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Merino Wool

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Merino Wool

Postby flyfisher70 » Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:59 pm

Okay so I've been trying to reconfigure my backpacking equipment, that includes my clothing as well. I was reading through some of the previous threads posted and determined that Merino Wool clothing is the way to go. According to what I have read Merino wool is excellent for a base layer, warm when it's cool, cooling when it's warm, and without the stink factor associated with most synthetic base layers.

The prices are pretty crazy for most of the Merino Wool products. I don't really want to pay $80 for a men base layer top. So I'm browsing online and find a Polar Edge Platinum Series Merino Wool long sleeve 1/4 zip top for $22. It sounds like a great deal.... right? Now I don't want to pull the trigger until I research more info on the brand. Have any of you heard of this brand before and is it any less reliable than the more expensive name brands out there? I want to do this right the first time and need a bit of input from all you. I'm working on my base layer for Summer in the Sierra and perhaps even Fall if that helps. Any other recommendation as far as my layering goes would be very helpful.

Thanks
Benny



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Re: Merino Wool

Postby RoguePhotonic » Fri Mar 01, 2013 9:33 pm

Well I bought 2 of those types of shirts in 2010. Paid about 100 dollars each for them. As far as I could tell they stunk just as much as anything else and the mice will chew it up at night. The mice never chew on my synthetic shirts.
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Re: Merino Wool

Postby rlown » Fri Mar 01, 2013 9:46 pm

Per Rogue's comment, it's more a matter of "choose your stink." both smell when wet or sweated in. Pick something comfortable and easily washable at a lake and you're good to go. Synth will dry faster in my opinion.
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Re: Merino Wool

Postby Rockchucker » Fri Mar 01, 2013 9:52 pm

I have both icebreaker wool and smart wool. I truly love it as a base layer. Very comfortable with a wide range of temps. I think capolene stinks more for sure. I pretty much live in full wool during deer season, and most of the winter.
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Re: Merino Wool

Postby AlmostThere » Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:21 pm

I got merino short sleeved shirts from steep and cheap for about 25 apiece, and some Smartwool Redram midweight base layer for 25-30 per piece at Sierra Trading Post - I have their deal flyer coupons that drop prices radically.

Both very comfy and non itchy, and defnitely less stinky than the polypro in the clothing bin.
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Re: Merino Wool

Postby The hermit » Sat Mar 02, 2013 4:35 am

Im ready to switch to wool base layers as well,I can never get synthetics to smell right even freshly washed(is there a special soap?).I like sierra trading post as well,great deals on quality brands.ps I have a Filson wool vest ive been wearing daily for about 7yrs.Everywhere from the jobsite to the woods. Looks as good as new. Pricy but worth it
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Re: Merino Wool

Postby freestone » Sat Mar 02, 2013 8:10 am

I have worn Merino wool for several years. Mostly Ibexwear but I am now considering the Patagonia blend. Consider size of the fiber in microns, percentage of merino in the weave and origin of the fabric. Even the best Merino will wear out much quicker that synthetics. Sleeping in merino, surrounded by a quality down bag is a nice way to end the day, but a good synthetic will do the job at half the cost and weight. Stink factor? By the end of the third day, you are going to stink, no matter what fiber is worn, unless of course, if you are solo.
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Re: Merino Wool

Postby markskor » Sat Mar 02, 2013 8:41 am

freestone wrote: Stink factor? ...You are going to stink, no matter what fiber is worn, unless you are solo.


Lot of truth there. :nod:
Mostly I never stink.
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Re: Merino Wool

Postby maverick » Sat Mar 02, 2013 11:37 am

Switched to wool a while back and will never go back to pure synthetic. The main
reason is once the sweat sets into the fabric the smell doesn't wash out or comes
back much faster. It is true that when some wool pieces get wet it smells, but one
get used to it. Poly does wicks moisture much more efficiently/faster so some of
the blends made by Patagonia, Arc Teryx and others might be worth looking into.
Merino wool also feels better next to my skin especially when sweaty. My current
shirts are by Ibex and Ice Breaker and have no real complaints about them besides
the cost.
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Re: Merino Wool

Postby flyfisher70 » Sat Mar 02, 2013 1:56 pm

I'm definitely going to switch to Merino Wool, it's just a matter of which product to go with.
I do agree that buying a quality product the first time will save you in the long run. I will keep my eyes on my email coupons from STP, I should be able to find some great deals.
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Re: Merino Wool

Postby cherron » Sat Mar 02, 2013 8:03 pm

Also, check out REI Garage sales. I have picked up many returned merino wool items for pennies on the dollar.
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Re: Merino Wool

Postby dsundrwd » Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:10 pm

I switched from synthetics to Smartwool in early 2012 to wear under my waders & as a base layer. I have found that they don't stink as early or as much as my synthetics would. I really like them. Even on a hot day when i wear the bottom layer under my waders it feels comfortable. Just my .02, but i am glad i made the switch.
Like you, I was scared off by the prices but I just kept an eye on online pricing until I saw a good sale & then pulled the trigger. You won't regret it
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