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Merino Baselayers – Why We Like Them

Posted on December 09 2015

Rainy days in Western Alaska.
There’s wool under there somewhere. Photo: Jeff Forsee.

If we had a nickel for every time someone asked us about our underwear.. Well, we’d probably have a dollar or so, but hey, someone asked!

Okay, okay, we’re talking about baselayers here, but for good reason, proper layering is really important when it comes to being comfortable outside. In fact, in extreme circumstances, wearing the right layers is an important safety concern as well.

When it comes to baselayers, there are a lot of great materials available these days, all of which have their place. However, when the temperatures plummet, our go-to is merino wool, and today we’re going to tell you why.

  1. It’s Warm When Wet. Hands down the most important characteristic of wool. Unlike most synthetic materials, merino retains its warmth even when wet. Taking a spill in an icy river can go from funny to scary really fast, so when fishing in cold conditions, we want a material that will stay warm if we happen to lose our footing. The downside? Wool doesn’t dry as fast as most synthetic fibers, but in sub-zero temperatures, as long as we’re warm, we’re good with that.
  2. It Doesn’t Stink. Fishing guides stink, and if you fish a lot, you probably do too! Merino wool fibers actually posses naturally occurring antibacterial properties, meaning that you won’t smell.. Well you know, as bad.
  3. It’s Comfy. If you’ve never worn merino wool, it’s important to note that merino is not your standard ‘itchy’ wool. Quality merino is buttery-soft, not too far off from your favorite cotton t-shirt, thus it’s extremely comfortable.

Merino wool baselayers are available from all your favorite outdoor clothing brands. If you’re planning on hitting the water this winter, be safe and try layering up with some wool.. We will be!

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