For a long time, travelers assumed that packing a bag meant sacrificing something. If you wanted comfort, you sacrificed style. If you wanted style, you sacrificed minimalism, etc.
But there is a way to have it all, and the answer has been staring us in the face for a while now. If you want to blend minimalism, comfort, and style to step up your travel clothing, take a cue from the Merino sheep.
Merino Wool: A Brief History of the Ultimate Travel Clothing
Merino wool isn’t a new product – the material’s everyday use stretches back centuries (maybe longer). Everyone from farmers to aristocrats prized the Merino sheep’s wool for its softness, versatility, and temperature regulation.
In the past century, however, the material was mainly siphoned to big European fashion houses like Dior, Chanel, and YSL. It was part of the post-war “New Look,” which prioritized fine wool forms to add structure and elegance to designs. Merino wool stayed in the high fashion realm for a while – obscuring its humble origins as a versatile material for real-world use.
But very recently, enterprising clothing companies have started reassessing merino wool, discovering its vast potential beyond the runway. And notable travel clothing companies like Unbound Merino have helped popularize merino wool as an all-around packing option that blends minimalism, comfort, and style.
The Goldilocks Travel Clothing: How Merino Wool Lets You Have It All
What exactly makes Merino wool “the ultimate travel hack?” How does it differ from, say, cotton, polyester, or rayon (the other common travel clothing choices)? To answer these questions, we have to look at merino wool’s intrinsic qualities.
Sweat-Wicking and Odour-Defiant Qualities
Merino wool fibers are coated in fine, waxy substances called lanolin and keratin, which are both highly antimicrobial and antibacterial. Because body odor is mainly comprised of bacteria (it’s gross to think, but it’s true), merino wool has active, odor-defying qualities that keep its wearer smelling fresh for days – even longer.
Moreover, these fibers are highly porous. They trap moisture from your body and transport it into the air outside the garment. In the wild, these mechanisms helped keep sheep dry and safe from microbes. On a traveler, they help keep you feeling and smelling your best.
The ultrafine fibers in Merino wool act like tightly coiled springs. You can rearrange their position, but once you fold out the garment again, each fiber springs back into its original shape.
For travelers, this means you can stuff a Merino wool garment at the bottom of a backpack without worrying about how it will look when you reach your destination. You’ll always look put-together.
Comfort and Style
Merino’s ultrafine fibers and tight weave combine to create a comfortable feel; meanwhile, the material’s drape is structured enough to keep it looking stylish and sophisticated. Provided that you buy Merino travel clothing through a quality company, you should get a fit that looks both stylish and casual.
Finally, merino wool is insulating and breathable, effectively covering the spectrum of wearability in cold and hot climates. You really only need to pack a couple of garments, even for a long trip abroad. On a two-week trip spanning several climates, you might only need to pack two pairs of underwear, two pairs of socks, and two t-shirts as your entire base layer. Because the material resists odor and sweat, the garments will stay fresh throughout.
This one packing hack lets you blend minimalism, comfort, and style to have it all. Thanks to innovative companies adapting merino wool for the travel experience, you can pack less, feel better, and look great while doing it.