Thursday, 2 December 2010

Cold weather, hot tip!

Whether it be for cycling, fishing, skating or any kind of outdoor adventure, there is one smashing bit of kit that we recommend this winter (especially as our thermometre keeps dipping below zero...). 

Merino wool has been known to outdoor adventurers for a long time, for it's amazing thermal properties & now someone has very thoughtfully made a neck gaiter in merino wool.  You can get them pretty much anywhere (Amazon, Rock & Rescue, Trekmates, Snow & Rock, Action Outdoors to name but a few) from as little as £13 & we would heartily recommend adding one to your Christmas list.  Of course, if you have been too naughty to get one from Santa, then at least you know where to buy yourself one from now :0)

For those of you unsure as to why Merino is so spiffy, read on...!

Merino wool is common in high-end, performance athletic wear. Typically meant for use running, hiking, skiing, mountain climbing, cycling, and in other types of outdoor aerobic exercise, these clothes command a premium over synthetic fabrics.
Merino is excellent at regulating body temperature, especially when worn against the skin. The wool provides some warmth, without overheating the wearer. It draws moisture (sweat) away from the skin, the fabric is slightly moisture repellent allowing the user to avoid the feeling of wetness.  Merino wool retains warmth when wet helping wearers avoid hypothermia after strenuous workouts (climbs) or weather events.

Like most wools, merino contains lanolin which has antibacterial properties.  Merino is one of the softest types of wool available, due to finer fibers and smaller scales.  Merino has an excellent warmth-to-weight ratio compared to other wools, in part because the smaller fibers have microscopic cortices of dead air, trapping body heat similar to the way a sleeping bag warms its occupant.  Amazing stuff eh?!

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