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

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Top Women’s Merino Wool Leggings in 2018: 15 Pants Reviewed

There is an old debate in the outdoor world or whether merino wool or synthetic is best for baselayers. We generally think the advantage of merino wool outperform synthetics as it is highly insulating, so you’ll find that they keep you warm when it colds. Counter-intuitively, however, insulating materials such as merino wool will also keep you cooler when it’s warm outside.

If you’re stuck for time, here are our top 2 picks:

Minus33 Women’s Franconia Midweight Bottom

SmartWool Women’s NTS Mid

100% Merino Wool100% Merino Wool
230g/m2250g/m2
Best for: Outdoor activities in moderate temperatures. One of the most popular pairs on the list.Best for: Cold conditions when you remain active. Mid-rise waiste and flat-lock seams for more comfort.
$65 – $90$65 – $105
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That means merino wool leggings are perfect for situations where you have to walk to work in the cold, but then you are in a warm office.

Also, because merino wool is anti-bacterial, the leggings won’t start to smell after going for a run in them (although you probably should wash them regularly anyway).

There are what seems like countless amount of options available and it can be hard to figure out which one to go for. We narrowed down the options to 15 different pairs of leggings and help you navigate with a table of content.

How to Decide Based on Fabric Weight, Material and Cut

To choose the right pair of bottoms, take into consideration the weight of the fabric, the material, and the cut.

Merino wool is highly insulating, so you’ll find that they keep you warm when it colds. Counter-intuitively, however, insulating materials such as merino wool will also keep you cooler when it’s warm outside. The more wool it contains, the warmer and more odor resistant it is which might be a significant factor if you are going to places where washing is not in easy access.

To decide if you need a lightweight or a heavyweight, consider the activity you will be participating in to decide what weight to choose. For example, if you live in Canada and plan on ice fishing all winter, look at a heavy weight option. But if you plan on hiking a lot, choose a lightweight option. Remember that these bottoms are a little different then tops since you won’t be able to take them off easily if you’re too hot. However, merino wool is great at regulating your temperature.

Last but not least, consider the cut. Pay attention to how tight they are, knowing than wool can become a bit baggy after a couple of hours of wear. That is why a blend with a touch of synthetic such as lycra can help having a more fitted form. Pay attention to the high versus low rise, depending on your preferences and under which pants you are considering wearing it.

Heavyweight

Heavyweight merino will keep you warm and safe in the severest cold weather conditions. Running heavy equipment, ice fishing, stand hunting, or any other cold weather low activity environment.
The fabric weight is typically around 400 g/m2 which is almost twice the protection of the midweight. Most people won’t need anything than warm but if you are planning some extreme outdoor activities where failing at staying warm would mean going home, there are two options for you:

Minus33 Women’s Merino Wool Kenai

  • Material: 100% Merino Wool
  • Material weight: 400g/m2 (Heavyweight – built for the coldest conditions)
  • Microns (lower is softer): 18.5
  • Rating out of 5 stars: 4
  • Price range (estimate): $71.99 – $115.99

Outside in very cold conditions? These heavyweight leggings might be what you’re looking for! Testers found that these leggings kept them cozy in brutally cold winters in Northern Wisconsin or while waiting around outside in low 20 degree with high windchill factors. They are Minus33 heaviest base layer at 400 g/m, but they come with all the usual Minus33 baselayer features such as flatlock seams, stretch cuffs and absence of tags for comfort.

See on Minus33’s site | Check Price on Amazon

WoolX Women’s Wool Leggings

  • Material: 100% Merino Wool
  • Material weight: 400g/m2 (Heavyweight – built for the coldest conditions)
  • Microns (lower is softer): 18.5
  • Rating out of 5 stars: 4.2
  • Price range (estimate): $99.00

At 400 g/m, these leggings are designed to keep you warm in the harshest environments. They’ll probably be too warm for everyday wear in more moderate climates. They come with a slightly higher back rise for a comfortable fit along with non-chafe seams and an inseam gusset.

See on WoolX’s site | Check Price on Amazon

Midweight

Midweight merino is perfect for medium to active outdoor winter activities. Skiing, snowboarding, winter hiking, sledding with the kids, or shoveling the walk. The fabric weight is typically between 230 – 260 g/m2. This is enough for most winter activities and most likely to be too warm for the summer season.

Janus 100% wool bottom

  • Material: 100% Merino Wool
  • Price range (estimate): $69.99
  • Care: machine-washable and can be tumble-dried.
  • I use to wear the Janus 100% wool bottom that I bought during a trip in Iceland. Overall they were great. They kept me very warm, and I could only wore them in the coldest destination of our trips or in Winter season. Keep in mind than bottom layers are more annoying than tops to take on and off if you get too warm, when switching often between indoors and outdoors.
    They have a baggy feel after a couple of hours of wear, which is not a problem for comfort but I did not feel comfortable wear them under my dress as tights or on their own even if they aren’t see through beside as a pyjama. After a couple of wash in the wash machine, I have noticed some holes. At the time, I wasn’t very experience with merino and care treatment and I was still over washing them, even though there was no need. Hanging them in the sun can be as efficient as washing them! That said, it is not a major issue either as I was only using them as an underlayer. They will for sure keep you warm and literally never smell. I have found the wool can be just a tiny bit itchy. This is a common issue with wool tights, thoughI have now moved towards lighter weight underpants for most my travelling expedition but if you need a midweight options, keep scrolling below.

