Clothing means a lot when you’re traveling. Pack the wrong clothes, and you could wind up sweating, freezing, stinking, sopping wet or – arguably just as bad – looking shabby throughout your trip. Your clothes are your primary travel companion; they’re there to get you through your trip looking and feeling good.
And there’s one type of travel clothing that is head and shoulders above the rest: merino wool clothing. Looking at merino wool’s impressive list of characteristics and capabilities, you wouldn’t be blamed for thinking that it was crafted in some lab, by scientists looking to engineer the perfect travel clothing. But no, merino wool, just like every other wool, is natural.
It is a complete game-changer for travelers, allowing you to pack lighter, pack smarter, stay fresher, and look better.
It makes sense that merino wool would be a good all-weather clothing material. After all, the sheep from which the wool comes need to be able to regulate their internal temperature, and they do so through their wool.
Merino wool is both breathable and insulating. When the weather is warm, the material wicks away sweat from the surface of your body and transports it to the exterior of the garment, where it evaporates. When the weather is cold, the material’s tight structure allows you to hold in internal heat, making it a fantastic insulating base layer.
Travelers meet their share of moisture on the road, whether from sweat or rain. That’s not bad, in and of itself, but it becomes a nuisance when you have to pack wet or damp clothing into your bag. That’s when things get musty.
Luckily, merino wool is quick drying. Again, it makes sense – those sheep aren’t going to stand around sodden with water after every rainfall. Their wool is coated in what’s called “lanolin,” a fatty mixture of esters that repel moisture. When you weave that wool into a soft, comfortable garment, you still reap the benefits of its water-repellence, so you can stay warm and dry with these merino wool shirts and underwear.
Antimicrobial Protection for Freshness
Perhaps the biggest game-changer merino wool brings to the travel table is the fact that it’s antimicrobial. Travelers have told stories of wearing their merino wool clothing for weeks on end while traveling (yes, even underwear), and it stays fresh and odorless.
There’s actually a reason for that. Body odor is mostly the result of bacterial microbes from sweat, and since merino wool has antimicrobial properties and is adept at wicking sweat, it either repels or rejects those smelly microbes. No one says you have to wear your merino underwear for a week straight, but it’s nice to know, when traveling, that you don’t have to wash your clothes every other day.
The fact that merino wool stays fresh for so long can also be beneficial in the way you pack. If your garments last longer, that means you need to pack fewer garments. Fewer garments equal a lighter bag.
So, to recap: with merino wool, travelers get warmth, coolness, dryness, freshness, and a light-packed bag. That’s what makes merino wool a game changer!