Is it going too far to call merino wool a wonder fabric? Nah, we think not.
Merino wool is a wonder fabric. We think these are the top benefits of merino wool clothing.
1. Merino Wool is Odour Resistant
Nobody likes pongy pits. Merino wool—especially the non-blended variety like we use—has a knack for keeping you fresh as a daisy.
Reason being, according to the good folks over at Woolmark:
"Wool is a hygroscopic fibre, meaning it readily absorbs moisture—up to 35 per cent of its own weight—keeping the skin surface drier and discouraging bacterial growth."
In testing, we're getting 4-5 days of constant wear before any signs of stink. Ideal for those long multi-day hikes where you want to keep pack weight down and you're miles from a shower.
I'm a sweaty guy and hate to stink so think odour resistance is one of the main advantages of merino wool.
2. Merino Wool is Moisture Wicking
Merino wool can hold a lot more moisture than its weight lets on. It wicks moisture by drawing it—yes, your sweat—away from your skin and then it evaporates.
You've just slogged it up that massive hill. Dropped your pack. And you and your cotton-wearing mate are standing there admiring the view. Give it five minutes and it's easy to guess who's wearing the merino based on the back patch.
Keeping you dry and comfortable is one of the top merino wool advantages.
3. Merino Wool is Hard Wearing
Merino doesn't require washing after each use so it doesn't give in to the battering that your washing machine is likely to give it. Even if you do wash your merino often, it's a long lasting fabric. Just care for it properly.
Hiking often takes us to some rugged places. Merino wool is a reliable, go-to option for serious hikers—and climbers, cyclists, runners, and skiers for that matter!
4. Merino Wool is Comfy AF
Long gone are the days when wool was this scratchy stuff your school jumper was made of. Merino wool is super-fine and super comfortable.
There isn't really an occasion where you wouldn't want to throw on a merino tee—whether under the weight of your heavy 65L pack on the Overland Track, under your light daypack on your favourite day hike in the Blue Mountains with the kids, or with jeans and a beer at that backyard barbie.
5. Merino Wool is Good For Your Skin
Studies have shown that people with sensitive skin can benefit from natural fibres like merino. Reason being, unlike other fibres it's not an allergen.
6. Merino Wool is Natural and Sustainable
Merino is the ultimate renewable resource. It's harvested year after year.
Merino wool is also biodegradable. Our t-shirts are made from 100% merino wool. Meaning, once it's given up the ghost it can be returned to nature. After a long, happy life the appropriate burial for your Ottie tee is to cut it up into tiny pieces and pop it in the compost. Farewell you good tee.
7. Merino Wool is Temperature Regulating
One of the biggest myths about merino wool is that it is only suitable for cold conditions. That big, woollen school jumper—maybe. Merino thermals—sure. But, modern, lightweight merino (like our tees and underwear) is perfect for warmer temps too and has a miraculous knack for keeping you cool or warm when you need it. Woolmark has a whole fact sheet on this here.
Image Credit: Woolmark
What do you think is the #1 benefit of merino wool?