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Gear Review: Minus33 Merino Wool & Wool v. Down v. Synthetic

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Gear Review: Minus33 Merino Wool & Wool v. Down v. Synthetic

Postby HikingGeek.com » Mon Jan 25, 2016 10:53 am

After talking with Minus33 a few times about their products, I ended up with a Merino Wool Kodiak Expedition Full Zip Hoody and a set of their Merino Wool Day Hiker Socks. Here is a link to the review I wrote:

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After testing the hoody and being very impressed with it, I became interested in the possibility of using merino wool as my primary insulation layer. I am moving to New England, where it is wet and humid. Despite being much heavier than down, I like the idea of merino because it still insulates when wet and sweat does not degrade it.

What are your thoughts on Wool v. Down v. Systhetics as an insulation layer? Other than weight and "compressibility," are their other reasons to not use merino?



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Re: Gear Review: Minus33 Merino Wool & Wool v. Down v. Synth

Postby Shawn » Mon Jan 25, 2016 1:04 pm

Nice review, thanks for posting it up. Sorry to see you're moving, hope you'll still be checking in at HST.
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Re: Gear Review: Minus33 Merino Wool & Wool v. Down v. Synth

Postby maverick » Mon Jan 25, 2016 2:55 pm

Other than weight and "compressibility," are their other reasons to not use merino?


Nope, if neither of these reasons is an issue for you, then you are good to go with wool. ;)
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

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Re: Gear Review: Minus33 Merino Wool & Wool v. Down v. Synth

Postby balance » Mon Jan 25, 2016 7:07 pm

Greetings HikingGeek

For places like the California Coastal Range, Pacific Northwest, Grand Tetons, etc. where you expect a lot of rain, wool has the advantage over down. Hoodies are great since they efficiently trap the heat around your neck and head. Down is more efficient when you're exposed to regular temperatures below freezing. That's basic, common knowledge.

So I wouldn't use this type of wool hoodie, considering the warmth to weight ratio, for three-season, weight conscious backpacking in the Sierra Nevada. I might consider this for general winter activities, even snowshoeing and such, because it is so durable and versatile. I would think this hoodie would be great for resort skiing, because using the zipper and hood lets you regulate quickly, and your clothes will still be fresh when you go directly from the slopes to the apres-ski activity.

At $175.00 that's not a cheap hoodie. I checked out their website. If you amortize the many years of use you'll get with a quality product like this, and consider how it gets more comfortable and functional and user friendly with age, then the value is definitely worth it. Especially compared to the polyester junk (plastic clothes) that most retailers push.

In fact, I just thought of a good catchphrase for Minus 33. "Plastic clothes aren't really hydrophilic. They just suck."

Peace.
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Re: Gear Review: Minus33 Merino Wool & Wool v. Down v. Synth

Postby HikingGeek.com » Tue Feb 02, 2016 1:37 pm

Thanks for the input everyone.

I will be on here still and plan on making at least one trip to the Sierra per year. I'm planning a late July or early August trip for 2016. I will be posting here for suggestions/help.
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