/ Merino or Bamboo for the real sweaters?

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lewismansell - on 11 Mar 2013
I used a merino baselayer and thin merino socks when walking and had some good success considering I'm such a sweater. Need to replace my tops and socks soon, heard good things about bamboo products, but do they match up to Merino?
Martin Bennett - on 11 Mar 2013
In reply to lewismansell:

Don't hesitate - get some bamboo stuff. The baselayers and T shirts I have are really great to wear - they fit, stretch, are nice next to the skin, no itch whatsoever (and I can find merino a bit itchy sometimes), last longer between washes when they have to, and provide a perfect base (or top layer on the single layer days (usually abroad)). I have a number of the long sleeved ones Trekmates do, both zip neck and T designs that are often available on line or TK Maxx for 15 - 20 each. Very thin and don't expect them to last a lifetime but I swear by them now. I've also just got short sleeved T shirts by BAM very cheaply indeed on ebay and they are similarly good to wear.
anaesthetic on 11 Mar 2013
In reply to lewismansell: Rab MeCo tops seem to work much better than my plain merino base layer. Pricey though (got mine as a freebie).
tony on 11 Mar 2013
In reply to lewismansell:

Bamboo is very nice - smoother than merino - but it takes an age to dry when you wash it. I wouldn't use it when getting wet and cold was a possibility.
sarahjk - on 11 Mar 2013
In reply to lewismansell:

I recall reading that bamboo uses loads of really noxious and polluting chemicals in the manufacture process. Not sure where tho.

Merino is just lovely, stick to natural, wearable fibres !
Monk - on 11 Mar 2013
In reply to sarahkeast:
> (In reply to lewismansell)
>
> I recall reading that bamboo uses loads of really noxious and polluting chemicals in the manufacture process. Not sure where tho.
>

I've heard that too. I think bamboo isn't as revolutionary as it sounds - it's just viscose/rayon. It is still processed heavily to give us the yarn. I haven't investigated very far to see how green it actually is but I suspect that the manufacturers might be leading us on a bit. Bamboo as a source material is probably quite green, but this clothing is certainly not made of a 'natural' product.

My bamboo socks are lovely though - warm and comfortable.

Guy Hurst - on 11 Mar 2013
In reply to lewismansell: I reckon neither merino nor bamboo stuff is brilliant if you're working hard and/or sweat a lot. They tend to absorb moisture and soon feel damp to me. I've found polypropylene (eg Helly Hansen Lifa) best for actually shifting sweat away, but some of the other synthetic stuff is pretty effective as well.
On the other hand even though fabric technology and treatments have improved in recnt years, synthetic base layers still smell quicker than merino.
dirty crimper - on 12 Mar 2013
In reply to lewismansell: I used to use merino base layers alot but found they itched like mad especially if your like me and have escma. I now use some made by SKEETEX which I believe to be made of bamboo. These have proved to be brilliant; no itch, very stretchy and very warm. I highly recommend them to anyone.
nufkin - on 12 Mar 2013
In reply to Guy Hurst:
> (In reply to lewismansell) I reckon neither merino nor bamboo stuff is brilliant if you're working hard and/or sweat a lot. They tend to absorb moisture and soon feel damp to me. I've found polypropylene (eg Helly Hansen Lifa) best for actually shifting sweat away, but some of the other synthetic stuff is pretty effective as well.
> On the other hand even though fabric technology and treatments have improved in recnt years, synthetic base layers still smell quicker than merino.


I agree with all that, though I'd also add that I've found merino stuff to retain heat better, so is still my preference when its cold and I'm likely to be sweating regardless of what I'm wearing
Welsh Kate - on 12 Mar 2013
In reply to nufkin:
I'm a big sweater when I'm moving but also feel the cold very badly. I really like merino but find it's best to avoid since it ends up just getting wet as it doesn't wick in the way that polypro does. So I also use polypro (my fave at the moment is a Berghaus Argentum baselayer. If it's really cold I wear a Brynje super thermo t-shirt underneath. Great combo!
SFM - on 12 Mar 2013
In reply to lewismansell:

I'm or convinced by bamboo yet. I got some bamboo socks to try them out. First impressions good. They were warm, comfortable and stink resistant. I have noticed however after a few washes(10+) the stretch is going out of them and thus getting harder to put on. Only ever washed them at 30 degrees so heat is not the culprit.

Anyone else had similar issues?
And Climb on 13 Mar 2013
In reply to lewismansell: I had some Smartwool baselayers that I'm more than happy with. Recently I tried the Rab Meco baselayer. While I haven't done any running in it I am quite pleased with it. Doesn't seem to smell or get damp (normal climbing). I reckon it's almost like a synthetic version of merino. I know it contains merino and polyester but thats what I'd think of it as.
iksander on 14 Mar 2013
In reply to lewismansell: Brynje meraklon, or aclima woolnet
didntcomelast on 14 Mar 2013
In reply to lewismansell: Maybe not quite what you want in a 'baselayer' but I've just purchased a merino pullover for 10 from H&M the high street fashion store. A check of the label shows 100% merino wool and whilst it is not as good as a base layer per say, it is a v neck jumper, for the money it will do a good job.
nufkin - on 14 Mar 2013
In reply to iksander:
> (In reply to lewismansell) Brynje meraklon, or aclima woolnet

'Yes' to this, too
ads.ukclimbing.com
Fishmate - on 14 Mar 2013
In reply to tony forster:
> (In reply to lewismansell) I've just purchased a merino pullover for 10 from H&M.

I got a couple of their merino jumpers a few years back. Not sure I got the bargain you did, but I'm sure they were no more than 20. Amazing value, had the fit and quality look of one a colleague paid 100 for from Charles Tyrwitt?

As for the OP, I have a couple of HH Lifa baselayers and Icebreaker Merino
baselayers, leggings and pants (all 200 weight).

The HH I use for running and climbing as it isn't warm but apart from cotton, anything half decent is ok up to 1/2M or 2 hours. I am warm enough not to worry with a Salomon Goretex Windproof on top.

For long distance walking I find HH unbearable. It starts to feel cheap after a few hours and I am incredibly aware of the sweat on my body. Merino wool wraps around you and I haven't found Icebreaker to be itchy. When you are pushing hard Nothing gets rid of sweat. Icebreaker is warm with no loss of comfort when wet. It also drys quickly as does the HH.

I also use Smartwool socks fwiw. Do everything you want warm socks to do and they are exceptionally durable. Hope that helps

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