Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of HarcourtHealth.com and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.

Dressing appropriately for an activity is always important, but it’s especially important in cold climates. Layering is key – however many people layer with a t-shirt they got for free at some event, or a cotton, long-sleeve shirt they got for Christmas, thinking it will keep them warm enough. Unfortunately, people who dress like this are going to be cold and uncomfortable, especially if they plan on going skiing or snowboarding, where the mountain air can get incredibly frigid.

For hitting the slopes, a merino wool base layer is the best option. Sure there are other options like silk or synthetic materials, but synthetic materials cause odours to build up when worn throughout the day, which means that, given how physically active skiing and snowboarding are, if you wear a synthetic base layer, you are going to smell by the end of the day. Also, silk is not easily cleaned, requiring hand washing and giving itself to shrinking. On the other hand, even if you’re looking for the best merino wool clothing out there, you’ll still find clothes that aren’t finicky to wash.

Merino wool is comfortable on warmer days as well, or when you’ve worked up a sweat on the ski hill. Because of the way the material is woven, it allows for a buffer on the skin where it traps in warm air on cold days, while still keeps the skin cool and allowing for a stable body temperature, because it’s breathable. You might think that wool is itchy and uncomfortable, like the wool sweater you probably received as a gift when you were a child (when what you really wanted was one of these), but a merino wool base layer is soft, meaning that there will be no uncomfortable itching on the ski hill.

Lastly, you can wear an article of merino wool clothing longer than other types of clothing because merino wool is naturally antibacterial. Since it can go for days or even weeks without needing a wash, it allows for a skier to travel light and pack less clothing for a trip. Bring fewer sweaters, socks and even underwear, and still feel comfortable knowing that these items can be used multiple times without stinking up the chalet.

All in all, there is no better material than merino wool when it comes to skiing and snowboarding. If you want to pack light, sweat less, smell better and feel both insulated and refreshed, merino wool is your best bet. And if you want all those thing and you still want to look great, then look for a merino wool company that takes pride in their design, making sure that the garments you choose are versatile enough to be worn out later in the night, after a long day on the slopes, when you go out with your friends.

There are many options and technologies out there when it comes to clothes, but merino wool has stood the test of time and is still one of the best -if not the best – option for winter activities.