important when backcountry skiing since backpacks and straps tend to exaggerate any rough or thick seams. The tops of the shoulders are seam-free, thus improving backpack comfort. More attention to detail as the zip-top collar has a zipper garage at the top to prevent the cold zipper from touching your neck–nice touch.

The bottoms continue with great build quality and fit overall. The lower leg cuffs are stretchy enough to be pulled up above my boot cuffs without cutting off the circulation to my lower extremities.

On the hill, the Lavawool fabric shines. Under highly-aerobic backcountry skiing ascents, I tend to sweat a lot. These thermals wicked away moisture better than any I’ve used previously, thus leaving my skin dry and warm under all conditions. Then, when the wind picks up and the temperature drops, I was kept warm–even with my uber-lightweight Sierra Designs Mantra pants.

The Bottom Line: Gordini Lavawool Midweight Base Layers

I now believe the charts and graphs located on the back of the box. The Gordini Lavawool base layers are by far the best-performing base layers I’ve used to date. They are soft and comfortable and kept me warm and dry under extreme conditions. While skinning up 3000 vertical feet, my core stayed dry — even though I was sweating up a storm. And, when things got cold, they kept me nice and comfortably warm. I can definitely recommend Gordini’s latest Lavawool base layers.

Buy Now: Find the Latest Base Layers at REI

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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