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    Minus33 Women’s Franconia Midweight Bottom

    • Material: 100% Merino Wool
    • Material weight: 230g/m2 (Midweight – best suited for moderate to cool conditions)
    • Microns (lower is softer): 18.5
    • Rating out of 5 stars: 4.5
    • Care: machine washable as well as machine dryable
    • Price range (estimate): $64.95 – $80.99

    These 100% merino wool leggings are perfect as a baselayer for colder outdoor conditions thanks to the mid-weight 230 g/m2 material. Testers found that if you’re looking for a tigher fit to wear under jeans, you should aim for a slightly smaller sizer than you’d normally take. Otherwise, they fit true to size. In terms of price, these are exceptional value at just over $65 dollars, which makes them one of the most populars pairs on our list.

    Check the Brand at Minus33’s site | Check Price on Amazon

    Meriwool Women’s Merino Wool

    • Material: 100% all natural Merino wool
    • Material weight: 250g/m2 (Midweight – best suited to colder conditions)
    • Microns (lower is softer): 18.5
    • Rating out of 5 stars: 4.6
    • Price range (estimate): $34.99 – $39.99

    These thermal leggings come with a higher waist, soft 18.5 micron fibres and 250g/m2 weight, so they are designed for colder outdoor activities. If you’re looking for a tight fit, consider a slightly smaller size, while bearing in mind that wool does shrink slightly when you wash it.

    Check the Brand at Minus33’s site | Check Price on Amazon

    WoolX Women’s WoolX Wool Leggings

    • Material: 100% Australian Merino Wool
    • Material weight: 230g/m2 (Lightweight – best suited for moderate to cool conditions)
    • Microns (lower is softer): 18.5
    • Rating out of 5 stars: 4.8
    • Price range (estimate): $65.99 – $105.00

    These WoolX baselayer bottoms have plenty of features for active outdoor wear: flatlock seams for less chafing, gusseted crotch for freedom of movemen and are thick enough to be wore by themselves without see-through issues. One tester commented that they were ideal for pear-shaped ladies.

    Check on WoolX’s site | Check Price on Amazon

    Meriwool Women’s Midweight Baselayer Bottom

    • Material: 100% Merino Wool
    • Material weight: 250g/m2 (Midweight – best suited to colder conditions)
    • Microns (lower is softer): 18.5
    • Rating out of 5 stars: 4.6
    • Price range (estimate): 39.99

    These thermal leggings come with a higher waist, soft 18.5 micron fibres and 250g/m2 weight, so they are designed for colder outdoor activities. If you’re looking for a tight fit, consider a slightly smaller size, while bearing in mind that wool does shrink slightly when you wash it.

    Check Price on Amazon

    SmartWool Women’s NTS Mid

    • Material: 100% Merino Wool
    • Material weight: 250g/m2 (Midweight – best suited to colder conditions)
    • Rating out of 5 stars: 4.3
    • Price range (estimate): $89.98 – $95.00

    These mid-weight baselayer bottoms from SmartWool are for keeping you warm in cold conditions. You can wear them under a pair of pants or alone in slightly warmer conditions. Thanks to their flatlock seams, which are designed to reduce chaffing, they will be a comfortable fit for active outdoor activities such as snowboarding or hiking. The waist is mid-rise.

    See on SmartWool’s site | Check Price on Amazon

    Icebreaker Women’s Winter Zone Leggings

    • Material: Body: 97% Merino Wool, 3% LYCRA® Panels: 78% Merino
    • Material weight: 260g/m2 (Midweight – best suited to colder conditions)
    • Rating out of 5 stars: 4.8
    • Price range (estimate): 120

    Icebreaker’s Winter Zone leggings combine synethic/wool blends in the gusset and the knees with 100% merino wool material in the rest. In theory, this should result in a longer lifespan, as these areas are stronger. They have a slightly two-tone color, however, that you don’t immediately see in the photos, so make sure that this is what you want. Also, the mesh panels will mean that these pants won’t be as warm as the Icebreaker Everyday leggings, for example

    See on Icebreaker’s site | Check Price on Amazon

    Light and ultralight weight

    Lightweight leggings are great for those activities in spring and summer. Fabric weight is typically under 200 g/m2 and can go down to 160 – 170 g/m2 for ultralight. If you are planning on wearing them on their own while hiking for example, as suppose to a pyjama while camping, consider going for darker color as it is likely to be somewhat sheer.

