We first wrote about Patagonia’s new Merino Air baselayers when announced at Outdoor Retailer last winter. Well, the time has finally come for these covetable pieces to hit the market. To create the innovative garments, Patagonia took merino wool and blended it with recycled Capilene polyester in a unique knit construction that delivers warmth, breathability, and high performance for those high-intensity outdoor activities in cold environments.
For sourcing the wool, Patagonia turned to the grasslands of southern Argentina where the sheep are sustainably raised and grazed in a way that promotes the growth of grass and helps to reverse the desertification of the grasslands, while producing 18.9 micron merino wool of the finest quality in the process. The wool is treated using an innovative spinning technology that makes individual fibers more bulky and soft, creating a yarn with greater loft and insulation value, ounce per ounce, than that of conventionally spun wool–no chlorine is used in the process.
This wool is spun together with 100%-recycled Capilene fibers in a way that adds further loft and then fed into a computerized 3D knitting machine where it comes out directly as a one piece seamless garment (read: no chaffing points) leaving minimal fabric waste. The resulting 190 gram weight fabric with zig-zag pattern of the finished Merino Air piece creates an uneven surface that allows for greater air flow. Combined with the heat-trapping ability of the lofted yarn, exceptional warmth and breathability is achieved, in a lightweight, warm and packable Merino baselayer.
The baselayers fit closer than your normal styles, stretch with your body, and while you get the wicking properties and quick drying time of Capilene, you also get the antimicrobial and warmth-when-wet benefits of wool.