Alpaca Vs Merino


hiking up a mountain

The cold air fills your nose and lungs, your feet struggle up the cold mountain, but the view at the top pushes you to keep going. Sweat rolls down your neck to your back and you feel the icy breeze blow against your face. Blood is rushing, your body is warm and you wore the right hiking clothes for this. You are ready. Feeling close to nature, the softness, warmth, and durability of your Arms Of Andes Alpaca fleeces prepare during your trek and the cold down.

From a beginner to an experienced hiker, everyone should know about the best performing sportswear fabric. Merino Wool has always been the choice for natural hiking clothing. With their durability and warmth qualities, Merino Wool was ideal when hiking in extreme cold weathers. However, compared to Alpaca Wool, Merino Wool cannot compete. Placing softness as a priority, Alpaca is naturally softer because of their hairlike fibers. Even with chemical softening process, Merino Wool does not come close. Pouring water onto Merino wool, it will absorb half of its body weight in moisture. Alpaca being water-resistant and very close to water-proof, it will get wet, but not absorb due to its’ wicking abilities. In addition, Alpaca is known to be 5 times stronger than Merino and only 30% of it length.  

Alpaca vs Merino: Warmth Comparison Study “Yocum-McCall Testing Laboratories”

In 0 degree fahrenheit environment (-18°C), an individual wearing Merino Wool feels a comfort range of 30 degrees fahrenheit (-1°C). However, the same person wore Alpaca Wool and felt a comfort range of 50 degrees fahrenheit (10°C). Tiny pockets are found in each Alpaca fiber supporting warmth retention and making the fleece lightweight.

Wearing lightweight fleeces or midweight fleeces effect your cold-weather hiking. For extreme cold weather, AoA recommends wearing our Long Sleeve Moisture Wicking Athletic Base Layers and Mid Layers. It is perfect for blocking wind, insulation and, on the other hand, it is a nice fleece for walking around the city.

Hiking in hot weather, wearing just the AoA base layer and any shorts will be ideal. Arms of Andes base layers provide a lightweight feel, breathable fabric to keep you cool, and does not become moldy so do not worry about smelling bad.

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