Oct 18, 2013 at 9:42 am #1308881
So for awhile now, i've been wanting to find a Merino baselayer (top or bottom) that has a slight Merino ratio predominance over rest being nylon.
More specifically, something like 60/55% Merino to 40/45% nylon. Reasoning being a combo of factors. Nylon is the least stinky of the synthetics, the lightest of the commonly used ones except polypro, and the strongest and most durable of the commonly used. So, theoretically speaking, something with that ratio of Merino wool to rest nylon, should be fairly durable and fairly odor resistant.
Some Darn Tough socks that i have, bears this out very well. One pair is like 55% merino to 40% nylon and rest spandex, and it has great odor control, and course a sock is going to much more tested in this area than one's shirt or pants. The little odor it does accrue, washes out easily.
Anyways here is a link:
The baselayers i'm talking about are the Redington Redilayer brand, both the tops and bottoms use a ratio/blend of 55% Merino to 45% nylon. Ordered a pair of the bottoms and with my 30% coupon, got them for like 20 dollars.
If the Merino happens to be good quality and more comfortable on the skin and the garment otherwise well constructed, this is an amazing product and deal and theoretically speaking should be MUCH more durable than the 100% merino wool baselayers.Oct 18, 2013 at 11:45 am #2035311
Sounds like a good find. I've become disillusioned with pure merino base layers – don't like 'em. In fact, just gave some Ibex merino baselayers to my local thrift shop.Oct 18, 2013 at 12:45 pm #2035330
But I just spent 4 days in the Adirondacks canoeing and camping with only 1 shirt, a Patagonia Merino 1 Silkweight tee (bought on sale), and was very happy about the performance. It has a comfortable feel on skin, is quick wicking and drying and only had a slight body/campfire odor at the end (unlike me; no shower besides a bath in cold water). I paddled with it, carried a canoe over a mile, gathered wood, cooked smelly stuff and wore it 15 hrs a day (used IB 150 in sleeping bag) and it felt great from start to finish.
I know it was a short trip but for a first experience with a top garment with Merino blend , I am impressed and happy.
Hope to read your imrpessions on the Redington top.Oct 18, 2013 at 1:58 pm #2035353
@detroittigerfanLocale: Ann Arbor
Keep in mind that the label "merino" is a rather broad brush. It's really just a breed of sheep. There are different strains, with some producing much better wool than others. Some are even bred predominantly for its meat, but even this inferior wool would be called 'merino'.
There are also differences in manufacturing processes. Even just the weave style can make a big difference in how the garment wears/durability.Oct 18, 2013 at 8:18 pm #2035454
I know Sumi, that's why i added this caveat at the end of my post, "If the Merino happens to be good quality and more comfortable on the skin and the garment otherwise well constructed,…"Oct 19, 2013 at 12:53 pm #2035570
I decided to give the top a shot. If it shows up by Thurs. I'll test it out on my trip this coming weekend. Thanks for posting the deal.Oct 21, 2013 at 9:45 am #2035997
@freeradicalLocale: Central TX
Deleted.Oct 21, 2013 at 8:56 pm #2036259
@tracedefLocale: Southern California
Love my Ibex and Smartwool layers, even though the Ibex can be stinky when it gets wet (weird ….) …. wondering what others dislike about Merino?Oct 21, 2013 at 11:20 pm #2036293
@m-lLocale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
It smells like a wet dog when wet, but I still prefer it.Oct 22, 2013 at 10:02 am #2036408
@ Trace, primarily durability/longevity and drying time. Otherwise, great stuff, personally just have come to prefer blends, especially being cheap/frugle as I tend to be. Not a big factor to me, but a good dose of nylon will lighten a garment up too.Oct 27, 2013 at 3:20 pm #2038400
Wore the Large size bottoms on the weekend trip i just did. Wow, loved them. I wore them in combo with, and underneath my polyester (65%)–linen (35%) blend homemade "Kilt" (ok, really more like a skirt).
