Smartwool is a brand that has delivered for me in many ways over many years… and still does, writes Mike Gormley.
I have been using Smartwool gear for many years now and I still wear some of those original items though notably one of the T-shirts, a favourite of mine, is so worn and has been washed so many times it is now about twice its original size and is just a bit thin! We have been on many travels together, but there’s life in there yet. Good value for money you might say.
So, moving on to the present. Recently I have been using three Smartwool base layer garments / items: Socks ~ Merino RUN and Merino HIKE; T-shirt ~ Men’s Active Ultralite; and Pants (of the underwear variety*) ~ Merino Hemp Blend Boxer Briefs.
As I am sure most know these days, Merino has some very good properties. It helps keep you warm when chill, which is kind of obvious as its wool, but to wear wool when it is warm is a less obvious choice. I tested out the Merino wool T-shirt I mentioned above on a trip to Malta, where it was really quite hot and it was not uncomfortable at all. For the likes of us ~ i.e. travelling, hiking or deployed ~ who can often be out of reach of clothes-washing facilities for a while, Merino wool properties ward off the effects of several hot sweaty days of use and allow you to keep friends with those around you. A very important feature.
For me, on a day-to-day basis I find Smartwool garments are comfortable, easy to wear items whatever the situation. Long gone are those days of wool next to the skin being itchy and something to avoid. I have to highlight the HIKE Socks here. Pulling them on is a bit like getting together with an old friend. You immediately know its going to be a good day whatever comes along. At the end of the day these are merely T-shirts, pants and socks but all will deliver with odour-free comfort and most likely for a long time too.
* Explanation for the benefit of our US readers, because we are in the UK we use the word pants to describe the next-to-skin layer worn under one’s trousers… and usually only our canine companions pant (Maybe if Superman had landed on this side of the Pond he might not have worn his pants on the outside, Ed.)
[images © Mike or Jean Gormley]