What is
Merino Wool?

Merino wool is a natural fiber grown by Merino sheep. It’s thinner and softer than regular wool—making it easy to wear next to skin. And when you wear wool next to skin, a lot of benefits come with it.

Why Choose Merino Wool?

We love love love getting outside. We love it so much, we dedicated ourselves to making gear designed to keep people comfortable and confident when they venture out into the wild.

We choose to work with Merino wool because it’s pretty darn perfect for every adventure regardless of season. Each fiber naturally helps regulate body temperature, transports sweat away as a vapor, and cancels out odors (we tested it ourselves).

These benefits of wool enable athletes and outdoor enthusiasts to go farther and experience more—making it the ideal performance material for exploring nature.

Plus, it’s crazy comfortable.

The Advantages of Wool

It's Natural

What is Merino wool made of? Proteins composed of amino acids and natural compounds. Merino wool is a natural, renewable fiber—meaning one sheep can grow four to five pounds of wool per year. Plus, this fiber has evolved over the years to keep sheep comfortable in harsh environments. These happy animals hang out in temperatures that range from 5 degrees to 95 degrees—no problem. It’s a pretty amazing fiber.

It Helps Regulate Body Temperature

What is Merino wool really good at? Helping keep your body at a stable temperature. When it’s cold outside, the natural crimps and bends in its fibers trap air, insulating you. When it’s warm outside, it transports sweat quickly away from the skin, helping to keep you cool and dry.

It Helps Keep You Dry and Sweat-Free

This benefit of wool gets a bit technical—so bear with us. Merino wool transports sweat and moisture away from skin as a vapor. Merino fibers are inherently porous. They’re composed of little plates that moisture vapor can get in between—meaning you're not left feeling wet, cold, and clammy after a workout. Synthetic fabrics are not porous. They usually wick sweat when it’s already a liquid, and then your body has to heat it up to evaporate it—making you feel clammy in colder weather. Merino takes a step out of the process, which helps you stay warm and dry when you’re moving and playing outdoors.

Merino wool product Smartwool
Merino wool product Smartwool

It Likes It When You Layer

Sometimes it’s really cold outside and you need to layer. By using all Merino wool when you layer, you create an escape route for sweat and excess heat. Each layer of Merino works to transport sweat away from the skin to the outside of your gear while it’s still a vapor (pre-sweat)—helping to keep you warm and dry. Throwing a synthetic layer in there mucks up the sweat-vapor escape route and creates a detour that might increase your chances of getting cold and clammy.

It Resists Odors

Merino wool is unique in that it absorbs odor caused by bacteria—trapping their smell and keeping them from building up. This means you can wear Merino wool odor-resistant clothing for longer without having to worry about smelling. Merino wool is great for traveling or longer treks when you may not have as much room to pack.

It Is Soft

What is Merino wool better at than traditional wool? It’s super-fine and soft. A single Merino wool fiber is ⅓ the diameter of a human hair. It’s so fine, actually, that when it brushes up against skin, it bends out of the way. It can’t be prickly like other wool fibers because it can’t stand up to the weight of itself. So it’s soft. Really soft.

Merino wool product Smartwool
Merino wool product Smartwool

It’s Biodegradable

Merino wool disappears after about 12 months in the ground. That means that, when you’re done with your gear, the earth will take back this fibrous protein composed of amino acids—releasing carbon and nutrients back into the soil.

It Helps Provide UPF Protection

Depending on how they’re spun and dyed, Merino fibers help block out harmful rays from the sun (UPF 20+). And since the sun typically does more damage in the mountains, it’s good to have all the help you can get.

It’s Fire-Resistant

Most outdoor gear spends at least some time around campfires. Merino typically won’t melt or burst into flame. Nylon starts to melt around 320 degrees and polyester starts to melt around 452 degrees.

So what does this all mean?

Plain and simple, it means that Merino wool is amazing.

And that all of these benefits of wool are put into products designed to perform. From training to travel to trekking through the mountains, our products are geared to help you stay out longer and accomplish more.

go far. feel good.™