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Switching from Poly to Merino Wool - Ahhh!

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Like most, I've lived for years in polyester undie tops and bottoms, often retailing at $40 each for something made of recycled milk cartons. It's amazing that we buy synthetic, vat-produced fiber at this price.

Last year I tried a light wool IBEX merino top for biking in the summer. Underbah! Nothing like it. It felt fantastic, was light, and breathed like gossamer. It was the coolest bike top I've worn on a hot day.

It's now my first choice for skiing, warm, light and comfy. It seems my body instantly knows the difference between soft-spun natural fiber and synthetics. I've crossed over, and am now seeking to discard all my old, smelly poly tops in bottoms as soon as I can switch them out.

I just purchased another couple of merino wool Icebreaker tops, and will soon add bottoms and mid-weight lays. If you buy them on sale (end of season), the prices are no different than for synthetics.

It seems my days with dense, rank poly undies have drawn to a close.

Anyone else made the transition?
post #2 of 9
Switched to all smartwool this year- couldn't be happier. The best part is that you can go 3 or 4 days longer without washing it before it gets offensive- great for dirtbags.
post #3 of 9
definetely won't go back to synthetics for non-overnighters. Synthetics, imo, dry faster. But natural fibers retain heat better when wet. so for daily riding... there is nothing better than naturals. I use a silk base and merino mid, and yes, they last longer in the odor department.

sierratradingpost.com has been my affordable outlet for non-name brands. And after my first season (50 or so days) I am planning on adding a few more layers of naturals next winter.
post #4 of 9
I switched a couple of years ago and hope never to go back. Sierratradingpost.com and campmor.com have been great sources for me.

post #5 of 9
Skied often these days with smartwool top, smartwool socks and a Dale of Norway wool sweater. Closet full of fleece that will never decompose.

Polypew - I will not miss you.

(but my question is where do you put the batteries in the smartwool to keep it smart?)
post #6 of 9
Yes. I use Icebreaker. I am not one for throwing money round unnecessarily but I do feel Icebreaker is worth the extra,
post #7 of 9
I definitely find that Icebreaker, and merino wool in general, broadens the comfort and warmth range than the synthetics I've used.
post #8 of 9
I have always used silk blend/merino wool turtlenecks.....with silk underwear.....they breathe and are warm when wet....the new underwear synthetics I use are from the (hunting) scent elimination world....moisture wicking microfleece spun with silver thread which eliminates bacteria.....Medalist makes tops and bottoms at reasonable prices.....yes, you can wear camo undies while skiing
post #9 of 9
Made the switch to Icebreaker this season and see no need to go back to synthetics. I was initially concerned since wool is generally itchy, but I've had no problems. I used Icebreaker 260 on a 0 deg day at Stowe and I was toasty warm. After a tough mogul run I was soaked, but by the time we reached the top in the Gondola, I was comfortable and dry. I bought some Smartwool at the end of the season, but I didn't get a chance to try it. On days that aren't so cold, the Icebreaker 200 is adequate.
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