Mongolia Horse Trek June - August 2010

Driza-Bone - Merino wool clothing review

I packed light and prepared for hot summer weather with rain and the chance of a blizzard. The Driza-Bone merino wool garments that I chose were a light weight long sleeved Tee shirt, a heavy weight long sleeved Tee shirt and two pair of leggins so that I could wear both if it was extremely cold.

I wore the red Driza-Bone long sleeved Tee shirt continuously and found it very comfortable. This included many conditions both on hot days when I would sweat and during cold nights. The lack of odour compared to my shirt, which I soon stopped wearing, was one thing that I liked. I washed the Driza-Bone Tee first and by the time I had finished the other washing it is half dry on a warm day or from the wind. Often I would just put it on and allow body heat to complete the drying.

With the constantly changing conditions rearranging clothes was inconvenient and as I understood my clothing more I soon realised that if I dressed to feel a little cool in the morning I would soon warm up a little from the riding, and normally the sun. When the Driza-Bone Tee was combined with a wind jacket it served me from extreme heat to cool weather and through wind and light rain. Even if it got soaked it soon dried while wearing it. I was also impressed by the colour fastness. Red is the first colour to wash out or fade in the sun. After three and a half months of constant wear the Driza-Bone long sleeved Tee still looked good.

The Driza-Bone merino leggins kept me warm during cold days and nights. Fortunately the cold never became severe enough so that I had to wear both pairs at the same time.

You need to be really critical of the Driza-Bone garments to find any fault so this is the best that I can do. Sizing was inconsistent between the two Tee shirts with one being a normal fit and one a slim fit. The arms were about 2.5cm too long for me although they were tight enough to remain on the wrists and not to fall down to the hands throughout the trek. (Driza-Bone have since addressed this.) Lack of pockets are a disadvantage of wearing a Tee shirt and after wearing the Tee shirt daily for approximately three months and dragging my neck wallet through the neck opening it stretched a little. The leggins did not provide enough support for me while riding so I wore normal underwear underneath.

In my opinion comfort, especially on the upper body, is critical when you are in tough conditions and the base layer has an important role here. These are the sort of things that you want to have right when things go pear shaped and your survival depends on it.

Overall an excellent choice and I couldn't think of having completed the Trek with any other clothing. I thank The Merino Company and Driza-Bone for providing these garments.