What's The Best Base Layer Material? 8 Reasons to Choose Merino Wool

What's The Best Base Layer Material? 8 Reasons to Choose Merino Wool
You may be wondering, "What's the best base layer material for your layering system?"
No surprise here. Experts recommend it, and we agree — Merino wool is the best base layer material. Hands down. Here's why. 

1. It's all natural.

Unlike synthetic fabrics, Merino wool is an entirely biodegradable, renewable and natural fiber, which means no nasty chemicals are used in the production and there's no microplastic shedding as a result. Ridge Merino wool is sustainably sourced from certified-humane sheep farmers in Australia and New Zealand.  
Snow sports in merino wool

The best base layer material: Merino wool in cold weather helps keep you warm and comfortable during high output activity.

2. It manages moisture.

The natural fibers of our Merino wool base layers wick sweat away from your skin to prevent clamminess. Merino wool absorbs water, and it can hold about 30% of its weight in moisture before feeling damp. This wicking ability helps keep your skin dry and prevents that not so-fresh-feeling that occurs with synthetic base layers.
Merino wool clothingAnother benefit: Merino is quick drying after a wash ...or a cold plunge.

3. It's stink-free.

Merino wool fibers have natural antimicrobial properties that help prevent the growth of odor-causing bacteria and lock them away, only releasing them upon washing. This means you can wear Merino wool base layers for extended periods without worrying about B.O. that so commonly occurs with polyester blending and synthetic fabrics.

4. It's breathable.

One thing that sets Merino wool apart from most any other fiber is its breathability. According to Woolmark, the global authority on wool, the fibers "can absorb large quantities of moisture vapor and allow it to evaporate, making wool garments feel less clingy and more comfortable than garments made from other fibers."

5. It offers UV protection.

Merino wool is a naturally UV resistant material, so you stay protected from the sun's harmful rays. Most of our products have some level of sun protection, but check out our sun protection collection for our UPF rated recommendations.
Sun Hoodies

Merino in warm weather: seen here offering natural sun protection in the form of a lightweight sun hoodie.  

6. It regulates body temperature.

Merino wool has excellent temperature-regulating properties. As a layering system in cold weather conditions, it can effectively trap air between the base layer, mid layer and outer layer to provide just the right amount of insulation. In warm weather, Merino wool also allows excess heat and moisture to escape. This helps keep you comfortable in a wide range of temperatures.

"Wool reduces the rate of skin cooling and the severity of post-exercise chill, which can range from uncomfortable to dangerous... In warm environments, wool fabrics can feel up to two times cooler to touch than synthetic fabrics, because wool conducts more heat away from your skin." - Woolmark

  Our Merino wool base layers are excellent during cold weather activities.

7. It's great for travel.

Merino wool's adaptability to different temperatures makes it an easy lightweight, packable solution for travel. One Merino base layer or mid layer can be worn multiple days in a row, creating more space in your carry-on and (due to its anti-stink qualities), it eliminates the need for laundry while on the road.

8. Merino wool fibers are super soft.

The individual fibers of Merino wool are much finer compared to other types of wool. This finer diameter gives Merino wool its soft and smooth feel, reducing the itchiness and roughness often associated with coarser wool, making it the perfect fabric for skiing and snowboarding base layers

Ridge Athlete Sam Cohen is always rocking his Merino wool base layers underneath his protective outer wear when ripping fresh pow.

So, next time you're wondering what is the best material for a base layer or a mid layer, look no further than Merino wool


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