Merino Wool Rocks helps you find the merino wool clothes you need, whether to conquer the outdoors or find premium daily wear.

Merino wool t-shirts men and women

Top merino wool t-shirts in 2019

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, 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:

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.

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.

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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 2019

  • 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

  • Material: 100% merino wool
  • Fabric weight: 210 gsm
  • Fabric: 17.5 micron
  • Care: Hand wash only
  • Features: Also available in a polyester/merino blend

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


Unbound Merino Wool T-shirt

Unbound Black Merino Crew T-Shirt

  • Fabric: 100% Merino Wool
  • Fabric weight: 190g/m2, 17.5 micron ultra-fine wool

This very simple, understated t-shirt comes from Unbound Merino, a small company that sets out to make classic, simple t-shirts. It’s 100% merino wool. They also sell v-necks t-shirts as well.

See on Unbound


If you prefer a V-neck

Essential V-Neck Merino Tee By Outerboro

  • Material: 87% Merino Wool, 13% Nylon
  • Fabric weight: 130 gsm
  • Care: Machine washable

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.
It’s not entirely merino wool, as it’s a blend. At 130 g/m it’s one of the lighter t-shirts we feature.

See on Outboro site

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

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

  • Material: 87% merino wool, 13% Nylon
  • Fabric weight: 150 g/m2 (ultralight)
  • Style: V-neck

This v-neck shirt is similar to the our top pick for men, but with a v-neck. Otherwise, the fabric is the same 150 ultralight merino/nylon blend. It’s design for lifestyle, rather than hiking, as it doesn’t come with features such as flatlock seams.

See on Icebreaker | Check price on Amazon

Hiking and Sport Wear

These options are better suited for outdoor, sports wear and travelling.

Icebreaker Merino wool t-shirt

Tech Lite Arctic Explorers Mens Short Sleeve Crewe 2019

  • Material: 87% Merino Wool, 13% Nylon
  • Fabrik weight: 150 g/m2 (ultralight)

Icebreaker also offers their Tech Lite t-shirts with a range of outdoor graphics. Personally I have the bike mobile home one, which is a great conversation starter!
Similar to the tech lite t-shirts above, it comes in a light weight 150 g/m2, making it a great option for hiking in summer or layering in winter.

See on Icebreaker | See on Amazon


SmartWool Merino Wool T-Shirt

SmartWool Men’s Mobile Mammoth T-Shirt

  • Material: 87% Merino Wool, 13% Nylon
  • Fabric weight: 150 g/m2 fabric weight (ultralight)
  • Feature: Offset shoulders and side seams for less chafing while wearing a backpack

SmartWool is one of the older merino wool brands. They have a range of ultra-light 150g/m2 t-shirts with features such as off-set seams designed to work well for hikers. It’s a blend of merino wool and nylon designed to give more durability. And I think the graphic is super cool!

See on SmartWool | See on Amazon


Merino 150 Baselayer Short Sleeve by Smartwool in red for men

Men’s Merino 150 Baselayer Short Sleeve by Smartwool

  • Material: 87% Merino Wool, 13% Nylon Core
  • Care: Machine Wash

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.

See on Smartwool | Check price on Amazon

Long sleeve t-shirt

Ticonderoga Men’s Lightweight Wool Crew by Minus33

  • Material: 100% merino wool
  • Fabric weight: 170 g/m2 (lightweight)
  • Fiber size: 17.5 microns (ultrafine)
  • Features: flatlock seams, machine washable, tagless

This long-sleeved t-shirt from MInus33 is a great choice for outdoors and hiking. A little heavier than typical t-shirts, it will work great by itself in the summer in chillier morning conditions or as a baselayer in winter. Minus33 products tend to come with more technical features such as flatlock seams, tagless construction and regular fit. Minus33 also offer a 230g/m2 version called Chocourua, which can be worn a pull-over in moderate conditions.

See on Minus33 | Check price on Amazon

Icebreaker Merino Tech Long Sleeve T-Shirt,

Icebreaker Tech Long Sleeve T-Shirt

  • Material: 100% merino wool
  • Fabric weight: 200 g/m2

This is a long-sleeved version of the tech t-shirt recommended above. A few difference such as 100% merino wool and 200 g/m fabric along with offset seams and flatlock construction make this a simple classic. You’ll also find tech lite versions at 150 g/m2 with 87% merino wool and 13% nylon. The Oasis range that we cover in the base layer article are even more technical garment for hiking, skiing or outdoor work.

See on Icebreaker | Check price on Amazon

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