Clothing to meet Mother Nature head on.

Mesh Vs Merino

Posted: Jul 01 2011

OK, another combo today! I wanted to see how the Brynje Classic Wool T-shirt did compared to the Super Thermo mesh. The Classic Wool T-shirt is 80% Merino and 20% Polyamid (for a nice snug fit) with a nice soft finish. I have not experienced any itchiness since I've been wearing and using it, but I have heard others say that there is no way to make wool garments completely non-itchy........guess it must depend our your skins sensitivity?

Weather was sunny, with clouds, temperature of 18 C in the shade. I set out with the Classic Wool T-shirt under my cycling top (100% Polyester). As I started to cycle, I was a little worried that I would over heat, but my temperature soon settled to a comfortable range. I rode for about two and a half hours, on mixed road terrain, including a few decent hills (not quit of Alpe d'huez stature, but a good test!)
So how was the battle Royal.....Mesh Vs Merino?
Well, under these conditions the mesh wins........but not by much!
I figure that the big difference is in the surface area of material used. There is a lot more skin uncovered when you use the Super Thermo mesh, thus it does allow for better "breathability".
In terms of temperature regulation, they are both comparable, except for when descending or a breeze comes along.......and here lies the difference....you get cold spots with the merino.
My reasoning for this is the mesh transfers more moisture away from the skin, coupled with the skin being allowed to breath between the mesh. Merino, I think, holds the moisture more within it's fibres, and therefore, by association, against your skin. This means when a breeze comes along your skin is more moist and thus you feel more of a chill.
On the climbs I did not over heat (which I was expecting to do to be honest). It seemed to be able to keep my core at a steady temperature. I have read about all this stuff myself, but when you experience it it's pretty cool!
After the ride.....and a few hours later, I gave it the sniff test. I was really impressed by the fact that the merino simply did not get smelly. When you smell a synthetic and a merino shirt that you have worn on the same ride/run, the difference is very noticable. Amazingly the merino just doesn't smell bad!!

So mesh wins this round, where fast moisture transfer and high breathability are required to stay dry. Cheers!

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