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 Post subject: Merino wool base layer
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 9:35 am • # 1 
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Has anyone tried the Merino wool long johns? I have a pair of Merino wool socks and they are very good. They're on the expensive side but so is UA and some other fancy names.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 1:24 pm • # 2 
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jrp11948 wrote:
Has anyone tried the Merino wool long johns? I have a pair of Merino wool socks and they are very good. They're on the expensive side but so is UA and some other fancy names.
I have merino wool everything - socks, long johns, long sleeve shirts.

They stay warm, even if you get wet.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 6:22 pm • # 3 
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Merino wool is great. Synthetics dry faster but not by a large margin. I find the microclimate created against the skin to be more comfortable with wool. Something to do with wool transporting humidity away better than synthetics, which supposedly only transport moisture in the liquid phase (don’t quote me on that).

Downside is cost and durability. Merino costs more and will wear out sooner, plus I’ve often had damage (holes) from moths. Still love the stuff.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 9:15 pm • # 4 
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I have an old Merino sweater with some holes in it, but it still keeps me warm and is comfortable against the skin. I have a pair of wool dress slacks that I wear under my waders and they work out great. I have been looking at LLBean, Orvis, Cabelas and Bass Pro for wool shirts. They don't have much to offer. I guess wool is falling out of favor! Adios Philip


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 8:41 am • # 5 
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philip43 wrote:
I have been looking at LLBean, Orvis, Cabelas and Bass Pro for wool shirts. They don't have much to offer. I guess wool is falling out of favor! Adios Philip
LLBean has some. They're called 'Cresta Wool'. Their shirts and pants come in different weights. I use the mid-weight usually.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 12:36 am • # 6 
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Slightly off topic but an old backpacking buddy of mine always hikes in wool dress pants (usually tucked into his wool hiking socks) he gets at thrift stores. Cheap, warm and well suited to the task. He says the key is finding pants from high quality suits.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 1:19 am • # 7 
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Some companies sell product with low % merino wool but put MERINO in big letters. Anyone know good % ? It also mixes well with cotton but unsure of polyester.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 16, 2017 9:34 am • # 8 
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Been wearing cheap wool socks for a few years now (eBay deal with 10 pairs for very low cost), but about out of the cheap ones now so I "bit the bullet" and bought a pair of good merino wool socks recently - 85 percent merino lambs wool, 13 percent nylon, 2 percent spandex.

After wearing them a couple days I went back (WalMart online) to buy more but only one pair was available. :eek
Got them, and may be in the market for more for the base layer soon.

I have to say the merino wool is both warm and extremely comfortable!

(Wish I had some of the old wool "dress blues" we were issued in the Navy back in the 60's. Those pants were heavy & held up well!)


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 17, 2017 8:36 am • # 9 
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Not sure how our Costco product lines in Canada compare to the US, but I have found some high % merino products there, and their standard 17% mark-up rule makes them affordable.
brent


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 5:12 pm • # 10 
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jrp11948 wrote:
Has anyone tried the Merino wool long johns? I have a pair of Merino wool socks and they are very good. They're on the expensive side but so is UA and some other fancy names.


There is absolutely positively nothing better than merino wool as your first layer. It is superior in every way, to every other material. This is not merely my own obsession, but in fact was borne out in practice: the first man to solo ski to the North Pole wore only wool and leather, no plastic crap. You can look it up.

I started racing bicycles in 1979. Our shorts were wool with a real chamois lining to sit on. And our jerseys were wool. And our tights--mine were merino superwash by "Protogs" (sadly long out of biz). They were an epiphany!

Heck, even our winter cycling shoes were italian made leather with real shearling lining. Except before we save fpr them we made our own leather toeclip windguards, and wore wool socks over our summer racing cleats (yes, you slotted out the bottom of the socks and reinforced with trimmings of your old corduroys etc).

I wear wool socks year round. that air circulation thing--much better in summer than cotton for that reason.

My go-to for general wool socks: good old wigwam. Best to simply order online. Nobody carries them retail any longer.
Smartwool makes good socks.
My absolute best socks were hand made--and have crazy high quality wool.

Wool has a special property: it absorbs moisture internally within the fiber. Compare to cotton, which is between. This is why cotton gets clammy, doesn't allow air circulation and you freeze. Wool stays dry until you exceed total saturation. But a pair of wet wool mittens will still keep you warm. Amazing stuff.
All the plastic stuff? Doesn't absorb at all (well, 3%) and "wicking" is a bull term they misuse--sure, microfibers "wick" (capillary action) but so does cotton----but wool does the miracle thing you actually want and need.


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