Merino Wool for Travelers: Hype or Must-Have?

merino wool travel clothing

Merino wool is an incredibly soft, luxurious-feeling fabric that makes its claim to fame by being a moisture-resistant, temperature-regulating version of wool making it an ideal travel clothing material. Merino wool is a fan favorite among buyers and sellers alike because it can elevate any product and is long-lasting. Merino wool is the perfect balance between wool and cashmere, taking qualities that you love from both and combining them into the most versatile fabric in the world. Let’s discover how!

merino wool t-shirt

What Is Merino Wool? Origin of Fabric

Merino wool is a high-quality, natural fiber obtained from Merino sheep, renowned for its ultra-fine, soft texture. The reason why Merino Wool works so well as a performance fabric is because the coat of the Merino sheep has adapted to work over a wide range of temperatures. Merino sheep are hardy, alpine animals with a coat that insulates in the winter, breathes in the summer and is exceptionally soft and lightweight.

Merino fibers are ultra-fine, ranging from 12-25 microns, thinner than a strand of human hair, which is what makes the fabric feel so lightweight. The finer the micron of the fiber, the smoother the fabric. However, they are crimped at the end and link together when knit to make it a strong fabric that can withstand a lot. This crimping at the end also allows for the fabric to trap in the air to cool your body down.

strongcore merino wool

Traditionally, wool is perceived as an itchy, scratchy, hot fiber meant for sweaters or fine suiting. Only recently technology has seriously improved the ability to sort wool more effectively. This allows the finest fibers to be isolated and aids in the creation of an ultra fine micron fabric. Advanced sorting combined with a super-wash process which removes scales from the wool makes wool fabric softer, less scratchy, machine washable and easier to wear over a wider range of temperatures. This is what makes Merino Wool the ideal performance and travel clothing fabric.

Merino Wool Benefits in Travel Clothing and Activewear

Merino wool is ideal for travel clothing, for someone who likes to work out a lot or plays sports, essentially for the highly-active individual because of its ability to push moisture to the surface.

  • Temperature Regulating:

Merino naturally regulates temperature in both hot and cold environments. During times of high activity, merino has a unique ability to draw moisture into the core of the wool fiber, wicking moisture from the skin to cool the body while remaining dry to the touch. When the body temperature is cooler, the natural crimp of the fiber traps air and insulates the body, keeping you naturally comfortable over a wide range of temperatures. Since the crimps in the wool make air pockets in the material, it makes the clothing temperature regulate by cooling you with the air trapped inside.

This makes it really comfortable to work out in Merino wool clothing because it works on cooling you and giving you space to breathe due to stored air. Other materials may not do the same because they don’t have the structure to store air.

  • Bacteriostatic & Odor-Resistant:

Merino chemically reacts with the odor causing bacteria from sweat. This is because there is nowhere for odor-causing bacteria to fester and grow if there is no moisture inside the fabric. The reaction contains the bacteria in the core of the fiber neutralizing the order which then releases in washing. This chemical reaction gives wool a uniquely high resistance to odor.
This means you can wear Merino wool during workouts and for days at a time without smelling like it. It makes this material perfect for athletes and highly active individuals because they are able to wear it without having to change afterward. This is almost unbelievable, considering you may be so used to having to change multiple times a day.

merino travel polo

  • Moisture-Wicking:

Merino wool fibers can absorb large quantities of moisture vapor and transport it away from the body for evaporation. Merino wool can absorb up to 30% of its weight in water and still feel dry to the touch. To put it in perspective, cotton can hold up to 100% of its weight but it does not feel dry, making the wool more effective at repelling water to the service. Even though Merino wool absorbs some of its weight in water, it won’t feel as wet for long because it absorbs so much less and works to push that water to the surface and evaporate in no time.

This makes Merino Wool clothing extremely breathable and less prone to clamminess.

