DriRelease Wool provides benefits of merino and synthetic fibers

Over the past decade, merino wool has been a fiber with some serious buzz. Believe the hype. The high-performance qualities of merino in outdoor clothing are for real: it’s warm when damp, it adapts to changing temperatures, it resists body stink and it comes from an eco-friendly supply chain. But synthetic fibers do have their own high-performance qualities that have made them so popular for so long: They effectively wick moisture, even if they stink and feel harsh on the skin.

So how do you get the best of both worlds? Spin merino wool fibers and synthetic fibers together to create a brand new formula that performs like the best synthetics with the feel of wool. That’s the secret behind drirelease® Wool. The fabric blends 88 percent polyester and 12 percent wool into a single yarn that wicks moisture, packs down easily and feels as soft as cotton against the skin. It releases water faster than pure polyester—hence the name—and it’s 29 percent warmer than merino. And an additional technical advantage is that the soft, next-to-skin comfort factor of drirelease® allows Outdoor Research to design pieces that don’t require a fleece lining, cutting down on weight.

drirelease® Wool is not a treatment like the DWR on the face of a waterproof/breathable fabric, so it won’t wear or wash out. And although wool has anti-stink properties on its own, drirelease® goes a step further. An odor neutralizer called FreshGuard®, which both blocks odor and kills bacteria, is embedded in the fabric. And it won’t wash out, meaning your hat won’t smell like a wet dog after a few days in the backcountry.

You’ll find drirelease® in warm double-knit Outdoor Research headwear like the City Limits Beanie™, which weighs in at just 2.2 ounces. That light weight and warmth combined with the wicking properties of drirelease® make it ideal for high-energy winter activities ranging from skinning backcountry laps, to alpinism, to cold-weather running.