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    Unbound Merino Brand Review: Perfectly minimalist and stylish performance essentials for travelers

    Minimalist clothing is an understatement key to a simpler life and easier adventures, while still exuding a classy, stylish attractiveness.

    Over the past 10 years, I’ve lived everywhere from the corporate boardroom, to the Himalayas, to swanky rooftop bars and everywhere in between, and I love clothing that seamlessly fits in all possible circumstances.

    Unbound Merino T-shirt Review |

    Even better, I love reliable brands that deliver minimalist, classic style, stylish yet performance friendly fit, and materials and construction that suit the clothes for daily streetwear or outdoor adventure.

    Unbound Merino is one of those brands.

    As a brand of clothing conceived by, designed by, and built for minimalist travelers, in my experience, Unbound Merino consistently delivers high quality, reliable staple clothing pieces that fit, feel, and look great.

    Even better, the use of naturally techy Merino wool crafted into versatile staple pieces, Unbound’s clothing adds up to travel friendly gear that allows you to travel longer with fewer pieces of clothing, lightening your bag, and making your travels easier.

    For the last 7 years I’ve been traveling the world with Unbound Merino in my bag and on my back. In this article, I’ll share my favorite Unbound Merino clothing that is perfect for travelers and minimalists.

    This article contains affiliate links

    Why Unbound Merino: Minimalist, classic basics with a great fit and the performance of Merino Wool

    • Great Value: Top quality performance minimalist and travel clothing for relatively cheap
    • Great Quality: Solid construction and high quality materials
    • Minimalist, versatile style: Classic staples in modern cuts add up to easy styl
    • Perfect for a capsule or minimalist wardrobe

    Incredible soft feeling fabric on the skin

    Unbound Merino’s gear has the performance and style to be the only gear in your bag, with a handful of pieces. Perfect for minimalist traveling with a single, carry on bag, to any climate.

    For travelers, “one baggers”, and minimalists, clothing choice is a very strategic investment choice that enhances daily life by adding style, comfort, and simplicity by picking the right clothing.

    Unbound Merino is one of my “go to” brands because their ethos of stylish minimalism while delivering performance.

    Virtually every piece of clothing is a classic staple (v-neck t-shirt, sweat pants, hoodie), made with soft and comfy yet naturally techy high quality Merino.

    Unbound Merino’s approach of versatile earth tones and minimal branding, along with the grime and funk resistance properties of Merino Wool, add up to pieces you can wear repeatedly day in and day out with minimal washes. This means, you can have fewer pieces of clothing in your wardrobe, or backpack, while traveling longer.

    Ultimately, Unbound Merino’s minimalist approach to classic clothing maximizes how efficiently your wardrobe performs.

    Why Merino: Odor Resistant, Quick Drying, and Comfy

    Part of the equation that adds up to Unbound Merino’s amazing clothing is Merino wool. But what makes Merino wool so great?

    • Stays fresh: Merino wool naturally resists odor and does require washing often
    • Sweat wicking and quick drying: Merino wool is naturally an activewear performance clothing
    • Quick drying: Merino wool is one of the only stylish fibers that will dry while you wear it
    • Soft: Unbound Merino’s ultra-fine Merino adds up to a soft, comfy feel

    The bottom line…

    Merino wool is the ultimate natural performance material and Unbound Merino does an amazing job package such an active lifestyle and adventure friendly cloth into stylish, wardrobe amplifying staples.

    The Unbound Merino Clothing Line

    It’s clear I love Merino wool, and it’s a staple in my travel wardrobe on the road and the capsule wardrobe I keep at home.

    So, what are my favorite pieces of Unbound Merino clothing that I’d recommend adding to your travel wardrobe?

    My recommended Essentials

    Staple Items

    Other Great Options

    Quick Reviews of My Favorite Unbound Merino Pieces

    Merino V-Neck T-Shirt

    When it comes to good Merino Wool, the most useful pieces of clothing to have are V-Neck t-shirts, making them an easy and useful first piece from Unbound Merino.

    Unboound Merino Review

    This Merino V-Neck t-shirt has that classic meets modern V-neck cut, which elevates an ordinary t-shirt from “basic” to “classic.”

    As with all of Unbound Merino’s clothing, this t-shirt has a modern, form fitting cut, that improves style. Some t-shirts destroy style by being baggy in the wrong places. The Unbound Merino V-Neck achieves the exact opposite, improving style thanks to a trim fit in the arms, chest, and waist, that naturally gives you a more attractive look.

    The superfine 17.5micron wool cloth, the tinier the thread the softer it is, super soft and feels great on the skin. None of the itch or roughness that you may instinctively associate with wool.

    Last, the shirt comes in earth tone and neutral colors (black, greys, darker blue, and burgundy) that make the shirt pair easily with any pair of pants, suitable for evenings and nicer occasions, and hides stains, allowing you to squeeze a few days of wear out of a single shirt between washes.

    FYI, I wore a single wool shirt for a week straight to test its anti-odor properties and by the end of the week the shirt was still fresh. If you’re a minimalist or a traveler aiming to carry as little as possible, you can’t go wrong with wool t-shirts.

    At the moment, in my bag as I travel Argentina, I carry 6 Merino wool shirts and 3 of them are from Unbound Merino.

    Bottom Line: The Unbound Merino V-Neck elevates a basic wardrobe staple, has a great fit, feels soft and comfy, and can be worn for days on end. I highly recommend 2 to 3 merino V-necks to optimize your travel wardrobe.

    Click here to see colors available for the V-Neck at Unbound Merino

    Merino Travel Shorts

    A good pair of travel friendly shorts are stylishly fit and cut, have just enough stretch to wear through anything, and are techy enough that the breath and resist odor. With a pair of shorts like this, you can get by in entire regions – like Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, and Mediterranean summers – with a 2 pairs of shorts.