  • Easy Care and Wrinkle Resistance:

Merino wool garments are generally easier to care for than other wool fabrics. They are often machine washable and resistant to wrinkles, which is convenient for travelers who need low-maintenance clothing. It does a great job maintaining its natural state so you can wear it over and over. Merino wool is an amazing option for everyone because it is low maintenance and can be worn during any season, making it perfect for year-round usage.

  • Softness:

Ultra fine micron Merino Wool is luxuriously soft and comfortable.

  • Sustainable:

Merino wool is natural, biodegradable, and renewable. We source from farms that are cruelty-free, eco-friendly and ethical.

  • Elastic & Durability:

Merino fabric moves with your body. The crimping structure of the fiber provides natural strength and elasticity which helps wool garments stretch. This makes wool garments perfect for high energy activities. This resilience makes merino clothing durable, maintaining its shape and quality over time even with regular use.

  • UV Protection:

Merino wool can provide good protection against the sun's UV rays, which is an additional benefit for outdoor activities during travel.
These properties make merino wool an exceptionally practical and comfortable choice for travel clothing, activewear or just everyday comfortable clothing suitable for a wide range of conditions and activities.

What Is a Disadvantage of Using Merino Wool?

While merino wool is highly regarded for its many benefits, it does have some disadvantages. One notable drawback is its cost; merino wool garments tend to be more expensive than those made from other materials, reflecting the higher production costs and the quality of the wool. Additionally, despite advancements in textile technology, merino wool can still be more delicate than synthetic fabrics, requiring special care in washing and handling to avoid shrinking or damage. This extra care might not be ideal for those seeking low-maintenance clothing options.

Is Merino Wool Better Than Regular Wool?

Merino wool is often considered superior to regular wool for several reasons. Its fibers are much finer and softer, making it less itchy and more comfortable against the skin. This fineness also allows merino wool to wick moisture more effectively and regulate temperature better, making it suitable for a wider range of climates.

Additionally, merino wool is generally more lightweight and has natural odor-resistant properties, which are particularly beneficial in active wear and travel clothing.

Is 100% Merino Wool Worth It?

As we mentioned above, the almost only one disadvantage of merino wool is price, and whether 100% merino wool is worth it depends on your specific needs and preferences. For those seeking a fabric that offers excellent temperature regulation, moisture-wicking properties, and natural odor resistance, 100% merino wool is often worth the investment, especially for activities like hiking, skiing, or travel. Its softness and comfort against the skin also make it a preferred choice for many.

An optimal choice might be Merino wool blends, which mix merino with other fibers like nylon or polyester, often balancing the benefits of merino with greater durability and sometimes lower cost. These blends can also enhance certain aspects like stretch and shape retention. If you're seeking the unique benefits of merino with added durability and potentially lower cost, merino wool blends are worth considering.

Is Merino Wool Good For Winter

Now, let’s speak about Merino Wool properties for different temperature conditions. Merino wool is excellent for winter and cold-weather travel, offering unique properties that make it highly suitable for low temperature. Its most significant advantage is its exceptional insulating capability, which traps body heat, keeping you warm even in frigid temperatures. Unlike traditional wool, merino wool fibers are extremely fine, providing a softer, non-itchy texture that's comfortable against the skin, an important factor in cold weather when layers are essential.

Additionally, merino wool's moisture-wicking properties ensure that sweat is drawn away from the body, maintaining dryness and warmth. This breathability prevents overheating, making merino wool adaptable for both outdoor activities and indoor wear in winter. That's why merino wool accessories as beanie or scarf are also valuable essentials for winter wardrobe

merino long sleeve

Is Merino Wool Good For Summer

But despite being commonly associated with warmth, merino wool's natural properties make it suitable for hot weather as well. It's highly breathable and excellent at wicking moisture away from the body, which helps to keep you cool and dry. Additionally, merino wool's ability to regulate temperature means it adapts well to varying conditions, providing comfort even in warmer climates. The lightweight and soft nature of fine merino wool also adds to its suitability for summer wear.

