First Lite is a company born in the Rocky Mountains of Idaho in 2007. They made their name by being the first company to imprint merino wool with camo patterns. By 2010 the buzz around this company exploded, but we still get customers asking about First Lite on a daily basis. We happen to be extremely fond of our First Lite gear so we’ll take a few minutes to let you know about this merino wool hunting clothing.
Merino wool is nothing new, in fact, is been around for many years. Unlike standard wool, First Lite’s merino wool features a very fine fiber allowing it to be worn comfortably next to your skin without an itchy feeling. The composition of wool makes it warm, water-repellent, odor-resistant, flame-retardant, durable, anti-static, and a UV protector.
So why should you spend $95 dollars on a merino wool hunting shirt? The number one reason is ODOR CONTROL. Here is information right from First Lite’s website.
While sweat itself has no odor if it remains on the skin in time bacteria develop and create unpleasant body odors. Merino reduces the opportunity for odors to generate because it is more efficient than other textiles at absorbing sweat and evaporating it into the air.
The rate of diffusion of small and large molecules into the fiber increases and it is able to absorb odors faster. When the temperature drops and the fiber once again falls below the glass transition, the odors are trapped within the structure even if the moisture evaporates. Later, during laundering, the garment again passes through the glass transition point and the odors are carried out of the structure by the water. Synthetics are not able to benefit from this same effect because they do not pass through glass transition during normal wear.
The odor control of First Lite’s Merino Wool is no joke and works extremely well. I tend to sweat heavily so odor is always a big problem by the time day 2 rolls around in the backcountry. I am able to wear a single set of First Lite gear + 1 extra shirt (so I don’t have to sleep in a sweaty shirt) for 3 straight nights in the backcountry!
Besides odor control, First Lite’s Merino Wool is an extremely efficient fabric. It breathes well and transfers moisture away from your skin. Yet unlike synthetics, it retains warmth even when wet. So you can start warm on those windy ridges, you sweated like crazy to get up to so you could glass.