Hiker wearing Cloudline Apparel socks is hiking along a rocky trail on a sunny day.

Should You Wear Merino Wool in the Summer? Yes, and Here’s Why

The sun’s shining, it’s warm outside, and you’re ready to head out for a long summer hike. You pull open your dresser drawers and see some of your favorite merino wool layers you rely on in the winter.

So, what do you do? Do you grab a wool t-shirt and socks for your warm-weather hike? Or do you pack the whole lot away until the winter, opting for a synthetic fabric instead?

There’s a misconception that wool is a winter-only fabric. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth. In fact, merino wool makes some of the best summer clothing — and we’re not just talking about merino wool socks.

Read on to learn what merino wool is, what makes it the perfect summer fabric, and how to care for it and wear it all year long.

What Is Merino Wool?

Close up of two merino sheep standing in the sunshine with mountains in the background

Merino wool is a natural fiber that comes from Merino sheep. These animals live in some pretty extreme conditions across the globe — from frigid alpine temperatures to swelteringly hot weather. Take it from the sheep: This wool can withstand it all.

Merino wool is not the scratchy, sweat-inducing wool of your nightmares. Merino wool is lighter, softer, and thinner than regular wool, making it a much more comfortable and lightweight fabric. Merino wool’s true versatility comes from its ability to wick moisture. Composed of porous fibers, merino wool wicks sweat and moisture away from your skin. So instead of the unpleasant chill of a sweat-soaked shirt, merino wool keeps you cool anddry.

You can find merino wool in all kinds of clothing items. Merino wool socks might be the most obvious use of this fabric — at least, it is to us — but don’t limit the use of this amazing fabric to only your feet. Merino wool t-shirts, tank tops, base layers, sweaters, underwear, and tights should all make their way into your wardrobe.

Why You Should Wear Merino Wool in Summer

Image of a day hiker from behind wearing Cloudline Apparel merino wool socks while hiking up trail stairs in a lush green forest.

Helping you stay warm and dry in frigid temperatures is an obvious reason merino wool is ideal during the winter. But if you’re only wearing your merino wool in the winter, you’re missing out. The amazing reality is, merino wool clothing is one of the best things to wear when recreating outdoors in the summer. Here are just a few reasons why:

  • Merino wool is comfortable: Merino’s thin fibers don’t scratch or itch your skin, but they do make for lightweight, super smooth clothing.
  • Merino wool is breathable: As we mentioned above, merino wool’s porous fibers wick moisture from your skin, keeping you dry even when you sweat.
  • Merino wool dries fast: If you do get your wool wet — on a wet camping trip, for example — it’ll dry quickly and be ready for the next day’s adventure.
  • Merino wool is perfect for travel: Lightweight and wrinkle-resistant, merino wool is ultra-packable, whether you’re throwing it in a suitcase or a hiking backpack.
  • Merino wool is odor-resistant: When summer exercise has you sweating, your merino wool clothes will absorb the odor — meaning you don’t need to wash them after every wear.
  • Merino wool protects you from the sun: Summers are sunny, and who wouldn’t benefit from a little more protection from those rays? Merino wool absorbs radiation and protects you better than lots of other fabrics, like cotton or nylon.
  • Merino wool prevents blisters: If you’ve ever tried to hike with a blister, you know how debilitating they can be. Breathable, moisture-wicking merino wool socks prevent blisters from forming, even on the longest hikes.

As an avid hiker, camper, or outdoor lover, merino wool will make your summer adventure much more comfortable — and a little less stinky.

How to Wear and Care For Your Merino Wool in Summer

Backpacker wearing Cloudline Apparel merino wool socks and shirt is cooking on an ultralight backpacking stove.

Make the most out of your merino wool clothing all summer (and year) long with a few helpful tips.

  • Don’t pack away all your merino wool after the winter: Sure, there are a few items you may not wear in summer weather, but chances are, a lot of your merino favorites are summer-ready, too. Base-layer tees are great to layer on a hike, hoodies are perfect to throw on when you reach a chilly summit, and tights are ideal for evenings at camp.
  • Layer, layer, layer: If you’ve spent enough time outside (or read a handful of our blog posts), you know how effective layering is for staying comfortable outside. Though summer weather isn’t as cold, layers are still key. Merino wool’s breathability makes it perfect to wear under a windbreaker or rain jacket — but it’s great on its own, too. Since merino dries quickly, you can layer on top of it without worrying about trapping any dampness close to your skin.
  • Wash your merino wool inside out — but not too often: Washing your favorite merino wool clothes is simple. Just wash them inside out to prevent pilling and dry them on low (or line-dry). But you don’t want or need to wash them too often. Due to its natural odor resistance, you can wear merino wool several times between washes. Check tags for specific instructions.
  • Let it breathe: One of the best things about merino wool is how low-maintenance it is. Rather than washing, folding, or ironing it, simply letting it hang to air out between uses usually does the trick. Doing so allows the fibers to rest, lets the wrinkles release, and usually takes care of any pesky odors.

There isn’t a whole lot you need to know to wear and care for your merino wool — it’s a pretty easygoing fabric. If you haven’t already, you’ll soon see for yourself how versatile and comfortable it is.

Summer Adventures Start With Merino Wool Socks

Close up of camper with feet up on log showing off their merino wool Cloudline Apparel socks.

Merino wool fabric makes some of the best outdoor clothing — from head to toe. But if you’re new to merino and are wondering where to start, we suggest kicking things off with a pair of merino wool socks.

Whether you’re a hiker, a runner, a hardcore backpacker, or a casual road tripper, we have the merino wool socks for the job. As we like to say at Cloudline, every adventure starts with your feet. So say goodbye to blisters, and say hello to the comfort of merino wool socks — all year long.

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