We’re Feeling Superfine, are you?
Merino has been growing in popularity over the past few years and we see it more and more on the trails, be it hiking, running or even mountain biking. I’ve had the pleasure to test some merino products in the past, so when BLUEY Merino got in touch and asked if we could test their Perform160 T-Shirt…I jumped like a lamb at the chance.
This test took us on the famous Larapinta trail. The trail is an extended walking track in the Northern Territory, Australia. The trip itself, without any side detours, is 223kms kilometres (139 mi) and took us 13 days to complete. This was a trip we had been looking forward to for a long time and gave us a great opportunity to put the BLUEY product through it’s paces.
Ethical, Sustainable and Traceable
We really like what BLUEY are all about. They stay true to their business ethos of providing customers with transparency through their ethical, sustainable and traceable processes. In times of cheap products that cause no end of pollution due to brands opting for cheaper manufacturing processes, it’s a relief to find a brand that cares about such things.
Yes, it may cost slightly more than the cheaper version, but what you get in return is a product that has been designed and manufactured with total control over the entire process. What does this mean? It means from the growing on the farm, to the manufacturing processes to the packaging and finally on to the shelves, it is controlled and monitored every single step of the way. Essentially, from the paddock to your back!
Getting It Right
Choosing the right hiking gear for any extended trip needs to be carefully considered. I’m no authority on what works for you over other brands but I can only speak from my own experience. You need to think long and hard about what is really necessary versus what is a nice to have, whilst always being mindful of the weight. Having a heavy pack turns extended trips into a torture walk rather than something enjoyable. So choosing the right gear for the job is crucial. For this test it was the Perform160.
The Perform160 is my go to choice these days, although I have a lot of other performance tops in the wardrobe, none of them have seen the light of day due to grabbing my Perform160 every time I go for an adventure. I don’t have to think about it because I know it’s an incredibly adaptable piece of kit and it’s got my back…literally.
Will it be too hot, too cold…it really doesn’t seem to matter as the Perform160 seems to handle it all.
Great Fit & Feel
BLUEY say they are “committed to delivering insanely comfortable 100% Australian Merino Clothing” and we’d have to agree with that statement. The superfine merino wool does feel “insanely comfortable” next to the skin.
The Perform160 has an athletic fit, so in normal speak, it’s body hugging and it feels great! It’s so good in fact, that the moment you slip it on it makes you feel like a sleek adventure seeking hero! OK, a little over zealous perhaps, but you’ll see what I mean when you put one on for yourself.
After 13 days of consecutive wear, non-stop heavy pack hauling, sweating profusely and absorbing up pounds of red dust, the Perform160 performed admirably, only showing very minor signs of wear. This was across the lower back where my pack had been rubbing pretty much continuously for the entire trip, as packs tend to do.
When we came upon creeks or pools, I washed the top and hung it up to dry. It dries pretty quick and is actually even better when you put it back on semi dry as the natural wicking process kicks in with your body heat and starts to dry even quicker. On hot days, this was actually a really nice thing to do. The feeling of wet wool is actually quite nice, compared to a wet synthetic top.
The wool very quickly matches your body temperature so wearing it wet is not a problem. It becomes a warm wet top rather than a cold wet top like synthetic garments can be, which are slow to heat up with body temperature, leaving you colder for longer.
The natural ability of merino wool works in perfect harmony with your body temperature. It regulates your heat throughout the day. Keeping you cool when it’s hot and warm when it’s cool.
Sans Aroma De Bushwalker
Another big plus for Merino products, is the ability to go longer without those hideous aromas following you around. No more will you need to apologise for the Eau De Bushwalker and no more will those unfortunate ones behind you have to hold their noses.
The Perform160 was so adaptable, that it was my main layer throughout the 13 days. In the mornings and late afternoon as the sun dipped over the horizon, it was very cold (below zero) so all I would need was my down jacket. The quality of the merino wool to retain heat is quite remarkable. During the day it didn’t get much above the mid 20’s as this was Winter (the best time to do the trip) but you certainly worked up a sweat on some of the steeper, longer climbs which were physically demanding under the mid day sun.
At the top of particular long climbs, the top would be soaked with sweat, but after dropping the pack and standing in the sun and wind for a few minutes, you start to feel it doing it’s magic drying trick. The beauty of merino wool is it’s ability to wick sweat from the body remarkably well by absorbing the sweat from the surface of the skin, then pulling it through the material to the outside of the garment where it begins to evaporate extremely quickly via the elements (sun and wind).
We really like the ethical, sustainable and traceable ethos that BLUEY adopt in their manufacturing processes. Knowing that you are purchasing something that has been cared for from paddock to shelf has a certain comfort in it. BLUEY certainly adopt the quality over quantity approach and you can see this in the details of the garment and their brand image and message. You will also be buying an Australian product with a strong story to tell. Being part of that story really resonated with us.
So..if you’re planning your next adventure and are looking for a new do it all top, then the BLUEY Perform160 won’t let you down. At the end of the day, it is a Super Fine Merino product, and an item of this quality deserves some tender loving care. Look after it and it will reward you with it’s super fine personality ten times over.
We’ll have a full Mountain Bike test of the Perform160 coming up in the very near future. So be sure to come back for that one.
Merino Wool Benefits
- Feels soft like cotton
- Excellent heat regulating properties
- Insulates when wet
- Doesn’t feel clammy
- Excellent odour resistance
- Body hugging fit
- There’s more…
– 100% Australian Superfine Merino
– Designed and Made in Australia
– Fibre traceable to source
– Machine Washable for easy care
– Crewe neck
– Supersoft 18.3 micron fibre
– Weight 160gsm
– Single Jersey Knit
Author: Jason Lorch
Born and grew up in Wales but now a fully fledged Aussie. A passionate mountain biker, hiker and general nature addict. I’m also a bit of a muso and enjoy a good craft beer every now and again (probably too often).
I hope what we do here at Tyres and Soles will inspire people to get out there and experience first hand, the natural wonders that surround them.
So, pump up those tyres, don your favourite boots. Grab a mate, a partner, a pet… and head out into nature. But tell us all about it when you get back.
Chief editor at Tyres and Soles.