No noticeable odor build up (however, did wear a high linen blend underwear underneath which i'm sure helped), dried fairly quick but didn't get that "flash dry" coldness, light at 4.8 oz for a large size, seems well constructed (however, i'm not the greatest judge of that, so some salt is in order–there was some minor flaw, some extra seem material hanging off btw), soft and non irritating to my skin.
Can't speak for the durability yet, but due to the seemingly good construction and 45% nylon content, i expect it to last significantly longer than 100% merino bottoms at a similar weight and thickness.
If i wasn't on a budget, i would probably order more. As is, tempted to order a top in the near future.Oct 27, 2013 at 4:47 pm #2038435
@drusillaLocale: Wild Wild West
If you like merino and like skirts/kilts, Ibex makes an awesome "izzy" skirt. It's made of 89% merino wool and 4% spandex, don't know what the other 7% is. I love mine so much I bought more to wear this winter with my base layer merino leggings. I'm a seamstress also, Justin what pattern do you use or did you make your own pattern for skirt/kilts?
I have some wool but it's non stretch so I may have to use a more pleated pattern for that fabric.Oct 27, 2013 at 5:40 pm #2038455
Hi D.D., thank you for the tip on the Izzy skirt, but i have to admit i cringe a bit when i hear "Ibex" because of typical (high) prices i see in relation to that brand.
I partially use the men's, made in Scotland wool Kilt that my wife happened to find in the women's section of Goodwill and which happened to fit me perfectly. Apparently whoever put it there, thought it was a women's skirt.
I use it as a pattern for the size and shape, but i use velcro for the closures. I put the velcro on two places. One on the end of one piece of fabric and then some on the inside. Creates a nice, secure, and semi-adjustable fit. Just have to remember to velcro it up while washing and drying, as well as storing.
I don't pleat them though. I also have some 70% wool and 30% polyester fabric that i've been thinking about making a kilt/skirt out of.
The 65% Polyester and 35% Linen fabric btw, has awesome, simply awesome moisture management properties and is very comfortable in a wide temp range, but it does and can get a bit stinky over time because of the high poly content. However, wearing pure and high linen blend, or high merino blend, underwear seems to help a lot with that. But in summer, i do prefer to go commando, so would love to find a fabric that does the odor prevention and also has the great moisture management. Might make one out of Dri-Release fabric if i can find a heavier/thicker fabric than is typical.Oct 27, 2013 at 7:23 pm #2038489
@drusillaLocale: Wild Wild West
Yes, it is pricey (ibex) I bought the skirts at the yearly REI sale at less than half price and scored a down skirt from SKHOOP that is really luxurious in cold weather at less than half price also.
I started sewing 40 years ago because I could not find what I wanted in stores….it's hard enough to find the fabric I like but once I do it's like hitting gold!Oct 27, 2013 at 8:02 pm #2038503
Lucky you on the REI deal. Down skirt sounds interesting, but for me, if it's cold enough for down bottoms, it's a lot more heat efficient to use down pants. My legs can handle some serious cold though. Part acclimation and part a lot of fine/soft, straight leg hair.
Grew up in MA wearing shorts most of the year, except for the rare below -5 f or colder days. Lived in Winchendon for a year, and seemed to be one of the colder places in MA which wasn't in the mountains (lived in Amherst for a few years too). The winter before we moved down to VA, got down to -17 f one day, but definitely wasn't wearing shorts then.
True about finding good fabric.Nov 4, 2013 at 8:14 am #2041106
I'm gunna throw my weight behind Icebreaker, after some poor experiences with smartwool I discovered this brand, and now own a lot of Icebreaker gear, much purchased through STP or TJMaxx/Marshals, and all of it has held up perfectly over the years as well as kept me warm like it should, without stinking up the place or causing any itching.
I'll admit, it's pricier than smartwool, but in my mind, totally worth the extra bit of money.
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