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Top merino wool t-shirts in 2018

Updated January 2018

Why do people love Merino wool t-shirts SOO much (even though the sticker price can make you wince)?

Well, it has a lot to do with experiences like this:

The best t-shirts I have. I wore the same shirt everyday for about 20 days while I travelled in Alaska (mainly by car), hiked in the Utah desert and rafted down the Green river. It kept me warm when I was cold, cool when I was hot and really didn’t smell at any point.

In a hurry? Here’s the quick overview of the t-shirts I recommend:

Icebreaker Tech LiteMinus33 Merino Wool Men's Algonquin

Icebreaker Merino Tech Lite T-Shirt

Minus33 Merino Wool Men's Algonquin

87% Merino Wool100% merino wool
This is my personal "Go To" T-shirt. I've had various different versions of it down through the years. The fact that it is mixed with Nylon makes it a bit more resistant than most merino wool t-shirts. Exists in a wide range of plain colours or graphics.The fit is tight to the body, while wide and long on the arm. However, it is one of the few remaining 100% merino wool t-shirts at a very reasonable price which makes it a very popular pick.
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My wife is an avid minimalist traveller who swears by packing merino wool, so she gave me these three recommendations for women, and you will find the best merino wool tank tops here.

Icebreaker Merino Women's Tech Lite Short Sleeve CreweWoolx Women's Merino Wool Tee

WOMEN'S TECH LITE SHORT SLEEVE CREWE

Woolx Women's Merino Wool Tee

87% Merino Wool, 13% Nylon corespun100% Merino wool
What Caro says: A tight fit with a flattering neck line. With this t-shirt, you can't go wrong: it is a recognised brand in merino land known to have high quality clothing. Very lightweight. It exists in many colours.Generally cheaper than Icebreaker, Woolx is an excellent budget alternative. Not much can go wrong with a classic black t-shirt, even this cut will look more sporty than the Icebreaker one.
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Below you’ll find even more recommendations for 19 different merino wool t-shirts based on what type of activity you’re interested in but if you are not sure yet of what are the advantages of a t-shirt in merino wool over synthetics or coton ones, here is a summary:

Merino wool is a very high performance fabric that is really comfortable and smooth to wear.

You might be thinking that wool should be itchy, and you’re right for most wools. Merino wool isn’t itchy because the fibers are incredibly fine (as low as 17 microns in some cases).

However, the real benefits of merino wool boil down to its antibacterial properties, its natural wicking and insulating properites.

What are the Benefits for Hikers & Ultra-minimalist Travellers?

Quality and comfort always speak for themselves, but here are some extremely note-worthy benefits of packing merino wool t-shirts for your adventures in the wilderness.

When we go on adventures that take us deep within the wilderness and far away from our comfort zones, the right fabric is all your skin has to protect itself from bacteria, sweat pooling and the harmful rays of the sun.

Antibacterial Properties

We all hate stinking, don’t we? But when you have to go without a shower for days, it is highly unlikely that you won’t experience foul odours and pools of sweat. However, if you wearing a merino wool t-shirt, you don’t have to worry about the smell. You see, merino wool has a very high-resistance towards bacteria thanks to the lanolin wax in wool, which is antibacterial, allowing you to remain odour-free. So, even if you wear one shirt for a fortnight without washing it or taking a shower, it still won’t smell.

Highly Insulating

Ultra-fine merino wool is full of air pockets that trap air around your body. This insulating effect will keep you warm when it’s cold outside. On the flipside, however, it will also keep you cooler in warmer climates. This “regulating” effect even works when merino is wet. This has spawned the phrase in outdoors communities that “cotton kills”, as you’ll start to loose body heat if your cotton clothes get wet.

Natural Wicking

Merino wool doesn’t allow any kind of moisture to permeate the fabric and make its way towards your skin due to its natural wicking properties that comes from certain fatty acids. Unlike synthetic fibers, merino wool doesn’t repel the water, it absorbs it from the fibers and swells up. Regardless of whether you’re sweating head-to-toe or it’s raining hard on the terrain, merino wool t-shirts will feel dry as they will protect your body against all kinds of moisture, which also allows them to be warm and comfy.

Baselayers made out of merino wool are particular effective, because the #1 job of a base layer is to keep you dry.

Biodegradable

Merino wool is a 100% natural fabric, and unlike most factory-produced fabrics, it is biodegradable, which basically means that it is derived from nature and it returns back to nature.

The best merino wool t-shirts for you in 2018

  • Material: 100% Merino Wool
  • Micron: 17.5 (the lower the softer)
  • Fabric weight: 186 grams
  • Construction: Tagless, Flat Lock Seams
  • Care: machine washable
  • Best for: Everyday Wear, Hiking
  • Price range (estimate): $21 – $35

The fit is a little bit unusual. It is tight to the body, like if they were trying to make a baselayer but the sleeves are fairly wide and long, offering a lot of protection when hiking in the sun. It is definitivly meant to be worn as a stand alone shirt without any problem. But again, Minus33 is a great option if you’re on a budget, as they are very reasonably priced.

