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Wool companies - how to they compare?

Old 03-16-08, 08:47 PM
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Wool companies - how to they compare?

I've been looking at wool clothing for our upcoming journey and have found three companies that look like they make great clothes - Joneswares, Ibex, and Icebreakers. Is any one of them better than the other? Or are they all pretty equal?
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Old 03-16-08, 09:07 PM
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I have been using merino wool tops and tights for over thirty years. The recent re-discovery of merino wool has amused me no end.

I have had good luck with Smartwool, Icebreaker, Ibex and Patagonia. They provide a wide temperature and comfort range and ease of washing and drying on tour, at least the lightest weight ones. Provided good sun protection also in long sleeve.

Compared to all the synthetics that I tried there is no instant body odor problem with merino wool even after several days or more. Durability has been excellent. The oldest piece of the new breed of top I bought in 2002 and it has a few holes but survived the Divide Ride and these years since with often daily use.

Good luck in your equipment hunt and on your trip.
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Old 03-16-08, 09:31 PM
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Thanks! I love wool - always have. That being said, I've never tried the nice merino wool clothing but have heard wonderful things about it. I think I'm going to get at least one wool top for this trip and perhaps more.
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Old 03-16-08, 10:06 PM
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thanks for posting this question, nancy_sv.

I'm still looking for a pair of wool tights. I have very old pair of performance wool tights, but they shrunk and now too short. Anything similar out there--if so, who makes them? The old performance tights were knitted, not woven.

I've seen several tights that are combination materials. I want a simple, 100% wool (a little acrylic ok) tight.
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Old 03-16-08, 10:25 PM
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Originally Posted by arctos
I have been using merino wool tops and tights for over thirty years. The recent re-discovery of merino wool has amused me no end.
Heh. I'm a knitter and I broke into truly undignified peals of laughter in a hiking shop when the clerk started in about the "new wonder fiber, merino SmartWool!".
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Old 03-17-08, 12:13 AM
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Smartwool +1

Merino is great but some Merino is better than others
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Old 03-17-08, 12:17 AM
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Have you had a look at your local thrift shop? I got two merino wool tops at mine last year for $5 each. I've also picked up several of my light nylon/wicking tops from my local thrift shop, for warmer days.
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Old 03-17-08, 12:48 AM
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Also, have you tried Ground Effect in New Zealand? After all, a company that uses the stuff grown in its own country and offering its apparel at highly competitive pricing must be considered.

Try this: https://www.groundeffect.co.nz/products-MER.htm
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Old 03-17-08, 01:10 AM
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Also wash it with Kookaburra, Eucalan/Lavalen, or some other quality woolwash. Woolite is not recommended since it may tend to wash away the lanolin while a good woolwash will replenish it.
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Old 03-17-08, 02:43 AM
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The $20 Terramar Thermawool Merino Wool Zip Mock from Campmor is just as good as my Smartwool zip-t that I got for $70 and my Patagonia zip t that I got for $80 (on sale).
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Old 03-17-08, 02:47 AM
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what base layers are people using who are on the tall side? I find that some base layers will fit fine but are too short in the arms.. I am 6'3 with longer arms, anyone have any options.. I have been looking at the woolistic base layers but they don't return phone calls or emails.. I have left 2 messages and 3 emails.

I don't mind spending $$$ on nice stuff but it would be nice if they answered an email..

I also emailed Boure clothing and they replied to all the questions I had and even said if they did not fit I could easily send them back..
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Old 03-17-08, 03:31 AM
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I've had good luck with Smartwool and Kucharik. Ibex makes very comfortable, good looking wool stuff but some of it is a little delicate. I haven't tried Patgonia's wool clothing but I've tried a lot of their synthetic and organic cotton stuff and been very happy with it.
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Old 03-17-08, 06:26 AM
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Thanks everyone! I'll be checking these all out in the days to come.
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Old 03-17-08, 10:10 AM
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I like the fact that Ibex makes a lot of their stuff in the U.S.A. This may be why they are a little pricier than the competition, but they have sales on their website all the time.
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Old 03-17-08, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by FlowerBlossom
thanks for posting this question, nancy_sv.

I'm still looking for a pair of wool tights. I have very old pair of performance wool tights, but they shrunk and now too short. Anything similar out there--if so, who makes them? The old performance tights were knitted, not woven.

I've seen several tights that are combination materials. I want a simple, 100% wool (a little acrylic ok) tight.
I wear smartwool long underwear bottoms. I don't think they're knitted. Don't think they have any acrylic.
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Old 03-17-08, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by twodeadpoets
The $20 Terramar Thermawool Merino Wool Zip Mock from Campmor is just as good as my Smartwool zip-t that I got for $70 and my Patagonia zip t that I got for $80 (on sale).

Cool. Any guess on the thickness of smartwool that it is similar to? Lightweight, medium?
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Old 03-17-08, 12:28 PM
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I have Icebreaker and Smartwool stuff. I have more Icebreaker stuff on the way. I will never again wear anything but Merino. AWESOME STUFF!
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Old 03-17-08, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by FlowerBlossom
thanks for posting this question, nancy_sv.

I'm still looking for a pair of wool tights. I have very old pair of performance wool tights, but they shrunk and now too short. Anything similar out there--if so, who makes them? The old performance tights were knitted, not woven.

I've seen several tights that are combination materials. I want a simple, 100% wool (a little acrylic ok) tight.
When wool tights become too short use them as knickers! They still provide knee protection and warmth.
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Old 03-17-08, 02:49 PM
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arctos---great idea.


I should have thought of that.
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Old 03-17-08, 07:13 PM
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There is also a similar thread going on CGOAB which might provide a few more options for you:
https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/forum...age=1&nested=0

About the only option that I don't see mentioned between the two threads is that Rivbike also sells them. I wear their Ts and sleeveless Ts and they are great.

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Old 03-17-08, 07:24 PM
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OK - you guys have convinced me to get some wool clothing. Now I just have to figure out what to get...
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Old 03-17-08, 07:27 PM
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I have some Ibex Energy tights....awesome...wore them all winter pedicabing in NYC
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Old 03-17-08, 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by twodeadpoets
The $20 Terramar Thermawool Merino Wool Zip Mock from Campmor is just as good as my Smartwool zip-t that I got for $70 and my Patagonia zip t that I got for $80 (on sale).
I bought one of the terramars, at 20.00 how can you go wrong..
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Old 03-17-08, 10:50 PM
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I picked one up too.

And, I'll check out those Ibex. Maybe they'll be on sale, this time of year...one can hope.
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Old 03-17-08, 11:08 PM
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Originally Posted by HardyWeinberg
Cool. Any guess on the thickness of smartwool that it is similar to? Lightweight, medium?
All of my wool shirts (Smartwool, Thermawool, and Patagonia) are the same lightweight wool. I wear them in wet 5c weather with a Marmot Driclime jacket and I am plenty warm.
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