merino tee

How to Wash Merino Wool

The only thing that prevents people oftentimes from buying merino clothing is the care this material needs.
Washing merino wool correctly extends its life and maintains its qualities. Here's a step-by-step guide:

  • Check the Label: Always read the care instructions on the garment label.
  • Use Cold Water: Wash merino wool in cold water to prevent shrinking.
  • Select a Gentle Detergent: Use a mild detergent, preferably wool-specific.
  • Gentle Cycle or Hand Wash: Use your washing machine's gentle cycle or hand wash. If machine washing, place the garment in a mesh laundry bag for extra protection.
  • Avoid Bleach and Fabric Softeners: These can damage the fibers.
  • Air Dry: Lay the garment flat in its natural shape on a drying rack or clean towel. Avoid hanging or direct sunlight.

Following these steps will help keep your merino wool garments in great condition.

Western Rise Merino Wool Travel Clothing

At Western Rise, we meticulously select merino wool and its blends for our travel clothing, leveraging its unique properties to enhance the travel experience. Our mens merino wool travel clothing stand out for their superior odor resistance and moisture-wicking abilities, ensuring that travelers remain comfortable and fresh, even on long journeys. This fabric's temperature-regulating feature is particularly beneficial, adapting to different climates to keep wearers warm in cooler environments and cool in warmer settings.

We enhance the natural durability of merino wool by blending it with other high-performance fibers, creating garments that not only withstand the rigors of travel but also maintain their shape and appearance. This approach results in clothing that is quick-drying and wrinkle-resistant, ideal for the demands of a one-bag travel lifestyle.

western rise merino wool

Our focus at Western Rise is on creating versatile, stylish, and functional apparel. The merino blends we use contribute to this by offering a balance of comfort and practicality, making our clothing suitable for a range of activities and settings. Since it is equally strong and soft, the shirt is great for exercise or day-to-day wear around the house. It is meant to last alongside your lifestyle, showing you that your clothes don’t have to be a nuisance in your routine.

Western Rise Merino Wool Picks

StrongCore Merino Short & Long Sleeve Tees

Our Merino Wool t-shirt is made out of a blend alongside a nylon fabric to create a soft, luxurious and durable shirt. It is a shirt ideal for performance because it is ready to withstand any outside factors that normally may cause damage to your shirt otherwise. Although it’s durable, it also has a four-way stretch that is unlike any other fabric, so it will contour with your body and move alongside you.

This t-shirt comes in the form of a merino wool long-sleeved shirt as well so you can wear them during any season as a versatile top as well as a basic layer of your travel wardrobe. The StrongCore fabric enhances the wool's inherent benefits by incorporating core-spun nylon Merino fiber, which adds strength and durability to the garment. Ideal for both travel and everyday use, this long-sleeve tee is not only functional but also packs small for easy carrying.

Merino Wool Polo Shirt

Another Merino item by Western Rise is Merino Wool Polo Shirt. Blending Australian Merino wool and polyester, it offers temperature regulation, odor resistance, and moisture-wicking in a wrinkle-resistant fabric. Compact and stylish, it's the ideal travel companion for staying comfortable and looking sharp on the go.


Merino Wool Button Down

Western Rise Limitless Merino Wool button down shirt is a game-changer for travelers, offering stylish look, all-day comfort and a range of practical features. Made from a blend of the softest Australian Merino wool and polyester, it's designed for superior performance. This shirt is not only temperature-regulating and odor-resistant but also wrinkle-resistant and moisture-wicking, making it perfect for every travel and business trip scenario. It packs small, ensuring easy transport in your luggage.

merino wool shirt

Sum up

Ultimately, we believe Merino Wool is the most versatile performance fabric available, but don’t take our word for it. High quality, ultra-fine Merino Wool is something that must be experienced.

We look forward to bringing you multiple performance garments with this fabric.

Reading next

carry on packing list
Merino Wool vs Cashmere