Unbound Merino Review: Testing Out A Wool Wardrobe For Travel

Unbound Merino makes some of the best travel clothing on the market that easily blends into daily life. We’ve been wearing the company’s clothes for travel over the last two years, and I’ve had some time to get to know their products.

I only travel with a carry-on suitcase, no matter the trip or duration. With checked luggage, I find things become redundant and unnecessary. The secret to this success stems from the fact I pack clothes that can be worn multiple times without a wash. Wool clothing is exceptional in its ability to resist bacteria and odor.

Unbound Merino Wool Clothing Review

Why Merino Wool Clothing?

Merino Sheep

We’re big fans of natural fibers when it comes to health and environmental impacts. Merino wool is a natural fiber from the fleece of Merino sheep from New Zealand and Australia. It’s prized for its fine, dense fibers that produce excellent fabrics.

The result is a fabric that outperforms almost all other natural fibers yet remains soft to the touch. Ditch the old idea of scratchy wool sweaters, as wool is a performance fabric well suited for clothing. Merino wool products can keep you cool in hot weather but warm in cold weather.

Lac Blanc In Chamonix

Merino wool is naturally antimicrobial, so the clothing from the wool stays fresh longer. This is a big deal for travelers, backcountry adventurers, and environmentally conscious consumers, as wool clothing requires less washing.

We love Merino wool clothing for travel as it allows us to pack less in our bags and wear clothing multiple times without needing a wash. Previously, many wool clothing was produced by outdoor brands with hikers in mind. However, with a brand like Unbound Merino, they produce clothing that carries traditional casual styles perfect for daily life.

Unbound Merino Wool

Unbound Merino Wool Clothing Home Page

Unbound Merino has its roots in travel. The founders are three lifelong friends who loved wool clothing on long road trips but found it lacking. They set out to produce a line of casual clothing that looked great but had all the performance benefits of wool. As a traveler entering my thirties and wanting to look more professional, I’m their target customer.

Unbound Merino Wool Travel Pants Label

Wool clothing has come to dominate my wardrobe slowly; a large part is due to Unbound Merino. They started with a limited line of men’s casual wool clothing, and their line has evolved with time. They’ve even expanded into women’s clothing and continued producing several products we’ve fallen in love with.

The current Unbound Merino clothing line includes t-shirts, long-sleeve shirts, hoodies, button-up shirts, polos, pants, shorts, socks, underwear, and hats. At this point, they produce just above everything for men, outside a suit or stiff dress shirt. The women’s line is limited, but it’s quickly expanding to have everything we expect from the men’s clothing line.

First Impressions

Close Up Of Unbound Merino Shirt

Unbound is currently a direct-to-consumer brand, at least as we know. We’ve never seen it in local retailers and have always ordered directly on their website. So all orders must be placed on their website. The website makes for easy ordering, and order fulfillment and shipping are all reasonably fast. It makes for a seamless shopping experience.

Shipping comes with minimal packaging, which helps reduce waste. It’s all delivered in a branded cardboard box, and items are individually wrapped in paper. They nail the packaging as it feels sustainable and premium.


Cameron In Boreno At Lodge Wearing Unbound Merino T-Shirt

When we travel, we value versatile clothing that fits well in different social settings and physical environments. A truly versatile article of clothing that pair seamlessly with other pieces in my backpack wardrobe and looks great whether we’re out for dinner, on a beach, hiking, or exploring a city. It should also be suitable for any climate, whether Borneo or Iceland.

We find Unbound Merino clothing to be very versatile. With a simple, logo-free design featuring muted colors and a casual fit, their staples are easy to work into my wardrobe. Whether it’s a simple t-shirt, cozy sweater, or flexible travel pants, they can complete almost any look. Plus, with the temperature-regulating properties of merino wool, they’re excellent at handling the weather of any destination or any season at home.

Top Picks From Unbound Merino

Merino Wool T-Shirt

Cameron On Safari In Unbound Merino Wool Shirt
On safari in my Unbound Merino Wool T-Shirt

The most popular item and what we wear the most is the Merino Wool T-Shirt. A t-shirt is a classic wardrobe staple that’s easy to work into your daily rotation. That means we’ve ditched our bulk order of generic cotton t-shirts.

Unbound Merino t-shirts utilize ultra-fine 17.5-micron merino wool for the fabric. The result is a very soft t-shirt that offers exceptional functionality. Wool excels at regulating temperatures, drying fast, wicking moisture, and resisting odor. We’ve worn the shirts for hundreds of days now and have never noticed a smell from the shirt.

unbound merino wool t shirt
Natasha in the Women’s Merino Wool V-Neck T-Shirt

Their shirts sport a classic fit, so they separate themselves from the athletic cuts of hiking apparel. It provides more room in the shirt, which works for various body types. However, it’s never too loose, and the hemline along the sleeve length is perfect. Wool is heavier than traditional cotton shirts, so the shirts fall nicely across the body and look sharp with chinos.

Additionally, we appreciate the lack of branding on the shirts besides the tagless neck collar. It’s an easy addition to any closet or suitcase. Our two favorite colors from the line are Navy and Heather Grey.

T-Shirt Links

Unbound Merino Travel Pants

Cameron Valley Of Temples In Sicily Unbound Merino Pants And Linen Shirt

Unbound’s Merino Travel Pants may have impressed me more than any other item from the company. Before testing out their tops, I’d worn plenty of wool hiking tops, but the pants are the first and only wool pair I’ve worn. What’s most impressive is the pants are 95% Merino wool with only 5% Elastane to add a bit of comfort and durability.