    Ibex Women’s Merino Wool Woolies

    • Material: 86% Merino Wool/14% Nylon
    • Material weight: 170 g/m2/
    • Rating out of 5 stars: 4.4
    • Price range (estimate): $76.67 – $90.00

    These are a mix of merino wool and nylon, so they’ll offer a little more strength with slightly reduced “no smell” performance. They fit true-to-size and have a mid rise.

    See on Ibex’s site | Check Price on Amazon

    Icebreaker Women’s Everyday Leggings

    • Material: 100% Merino Wool
    • Material weight: 200g/m2 (Lightweight – best suited for moderate to cool conditions)
    • Rating out of 5 stars: 4.1
    • Price range (estimate): 70

    Icebreaker is one of the best known suppliers of merino wool gear. Some testers found that the leggings were a little shorter than expected, so if you have longer legs, consider a size up.

    Check the Brand at Icebreaker’s site | Check Price on Amazon

    Icebreaker Women’s Oasis Leggings

    • Material weight: 200gm
    • Rating out of 5 stars: 4.2
    • Price range (estimate): $60.49 – $90.00

    Oasis is Icebreaker’s technical range of baselayers. They are perfect for under a pair of jeans, snow pants or a skirt. They include a gusseted crotch for range of motion, flatlock seams and an elastic waistband. We love how they come in all sorts of graphics.

    They also do a 3/4 length version. For activities where you might wear high socks such as skiing, you could consider a 3/4 length. Choose a long pant option for everything else.

    See on Icebreaker’s site | Check Price on Amazon

    Ridge Merino Women’s Merino Wool Inversion

    • Material: 100% Merino Wool
    • Material weight: 190g/m2 (Lightweight – best suited for moderate to cool conditions)
    • Rating out of 5 stars: 4.4
    • Price range (estimate): $54.95

    These lighter bottoms will work great in warmer conditions.

    See on Ridge Merino’s site | Check Price on Amazon

    Sub Sports Women’s Merino Wool Thermal Leggings

    • Material weight: 200mg
    • Rating out of 5 stars: 4.2
    • Price range (estimate): $40.00

    This is our budget alternative. These leggings offer exceptional value for money considering that they are 100% merino wool.

    See on Sub Sports’s site | Check Price on Amazon

    Minus33 Women’s Merino Wool Magalloway

    • Material: 100% Merino Wool
    • Material weight: 170g/m2 (Ultralight – versatile all season performance)
    • Microns (lower is softer): 17.5
    • Rating out of 5 stars: 4.2
    • Price range (estimate): $44.99 – $60.49

    These lightweight bottoms function best as a base layer in summer or on warmer spring or fall days. Testers found that the base layer fit true-to-size and you can wear them under jeans thanks to their lightweight material (whereas the mid-weight version will show if worn under jeans). Features such as flatlock seams, no tags and stretch cuff mean that these are designed for active wear.

    Check the Brand at Minus33’s site | Check Price on Amazon

    Merino/Synthetic blend: the cheapest but…

    The most common base layers available are made of wool, synthetics (like polypropylene, polyester, or “proprietary blends”), or a mix of both. Which fabric makes the best base layer is an age-old debate in the outdoor sphere. Wool and synthetics each have their advantages and disadvantages. Blends aim to the capture the benefits of each one, but also have their drawbacks.
    Synthetic-merino blends aim to get the benefits of both fabrics while offering a high-quality base layer at a good price. Of course, these blends often also come with the negative features of their parent fabrics—odor retention, reduced insulation, and long drying times. Our top pick, the Smartwool Merino 150, is constructed of an 87 percent wool and 13 percent nylon fabric made of a yarn constructed of merino wool spun around a nylon core. We reached for blends when doing endurance activities like backpacking and mountaineering because we wanted the thermal qualities of wool plus the durability of synthetic.

    Paradox Women’s Merino Wool Base Layer Pant

    • Material: 84% Polyester, 11% Merino Wool and 5% Spandex
    • Rating out of 5 stars: 4.3
    • Price range (estimate): $6.25 – $24.99

    These leggings only have 11% merino wool in the material, so its odor resistance property aren’t great. We still kept it on our selection list because you might still think it is acceptable for a pair of pants to not be odor resistant, as suppose to a top base layer. Keep in mind as well that because it is mostly made of synthetic material, it is not as breathable as the other wool pants. On the other hand, it will keep you warm and they make up for this with a very affordable price.

    Check Price on Amazon

    2 responses to “Top Women’s Merino Wool Leggings in 2018: 15 Pants Reviewed

    1. I am 4’11” woman with very sensitive skin, I live in Chicago, which has harsh weather especially windy and dry, hence looking for warm, and very soft (no itchy) legging, and inseam not more than 26′. what options you can suggest

    2. Where are the merino trousers for women? I bought a pair of Ibex grey trousers years ago for my partner; she still wears them regularly. Should have bought some for myself then, and am now looking high and low for a pair for myself.

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