Let’s just get straight to the point, shall we? The similarities between Black Ovis’ Northwest Territories “NWT” and MTN OPS “Battleground” merino garments are startling. The stitching, seams, and design are nearly identical, both in look and feel. More from MTN OPS here and Black Ovis Here.

I contacted the two companies to verify that they did not come from the same manufacturing company. They both assured me that they did not. Additionally, Black Ovis’ wool comes from New Zealand and MTN OPS’ wool comes from Australia.

For this review I was comparing six tops:
  • MTN OPS:      260G   Merino Hoodie
  • Black Ovis:      240G   Keele Heavyweight + Merino ½ Zip Hoodie


  • MTN OPS:      260G   Merino ¼ Zip
  • Black Ovis:      250G   Heavy Merino ¼ Zip Hoodie


  • MTN OPS:      160G   Merino Crew
  • Black Ovis:      150G   Lightweight Merino Blend Short Sleeve Tee
Fighting out of this corner…
First, the heavyweights. These two hoodies showcased the greatest differences.

The Black Ovis Keele Heavyweight ½ zip hoodie is 240G that is supposed to perform like a 290G. The French Terry loops are intended to add warmth without the added weight. While it would be difficult for me to detect if it actually adds 50G of warmth, is it easy to feel the increased level of comfort. In short, the Keele is soft and fits more loosely.

The MTN OPS Merino Hoodie is 260G. It has a small kangaroo pocket and fits more tightly than the Keele.

The other dissimilarities are limited to their style of construction.

The Black Ovis Keele has a single seam down the ribs and ½ zip.

The MTN OPS Hoodie has two seams and ¼ zip. Both have the same zipper, zipper pull, etc.

The MTN OPS Merino Hoodie 260G is the same as their ¼ Zip 260G however, the latter lacks the hoodie and kangaroo pocket. When compared to the Black Ovis ¼ Zip Hoodie 250G it’s a matter of preference. I like hoods on my layers but other than that, they’re basically identical.

Finally, the Black Ovis Short Sleeve Tee 150G and the MTN OPS Crew 160G.

Obviously, the crew has long sleeves. I wore the Crew for seven straight days and nights early archery. Its scent control was on point, it was comfortable, and dried well when wet.

I didn’t see any unusual signs of wear. I’ve been wearing the Black Ovis Tee for several years and it is always my first layer. It is an exceptional shirt. I have noticed that the newer Tees have less pilling than the older version.

When choosing between the two, it is once again a matter of preference. I like the Ovis Tee when wearing multiple layers to minimize bulk in the arms. When mornings are cold and the day is projected to remain chilly, I want to hike in the MTN OPS Crew.

Wrap Up

In short, it nearly comes down to a preference of color and the price you can land. Black Ovis has a tremendous selection from bottoms, tops, underwear, gloves, beanies, and neck gaiters, etc. while MTN OPS only has three pieces at this point. It’s my opinion that you can’t make a wrong choice between the two brands. I have not worn the MTN OPS long enough to speak to their longevity, but I have no reason for suspicion.

Here is my parting shot. The two brands could be woven into one system allowing you to dial in your layering system with incredible precision.

  • MTN OPS:      260G   Merino Hoodie (¼ zip with pouch)
  • Black Ovis:      240G   Keele Heavyweight + Merino ½ Zip Hoodie
  • MTN OPS:      260G   Merino ¼ Zip
  • Black Ovis:      250G   Heavyweight ¼ Zip Hoodie
  • Black Ovis:      200G   Midweight ¼ Zip Top
  • Black Ovis:      200G   Midweight Long Sleeve Crew
  • MTN OPS:      160G   Merino Crew
  • Black Ovis:      150G   Lightweight ½ Zip Hoodie
  • Black Ovis:      150G   Lightweight Long Sleeve Crew
  • Black Ovis:      150G   Lightweight Short Sleeve Tee

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