At ioMerino we’ve always said our world class Merino outdoor clothing is perfect for the trails, so we’re happy as Larry to get on board with Ultra Trail Australia (UTA) as a sponsor. As part of the Ultra Trail World Tour, UTA in Australia’s Blue Mountains can dish up all kinds of weather – from warm during the day to freezing cold at night, so our ioMerino fits their mandatory gear list perfectly.
Whether you’re running UTA, any of the other races in the World Tour, or just doing your own thing, here’s a few pointers on some fully trail tested and UTA compliant lightweight thermal gear you might find useful on your way.
We May Be Smaller. But We’re World Class.
Let’s get something out there up front. We know we’re not the biggest Merino brand in the world. But with six generations of wool know-how, we’re no rookies when it comes to making some of the best Merino gear on the planet.
We also know how to walk the walk, and run the run. David Michell, the man behind ioMerino, ran this race a few years back. As did one of our ioCrew members. So when they give advice about what to take with you, what to wear, and how it’s going to work, they know what they’re talking about. Even more so because both of them are slower than elephants wading through treacle, so they were out there for longer, and needed their thermals more than most.
The Basics: Socks & Undies.
If you want Merino socks, we’ve got ‘em. These are super soft, feel ridiculously good straight out of the pack, and have 80% Merino wool content which makes them some of the Merino-iest socks on the planet.
We know plenty of you will be wearing running shorts, but if you need undies (mens and womens), these are the go. Soft, lightweight, with all the benefits of a Merino layer. To keep your ‘valuables’ safe and warm and comfortable.
Don’t Hit The Trails Without These.
Now, let’s talk mandatory gear. Our range of thermal leggings and long sleeve tops are UTA compliant, approved and recommended. Sure you could buy cheaper, stinky synthetics. But these are way better. Breathable. Odour-resistant. Moisture wicking. Temperature regulating. Soft. Lightweight. Natural. What more can we say? You can find out more about the benefits of Merino right here. And these are as soft and comfortable as they come. Pack them in your kit and you’ll not only have a few mandatory items sorted, you’ll be ready for anything, not only during the race, but on future adventures as well.
The Altitude tops come in crew, zip neck or hooded, the choice is yours. They all feature flat lock seams and a tag-free design to make them ultra comfortable and chafe-free. The crew is your standard, ‘contact fit’ cut (ie. close fitting) and the 4% Elastane gives it a nice, easy, 4-way stretch for complete flexibility and freedom of movement. The Zip allows even more temperature regulation: sleeves up, zip down when it’s warmer; zip up, sleeves down, thumb loops on when the temperature drops. This allows you to whack it on late afternoon when it starts to really cool down and be comfortable well into the night, rather than having to add an extra layer later in the evening.
The Altitude Leggings are the same thickness as the Altitude top, and are fully UTA compliant, delivering a good level of warmth even if you slow down to a shuffle going up those hills or stop for a drink. But when you’re on the go, they’ll keep you warm without overheating or getting stinky and sweaty like synthetics will. Remember, almost all compression garments are simply compression garments and not thermals, and will not pass the UTA mandatory gear requirements. Save those for your post-race recovery because they won’t keep you warm when the temperature drops anyway. These also happen to be super lightweight so will fit in your pack nicely and not weigh you down if you don’t end up needing them, but keep you nice and warm if you do. If you’re expecting to be out there a while and really feel the cold, you might even consider upgrading to the Chaser leggings which are almost twice as thick and offer a lot more warmth. (They’re also more opaque so more suitable for wearing without the need for a pair of ‘courtesy shorts’ over the top.)
The Keystone tops are made with 100% superfine Australian Merino and are slightly thinner than the Altitude range (but still fully mandatory gear compliant), so if you’re looking for all of the natural performance and comfort of our MicroMerino® thermal layers, but with a regular, everyday fit, then the Keystone is for you!
We also have our new ultra range is ultra-natural, ultra-breathable, ultra-comfortable and, of course, ultra warm for such a lightweight garment. The tops and tees are packed with high performance features and they’re just perfect for running in cold weather. Wear it on its own if it’s just a bit chilly, or layer up when the temperature really drops.
Top It Off With a Beanie and Gloves
There’s all sorts of beanies out there. But if it gets cold, Merino’s the go. And ours are as good, if not better, than any going around. Some people prefer the lighter weight beanies, instead of the knitted style. But these are pretty awesome. And we have a new Merino Skull Cap, so if you’re not into the thicker styles, that might be the one for you. Even if you don’t run in one, it’s worth having in your kit for before or after the race. Trust us, when the temperature drops, your head will thank you for it.
For many runners, cold hands can be a real problem when running in cold weather. Your arms and legs usually warm up nicely enough, but your hands don’t have the same level of circulation and can stay cold, so a good pair of gloves is essential. Ours are lightweight, natural, breathable, soft, warm and comfortable. And you can even use your touchscreen devices without taking them off, thanks to the touchscreen friendly pads on the thumb and forefinger.
Something to train in
We have just launched a Limited Edition ioMerino x UTA ‘Run all the trails’ tee (men’s and women’s) available through the UTA website. This t-shirt is fully trail tested and the perfect UTA training t-shirt.
It’s the short sleeve version of the Altitude Long Sleeve mandatory thermal top. This lightweight t-shirt has a super soft next to skin feel and while it’s designed to provide the perfect level of warmth when it’s cold, the natural breathability and thermo-regulation will also help keep you cool when you hit the trails over summer.
As always, our ioTeam are pretty helpful when it comes to answering questions, so if you have any that aren’t too difficult, send us an email any time and we’ll get straight back to you. (Unless we’re out hitting the trails ourselves in which case you may need to be a teeny bit more patient!)