Merino 101

The merino is one of the world’s most ancient breeds of sheep. And one of the toughest.

Very different to a regular sheep who chews grass in the lowlands, our merino live in the extremes of New Zealand’s Southern Alps. Regular sheep would freeze to death up there.

But the merino’s fleece is built for extremes – breathable in summer, insulating in winter, yet exceptionally soft and lightweight.

We’ve pioneered the use of merino wool in the wilderness since 1994, and now we’ve fused nature and technology to create merino layers for the outdoors, for performance sports, and for the city.

How it works

Nature created Icebreaker merino wool as protection against the scorching summers and freezing winters of New Zealand’s rugged Southern Alps mountain range.

It’s the ultimate field test - if nature gets it wrong, the sheep dies. Humans are clever, but nature is smarter. So instead of trying to design a better fibre, we adapted merino wool into a lightweight system of all-season garments for people.

  • In summer, the merino’s thin, light, super-breathable coat keeps him cool in temperatures that hit +35 °C (+95 °F)
  • In winter, he grows an extra layer of wool over his base coat as protection against temperatures that plummet to -20 °C (-4 °F)

How does Icebreaker merino perform?

FIND OUT