Here’s a list of my favorite Merino Wool brands. I’m always interested in finding new ones, so please drop some below if you have any additions.
Icebreaker is one of the most established brands. They are based out of New Zealand.
Icebreaker knows how to tell a good origins story. As their founder Jeremy Moon puts it, “When I started Icebreaker I was twenty-four, broke & had absolutely no idea what I was doing.”
Icebreaker has a wide range of Merino wool products, from hardcore outdoors wear to casual lifestyle t-shirts.
Unlike other brands, they offer also more formal merino wool wear that you could wear in a business casual setting as well as outdoors and sports wear.
They have create a number of products around Merino Wool. For example, they have 100% merino products ranging from 120 g/m2 (featherlight) to 380 g/m2 (heavyweight).
As a personal recommendation, I buy men’s Icebreaker Tech Lite Short Sleeve Crews.
Smartwool has been around since 1994. Timberland bought the company in 2005. They are notable for not practicing mulesing.
I haven’t found the sizing to fit me so well, personally (tall and thin). Your mileage may vary.
Wool & Prince
Wool & Prince originally started in 2013 on Kickstarter. Since then, they’ve built out a collection of merino wool clothing. In particular, they have a great range of button-down and dress shirts made in 100% merino wool. Tynan, for example, swears by their button-down shirts.
Wool& (women only)
Wool& is a lifestyle brand that aims to make the fashion world better by producing high quality clothing. The Rowena Swing dress is their first piece, which I review in this article on merino wool dresses.
Minus33 do a full range of merino wool for men and women’s clothing exclusively from merino wool. From what I’ve heard, they offer a good trade off between price and quality.
The clothing is all manufactured in the USA as well.
Best merino wool socks in the world. That’s pretty much the deal. I recommend them on my article on merino wool socks. They come with a lifetime warranty that they stand behind with no questions asked. You can just send back the socks to them, and they’ll replace them free of charge, which is an unheard of guarantee.
WoolX is a brand developed by Hanks Clothing based out of New York. They sell Chinese-manufactured clothing from merino wool from Australian sheep. They offer a range of functional baselayers, mid-layers and outlayers aimed towards outdoor pursuits in colder climes.
Their prices are competitive – and they are good alternative in my opinion to Minus33.
This Swedish-based company focuses on undergarments and mid-layer garments for outdoors. The products are all manufactured in Sweden under strict environmental and social requirements.
Husband and wife founded brand focused on merino wool outdoor clothing with a special incline at the beginning to satisfy the needs of professionnal skiiers. Ridge Merino was founded in 2014.
Mons Royale focuses on creating merino wool garments that work as well on the mountain as they look good on the street. They have launched in 2009 with a ‘provocative’ sexy campaign in an attempt of portraying technical underwear as sexy too, rather than looking like it’s just meant to climb Mount Everest in.
This brand is lead by the original founders of Smartwool. They started with merino wool socks, including a collection for kids, and have now expended to some baselayers.
Note: Ibex has sadly shut down in Spring 2018.
A couple of notes about Ibex fabrics:
- Softer to the touch out of the box
- Made in the USA in Vermont
- More functional than style.
Makers and Riders
This is the brand that makes the best merino wool pants I have own so far. They are a small brand but focus on high quality functionnal pieces for urban people like myself that like comfort to ride to work and style once in the office.
Outlier (men only)
Outlier makes exceptional clothing aimed originally at cyclists. While not made of Merino, I’ve had a great experience with their pants, the Slim Dungarees.
They also sell a range of Merino wool t-shirts. The Ultra-Fine Merino Wool T-shirt is worth checking out, as it’s made of exceptionally fine wool – 17.5 micron fibers at 195 g/m2.
Allbirds (merino wool shoes)
This brand, led by a native of New Zealand who knows all about the benefits of merino wool, is betting on the design of a shoe made of sustainable material including a merino wool uppers. Based in San Francisco, the hype followed very quickly.
Wolk (men only)
Wolk is a European based company has recently launched with an urban performance collection. As designers of outdoor apparel, they always had a love for merino so their shirts and T-shirts were the hero pieces of their first collection. They are now quickly expanding their merino collection. They ship worldwide.
Finisterre is a british company that makes exceptional clothing aimed originally at surfers. They always have a merino wool capsule collection to keep their surfers warm before and after catching waves in the cold water of England.
As europeans ourselves, we always had a sweet spot for Finisterre.
This Taiwan-based clothing company focuses on technical clothing with urban aesthetics. They have merino wool t-shirts and hoodies for men and women.
Patagonia offers a limited range of merino wool clothing. A plus point is their focus on ethically sustainable merino wool.
Ortovox is a Swiss company that focuses on technical mountain gear, including a range of merino/tencel blended baselayers and t-shirts.
Dilling is a nordic specialised in merino brand from Denmark. They offer 6 different types of merino wool and have a very comprehensive guide about the way they produce things and which wool you should go for depending on your needs between the organic merino wool which is their most environmentally friendly wool to their merino and silk blend for an extra touch of luxury.
You can change the country option at the bottom of the page to Germany, Sweden, Finland, Netherlands and Denmark.
EcoAble Apparel have a couple of base layers such as tank tops, long and short sleeves thermal shirts and legging for men and women and some clothing for kids. They go for a mix of 70% merino wool 30% silk. Very good price tag.
Ducksworth is based out of Montana, and they have a unique “sheep to shelf” concept focused on sustainability. They focus on clean, simple technical clothing using various in-house methods of blending wool with other materials.
Hardvark (men only)
Hardvark is a British company that produces more formal merino wool clothing, particularly shirts of high quality.
Smittenmerino has they have the biggest range of merino wool dress I could find online. So if you are aiming to be the most fashionable minimalist traveller, this is the place to shop. Even if smaller at the moment, they are developing a couple of clothes for men. Originally from Australia, they now ship worldwide.
Go to Smittenmerino website
Rab is an England-based company that specializes in mountaineering gear. They started with down insulated jackets. These days they also have a collection of merino wool base layers
Seagale is a French brand that has a range of merino wool clothing, including dress shirts. They sell exclusively online from France.