When it comes to hiking, it can be very easy for a person to get carried away by all the available gear on the market. There are special garments for all seasons of the year, depending on whether you want to hike in most often. For hiking in cold weather, you will need special gear to keep you warm.
Well, you might not know this, but merino wool is a type of material that you need if you want to keep your body's warmth during winter. This material is perfect for all outdoor activities. It comes with many great qualities, making it quite different from regular wool.
People who are not that into materials and their properties might not know the difference between merino and regular wool. If you are a person who falls into that category, stick around for this guide. I will tell you everything you need to know about these two types of wool, their differences, and their similarities.
So, let’s get right into the guide and see what these materials are all about!
Merino Wool vs. Regular Wool - What is the Difference?
Merino wool vs. regular wool – where should I start? These two materials may seem similar, but they are pretty different when you think about them. The first difference that comes to mind is the type of animal you get them from!
There are various types of wool. Regular wool comes from regular sheep, whereas merino wool comes from merino sheep that usually live in the mountains in New Zealand and Australia.
There is also lambswool and cashmere that comes from cashmere and pashmina goats. All these materials have certain similarities, but they also have their differences.
But let’s get back to merino wool and regular wool!
Aside from the fact that they come from different types of sheep, I should also mention that they are suitable for different weather. Merino wool tends to keep body warmth far better than regular wool. This means that wearing merino wool in winter will keep you warmer than wearing clothes from traditional wool.
The reason for this is its fibers – merino wool fibers are thinner, extremely fine, more flexible, and more durable. At the same time, they are less elastic and not itchy at all. Winter garments from merino wool will feel very soft and keep you warm even if they get wet.
Yes, you heard that right. From the many benefits of merino wool, I want to say that the best one is that it does not lose heat even when it is wet. You can rely upon merino clothing to perform well even if you sweat or pour water on yourself.
Let's be honest, what more would you want from your winter garments?!
Which Type of Wool is the Warmest?
As I mentioned in the previous sections, there are many different types of wool. There is regular wool, virgin wool, merino wool, and cashmere. They are all great for cold weather, but they have some differences that you should know about.
The best type of wool for extreme winter weather is cashmere and lambswool. These two types of wool are better than merino wool when it comes to warmth. At the same time, merino wool is much warmer than regular wool. Regular wool is the least warm of all these fabrics.
Most people buy wool clothing without ever checking the wool used to make the garment. Then, they think that the properties of one type of wool are the same as the properties of another. This is not true – so, let’s clear some things out.
Cashmere is the warmest wool material. It is soft, and you can use it to make some amazing garments. Still, this is a material you will often find in the category of luxury materials. It might be suitable for outdoor garments, but that does not mean that you will find many such garments on the market.
This takes us to the second warmest wool material – lambswool.
This is a breathable, soft, hypoallergenic material that is also moisture-wicking. It is a great choice for sweaters, socks, and other garments. Yet, it is not used that much for outdoor gear.
This brings us to the third warmest wool material – merino wool. You can make all types of outdoor garments using this type of wool. You can also use a merino base layer to keep body heat from evaporating. The merino wool clothing will be very durable, and the quality will be something you do not see often.
At the bottom of the list, we have regular wool. This type of wool is the least warm, not that durable, you cannot use it as a base layer, and it is not that comfortable to wear. Regular wool can be very itchy, so you might feel uncomfortable if you wear it all the time.
Is Merino Wool Warm in the Winter?
Nothing can beat wearing wool clothes when the temperatures are low. Wool, no matter what kind, is very warm. Even the wool with the worst warmth properties will be warmer than materials like cotton or polyester.
When it comes to doing outdoor activities in lower temperatures, I recommend that you rely on wool clothing. The best option would be to look into merino wool garments as they have the best quality, durable, and softest.
Cashmere and lambskin may be warmer, but their prices will also be relatively high and not affordable for everyone.
That brings us right back to merino sheep wool. Compared to cotton or polyester, the level of warmth it can give you is not even comparable. You can layer cotton or polyester garments more quickly, but not even five layers will keep you as warm as you would want to.
Merino sheep wool does a great job of trapping body heat and escaping it. Even if you sweat in it, the garment will still feel great on your body. A completely soaked garment in water or sweat might take a while to dry, but that is not something you will have to deal with often.
Merino wool does not get dirty or stinky often. You will be able to wear the clothes for weeks and weeks before having to wash them. When you combine all these properties of merino wool, you will conclude that merino wool clothes are something you should get as soon as possible!
Thank you for sticking with me through this guide. I hope that I managed to answer all your questions about merino wool, its properties, and its performance compared to other materials.
Again, you should remember that this is the perfect material for outdoor gear. You should consider getting merino wool gear for any season– this material is ideal for all situations!
Let me know in the comments below if you have any questions about this material or if you want to share your experience with it. I cannot wait to read all your stories, so do not hesitate to share them with me!