    The Unbound Merino Travel Shorts are those kinds of shorts.

    These shorts are stylishly designed as Chinos shorts which gives them a bit of class closer to yachting in Croatia than the swim trunks most travelers take. At the same time, the 2 way stretch and breathability of Merino wool means you can comfortably where these on a day of hiking or walking around the town, then seamlessly pair with canvas kicks for an evening in the wine bar and still get compliments.

    From the months and months I’ve worn these, comfort stood out, both in softness, in stretch, and in breathability. As I mostly wore these shorts in the Thai and Japanese summers, they felt great in the heat and walking 10 plus miles around town, while taking up nearly no space in my bag.

    Bottom Line: The Unbound Merino Shorts turns a stylish classic (Chinos shorts) into a functional, versatile, essential piece of gear for travelers, making them a great investment.

    Pair a single pair of these chinos shorts with 3 Merino wool shirts, 1 pair of pants and a sleek pair of travel shoes like Glyphs, Softstars, or Converse Chuck Taylors, and you have a simple wardrobe that is nearly ready to take you through 3 months in Southeast Asia.

    Click here to see colors and sizes available at Unbound Merino

    Unbound Merino Compact Travel Hoodie (Zippered) and Ultralight Packable Hoodie (Pullover)

    Few staple pieces are as versatile and comfortable as the hoodie. This updated option, in Merino Wool and an intentionally packable design, add up to a useful piece of travel gear that adds comfort just as much as it does style.

    When traveling, there are times that a nice comfy, light layer is needed. Maybe its on a cool fall evening in Lisbon as you go out for beers. Maybe its while you sleep on the long flight from Dubai to Bangkok. Maybe it’s on the motorbike trip in Vietnam that takes you in the beautiful yet cool rice field highlands of Sapa.

    No matter where you travel, from the Sahara to Europe, have a light warmth layer that’s familiar and comfortable (like a kids blanket) without compromising style is a solidly useful piece of gear. The Merino Wool hoodie does that.

    This hoodie brings the same softness that all of Unbound Merino’s gear does, so soft I commonly wear it against my bare skin, but it does have a slightly rougher Merino wool (21.5 microns) which adds to its durability. Slight stretch and a slim fit make the way this hoodie wears adventure ready, which is why I wear it often motorbiking in Bali or simply stretching and doing yoga in my yard on a cool.

    The hood on this thing is perfect, as drapes over just enough to give that “assassin’s creed” feel, which is the exact amount of coverage that makes it perfect for sleeping in on an airplane undisturbed.

    In terms of warmth, this hoodie is a perfectly versatile “light layer.” The fabric is knitted thickly, resulting in a slightly porous but fluffy fabric. The result is you can wear it in slightly brisk situations and not worrying about overheating due to the breathability. However, throw a windproof layer on over, like the Patagonia Torrent Shell, and you have a super warm layer once you trap the heat in. Not “goose down feather puffy” level warm, but you’ll be fine in autumn virtually anywhere.

    Last, this layer lives up to the “compact” name, as folded it takes up little to know room in your backpack.

    Bottom Line: The Unbound Merino Hoodie combines comfy, with cool, and a little bit of warmth to deliver a versatile layer that will make travel and evenings out more comfortable with no compromise in style

    Zippered vs. Pullover. Which is best?

    Though I do own both, I lean toward the zippered Compact Travel Hoodie, simply because of the ease of taking it on and off. However, the non-zippered Ultralight Packable packs down a little smaller because of the lack of the zipper. For you, go with the zippered vs. no zipper preference for style as the packability and warmth differences between the two are negligible.

    Click here to the zippered Compact Travel Hoodie Colors and sizes and colors at Unbound Merino

    Click here to see the non-zippered Ultralight Packable Hoodie sizes and colors at Unbound Merino

    Merino Travel Pants

    Having a comfortable pair of jeans, with a modern cut and just enough stretch is a game changer when it comes to travel. Having them constructed of heat regulating Merino wool (warming and cooling) that requires far fewer washes than cotton is near perfect for a single pair of travel pants.

    The Unbound Merino Travel Pants do just that.

    Jeans are the ultimate pants…except for the lack of stretch, and how quickly cotton get’s dirty. Unbound Merino took the ultimate pants and upgraded them with the ultimate natural material, so you can wear them longer, more comfortably, without compromise.

    Cut as a pair of modern jeans that dress up or dress down easily, Unbound Merino swapped out the stiff and stink prone cotton with high quality wool and elastane makes these pants friendly to extended wear, with the mobility and stretch you’d need to do an impromptu yoga session in the airport.

    Combine these pants with the Merino Travel Shorts, 3 Merino V-Neck Shirts, and the Merino Hoodie and you have the perfect minimalist travel wardrobe.

    Click here to see the Unbound Merino Travel Pants’ available colors and sizes.

    Other Great Options from Unbound Merino I Suggest…

    • Long Sleeve Merino Henley: A stylish upgrade for warmth on cooler days. Pairs well with the hoodie
    • Merino Tank Top: Great for Southeast Asia, an awesome alternative to t-shirts on a hot day
    • Merino Transit Sweat Pants: Amazingly comfortable for lounging at home, yoga, long haul travel, and casual days around town. The classic grey sweat pants upgraded
    • Button Down: If there’s a possibility of a board meeting or a night out at a Michellin star restaurant, this travel friendly button down shirt is a perfect, stylish upgrade for upscale situations

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      About A Brother Abroad


      Carlos is a nomad, slow traveler, and writer dedicated to helping others live abroad and travel better by using his 7+ years of experience living abroad and background as a management consultant and financial advisor to help other nomad and expats plot better paths for an international lifestyle. Click here to learn more about Carlos's story.