Professional winter athletes often find themselves navigating the most unforgiving climates, where their very survival and performance depend on the quality of their clothing.
Whether it's the heart-pounding moment of dropping out of a helicopter onto a near 90 degree slope, skinning up towering peaks for hours on end, braving winter camp on glaciers in howling wind, or tackling the toughest, most rugged mountain obstacles; these athletes need gear that can withstand the extreme challenges they face.
From their skis to their shells, in their pursuit of precision and performance, they leverage state-of-the-art gear designed to withstand the harshest conditions. Yet, amid this ever-evolving landscape of innovation, one thing remains steadfast: their unwavering trust in Merino wool layers. This natural fabric, time-tested and proven, continues to deliver the goods when it comes to warmth, comfort, and moisture management.
We talked to some top winter athletes who swear by Merino wool as a first line of defense against the elements. Here's what they had to say.
Danila Shipilov - @buckwheatboarder - Mammoth Lakes, California
Danila earns his turns on Mt. Esha with multiple layers of Merino wool keeping him comfortable. Photo: Christian Pondella
The Baldwin Jacket effortlessly transitions from a functional mid-layer on the slopes to a comfortable casual piece in town, making it an easy versatile choice.
The Solstice Sun Hoodie is my go-to for anything from winter touring to summer hiking. The lightweight, antimicrobial properties and big hood make it an easy pick for any day in the mountains.
The High Trail Tech Hat is really comfortable and looks good, big fan of the fit and durable fabrics.
The Ridge Glove Liner is a great addition to my touring kit. Little bit of added warmth or some protection from the Sierra sun at no cost to the pack weight.
The Banked Mid Weight Ski Sock is my first choice in the sock drawer, really comfortable, breathable and warm.
McKenna Peterson - @mck_p - Sun Valley, Idaho
The Ridge Merino Aspect High Rise Bottoms are my go to base layer for long days of hiking in the mountains. They are warm, comfortable and feel lightweight against my skin. The high rise waist material keeps my backpack's waist strap from chafing my hips while hiking uphill and ensures that no skin is exposed when I reach down to adjust my ski boots. I wear this style base layer every single day in the winter.
Sam Cohen - @sammocohen - Salt Lake City, Utah
Sam takes a hike in the Convict Canyon Merino Wool Mid Layer. Photo: Christian Pondella
Layering is always so important and becomes more important on those bigger days and larger scale missions in the mountains. For me, I rely on these layers that I have tested personally in all elements.The Ridge Merino Journey Tee is my go-to for every mission. Warm, but not too warm and dries out quickly if it gets wet. I like to hike as fast or as slow to keep a good body temperature and the Journey Tee allows me to do so. Over my Journey Tee, I run the Solstice Sun Hoodie to keep the sun away as well as the cold. If it's ever really cold, I rely on the Convict Hoodie to keep me nice and toasty in the elements.
Amie Engerbretson - @amieski - Lake Tahoe, California
Flyin high: Amie layers up with Merino wool underneath her waterproof shell. Photo: Liam Doran
The Aspect Merino midweight top and bottom are my go-to base layers. Merino is the only fabric I want against my skin for all outdoor activities and Ridge Merino is super soft and comfortable. Warm, breathable and quick drying, perfect for all the variables the mountains will throw at you. The simple yet functional fit allows to layer as necessary and do anything the mountains ask. They are my favorite!
I basically live in The Natural Tencel Hoodie and Jogger! They are so comfy for lounging or for adding extra warmth when layered on top of the base layers. The fabric is uber soft the and cute fit/style makes them the perfect aprés hang out kit!
The Merino Wool Bralette is one of my wardrobe staples! Whether to yoga, around the house or with a sweater out to dinner, this super cute, comfy and flattering tank is one of the most versatile things I own!
Merino wool, with its remarkable natural fibers and hi-tech benefits, proves to be an indispensable ally during cold-weather activities. As a base layer, it offers superior moisture-wicking and breathability, ensuring athletes stay dry and comfortable. Its exceptional insulation properties shine as a mid layer, providing the much-needed warmth without the bulk, allowing for unhindered movement. Underneath It All, Merino wool emerges as an invaluable asset, allowing athletes to push their limits and excel in the most trying conditions.
- Tags: merino base layer merino clothing merino mid layer merino wool ridge merino ski clothing snowboard clothing underneath it all