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01 August 2005


Not an easy care fabric? Given that in the previous paragraph you state that you do not own any merino items I question your qualification to make such a statement.

Doubly so in that you are incorrect. Merino wool items should be washed in the normal wash using normal detergent. When I purchased my merino gear I was told "treat it rough, wash it with your jeans or something" by the sales staff.

I own several items of merino clothing. They get washed in one load with all my polypro gear, my tramping socks and socks for work.

I am sold on merino wool for two reasons. First, I find that it keeps me cool much better than polypro does. Second, it smells less than polypro (which does not mean that it doesn't smell at all, mind you).


Fair enough Craig, you've got me on that point. I don't own any of my own. My only knowledge of care being required came from Honora's startled reaction when she discovered I'd thrown her new one into the machine with the rest of our tramping gear. However she says that's exactly what she does now. But she does spread it out flat to dry away from sunlight.

Totally agree.

Last time in NZ I purchaed a whole pile of Marino gear and have found that it has very limited performance qualities. At any temperature above 15C it is itchy and uncomfortable. If it gets soaked, it stays that way far longer than synthetic fibres. It sags and loses its shape. And half of the batch I bought developed holes after two or three washes.

I have only worn merino tramping once. I wore it in heavy rain for three and a quarter hours. I got a rash where the hip belt sat and it got itchy everytime I got hot for several months afterwards. Needless to say, I wouldn't wear it again after that experience.

I also have to say I have given away my 2 heavier merino garments to charity as I found they were cold and heavy when I put them on so never wore them. I guess I'm a polarfleece girl at heart.

Sorry,I agree,merino doesn`t come tramping with me.In winter,when wet,it`s difficult to dry and having a damp heavy garment as a passenger,doesn`t appeal.
For my money,polyester underlayers(Earth,Sea & Sky are my choice)and polarfleece layers are the go.

You're right about the Earth, Sea Sky polyester gear, Lew. Their lightweight next to skin is a favourite of mine. And I take the silk weight one for a dry change at night.

ESS are the best designed and fitting NZ outdoor range of clothing IMHO. They sometimes have half price sales so we go and buy up big time.

The ESS silk weight makes a gorgeously comfortable hut garment under my Mountain Hardwear Transition top and for sleeping in and the lycra/polartec longjohns are in a class of their own for fit and comfort.

Have to say I'm finding the Merino Icebreaker undies very good, no rash thank god. Maybe there's merino and merino.

Well Ive gone back to a wool cotton mix for tramping as I fine Polypro leads to increased dehidration due to it's wicking effect. Poly pro is good in cold weather esspecly when wet. Merino tends to cling to close to the body and dose itch. I use Merino for around hut/camp but find cotton the most comfortable for all but the coldest conditions. Wool is thicker and gives the best extreme cold insutation then anything Ive found.
Cheer's Alan.

Thanks Alan
With a bit of experience we all learn what works best for us, and we're all different, eh? My thin nylon shirt with many patches wouldn't work for many people. And then my old down jacket when I get to the hut - luxury.

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