Merino vs Poly.

MrSunday

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May 21, 2016
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WA
Same as the above post. Regulates temp and odor better than poly IMO. Though I do often wear a poly sock liner under my merino sock.
 

Suera

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Nov 27, 2021
Messages
7
Wool always, maybe a little more uncomfortable but it regulates the temperature much better even when sweaty you keep warm
 

5MilesBack

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Feb 27, 2012
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Colorado Springs
I just wish Wool dried quicker
You know, I soak my merino tops with sweat every day while elk hunting. And even if I'm not pushing it hard, my back will get sopping wet just from wearing my pack. And yet, my merino top is always dry when I climb into my sleeping bag every night......even after a long hike out after dark. My merino base is dry long before my camo synthetic that I wear over it. But that has all night to dry. I really haven't seen this issue with merino.

But if I'm doing a single day hike, a 3D shoot, or just working outside I'll generally throw on a poly base layer under another shirt. I save my merino for hunting.
 

GunsAreFun

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Apr 18, 2019
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I wear merino below the waist, but for some odd reason, it itches my torso very bad…doesn’t matter what brand I’ve tried them all.

For a poly top, nothing has beat the Sitka Core lineup for being quick drying and odor resistant. Some day I may try the Kuiu Peleton but have no need to justify the expense given I have three Core shirts.
 

jfs82

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Jan 13, 2019
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688
I wear merino below the waist, but for some odd reason, it itches my torso very bad…doesn’t matter what brand I’ve tried them all.
Same for me, I have merino boxers and long underwear but shirts make me itch like crazy.
 

Kleos

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Nov 28, 2021
Messages
28
I am a huge fan of Merino Wool especially Smartwool. Merino keeps me warmer and doesn't stink after multiple days in the backcountry. I even got a pair of Merino boxers and they are awesome.

Poly I get super stinky but it also dries faster if you get wet or sweaty. I know some people who swear by poly and live outdoors. Poly is also much more durable than Merino.

Pros and cons to each, find out what's more important to you. For me, I will pick up Merino 9/10 times.
 

grfox92

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Mar 14, 2017
Messages
599
I will never wear anything other then merino. It keeps you warm even when wet. Never stinks. Regulates temperature.

During the whitetail rut vacations I used to take I would wear the same top and bottoms for over 7 days straight without even the slighted smell to them, didn't feel dirty wearing them either. 1 day in synthetic smells like rotten butt.

I wore a synthetic top one day this year elk hunting as I forgot to flip my clothes to the dryer the night before. I wore a synthetic top and once it got wet the wind felt ice cold blowing on me. Never experience that with wool.

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orionsbrother

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Jun 6, 2013
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Location
IL
Same for me, I have merino boxers and long underwear but shirts make me itch like crazy.

And I’m just the opposite.

I found some Merino that doesn’t make me itch and wear Merino tops, but poly bottoms. I just beat the heck out of Merino bottoms and they don’t last. The poly is more durable and I don’t mind periods of “clammy” on my legs.

I don’t like that “clammy” feeling that I get in the small of my back after dropping my pack when wearing a poly top.
 

doverpack12

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Mar 6, 2013
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I jumped on the merino train about 2011 and wore it hunting mountains until 3-4 years ago. I got tired of getting cold with any breeze or wind (wind blows in the mountains). Started trying some synthetic tops and found for me I am drier and more comfortable (hot or cold weather) wearing a synthetic base than a merino or merino blend base.
kuiu peloton 118 and Sitka core are both very good and don’t smell much after 2-3 days for me. If your layers smell that much manage your hygiene (shave body hair including armpits) and you won’t have an issue.
I have used original first lite, first lite wick 150, kuiu 185, 145, 210 and Sitka merino. The blends do a little better than 100% merino but you are still wet more than dry.
 

z987k

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Sep 9, 2020
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427
Location
Anchorage, AK
For everyday stuff where I can easily change clothes every day, synthetic. It's cheaper. Keeps you more or less as warm. I use synthetic skiing most of the time. Stinks like crazy by the end of the day.

For hunting where you're going to be wearing more or less the same clothes for days, merino.
 

NeHunter13

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Jul 29, 2021
Messages
42
I found this video this weekend with the late Jason Hairston discussing this same topic. Good listen and a very in-depth, review of the differences down to the science of the material.

 

toadmeister

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Joined
Nov 5, 2015
Messages
641
I wore a synthetic top one day this year elk hunting as I forgot to flip my clothes to the dryer the night before. I wore a synthetic top and once it got wet the wind felt ice cold blowing on me. Never experience that with wool.

Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk


Good example of Synthetics drying too fast. Rapid evaporation = feeling cold.

I also use merino when winter bicycling. Again the synthetics make me cold from wicking away moisture too fast.

I’ve had several debates with cyclists on this topic and they are too stubborn to try merino as the cycling industry markets “sleek, fast, light and colorful”. Their loss.


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idig4au

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Jun 1, 2012
Messages
644
Location
Off to Africa again for the next work adventure….
I jumped on the merino train about 2011 and wore it hunting mountains until 3-4 years ago. I got tired of getting cold with any breeze or wind (wind blows in the mountains). Started trying some synthetic tops and found for me I am drier and more comfortable (hot or cold weather) wearing a synthetic base than a merino or merino blend base.
kuiu peloton 118 and Sitka core are both very good and don’t smell much after 2-3 days for me. If your layers smell that much manage your hygiene (shave body hair including armpits) and you won’t have an issue.
I have used original first lite, first lite wick 150, kuiu 185, 145, 210 and Sitka merino. The blends do a little better than 100% merino but you are still wet more than dry.

I also have the same experience and have transitioned away from merino to synthetic for next to skin as more comfortable from a moisture management and itch standpoints.
With the odor treatment, I can get a few days in same clothes even if sweating heavily.

I keep merino for my socks. Synthetic for boxers (Arc’teryx Phase SL) and Sitka core for next to skin layers. I tried the original Kuiu peloton and didn’t find the odor management the best as smelled sour only after a day or so.
 

doverpack12

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Joined
Mar 6, 2013
Messages
2,419
I also have the same experience and have transitioned away from merino to synthetic for next to skin as more comfortable from a moisture management and itch standpoints.
With the odor treatment, I can get a few days in same clothes even if sweating heavily.

I keep merino for my socks. Synthetic for boxers (Arc’teryx Phase SL) and Sitka core for next to skin layers. I tried the original Kuiu peloton and didn’t find the odor management the best as smelled sour only after a day or so.
I agree on the original kuiu peloton 130, the 118 is on par with Sitka core for odor control. I can’t tell the difference.
 
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