I’ve spent a lot of time researching gear for my trip, and one of the things I’ve come across as an option is merino wool. I bought some icebreaker brand shirts and one pair of pants, and was able to try them out recently on a trip where I was travelling extremely lightweight. Here are a few of my impressions:
First, it doesn’t dry quite as quickly as I had hoped. The pants in particular take a while due to the heavier material used. This is probably partially my fault, but when it is hailed as a miracle material with all these properties I don’t imagine it taking half a day or more to dry. That said, it’s certainly faster to dry than cotton, and it helps a lot to squeeze out the extra moisture with a towel, a trick that I read somewhere.
Other than that, however, I am quite happy. While the icebreaker brand is machine washable, I usually hand wash it because our washing machine isn’t very nice to clothes, even on the delicate setting. Plus I figure I’ll do a lot of hand washing on my trip. It’s certainly breathable, odor resistant, and all those other things that people state as reasons to go for merino wool.
That said, I’m still experimenting. Probably I will end up with some clothes made from merino wool and others made from different materials to suit different needs. What do you think? Do you pay attention to clothing materials when you travel? Which ones are your favorites? Let me know in the comments!