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  1. #1
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    Synthetic vs. Merino

    For the most part I wear merino wool as my base layer system. What do you wear and why?

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    I am in the process of switching from synthetic to merino, mostly due to the fact that my synthetic gear is older and due for replacement but also because of all the amazing things I have heard about merino. I am definitely late to jump on board with merino but I had enough synthetic Under Armor for every season to clothe an army from playing football. One thing I have a problem with with the synthetic is pitting it out too bad when I'm up in the hills for a while, this forces me to carry a little more clothing with me making my pack heavier. One of the best things I have heard about merino is that it is better at not holding in the smell after a few days of hard hunting and that you can wear it longer leaving the extra clothes at home. Not sure if it is true or not but I picked up some Kuiu base layers recently and am excited to put them to use on the mountain.

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    Other than a pair of fleece long johns I use, I only wear merino for base layers. The synthetics that I've tried, being UA products, seemed to work well as long as you were somewhat active, but didn't work that well if you weren't. Merino seems to provide just the right amount of thermal insulation whether active or not as well as the wicking properties it provides keeping you feeling dryer are my reasons for use.

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  5. #4
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    I only where Merino under layers now with synthetic top layers. Synthetic under layers don't curve the body odor problems after a few days like the Merino does. I have had great luck with the FirstLite base layers.

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    Merino wool all the way! Its now my favorite for base and mid layers.
    And if you watch online sales like Sierra Trading Post it doesn't have to break the bank!

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    Hey Scott, I ve noticed that my new posts don't show up under the "new posts" icon list. Any idea why??

  8. #7
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    I use UA cold gear mostly now. Before that I used military polly pros. I have never had Merino wool simply because of the price.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 25contender View Post
    Synthetic under layers don't curve the body odor problems after a few days like the Merino does. I have had great luck with the FirstLite base layers.
    I would argue that synthetics make the body odor issue much worse. I wear synthetics alot for working out, playing hockey, skiing, and it almost seems like even when clean the stink just goes dormant, and as soon as you get warmed up they reak again.

    +1 on firstlite.

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    I took two pairs of synthetic base layers on a recent week long XC ski and snowshoe trip. When I got home both pairs were quite ripe. I am planning my first elk hunt this fall and I think I will be changing to merino wool. I have had my synthetic for several years and it is getting a little worn. It probably will need replacing soon.

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    I choose Merino wool, and I don't think I'll ever go back to synthetics for my base layer system in the backcountry.

    Resists odor, and can be worn for days, even weeks without washing.
    Lightweight and it has a exceptionally high warmth to weight ratio.
    Breathable, helps prevent overheating.
    Easy care, machine washable.
    Firesafe, it is self-extinguishing and unlike synthetics, it won’t melt and stick to your skin.
    Drys and wicks well. Not quite as fast as synthetics, but the world isn’t perfect….

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