I’ve already written about my conversion from synthetics to merino wool while I was in New Zealand. Now it’s my fabric of choice, and I never leave for a hike without an Icebreaker t-shirt or long-sleeve in tow. I think they have a lot of benefits over synthetics – they tend to dry faster, absorb sweat better, and have better insulation to keep you cool or warm – but they do tend to be significantly more expensive.
While it’s tough to shell out a chunk of change for a single garment, I’ve found it saves money in the long run. On multi-day trips, I’ve found you can get away with two sets of wool layers, no matter how many days you’re out on the trail – because wool doesn’t hold onto your hikers’ funk as easily as synthetics do … and they tend to be a bit more durable, too.
Either way, if you’re interested in getting on board the merino wool bandwagon, Icebreaker is currently holding an end-of-season 25%-off sale on a ton of garments, ranging from technical shirts to polos and underwear. The sale lasts through August 25th.