When planning your winter travel this year, one of the most important aspects of packing is making sure you have the warmest and most comfortable clothes available, and nothing combines warmth and comfort better than Merino wool. It is breathable yet insulating and wicks away moisture, making it the perfect base layer for every outfit on your winter travels. Base layers are crucial when dressing for winter travel and adventure. The purpose of a base layer is to keep the skin warm and dry of sweat and other moisture, and in order to do this, the fabric must be breathable yet insulating; it needs to keep the skin warm, but also have the ability to hold moisture away from the skin.
For centuries, wool has been the best natural fiber to fulfill both these criteria; however, many wools are known to be uncomfortable to wear, and people with sensitive skin cannot always wear the coarse fabric from regular wools. This is where Merino wool has an advantage.
Though most Merino wool these days comes out of Australia or New Zealand, Merino wool originated in Spain where the sheep were bred specifically for their fibers. Because of this, the merino wool fibers are very fine and soft, about one fifth the width of a strand of human hair, making them a perfect natural fiber for clothing.
Unlike other wools, which can be itchy and uncomfortable, Merino wool is known for being soft to the touch and easy to wear. It’s been popular for quite some time in the running community, where it’s worn as an alternative to otherwise chafing and uncomfortable workout wear. But recently, the fabric has become popular with travelers as well, since, when worn under your everyday winter clothes, it can keep you warm and comfortable throughout your travels. Along with being fine, soft, and comfortable, Merino wool wicks away moisture. When sweat builds up underneath your clothes, it can be an uncomfortable feeling, and when the sweat
begins to dry on your skin, you are left even colder than before. Merino wool wicks moisture from your body into the fiber itself, leaving your skin dry and comfortable and preventing you from getting cold after a sweat.
On top of that the fibers of Merino wool prevent bacteria in sweat from growing, meaning that the base layer will not smell as bad as with other fabrics. Because of this, Merino wool can be worn multiple times before being washed, saving you some space in your suitcase. This is yet another reason that merino wool clothing for travelers has caught on so well: fewer trips to the Laundromat means you save money and stay fresh.
Winter is upon us, and will be here for a few more months (at least). If you’re planning a trip during the winter, do as the hard-core travelers do and pack Merino wool. You’ll be comfortable, fresh and dry throughout your trip – oh, and you’ll also look pretty stylish!