Regarding quality, the fact that it has no tags and flat lock seams means that you can confidently bring it with you on hikes or other sports activities without risking scratching or chaffing.

It is one of the rare 100% wool t-shirt that can still be find out there, and being able to enjoy the full potential and benefit of the merino wool is amazing. On the down side, even if it is machine washable, you might want to give it some extra care and simply dry it flat. Remember that 100% merino wool can just literally be hang out in the sun after a few wear and it will be just as effective as washing them.

Minus33 is a great option if you’re on a budget, as they are very reasonably priced compared to pricier brands.

See on Minus33 | Check price on Amazon


  • Material: 100% Merino Wool
  • Micron: 17.5 (the lower, the softer)
  • Fabric weight: 160g/m²
  • Construction: Tagless, Flat Lock Seams
  • Care: machine washable
  • Best for: Everyday Wear, Travel
  • Price range (estimate): $29 – $49

Nice classic fit with a flattering round neck line. WoolX is a great option if you’re on a budget, as they are very reasonably priced.

Regarding quality, the fact that it has flat lock seams means that you can confidently bring it with you on hikes or other sports activities without risking rubbing or chaffing.

It is one of the rare 100% wool t-shirt that can still be find out there, and being able to enjoy the full potential and benefit of the merino wool is amazing. On the down side, even if it is machine washable, you might want to give it some extra care and simply dry it flat. Remember that 100% merino wool can just literally be hang out in the sun after a few wear and it will be just as effective as washing them.

See on WoolX | Check price on Amazon


  • Material: 87% Merino, 13% Nylon
  • Micron: 17.5 (the lower, the softer)
  • Fabric weight: 150g/m²
  • Construction: Off-Set shoulder seam
  • Care: machine washable – no tumble dry
  • Best for: Everyday Wear, Travel
  • Price range (estimate): $22 – $85

Here’s the ultimate ultra-light merino wool t-shirt to pack for your adventures into the wilderness, mountaineering expeditions and physical demanding activities like rock-climbing. The fabric is very thin, and luxuriously soft, ideal to keep you warm in the cold and sweat-free in the heat. You can shop this design in 10 different colours.

See on Icebreaker | Check price on Amazon


  • Material: 87% Merino, 13% Nylon
  • Micron: 17.5 (the lower, the softer)
  • Fabric weight: 150g/m²
  • Construction: Off-Set shoulder seam
  • Care: machine washable – no tumble dry
  • Best for: Everyday Wear, Travel, Multipurpose first layer
  • Price range (estimate): $22 – $85

Best all-around lightweight t-shirt available at the moment. It is versatile enough whether you are travelling or hiking. The fabric is very thin but the blend with the nylon will make it more robust. It is available in many colors and various graphics. Even if the neckline of the Women’s Tech Lite Short Sleeve Crewe is flattering, I wish they made it with their scoop neckline which I find suit me even better for a t-shirt I could wear everyday. That said, I generally use my tank tops more than my t-shirts, which is just a personal preference.

Sidenote: the bad reviews reported on Amazon are not related to the quality of the Icebreaker product.

See on Icebreaker | Check price on Amazon

Contemporary Everyday Wear

These are perfect for wearing in your day-to-day life.

  • Material: 100% Merino Wool
  • Micron: 17.5 (the lower, the softer)
  • Fabric weight: 195g/m²
  • Construction: Off-Set shoulder seam
  • Care: can be machine washed but best to hand wash cold and lay flat to dry
  • Best for: Everyday Wear, with style
  • Price range (estimate): $110

Outlier managed to make a more durable merino t-shirt without blending it with Nylon. They simply use 195gsm fabric rather than the 150-160gsm like most companies. As a result, this t-shirt looks way better than others who can’t get rid of the “sport” look that goes along with them. They are pretty much the best looking ones out there but it comes with a little higher price tag ($110). I just love this brand and have worn their dungarees pants for years.

See on Outlier


Also great:

Crew Neck Black – 100% Merino by Wool&Prince

A luxuriously comfy merino wool crew-neck t-shirt that you can pick out for your backpacking trips, sightseeing, and contemporary casual wear, or even for the office. This incredibly soft t-shirt features a versatile design, with quality that is suitable for all kinds of activities and occasions.

It’s a little on the heavier side at 210g/sm, so you’ll find it’s good for chillier days. This one is made from 100% merino, so it will feel very luxurious at the expense of durability.

