Monday, March 10, 2014

Review - Woolx Merino Wool Garments

I'm a huge fan of merino wool for hiking activities. Merino is actually a type of sheep found in the Alps of New Zealand. Merino wool is a wool based fabric that boasts non itching softness and lightweight properties with the ability to insulate despite the weather. It also does not stink like other high activity garments.  I've used extensively Smartwool brands tops and socks (lightweight and midweight) and just recently was introduced to the WoolX brand of merino wool base layer midweight top and neck gaiter to test.
Midweight Top

The moment I saw Woolx's unique packaging I had a feeling this would be a different type of product. And I was right. The feel of the garment was different. The process by which they are able to produce the wool into the garment is unlike any of the Smartwool tops I own. The weave is tight, smooth and thick (see here how it is made). It has good stretch for freedom of movement. The weight at just over 8 oz is the same as the midweight Smartwool top I own. UPDATE: I wore it as my principle baselayer while backpacking through snow and single temps in the Smokies and beyond during the last part of March, first part of April. The fabric held up under the strain of a backpack. There was no stink even after many days of hiking. The unique stretchiness of the fabric gives when hiking and was probably the best feature of the shirt. And it washed up great at the town stop.

I also wore the top on a very windy (20 mph wind) and cold (20 degree air temp) 4 mile walk and run in upstate New York. Under a fleece layer, the insulating capability was excellent. My neck became cold also, so I put on the WoolX  neck gaiter. With the tight weave of the garment, it cut the wind and protected my neck. I really thought my neck would still feel cold but it did not. The garment is excellent in wind and may well be the feature that puts this garment above the other merino wool garment brands. More testing is needed.
The gaiter. Great when a cold wind hits your neck
I was also pleased to see the simple care instructions of washing and drying rather than needing hand washing and air drying, taking lots of extra time. A bonus feature.

I was pleased with Woolx and believe it an excellent performer for hiking activities in cool / cold weather. You can tell a well made product by people that care, and Woolx fits this to the tee with a good product that strives for performance and customer satisfaction. Run don't walk to get this excellent product that is well worth the money.

About WoolX from their website -

Woolx was created, very simply, to fill in the gaps where other 100% merino wool products fell short. We wanted to raise the bar and make a 100% Merino wool garment that would always be the first one out of your drawer.
We tested and wore many companies garments. Researched and read feedback from customers who wore 100% Merino wool garments. Took our 100 years plus of combined employees outdoor experience. We then added this all together, and backed by a company with a solid 64 years in business, Woolx was born.
When you pull on a Woolx garment you will notice the difference at once. Smooth, soft, absolutely no itch or scratchiness in our garments.
When you wear a Woolx garment and you'll feel the performance...not the garment. It's there and does what it is supposed to do with unsurpassed comfort that makes it almost invisible. With our special gusseting,  premium neck bands, and the utmost care in the cut you may forget you have it on.
When you wash a Woolx Garment. Then dry your Woolx Garment. All worry free from shrinking. This gives you more time to to get outdoors and enjoy the activities you bought your Woolx garment for...not inside hand washing, hanging to dry, and shaping back.
We've only begun here at Woolx. Many new and exciting products are on the table from jackets to garments for your dog. It's going to be a great adventure! We are honored to have you along with us for the hike.

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