Mountain and ocean landscape

Merino 150: Staff Picks

 

 

Here at Smartwool, it’s a common occurrence to run into co-workers on the trail, slopes or water to discover they are sporting the same Merino hoody, tank or tee that you have on. We wouldn’t be able to get behind a product if we didn’t wear it and love it ourselves. These unintentional twin days reinforce that spontaneous, fun, lighthearted experiences are not only something we spread, but something we share.

As we inch into spring and temperatures slowly rise, Smartwool staffers reach in their closets for Merino 150. Perfect as a stand-alone piece or part of a Merino layering system, this lightweight performance fabric provides year-round comfort—whether you’re casting a line in the Outer Banks or setting up your camping tent in Moab.

Merino helps regulate body temperature, helping you stay cool in warm weather and warm in cold weather. It manages moisture when you’re breaking a sweat and resists odor to help keep you feeling fresh. With our Merino 150 collection, we’ve taken Merino and spun it around a nylon thread (Core Spun Technology), providing maximum Merino next to skin benefits and allowing each piece to move and stretch with you—wherever you journey.

 

 

A few fellow staffers share their go-to Merino 150 picks and how these favorites enable them to do what they love.

 

 


Jon, Financial Analyst

Hiking the Zirkel Circle Trail in the Mt. Zirkel Wilderness, CO

Jon hiking in Zirkel Wilderness

 

I enjoy hiking because it’s an activity that gets my heart pumping and is flexible enough to do any weekend and during any type of weather. Whether it’s a day trip, weekend adventure, or thru-hike, there’s a version that can fit my schedule. I also enjoy the goal-oriented aspect of the activity. The ability to accomplish something while being active is really appealing to me.

Favorite hiking trail:

The Narrows in Zion National Park. I rented waterproof hiking boots, pants and a hiking stick and explored the Virgin River there in Utah. The water was at its highest point of the season so at times I had to swim to get through sections. It’s a challenging hike as you need to fight the current of the river while crisscrossing from bank to bank.

 

What do you love about Merino 150?

I love its versatility, breathability, and how it dries very quickly. It can be worn several times without washing.

Why is Merino 150 the perfect fit for hiking?

You are able to save space and weight by bringing less clothing. It breathes well which is important for regulating your body temperature. It’s very versatile and can be worn alone or as a layer if the weather turns.

What’s your favorite Merino 150 piece?

The Men’s Merino 150 Micro Stripe Long Sleeve, because the sleeves can be worn up to stay cool or pulled down to provide warmth and sun cover.


Denise, Marketing Director

Mountain Biking on Mt. Emerald in Steamboat Springs, CO

 

I mountain bike because it makes me smile—even when I’m climbing up a leg-burning, lung-crushing hill, there’s this incredible reward of the descent that follows. The fresh air and spectacular views sure beat the lack-luster pedaling of a stationary bike.

Favorite mountain biking trail:

The 401 in Crested Butte, CO. It provides some of the most dramatic mountain views as it winds along high alpine lakes, weaves through dense aspen forests and passes wildflowers up to your ears.

Denise riding her mountain bike

 

What do you love about Merino 150?

I love Merino 150 because I can sweat my butt off in it and it’s still comfortable. Best part, my clothes don’t stink!

Why is Merino 150 the perfect fit for mountain biking?

Merino 150 is great for mountain biking because of the fit. The moisture management and sun protection are key for aerobic activities in the warm sun.

What’s your favorite Merino 150 piece?

My favorite piece when it’s hot is the Merino 150 Base Layer Short Sleeve and in fall when it’s cool, the hoody is the best!


Billy, Sales Forecasting and Analytics Manager

Outdoor Exploration in Madeira, a Portuguese archipelago of four islands

Billy trail running

 

I’m inspired by mountains. Whether it is backcountry skiing, mountain biking or trail running, I use the most practical means to get on top of peaks or immersed in dramatic mountain landscapes. Madeira is a hike, trail run, and mountain bike adventure paradise. In addition to some great coastal trails, there is a system of irrigation channels, forming a web throughout the island—many with an adjacent trail—covering 1,350 miles. On top of that, there is a trail system through the central peaks of the island offering gut-wrenching exposure and breathtaking views (think Zion National Park meets Kauai).