A good pick for wearing at the office! You can also check out their 78/22% merino:nylon blend if you want a more durable t-shirt.

See on Wool&Prince


If you prefer a V-neck

Essential V-Neck Merino Tee By Outerboro

V-neck tees can be nice worn under a shirt in a more formal setting. This one tight fit enough to be worn as a first layer or as a base layer.

See on Outerboro


Hiking and Sport Wear

These options are better suited for outdoor and sports wear.

Patagonia Men’s Merino Lightweight T-Shirt

Allow me to introduce you to the most lightweight and luxuriously comfy merino wool t-shirt for your physically demanding hiking and mountaineering journeys. Despite being extremely lightweight, this t-shirt is made with sturdy and durable fibers that hold the ability to maintain a good condition despite the rough use or lack of washing.

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Men’s Tech Lite Short Sleeve Crewe Wellington in Awe By Icebreaker

A splendidly hike-friendly merino wool t-shirt with an ultra-lightweight, and suitable to provide you comfort and luxury during all the adventurous activities that you choose to undertake in the wilderness. Its touch is as soft as a feather, and you can stock it up in 3 different earthly hues.

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Men’s Merino 150 Backpacker’s Tee

If you’re backpacking in a mountainous terrains, this merino wool t-shirt is a must-have essential for it will provide a sweat-free and no-stink comfort during the hot days, and a cosy warmth during the chilly nights. It will not wrinkle or wear out due to harsh terrains, rough climbs, or lack of washing, and the durability will truly surprise you with remarkable sturdiness. It dries very quickly too.

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Men’s Merino 150 Baselayer Short Sleeve by Smart Wool

If you’re undertaking a physically demanding adventure, be it rock climbing, mountaineering or cycling, you require the comfort and durability of a versatile fabric that can weather the pressure, the wear and tear and uncertainty of the wilderness. This round merino wool t-shirt features a short-sleeved design, and the innovative Core Spun technology, which enhances its durability y wrapping it in a nylon core.

It also features smooth flat lock seams that prevent the annoying incidents of chafing and offset shoulders. Its touch is feathery soft, and it is ideal to allow your skin to breathe while the heat and humidity pours down on your head.

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These are t-shirts that are great options if you’re travelling.

Men’s Merino 150 Paddles And Oars Tee by Smart Wool

If you’re headed out for a water adventure, or perhaps just a backpacking trip, the Paddles and Oars t-shirt is a great pick for your journey. It not only boosts an original hand-drawn graphic design, but it also holds the ability to manage moisture, and keep you stink-free regardless of how many days you go without a shower. It won’t wrinkle, and you won’t have to wait hours before it dries off, the best part, it has an ultra-light weight and feathery soft touch.

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Men’s Tech Lite Short Sleeve V-Neck by Icebreaker

Trust Icebreaker to always provide travelers and backpackers the most comfortable and sturdiest of t-shirts. This short-sleeved V-neck merino wool t-shirt is a versatile pick, which provides a smart fit that can be flaunted on adventurous terrains, wild life parks and cosmopolitan streets alike. You can wear it as a standalone t-shirt in hot weather conditions, and it will also act like a cozy base layer when the chilly winds start to blow.

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Long sleeve t-shirt

Ticonderoga Men’s Lightweight Wool Crew by Minus33

The Ticonderoga is just what you need to give you a warm and cosy comfort when the winds get chilly. This long-sleeved merino wool tee is very soft and lightweight, and it will also keep you sweat-free by preventing the moisture from being retained. It’s a sturdy and durable pick if you seek a light-weight t-shirt that keeps you comfy while you explore the terrain. It is available in 5 different colours.

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Men’s Long Sleeve Merino Wool Crew T-Shirt by Wool Rich

If you’re looking for a smart and charmingly minimalist merino wool shirt, this long-sleeved crew t-shirt will be a good fit. You can wear it as a standalone shirt during the hot months of the year, and when the chilly winds start to blow, it will be a warm base layer to pair up your blazers.

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Chocorua Men’s Midweight Wool Crew by Minus33

This 100% merino wool t-shirt offers a sleek slim fit design with full-sleeves a sharp crew neck, which makes it super functional for any and every occasion. You can wear it as standalone t-shirt with your causal denims and pants in hot weather conditions, and when it gets cold outside, it can be worn as a cosy base layer beneath your coats, blazers and jackets. Its versatile design can also be worn at the office without breaking any of the cardinal rules of formal dressing.

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Women’s Merino 150 Baselayer Long Sleeve By Smart Wool

This long-sleeved merino wool base layer is an excellent pick for your adventurous backpacking journey, which is likely to continue for an indefinite amount of time. It is ideal for all seasons and weather conditions, and the versatile design can be paired up with jackets, or worn as a comfy standalone t-shirt.

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