Eine Frau und ein Mann, sie tragen Merino Funktionsunterwäsche.

Winter sports

Merino functional underwear for cold winter days

  • #Winter hiking
  • #Ski
  • #Bivouacking
Portrait der Autorin und Fotografin Iris Kürschner
Photographer and author
© Fotos

Warm functional underwear as a shirt and trousers keeps you warm in winter. Often, however, we pay too little attention to it. Shopper Iris shows you what matters with long underpants and shirts, what products are available and how to care for them properly.

When the enchanting winter landscape awaits outside, it’s time to get out of the warm room and into the snow! With the right clothes, no problem. One item of clothing that accompanies you in winter, subtly and almost invisibly, is your underwear. Foundation of your winter sports equipment and just as important as the outer shells. But what materials are there and what do you have to look for when buying?

Merino directly on the skin

What you wear underneath for winter sports should keep you warm. This is true when you are active in the snow, but also when you are relaxing, for example when you are waiting at the ski lift or taking a short breather on the mountain. The functional underwear should also be breathable and absorb moisture during sweaty activities.

The bottom layer of clothing (baselayer) is in direct contact with your skin. You should feel comfortable in it, because it hugs your body like a second skin. It is important to consider what activity you want to use the functional underwear for. You also need to consider the outside temperature and your individual warmth sensation.

Merino: The material

A commonly used material for underwear is merino wool. The natural fibre is softer than human hair and feels very comfortable compared to virgin wool. The secret to merino lies in the performance of the fibre itself, which is a true master at regulating moisture: it absorbs up to 35% of its own weight in moisture without it feeling wet. The surface of the fibre itself stays dry while the moisture moves into the core of the fibre, keeping you dry and warm. How do you do that? In the many air chambers, the fibre stores your body heat in the wool and provides optimal thermal insulation.

Functional underwear

Merino wool underwear will help you make do with a few clothes on mountain tours that last several days, because the wool fibre has an antibacterial effect: odour-forming bacteria are easily broken down by a protein molecule. No unpleasant odours are produced, so you won’t smell even after strenuous activities in the snow. Another plus: pure merino wool is biodegradable. There are also mixed fabrics, which combine the positive properties of wool with the advantages of synthetic fibres: thanks to the synthetic fibres, the underwear stays in its shape longer than pure wool fabrics and dries even faster.

Natural wool or synthetic fibre – which is better?

Whether you choose natural wool or synthetic for your functional underwear depends on your personal preferences. Natural and mixed fabrics both have very good moisture-regulating properties. We present three products from our range. At Transa you will only find products from animals that are suitable for the species and without the practice of Mulesing be held.

Eine Person trägt Merinowolle Funktionsunterwäsche der Marke Devold Tuvegga.
Photo © Daniele Molineris

Devold Tuvegga

The fine and soft reversible wash can be used all year round. It is made of 100% merino wool. The wash impresses with its versatility. It can be reversed and thus offers two different functions: one side is designed for active activities and very breathable, for example when you are exercising sports in the snow. The other side also warms you during periods of rest. In terms of sustainability, Devold has also been investing for years in a transparent value chain and only processes merino wool from selected farms.

Eine Person trägt Funktionsunterwäsche der Marke Ortovox – ein Long Sleeve und Pants.
Photo © Daniele Molineris

Ortovox Competition Long Sleeve and Pants

These underwear are made of 57% fine merino wool and a polyamide/elastane blend. This makes them very stable in shape and does not allow them to grain quickly. Ortovox produces these products in Europe according to the ‘Ortovox Wool Promise,’ its internal standard for transparency and quality. ‘Fair Wear Foundation‘ an initiative for fair working conditions in the garment industry.

Person sitzend trägt Merinowolle Funktionswäsche von Icebreaker.
Photo © Daniele Molineris

Icebreaker Oasis 200

This product is made of 100% merino wool. Icebreaker is produced according to the ‘ZQ Merino wool standard‘, which guarantees animal welfare, environmental compatibility and fibre quality. The products are available in two different densities – depending on how much heat you need.

Eine Frau und ein Mann, sie tragen Merino Funktionsunterwäsche.
Photo © Daniele Molineris

Odlo Active X-Warm ECO

Black and warm, so extreme cold is no problem. Odlo Ladies ACTIVE X-WARM ECO Baselayer top. With the tight-fitting undershirt, you really go on the gas in winter – even in the freezing cold. The Eco in the name wears the shirt because it’s made from 100 percent recycled polyester. Thanks to its excellent moisture transport, you stay dry at all times. ZeroScent equipment maximises your fun by minimising body odours. The anti-odor technology works naturally and prevents odours from penetrating the fibres.

5 Care Tips for Merino Laundry

With the right care, you will enjoy your functional underwear for a long time. We have compiled tips for you.

Tip 1: Wash as much as you need, as little as you can. Merino fibres in particular have a self-cleaning function, so you don’t have to wash your clothes often. When you’re out and about, you can hang them out in the fresh air. Synthetic functional underwear you can wash more often. It keeps its shape longer because of the synthetic fibres that are mostly recycled.

Tip 2: Use proper cleaning agent. For merino products there are special detergents.

Tip 3: Wash thoroughly (max. 30–40°). For synthetic fibres, it’s best to wear underwear. Merino is the same as hair washing – it’s all about ‘merino sheep’s hair’: don’t get too hot and care carefully.

Tip 4: Wash the same with the same.

Tip 5: Don’t tumble, don’t iron. Just hang your functional underwear to dry.

  • #Winter hiking

  • #Ski

  • #Bivouacking

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