If you want lightweight, moisture-wicking warmth in the field, wool hunting clothing is the ticket!
Why wool? Well for one, it’s the best natural fabric at regulating temperature. Whether it’s blazing hot or freezing cold outside, wool can insulate you from the elements and keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
In addition to wicking away that perspiration, wool also has antimicrobial properties that kill the odor-causing bacteria in sweat. And what whitetail hunter doesn’t need that?
If just thinking about wool clothing makes you itchy, ditch the idea of those old-school plaid Woolworth jackets scratching against your skin. Merino wool is one of the softest materials available, and many hunting gear manufacturers are adding this super-fabric to their lineups.
Temperatures can fluctuate 50 degrees in a single day and spot and stalks can leave you ready to strip down, so layering lightweight pieces you can shed is a hunter’s best bet.
Wool Base Layers
My favorite place to don merino is next to my skin. The comfortable yet fully functional wool fabric is ideal for base layer bottoms and tops, even in the early season. These options are all thin and lightweight, and the camo longsleeves can even be worn solo when temps heat up.
- KUIU’s Ultra Merino 145 Zip-T sports UPF 50+ sun protection and is also available in a hooded model. The bottoms feature full-length zippers for easy on and off without removing boots.
- The Sitka Merino Core Lightweight Half-Zip and Lightweight Bottom are built with premium 17.5-micron merino wool spun around a nylon core for incredibly comfort and performance.
- First Lite’s Kiln line is super soft and includes tops and bottoms for both men and women.
Wool Mid Layers
A more substantial merino or merino blend is still a great option here, but you can also opt for any old 100-percent wool sweater since you won’t have to worry about the itch factor.
- Made with nuyarn merino bonded to a polyester face, KUIU’s Pro Merino 200 Zip-T Hoodie wicks moistures four times faster than pure merino.
- Sitka’s Apex Hoody features a built-in face mask, removable elbow pads, and reinforced fabric on high-wear areas.
- First Lite’s Sawtooth Hybrid Jacket is a versatile piece that can keep you dry and warm on damp mid-season hunts or serve as a mid layer in ultra-cold weather.
While wool can be prone to pulls and burrs, wool-blend outerwear can add an extra layer of warmth and protection.
- Cabela’s Outfitter Series Wooltimate Pants with 4MOST WINDSHEAR will keep you insulated in blustery conditions via the berber fleece and wool construction. Wooltimate technology is also available in a jacket, vest and pullover.
- First Lite’s Obsidian Pants combine merino with ripstop nylon for a wool hunting pant that moves with you and can stand up to tougher terrain.
Other often exposed areas that can benefit from the warmth and comfort of merino are your neck, face, head, hands and feet.
- Voormi creates excellent wool pieces for hunting, hiking and everyday use. Check out their crew socks, neck gaiters and beanies.
- KUIU also offers merino gloves, balaclavas, beanies and socks with hunters in mind.
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