11 Aug Behold the Power of Merino Wool
Behold the power of wool, merino wool that is!
I know, the first thing that came to my mind when I read about wearing wool was my old, hot, heavy, uncomfortable, scratchy wool sweater my grandmother knitted for me when I was a child. So the idea of wearing wool for outdoor activities–especially in hot, humid Florida–was not really my idea of staying comfortable while riding my bike.
How I was wrong!
Not only do we like our merino wool shirts, bike shorts, and socks for cycling…..We absolutely love them.
They are not heavy nor scratchy; merino wool is one of the finest, softest wool one can find (even for bras) with several qualities that make it an excellent fabric for outdoor activities.
- Merino wool contains lanolin with natural antibacterial properties, which means even after several days of riding long miles, you’ll still be able to wear the same shirt sightseeing without smelling.
- Merino wool is exceptional at regulating body temperature. The wool provides some warmth without overheating the wearer and it wicks moisture away from the skin. Even in hot, humid Florida!
- Wool absorbs water (up to 1/3 its weight). However, unlike cotton, merino wool retains warmth when wet; therefore helping wearers avoid hypothermia after strenuous workouts and when exposed to cooler, wet conditions.
- Even the lowest quality merino wool fabrics provide better UV protection then most UPF clothing advertised
- Merino wool has an excellent warmth-to-weight ratio compared to other wools, in part because the smaller fibers have microscopic shafts that trap air.
So needless to say, merino wool is what we mostly wear anymore when commuting to work, hiking, camping, and lounging around. To the surprise of most people here in Florida we even wear the thin long-sleeved shirts to go biking in during the summertime to avoid sunburns, but we never feel hot.
The wool clothing will definitely come with us on long bike tours since we only need a couple of shirts and socks to keep us going for a long way. Also, the shirts look like regular T-shirts, which means we don’t stick out like a “jersey-billboard-tourist” when sightseeing some remote villages in foreign counties.
Some of the companies we have merino wool clothing from are Ibex (great company with most clothing produced in the USA!), SmartWool, Icebreaker, I/O Bio Merino