Merino wool clothing

Old Mar 22nd, 2022, 07:39 AM
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Merino wool clothing

Seems some articles touting Merino wool clothing for hiking as well as travel.

Among the benefits, moisture wicking, dries fast, less prone to get smelly, less need for washing. So the implication is, you don't have to pack as many clothes with just a couple of pieces of merino wool clothing.

Even if you do long hikes, perspire a lot?

Anyone use this approach?

This place specializes on merino clothing. Pricey as one would expect.

https://woolandprince.com/

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Old Mar 22nd, 2022, 02:33 PM
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We bought Ice Breaker brand merino layers when we were going above the Arctic Circle as well as touring some European cities all in one trip. They worked well and cut down on packing bulky items. We have bought more merino layers since at REI, their house brand.
Our niece took them on a hiking trip to Nepal and loved them and they kept her warm without bulk.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2022, 02:35 PM
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Does it work well in the summer?

They do sell shorts and short sleeve shirts in merino wool too so presumably not uncomfortable in hot/humid weather, at least not worse than cotton and cotton blends?
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Old Mar 22nd, 2022, 02:39 PM
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Nope, not me.

I'm a hiker, but I hate wool. Only have a few pair of wool socks, which I seldom wear.

My hiking MO in winter is a pair of fleece lined hiking pants or a pair of silk long underwear under a pair of hiking pants.

As for packing fewer clothes, I pack for a week and do wash as I go - no matter where I go, no matter what time of year.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2022, 06:49 AM
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We LOVE Merino wool and have several pieces: SmartWool quarter-zips, SmartWool socks, heavier ones for winter, lightweight onex for running/walking all seasons, DH has vest w quilted front, SmartWool baselayers for under ski pants, longsleeve tee that I travel with 12-months/year. Have a few random Icebreaker pieces too. It washes beautifully, I dont put in dryer though. I get them deeply discounted at Sierra Trading, which is online along with a few retail stores (know of two in Jersey: East Hanover, and on Rt 22 Watchung). Of course, it's at REI where you can snag them on sale occasionally. These and Uniqlo HeatTech pieces which come in few weights comprise our annual pack lists for everywhere and anywhere. Uniqlo pieces use no merino wool, but are extremely durable and lightweight and are inexpensive. We always wear a Uniqlo under longsleeve shirts on airplanes for sure, wash/dry overnight.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2022, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by scrb11 View Post
Does it work well in the summer?

They do sell shorts and short sleeve shirts in merino wool too so presumably not uncomfortable in hot/humid weather, at least not worse than cotton and cotton blends?
They work great in the summer. My husband's preferred running shorts are Smartwool. I like wool t-shirts for hiking and running, too. They don't get wet and cold and clammy like cotton. They're much better at wicking sweat. We also have a lot of Smartwool stuff for skiing.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2022, 09:23 AM
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Wool makes me itch! No way could I do this. It would be absolute torture. Even just reading the title of this question made me itch
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Old Mar 23rd, 2022, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by suze View Post
Wool makes me itch! No way could I do this. It would be absolute torture. Even just reading the title of this question made me itch
Wool makes me itch, too, even some cashmere. But Merino/SmartWool doesn't. I bought a pair of socks at the suggestion of someone in an outdoor shop & was astonished to find how comfortable & zero-itch they were. This is not your daddy's wool.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2022, 12:31 PM
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I have a few of the superfine washable merino tops and yes, I use them in mild summer temperatures as well as winter. No itching, all the hype is for real.

If it's going to be stinking hot and humid I use high perfomance running shirts (long sleeved for sun protection). But even those can feel clammy. So sometimes it's just really thin cotton.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2022, 12:40 PM
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Some places offer blends, even with linen.

Cheaper and maybe helps in the hottest/most humid weather?
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Old Mar 24th, 2022, 09:49 AM
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Merino layers do not feel like wool nor do they itch!
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Old Mar 28th, 2022, 08:07 PM
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People can be actually allergic to wool of any kind.
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Old Apr 5th, 2022, 04:07 PM
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I like wearing bamboo clothing and when it comes to socks find bamboo the best (better than wool, cotton or synthetic) - but with the disadvantage that they take longer to dry if I wash them.
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Old Apr 5th, 2022, 04:50 PM
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Ordered a couple of shirts and shorts from Sierra and Smartwool, all on sale. Thanks Aliced.

Most of the stuff I saw were blend, like 50-60% Merino Wool. The ones with higher percentage of MW was a lot more expensive but I will see how these blends hold up.

Already had some wool socks but they're thicker yet they do seem to go longer without needing to be washed, didn't get as smelly whereas standard cotton blends can only be worn once or twice.



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Old Apr 7th, 2022, 07:48 AM
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Scrb11, glad you're happy with your finds, and yes, over the last 5-10 years SmartWool has been "blending" their clothing with other materials. I cannot find socks like my first pairs (15-20 yrs ago), but admit they were for cold weather only. Suppose this is to keep prices closer to where they were. As we see on every platform, quality and quantity are diminishing. I recently bought a SmartWool longsleeve tee that I wear three seasons, and do like it. Ditto w husband's vest that has light quilting comprising half of it. But still love their stuff.
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Old Apr 12th, 2022, 09:32 AM
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I started using Merino base layers during a couple of trips to New Zealand in the depths of winter and have built up quite a range over the years. Base layers. fleeces, sweaters, beanies socks etc. They have served me well in some extreme conditions - camping out in the Andes, unheated huts on 4000m above sea level on the Bolivian altiplano at minus 15-20 centrigrade

IMO , in terms of weight to warmth performance, it is second to none. We still pack for journeys of 6 months or so using a 40 litre carry on weighing less than 10kg.

I used to have an allergic reaction when wearing wool next to my skin but not with Merino. I have seen numerous research articles classifying it as non allergenic so, for anyone concerned about allergies, I would at least give it a try before dismissing it.

Downsides are that it is comparatively expensive and doesn’t wear terribly well. My base layers are fine after several years use but fleeces tend to wear out quicker than manmade where they rub against belts, waterproofs etc.

In terms of brands , I tend to seek out Icebreaker, the market leader. I saw “Smartwool” mentioned above but don't find that anywhere near as good - I think it is a mix of merino and other fibres. The socks wear out especially quickly. Rohan do a very good Merino mix but that is only available in the UK.

Yes the “no stink” rumours are true. It wicks away sweat and even wearing for 4-5 days at at time it still stayed as fresh as a daisy! Ok, not quite but at least people weren’t backing away the I entered a room
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