Merino Wool vs Cashmere: Which is Better for Hiking

merino sheep on grass field

For those who love the great outdoors, merino wool and cashmere may seem to be a strange comparison. One is used for warmth; the other is ideal for luxury and comfortability. However, merino wool and cashmere can also give outdoor enthusiasts everything they need.

We’re going to look at it both merino wool vs cashmere, subjectively and objectively to help you decide which is the best option for you,

merino wool

What is Merino Wool?

Merino wool is a type of fabric that is made from merino sheep. The merino sheep live in extremely cold climates, and so the merino wool has been developed to keep their wool warm while at the same time being breathable.

Merino wool is different than other types of wool because it does not hold odors like other types of wool do. This means that merino wool does not need to be washed as often, which is a great benefit for those who frequently go hiking or camping.

Merino wool is an excellent choice because it is lightweight, soft, water-resistant, and temperature regulating. This type of fabric can keep hikers warm when it’s cold outside and cool when it’s hot. Most merino wool garments are treated with an anti-microbial finish to help them stay fresh.

Merino Wool Benefits

Merino is also naturally resistant to bacteria, which means it won’t hold odors like other types of wool. This is great for hikers because merino wool doesn’t need to be washed as often as cotton or other natural fabrics.

Merino Wool Socks are lightweight, breathable, and warm. They are made from merino with elastane, nylon, or Lycra added in. This gives the merino socks stretchiness, which makes them comfortable to wear all day long without having to worry about your socks falling down or feeling too tight on your toes.

Merino socks are super popular in the hiking world for a reason. How great is it to go on a long hike and not have smelly and sweaty socks at the end of the day? They also wick moisture away from your skin, which means even if you have wet feet, merino socks will help keep your feet dry.

cashmere socks

What is Cashmere?

Cashmere is a type of fabric that has been made from the undercoat of cashmere goats. The cashmere goat lives in frigid climates, such as Afghanistan, Tibet, and Mongolia, where temperatures can reach -30 degrees! The cashmere goat has developed a very fine and soft coat to keep it warm in these conditions. As a matter of fact, cashmere is known to be one of the softest fabrics out there.

Cashmere is considered very luxurious and comfortable to wear. It’s a popular material used to create outerwear, such as coats and jackets, due to its soft, smooth, and lightweight feel.

Cashmere is similar to merino wool in the sense that it also regulates temperature. However, it isn’t water-resistant like merino wool, so you’ll want to be careful when wearing cashmere garments during wet weather. Cashmere fibers are extra delicate when wet and can take days to dry.

Cashmere Benefits

The benefits of wearing cashmere are that it is soft and luxurious–and quite noticeably more delicate and more elegant than merino wool at that. It also has a higher loft than merino wool, giving it a lovely, silky, and smooth feel.

Merino Wool vs. Cashmere: Which one should you choose?

Whether merino or cashmere is best for you depends on your hiking needs and preferences. Both merino and cashmere are great options for outdoor enthusiasts because they can regulate temperature. Which at its core, is what you want in your fabric when you’re out and about.

Merino wool’s natural anti-microbial properties make it great for hikers that want to go on multi-day backpacking trips without having to worry about washing their merino all the time. It is also scentless, which means if you are hunting or fishing or even camping with friends, merino wool will keep you from having to worry about exposing your location because of your scent.

Cashmere is an excellent choice for people that want something soft and luxurious to wear outdoors. The cashmere goat lives in cold climates, so it has developed a coat that keeps the goat warm, just like merino wool does. Cashmere garments are lightweight and breathable, which makes them great for warmer weather.

The merino wool vs. cashmere debate comes down to personal preference and what you want from your outdoor experience. If you’re looking for a comfortable fabric with a luxurious feel, cashmere is the way to go. If you’re looking for something versatile and scentless that will allow you to go on multi-day backpacking trips, merino wool is your best bet.

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