Favorite place for outdoor exploration:

Colorado’s San Juan Mountains and British Columbia

 

What do you love about Merino 150?

I love the weight, feel and minimalist design. It feels as light as the most delicate synthetics, but has the cooling and odor fighting qualities of Merino. Additionally, with fewer panels and minimal seams, there is less concern with chafing when wearing a hydration pack.

Why is Merino 150 the perfect fit for outdoor exploration?

It looks good and works well from a lifestyle and performance perspective. I can wear a Merino 150 T-shirt around town with a pair of jeans for a more refined look, but also gear up in the same shirt when toeing the line at the Leadville 100.

What’s your favorite Merino 150 piece?

The Merino 150 Tee is my go-to, but the Merino 150 Boxer Briefs cannot be overlooked!


Andi, Product Line Manager

Stand Up Paddle Boarding in Marble, CO

 

My husband and I love any activity where we can include our dogs, and paddle boarding is perfect for our family. I have one dog that loves to hang out on the paddle board while we roam around the lake, and another that swims alongside us chasing after a ball. Paddle boarding is awesome because you can make it a challenging workout, or you can simply relax and get a tan on the water—it’s a win-win no matter what you’re in the mood for!

Favorite place to stand up paddle board:

Marble. It’s a small Colorado town with a beautiful lake surrounded by mountain views.

Andi and dogs paddle boarding

 

What do you love about Merino 150?

It’s become a staple for me year-round. I find myself throwing it in my bag regardless of the adventure we set out for that weekend. It’s light enough to wear when it’s warm out, and a perfect layering piece for colder weather.

Why is Merino 150 the perfect fit for paddle boarding?

When I paddle board, I’m usually out there for a few hours so I like to wear my Merino 150 Base Layer Micro Stripe Tank for a little sun protection while still having something that’s breathable and comfortable.

What’s your favorite Merino 150 piece?

I’ve done everything from running through the neighborhoods in Madrid, to shopping the souks in Morocco, to trail running in Breckenridge, CO in my Merino 150 Base Layer Long Sleeve. It’s by far my favorite, because of its versatility.


Alicia, Art Director

Travel in Chattanooga, TN

Alicia standing in front of a rock wall

 

Chattanooga is a really dynamic place—it’s where our Smartwool sock development office is located! It’s got rich southern history, a thriving arts and cultural scene, super lush flora and fauna, and a really robust community of folks that love to be active in the outdoors. We visited in August when temperatures were in the high nineties and humidity was at its peak. It was hot just walking around, yet we were stoked to see the amount of people playing outside, from running along the riverfront to rock climbing outdoor gyms and rock walls.

Favorite place to travel:

There are too many! Traveling gives you a break from your habits, an escape from your routine, and an insight into different ways of living. You get to meet new folks you might never expect to interact with, exchange stories, find common ground and learn new perspectives. In a way, it lets you experience the world a little deeper.

 

What do you love about Merino 150?

There are two things that I wouldn’t have survived the southern heat without: sunscreen and my Merino 150. I love the lightness and loftiness of the 150—it’s incredibly comfortable, airy, and soft—perfect for long days in the sun and spontaneous adventures. And bonus, it comes in all sorts of styles, patterns, and silhouettes so I can mix and match easily without having to compromise my personal style.

Why is Merino 150 the perfect fit for travel?

Most folks don’t realize the warm weather benefits of Merino since wool is often thought of as a cold-weather solution. It’s really this magical fiber that helps temperature regulates in both hot and cold climates. When your skin starts to warm, Merino actually helps pull that heat off your skin before you even start to sweat and get clammy. For traveling and moving around, it means you’ll be both looking and feeling fresh, whatever you might find yourself getting into.

What’s your favorite Merino 150 piece?

The tanks. They’re light and breezy, non-restricting, come in sweet colorways, and roll-up pretty tight so they barely take up any room in my bag. They’re pretty much all I wear in the summer. They look great layered underneath sweaters and pull-overs when the sun sets, and it starts to cool down.