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I heard merino is for cool-cold days. Maybe I heard it wrong.

Then I thought people use it for baselayer (something you wear under your jackets).

But it seems it's not the case based on some reviews/images I see.

So What's the point of wearing merino shirt itself?
Do people wear them in hot days as well?

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  • I have thin merino t-shirts I wear on pacific northwest hot days (~95 deg F, low humidity) and thick merino long jerseys I wear on northwest cold days (~35 deg F, high humidity)
    – Paul H
    Oct 19, 2020 at 15:57
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    I would suggest that you also wear some shorts as well. Oct 19, 2020 at 22:27

2 Answers 2

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Merino is an anytime material . It’s core property is that the fibres are very fine and structurally more complex compared to a more general wool product.

You can wear it on a hot day to feel cooler as the fibres will absorb sweat and keep it next to your skin or on a cool day to keep you warmer as it’s very insulating due to a hollowness in the fibre.

It doesn’t gain as much of a body stench compared to an artificial fibre and can be worn multiple days in a row without being too offensive to you or other people.

When a 100% Merino shirt has worn out you can dump it in the compost or use it to line a plant pot.

You’re right in that people use it as a base layer as it works well next to the skin and on hot days you will get more UV protection.

It is more expensive compared to other materials but the benefits are high for the investment cost. I haven’t worn anything else for cycling or any outdoor exercise for a long time.

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  • Another point - it is not as durable as other materials, and care in handling/washing is required. So its easy to damage. This can be mitigated by blending the wool with something else like elastane etc.
    – Criggie
    Oct 19, 2020 at 18:22
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    Yes, pure merino is less durable. Mine always wore through at backpack wear points. I do have a 50/50 polyester blend now that is holding out well. But my wool washing is normally done with the rest of the batch though a net bag has reduced the rate at which they get holes. Oct 19, 2020 at 18:54
  • +1 for the UV protection point. I find this very handy especially on longer summer tours, as I don't want to keep applying sunscreen for multiple consecutive days when I can't conveniently wash it off.
    – Wsal
    Oct 19, 2020 at 20:13
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    Modern tech-wools are about as resilient as other fibres. However, composting will introduce micro plastics to soil. The wool fibres are spun with fine synthetic fibres.
    – gschenk
    Oct 19, 2020 at 21:56
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I have a light weight merino wool top. Sometimes I wear it as a base layer, and sometimes by itself. I find that it breathes really well, and I know that wool does not retain moisture well.

The nice thing about a merino wool layer, is that if you get one and you don't like riding in it, it is nice for lots of other things.

I think the most important thing here is personal preference. There ain't no right or wrong.

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