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First On, Last Off

5 min read Merino, Snow

Skiing or snowboarding all morning and hitting the après scene in the evening demands clothing that provides warmth, odour control and style.
First On, Last Off

Merino wool is a firm favourite with athletes for its superior ability to perform in extreme conditions. It offers exceptional temperature regulation, moisture-wicking properties and feels soft and luxurious against the skin.

Temperature-regulating. Merino wool fibres are thinner and more flexible than ordinary wool fibres. This means Merino is great at keeping you cool when it’s hot and warm when it’s not. Even when it’s wet, it’ll help to keep you warm.

Moisture-wicking and odour control. Another great feature of merino wool fibres is their breathability and moisture retention. Moisture quickly moves through the fibres and evaporates – meaning you can work up a sweat without feeling (or smelling) like an old dishcloth. Merino contains natural anti-bacterial properties that protect against odour.

It’s super soft. Unlike other types of wool (and some synthetic materials), merino wool fibres are super fine and flexible, so it feels luxuriously soft and isn’t itchy even when worn next to your skin.

It all comes back to merino sheep. Originally from Spain, these sheep can now be found all over the world – including in New Zealand. They’ve evolved to live high in the mountains, where they experience extreme summer and winter climates. Their wool is their secret weapon in helping to regulate their body temperatures, keeping them warm and dry in the cold, and cooling them down when it gets too hot.

Merino wool is a hygroscopic fibre, meaning it can absorb up to 35% of its own weight in moisture, keeping the surface underneath drier. This also discourages the growth of odour-causing bacteria.

The great thing about layering is that you can layer up – or down. Pack a range of layers when heading for your next ski trip for a versatile wardrobe that’ll see you through powder days, bluebirds and into après. As well as its temperature-regulating, moisture-wicking and odour-control abilities, merino wool is lightweight, so it’s ideal for layering.

The number of layers you should wear depends on the day’s activities (are you exploring every trail on the mountain or playing it cool in the lodge bar?) and how cold the weather is. Three layers is a good rule of thumb – base, mid and outer. But you may need more (or less).

Merino fabric can be measured in GSM (grams per square meter).
GSM indicates the weight, density and warmth of the merino wool. Clothing with a higher gsm rating (200gsm +) will feel heavier and warmer than lighter gsm fabric.

Clothing that’s 140 to 180gsm is excellent for base layers because it’s still lightweight and can keep you warm – but not too warm.

For when the temperature plummets or you've stopped riding having an insulation piece in reach is key. A high warmth to weight ratio is important for layering and packing away when not in use.

Layering different types of merino wool clothing boosts the overall warmth factor, and it means you can add or remove layers on the fly. No need to choose between a tee and a puffer – there’s a middle ground to be found.

Merino underwear

Wearing wool down under might sound odd, but merino wool’s lightweight, anti-bacterial, anti-chafe and anti-sweat properties render it perfect for active days and travelling. We’re not saying you should skip washing all the time – but some of our athletes say they’ve worn their Mons Royale merino for three to four days straight without losing friends.

Merino base layer

This is the first layer in your armour against the cold. Super soft, breathable and warm, it helps regulate your temperature and keeps you dry for maximum comfort on (or off) the mountain. Most Mons Royale base layers are made with our Merino Flex or Merino Air-Con materials.

Merino Flex is used in our Cascade range, which provides all the warmth of merino, but with a 4-way stretch so the garment gives you freedom of movement – without sagging or losing its shape. Merino Air-Con is lighter and airier it’s designed with technical performance in mind, and to be worn close to the skin.

Merino first layer

Mons Royale merino first layers are designed for every mission – whether you’re on the peaks or enjoying a coffee downtown. Both stylish and practical, our first layers have a slightly more relaxed fit than our base layers. Wear them on their own or with a base layer for extra warmth.

First layers will keep you toasty warm no matter how much the mercury drops. Our Yotei range is 100% 190gsm merino wool and an essential item for anyone serious about technical clothing and natural fibres.

Mid layer

Next up is the trusty mid layer. Versatile, lightweight and offering superior warmth and comfort, pull your mid layer on over a base layer and/or first layer. The mid layer insulates and helps retain body heat whilst still being breathable and allowing moisture to escape.

Styled as lightweight hoodies, jumpers and pants, they’re easily pulled off or on as you need them. Our mid layers are typically made with our Merino Gridlock and Merino Fleece fabrics. These blends have warmer, weightier merino (think 250gsm and up) combined with other technical materials to work in unison with your outer layer.

Outer layer

Like it says on the tin, your outer layer is the top or outermost layer. Our range includes lightweight windbreaker tops and cozy wool x down hooded jackets – the ultimate warm layer. Put it on to stay warm after a day on the slopes, or wear it under a waterproof shell to be ready for whatever weather the day throws at you. This layer offers protection against the elements whilst still being breathable.

Mons Royale was born in the mountains and made for the mountains. We believe in using merino wool because it’s the world’s highest-performing natural fibre. Natural fibres are better for the planet, and we’re proud to have partnered with New Zealand’s ZQRX Merino to help drive action towards a better, more positive future for the planet.

There’s lots to love about layering merino wool clothing thanks to the technical properties of this fabulous fibre. Using merino alongside more modern materials – like in our Cascade range made with Merino Flex, enhances the garment’s performance and durability to offer more flexibility and last longer than merino alone.

Mastering the art of layering with merino wool clothing offers a winning combination of warmth, comfort and style. Sleek styling and fit, great colours and prints mean your merino clothing is good to go from the slopes to downtown. Our layers don’t look like your typical technical clothing – so they’re more versatile and, we’d argue: a wardrobe staple in many climates. And because it’s lightweight and versatile, it’s easy to pack, wear and layer up.

All you need to worry about is finding the best snow.