The pants utilized a heavier weave than the tops to create a more durable fabric. Most important to me is they’re designed with travelers in mind. They’re as comfortable as sweatpants but look sharp when paired with the right outfit. Plus, they have a hidden pocket hidden zipper back pocket for security. We love the look of slim-fit pants, but they aren’t for everyone.

Travel Pants Link

Unbound Merino Polo

Unbound Merino Polo

The Unbound Merino Polo is a great option for performance and style. Its lightweight design keeps you cool on hot summer days, while its antibacterial properties reduce the need for frequent washing. Wool brings a lot of benefits to a polo.

It’s wrinkle-resistant, lightweight, and odor resistant, so it’s the perfect polo for traveling. We find it super versatile and easy to look sharp without much hassle.

Wool Polo Link

Compact Travel Hoodie

Compact Travel Hoodie

It’s tough to beat the coziness of a classic hoodie. Thanks to the popularity of athleisure, it allows a slim-cut hoodie with minimal branding to work in a multitude of settings. It’s become one of our go-to travel items for long-haul flights.

Crafted from 100% Merino wool, it’s suitable for any cool weather and perfect for cozy evenings at home. The wool design does a better job of regulating temperatures, and it’s far more compact than a traditional hoodie.

We are impressed with the weight and comfort of the hoody. It’s all about simplicity and functionality without any flashy elements. The Compact Travel Hoodie is a travel staple worth adding to your wardrobe.

Compact Travel Hoodie Link

Our thoughts On Unbound Merino

Unbound Merino

What We Love

  • Excellent wardrobe staples that offer superior performance over traditional items.
  • Stylish cuts which blend in well with the daily wardrobe.
  • It requires less washing which is more sustainable and excellent for traveling.

What We Don’t Love

  • It’s an investment.
  • Wool requires a bit more time to wash.
  • We love certain staples of clothing over others. We’re not as pumped about sweatpants or hoodies as other items.

FAQ About Unbound Merino

What To Know About Merino Wool Clothing

Merino Wool Clothing Close Up

It should be stated that wool clothing is not cheap. However, wool clothing is an investment as it lasts longer than cotton or synthetic materials. We’re big proponents of owning fewer things that are better quality rather than rampant cheap consumerism with products we regularly throw away.

We’d rather have one great shirt that lasts for years over ten that lasts for a year. It also helps that wool clothing is more comfortable and performs far better than cotton. More on that below! It’s also worth noting that wool clothing requires more care than synthetic shirts but requires less washing.

How To Care For Merino Wool Clothing

It’s pretty easy to care for your Unbound Merino wool clothing. Each item is unique and comes with care instructions on the label. However, we prefer to care for all our wool clothing the same.

We suggest you machine wash inside-out in cool water with similar colors and lie flat to dry. Truthfully our t-shirts have slipped into the dryer several times and still look great. It’s still best to let them air dry.

Is Wool Clothing Sustainable?

Faroe Islands sheep

Whether wool is a sustainable material depends on one’s perspective on the sustainability of animal products. It’s essential to recognize that wool is not vegan, but the intersection of veganism and sustainability is much more intricate and nuanced than a simple binary relationship. I’m in the middle of most stances and prefer a balanced approach.

Sustainable and ethical wool production encompasses various crucial aspects, extending beyond the choice of fabrics alone, which is an integral part of sustainable fashion. I appreciate that Unbound Merino acknowledges the topic and ensures that all the factories producing their clothing hold certification from NATIVA and Woolmark. They’re independent certifications that evaluate whether wool adheres to RWS, or responsible wool standards, which protects the welfare of the sheep and their land.

Sustainably, the considerations go beyond material choices and delve into ethical practices and responsible production methods. Unbound Merino’s proactive approach to overseeing its manufacturing process indicates a willingness to address sustainability concerns and take steps toward improving its techniques. Understanding the complexity of sustainability and ethics in wool production is vital when evaluating the broader impact of fashion choices.

Final Thoughts On Unbound Merino Clothes

Cameron Unbound Merino Wool Baalbek

After rigorously testing Unbound Merino clothing over a year of travel, we can confidently say that they fulfill their initial promise splendidly – the clothes remain odor-free even after multiple wears, reducing the need for frequent washing. They’re a blessing on the road.

Our Merino t-shirts and pants stayed fresh for several days longer than garments made from other materials. It meant I’d keep reaching for my Unbound Merino t-shirt after all my other clothes were dirty. I’ve worn my Unbound Merino t-shirt more than any other clothing item this past year.

Durability is impressive with the shirts. We did notice some pilling with the first few washes, but after regular wearing, that went away with time. So far, we have not seen any adverse signs of wear or concerns with the craftsmanship. After extensive testing, we firmly believe that Unbound Merino is an excellent option for Merino wool travel clothing.

Wool clothing stands out for its premium quality, wrinkle resistance, odor resistance, and timeless style. Though you can find similar factors in other brands or even within your closet, Unbound Merino is our choice for wool wardrobe staples. Thanks to their products, you can pack lighter and reduce consumption with a few thoughtful pieces of clothing.

Unbound Merino Wool Clothing

About Cameron Seagle

Cameron Seagle is one of the principal writers and photographers for The World Pursuit. He is a travel expert that has been traveling the world for the past decade. During this time, he established a passion for conservation and environmental sustainability. When not traveling, he's obsessed with finding the best gear and travel products. In his free time, you can find him hiking, mountain biking, mountaineering, and snowboarding. His favorite countries are Scotland, Indonesia, Mozambique, Peru, Italy, and Japan.

You can learn more about Cameron on The World Pursuit About Us Page.