New Zealand Merino Wool

DzlToy

Explorer
Good Evening Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to share with you a most excellent experience. I recently ordered a half dozen items from two companies in NZ, Ecowool and Swazi. Both provided excellent customer service, pricing and communication and the products are just fantastic, especially the Swazi items.

Further, I benefited from the USD/NZD exchange rate and picked up over $600 NZD worth of gear for around $450 including free shipping on some items.

From Swazi, I order their 4WD pants and Molesworth Jacket. Both are VERY warm, even in the 20*F weather we have been having recently. I plan to use them as an outer layer or mid layer, depending on weather conditions, mostly for camping, hiking and backpacking. The jacket is very smart and could easily be worn with business casual clothes. Construction is top notch and while these items are certainly not "cheap" from a pricing standpoint, quality items never are. I have chosen to "invest" in quality gear and clothing and ditch all of the miscellaneous bits and bobs I have knocking around.

When I received the shipment from Swazi, the bag had been opened, I presumed by US Customs. It turns out, however, that someone helped themselves to my Merino gloves and resealed the bag with something other than US Customs tape. Swazi were excellent and shipped out a second pair of gloves the next day, despite the fact that it was no fault of theirs the gloves went missing.

From Ecowool, I ordered my base layers (long underwear, long and short sleeve shirts) and a Merino and Possum beanie hat. The package was well sealed and items were wrapped in tissue with a retail type packaging underneath. One of the shirts had a few small holes that could only be seen after donning the garment. I took a picture and emailed Ecowool. They replied immediately, sent out a replacement the next day, apologised and stated no need to return the damaged items.

Excellent products and service all around, from a company half way 'round the world no less. I make a concerted effort to purchase from small businesses in the US, Japan, Scandinavia and Commonwealth Nations and and it certainly paid off this time.

I will try to get some photos up, but all of the garments are black in colour, so I am unsure how they will photograph.

Cheers

PS: for those who are unaware, Merino wool is one of nature's finest materials for clothing. Open your favourite browser and get to reading.
 

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jeep-N-montero

Expedition Leader
I have a couple Merino undershirts/long johns and also a Merino lined sleeping bag and can't imagine life any other way when camping.
 

Titan_Bow

New member
I spend alot of time in the high country here in Colorado. Merino wool is my favorite fabric. It has an incredible comfort range for temperature, not only keeping you warm in cool weather but it can feel cool in warm weather. Merino wool has a strange ability to not smell LOL. As a hunter, this is a big benefit too. I can hunt hard for days, and not smell like a locker room. If it gets wet, it still insulates, and it dries quickly. A good layering system made up primarily of merino wool base, sweater, merino pants, a good down puffy, and finally a waterproof layer, is sufficient for almost any environment. Look at First Lite for some awesome pants. Also, check Sportsmans Guide or Backcountry and just search for Merino Wool. You can usually pick up some great deals from Icebreaker and SmartWool there.
 

fiddypal

Adventurer
I am fully addicted to merino, it's got to be the best clothing fabric ever made!

Pros:
- never smells! Seriously! You can wear the same socks and shirt for a week straight and while you might smell, your clothes will not
- cool in the heat, warm in the cold
- works when soaking wet unlike cotton
- super fast drying times compared to cotton
- so soft and comfortable

Cons:
- price (about $60+ for t shirt and $20 for socks)
- fragile compared to cotton if you get super light weight material (comes in all different weights)

Socks - various heights and weights of 'Darn Tough' socks. Lifetime warranty if you wear them out or get a hole, send them in for a brand new pair! About 15-20$ per pair but once you try them you will replace all your old cotton socks without hesitation.

Shirts - I only have experience with T shirts from a few brands. Icebreakers is my least favorite, developed small holes within a couple weeks of ownership and I babied the thing and only wore it around the house, used woolite on gentle cycle and hang to dry, and stored in a cedar box with chips to keep bugs away. The other two brands I own and can speak very highly of are 'woolly' and 'minus 33'. Both of these seem to be a much heavier weight material than the ice breakers version and have withstood a fair amount of outdoor activity without any damage. The cut of the minus 33 is great if you have an athletic build, nice and form fitting but not super tight like an underarmour spandex type shirt. Woolly is closer to a standard t shirt cut and very well fitting.

Just be warned..... you will want to replace all your clothing with merino after you try it!
 

verdesard0g

Search and Rescue first responder
I bought 10 pair of heavy merino wool socks from NZ about 10 years age, most are still going strong, only a couple have holes in the heels now. Best money I ever spent. (I wear two pair of wool socks year round. Never any blisters even with new boots! And helps keep my feet comfortable in this intense desert heat of central Arizona)
 
I like tropical weight wool shirts. My originals were issued by Uncle Sam (USMC) and were great. I now like light weight Pendleton shirts.

All that said, the NZ merino from Ecowool and Swazi sounds worth investigating. Thanks for sharing!
 
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