Why Wool, Every Day
If you only think of heavy sweaters and cold weather when you hear someone talking about wool, you’re missing out on a secret weapon. Just as thin merino wool layers can keep you warm in the winter, they can also help you stay cool in sweltering summer heat.
Why? Merino sheep’s woolly coats are made up of exceptionally fine, soft fibers that help the sheep shed heat on blazing, sunny days—while also protecting their skin from harmful UV rays—and insulate them against freezing, snowy weather. They can stay warm in temperatures as low as 4°F and cool when it gets as hot as 95°F.
When we knit or weave these fibers into apparel, they hold the same performance properties. Thin merino tees will wick moisture away from your body, helping you feel dry and cool even on sunny, sweaty days, and thicker merino layers will hug your form to insulate against frigid air.
The Hero Material
Merino fibers can absorb up to 35 percent of their weight in moisture before you start to feel that dampness against your skin. The construction of merino fibers, and the way we create our garments, enables moisture to evaporate efficiently, allowing your layers to dry incredibly quickly when you’re sweating from a long run or lounging in the sun after taking a fully-clothed dunk in a lake. Just (gently) squeeze out the excess water or hike it dry.HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR MERINO GEAR
Wool is also naturally odor-resistant, which means you can work up as much of a sweat as you want, and your layers won’t stink the way that other fabrics do. This makes merino the hero of the experienced traveler’s wardrobe. One or two merino tees and pairs of leggings can do the job of a week’s worth of any other material, so you can pack less, launder less, and live and explore more.
Smart Merino Blends
You can see here which of our fabrics are best-suited for your adventure needs. Our strategic TENCEL™ Merino blend, for example, capitalizes on the naturally cooling properties of TENCEL™, a fabric made from the wood pulp of eucalyptus trees, to keep you from overheating.
TENCEL™ is phenomenally soft, prevents odor-causing bacterial growth, and wicks moisture even faster than merino. When we blend them together in equal parts—with a touch of nylon to strengthen this ultra-thin fabric against wear and tear—you end up with the perfect summer layer.
The Traveler’s Secret Weapon
We travel, live and sleep in our Ibex baselayers, and we’re not exaggerating when we say that. Our team meetings are full of confessions about wearing the Essentials Cami nearly 24/7 for a full week straight—on trains, at dinners, on hikes, and in bed—or packing just two pairs of wool briefs and washing them in the hotel sink every few days.
Wool layers just work, plain and simple