Armadillo Merino® next to skin merino wool clothing for for extreme users and conditions.

5 Reasons Why Soldiers Should Wear Armadillo Merino® Base Layer

Armadillo Merino® can save the lives of Soldiers

For centuries wool had been the fibre of choice for clothing worn by soldiers, police, firemen and search & rescue teams because of wools natural protective properties and its versatility over a wide range of extreme environments but over recent years these benefits have been forgotten, that is until now.

For a lot of military forces, the standard issue base layer is a of synthetic, petrochemical based garment. These garments are marketed for sportswear, but have no place on the battle field as they increase the risks a soldier faces and in some situations are downright dangerous. The issues synthetic base layers are:

  • Melting and dripping into the skin from heat. Synthetic garments melt at 160C.
  • Increased incidence of skin infections.
  • Smell due to bacteria growth on the synthetic garment
  • Reduced stamina due to excessive sweating

These are all known and well documented risks, but soldiers are still issued with these dangerous garments. 

The Armadillo Merino® Solution

Armadillo Merino® has taken an innovative approach to solving these issues. With the use of innovative textile and knitting technology, combined with superfine merino wool we have created a new generation of performance base layers. Below are five reasons you should be considering Armadillo Merino® for your base layer:

1. No Melt- No Drip 

Armadillo Merino® next-to-skin garments will not melt or drip. They have natural flame resistance up to 600C, and will not melt or drip when exposed to heat. This is natural and is well documented. To learn more download our technical paper. 

2. No Smell

Armadillo Merino® will NOT smell, as it has natural anti-microbial properties. The smell comes from bacteria growing on the sweat that is on a cotton or synthetic garment. As the bacteria cannot grow on Merino, it does not smell. These properties have been thoroughly researched and are well known. If a cotton or synthetic garment advertises no smell, then they have treated the garment with a chemical to stop the bacteria growing. If you are wearing synthetic no-smell garments, do you want this chemical next to your skin?

3. Thermoregulates the skin, reducing overheating or chilling

The function of your base layer is to help provide thermoregulation. When you get hot, it needs to help to move the sweat away from your skin, and when it is cold it needs to provide insulation, to help keep you warm. If you are sweating, then stop in a cold environment, your base layer is very important, as it may be wet with sweat, and it needs to help to keep you warm.

What is unique about Armadillo Merino base layers is their ability to move the sweat away from your skin in a vapor state. We call this the breathability of Merino. By doing this it leaves your skin drier, as you sweat in a vapour state.

Second Merino can absorb up to 30% of its weight in moisture before it feels wet, once again leaving your skin drier. For a synthetic base layer to wick the sweat away, your skin must be wet with sweat, and the fabric must also be wet. Wet skin and wet fabric, can leave you feeling wet and cold.

Another reason Merino is a great base layer is when it is cold, Merino keeps you warm by trapping small pockets of air within its fibres, and this works even when it is wet. When it is warm the same fibres will help to whisk moisture away from your skin so it can evaporate back into the water cycle!

All of this means less over heating, less sweat, and less chilling for the soldier.

4. Comfort

Comfort is something soldiers take for granted, however if a garment is uncomfortable it is a distraction. For this reason we looked very closely at our garments with the goal of maximizing comfort against the skin. We did this by:

  • Removing internal care labels
  • Garments are constructed so there are no seams under the armpit to reduce skin abrasion and chaffing
  • No seams over the shoulders for comfort when carrying heavy loads or body armour
  • Added thumb loops to all of our long sleeve garments for added protection and comfort
  • Made the backs longer, as nothing is more annoying than the back of your base layer riding up as you bend over. 

Armadillo Merino® offers three collections of specialist lightweight garments designed to be worn next to skin in extreme environments.

  • Elite: High performance protective wear engineered exclusively for professionals who demand the very best. Developed in Italy using new fabric technology, this superfine merino offers a smooth, silken feel whilst retaining incredible strength. 
  • Big Cat: Designed to be semi-fit it combines the look and feel of your favourite cotton T-shirt with all the extra benefits of merino. It looks great as a first layer, yet is ready to perform in extreme environments offering you protection, temperature control and moisture management when you need it.
  • Raptor Range is made from an open rib knit fabric to help you thermoregulate in all temperatures. When it's hot, heat and perspiration are released to keep you cooler and drier. When its cold, your Armadillo works as an insulator, trapping still air to keep you warm. With a figure-hugging fit, it makes an excellent base layer.

5. Easy Care – being machine washable and quick drying

No need for high temperatures or special detergents because merino is self-cleaning in water and naturally releases dirt and odour even in a cool wash. Simply wash it at up to 40°C with all your other clothes using your usual detergent. Your lightweight Armadillo will line dry quickly. Or just leave it on a hanger overnight. If pushed for time, you can tumble dry on a low heat, but do so sparingly and you will prolong your garments life.


Armadillo Merino® and soldiers

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