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I think I'm in love with...

Merino wool!!!! ;) Especially the Icebreaker cami top!! I ordered from Amazon and took this top on my recent cruise to 'test it out'. I honestly wore it everyday under a top, and slept in it - and it kept me cool and comfy, no itching & NO odor!!! I am super impressed! Came home and ordered a second one. I bet two will be perfect for our 17 days in Europe next month.

I bought my husband 2 Icebreaker t-shirts that were 50% off so he can try them out.

Now to find some socks!! ;)

Me too! I bought a Smartwool cami the day before leaving for my month-long trip to Europe. I've worn it every day I've been here. Even swam in it one day (since I didn't bring my swimsuit)! It's comfortable, it never smells, it's super easy to wash, and it dries quickly. I'm sold on merino wool!

Posted by
9692 posts

I haven't tried the camis but now maybe I will! I love the smartwool socks both crew an micro crews. Wear them winter and summer!

My brother likes the icebreaker Tees but did find them a bit hot in Italy and during a very hot period in Ireland last June. He does like that they don't hold odor. His wife and I appreciate that aspect as well, lolol!!

I have been shocked at how non-itchy the merino wool is. I am allergic to regular wool but can wear the merino with no problem. Have a couple of long sleeve base layers for winter that worked well.

Posted by
13063 posts

Another convert here---and I have convinced my husband to wear it too. He loves his merino tees. I buy Icebreaker at a deep discount on backcountry.com or Sierra Trading Post. Patagonia makes nice merino tees as well, although the lightest ( silk weight) are too thin. The icebreaker Techlite t-shirts with short sleeves are perfect for summer--not too hot.

I have never had a blister since I switched to Merino socks for hiking and for my running shoes. Both Smartwool and icebreaker make good ones. The Smartwool PhD socks are thin enough for summer wear in sneakers.

Posted by
9 posts

I absolutely love my DRYMAX socks. Even more than smartwool for me. My feet get hot (and sweaty) in summer if I can't wear sandals, especially in my Clarks walking shoes (that I love otherwise). So I tried smartwool PhD socks and they were OK, but my feet were still damp and I'm concerned about blisters. Drymax are the most comfortable socks I've found.

I too am itchy in virtually all wool, even the merino I have tried, but I will try the Icebreaker came you recommend. Thanks for the tip.

Posted by
193 posts

Hi Ray - no REI stores in my area (never heard of it - is it a membership store like Sam's or Costco?). We have a Sam's Club, Gander Mountain, Cabela's, Sports Authority, etc. but I love the convenience of Amazon :). I'll look for the website though!

PamL - I would recommend the Icebreaker Siren Cami - it is the softest thing I've ever worn!! My second cami is the Icebreaker Everyday Cami and is not quite as soft. Not itchy, but I can tell the difference.

Posted by
597 posts

We love Merino too. Try Sierra Trading Post . . . we find it cheaper than Amazon lots of times. They have icebreaker, smartwool, and occasionally ibex.

Posted by
13063 posts

Thanks for the details. I just got the last XS Siren cami in blue for $29.99 on Amazon Prime.

Posted by
62 posts

Just checked out Sierra Trading Post and saw some great clearance prices on a few things I want. Thank you!

Love the idea of cool & comfy, and NO odor! Perfect travel clothes! (REI has their anniversary sale starting tomorrow, but their prices are a bit higher than Sierra usually, I found)

Posted by
1217 posts

Alas, even merino wool sets off my skin allergies. I've done many a trying on of a garment, felt the itch, and checked the tag to discover they had to go and put even 10% merino into an otherwise lovely sweater or dress.

The Clymb and Left Lane Sports are also good 'outlet' web sites, and I've had a number of excellent purchases from both. (Just note that The Clymb is returns for store credit only). I've seen Icebreaker there lately as well.

Posted by
63 posts

I have merino wool skirts, short sleeved shirts, long sleeved, several pair of socks, a few pants and one jacket in 100% merino wool. Some of these are from Icebreaker and some from Ibex. The socks are from various. I wear merino wool year round. I live in middle Tennessee where it gets hot and humid in especially in July and August, but the skirts and short-sleeve shirts keep me cool. They look good enough to wear to my office in downtown Nashville. They also pack well--at least if you roll them. They would probably also do well if you bundle pack.

Posted by
6627 posts

advocatecare there is an REI store in Overland Park - I think its 135th Street.

Posted by
14898 posts

I really like R.E.I. but I've often found better prices for similar products on Amazon. Since R.E.I. is a specialty store, it's a good place (online or brick/mortar) to start looking for travel gear. I love going into their stores more than online shopping.

Posted by
193 posts

Thanks, Stan - I just saw that when I searched for their locations. If KC has one, it means we probably won't get one in Wichita for 4-5 years ;). But I'll be in KC in two weeks so I will have to make a stop there!!

Posted by
9692 posts

I will chime in regarding shopping at REI. They usually have sales folk that actually wear the gear they sell. I had posted above that I really liked the merino wool socks but didn't post that it was the REI sales gal who finally got me to try them. My brother had been extolling the virtues (but really, who actually believe a younger brother??? Even when you are both in your 60's, lol) but I was looking at them in REI and the sales person was talking about them when I said I wasn't sure because I had wool allergies. She then took me down the rack of socks pointing to which brands felt itchy when she wore them and which ones were OK. I did not feel like she was making this up for a sale as they do not get commission, but was telling me her experience. I went for the Smartwool PhD's and have been very happy.

SO, the point is that if you have questions about a product from wool socks to the crinkly factor in a waterproof jacket, the REI sales people can often help you ferret out the finer points of a product.

REI also stands behind their products, having had them take back a pair of 5-yr-old XC skis that delaminated. They were able to look up what I paid for them in my file and gave me a complete refund. I was shocked. I expected perhaps a hundred off on another pair of skis, not the whole purchase price as I had gotten a few good years out of them.

My word, this sounds like I work for REI and I do not! Just a satisfied customer even tho the closest store is 90 miles away.