Please Pull The Wool Over Our Eyes (if it’s merino)!
The idea for XTM Merino came out of a brainstorming session in a small Sydney Cafe by three influential figures within the Australian snow scene, life time owner Pete “Fozza” Forras, NSW’s snowy cowboy Gary “X” Rae and the salmon of knowledge Bill “the Uncle” Dalton.
XTM Merino are now the Official Supplier of Gloves, Socks, Bags, Base Layers and Apres Boots for the Australian Olympic team. The name XTM is an abbreviation for the term “cross the mountain” or “X-The Mountain”.
We may be biased when it comes to merino, why? Because we adore merino wool products and have worked with some of the best merino brands in Australia and experienced first hand the benefits of this wonder-fabric. We’ve tested merino in the past and have always been amazed at how hard this fabric works to keep you comfortable all day and night long.
Well, XTM Merino is a top quality merino brand and both the long and short sleeve tops we tested sit in the ‘fine’ micron category, which is super-soft, itch free and naturally flexible. The quality of the construction is top notch with flat lock seams and a perfect body hugging fit.
The XTM merino long and short jerseys sit in the ‘Fine Merino” micron category and due to only being 170gm in weight, they are super-light. Merino wool is highly breathable because the individual fibers can absorb up to 30% of their own weight in moisture, wicking moisture away from the body so the wearer stays dry and comfortable regardless of the temperature.
Another big plus for Merino products is the ability to go longer without those hideous aromas you often get with synthetic garments, because merino wool has natural anti-microbial properties. There’s no need to wash merino that often either, which means less detergents which is better for the planet. Simply hang it up to dry after your activity and as the Beatles once sang, ‘let it be’. You’ll get more than one day’s wear out of it, easily.
- FABRIC: 95% Australian Merino / 5% Elastane
- WEIGHT: 170g/m 19 microns
- Flat lock seams
- Non itch
- Odour Resistant
- UPF 50+
- Logo printing
Merino Wool Benefits
- Feels soft like cotton
- Excellent heat regulating properties
- Insulates when wet
- Doesn’t feel clammy
- Excellent odour resistance
- Body hugging fit
- Dries quickly
Out On The Trails
The superfine thread and natural silky softness of merino feels fantastic out on the trails. The slight elasticity (5% Elastane) in the fabric provides just the right amount of stretch and moves freely with your body.
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. It’s a bit of a wonder fabric really.
If you get caught out in the rain, don’t worry too much because wool quickly matches your body temperature so even wearing it wet is not a problem, unlike synthetic garments, it becomes a warm wet top rather than a cold wet top.
The only downside to merino tops can be their durability. Because of their fine fabric, you certainly need to look after them a little better. This comes down to the correct washing methods and planning when to use them, i,e if you know you’ll be bush bashing through thick scrub, then perhaps leave the merino home that day.
For most hiking and mountain biking however, this isn’t a problem. Even more so with mountain biking as we tend to ride on established trails and there’s no need to bash through the bush. Unless we’re crashing of course.
Where to Buy / Price?
You can purchase the long or short sleeve jersey from the XTM Merino website, along with a huge range of their other merino products.
Here’s some helpful information about caring for your merino garment.
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.