My Hands-On Woolx Review: 3 Years Testing Their Merino Layers for Outdoor Adventure

I still remember excitedly ripping open my first order from Woolx – a pair of merino hiking socks and the Avery leggings. I was gearing up for colder weather adventures and wanted to put their raved-about merino wool to the test.

Over three years later, I‘ve explored mountains, forests and cities wearing Woolx baselayers, midlayers and accessories. Through fall foliage hikes, winter snowshoe escapes and early spring backpacking trips, my Woolx clothing has seen it all!

In this in-depth Woolx review, I‘ll analyze my first-hand experience with 10+ of their products. You‘ll discover:

  • How Woolx layers kept me comfortable in conditions from 30°F to 0°F
  • Comparisons between Woolx, Smartwool, Icebreaker and other popular merino brands
  • The downsides I noticed after long term wear and care
  • Style tips for layering specific Woolx pieces to maximize versatility
  • Plus extra research answering common buyer questions on Woolx

Let‘s dig into the nitty gritty to determine whether this affordable merino apparel brand deserves a spot in your outdoor gear closet!

My Journey From Synthetics to Merino Magic

Growing up scrambling over mountain slopes, I wore cheap polyester and nylon jackets that left me soaked in my own sweat within minutes. Without knowing better, I assumed that clammy chill was just part of outdoor adventures.

It wasn‘t until college that I discovered merino wool clothing from trying out an Icebreaker tee. I immediately became obsessed with merino‘s magical moisture wicking powers. No more soggy, stinky hikes for me!

So when I first heard of Woolx in 2019 from a sponsored post, I eagerly bought their entry-level leggings and socks to test. Could their affordable merino match up to premium brands?

Analyzing A Dozen Pieces From My Woolx Collection

Over the past three years, I‘ve expanded my Woolx collection to a dozen staple pieces I wear almost daily each winter.

You could call me a bit of a Woolx fangirl! From cozy base layers to hard-wearing outer pieces, I‘ve personally put their products through the wringer.

Here‘s the rundown of my thoughts on fit, function and durability across the best and worst from my Woolx wardrobe:

My Top Woolx Wins

Woolx Women‘s Avery Leggings

  • Worn For: Snowboarding, winter hiking, daily leggings
  • Pros: Stayed warm wearing them in 12°F weather, very comfortable
  • Cons: Pilled inner thighs after 1 season, delicate fabric

Woolx Women‘s Riley Long Sleeve Crew

  • Worn For: Snowshoeing, fall hiking, winter walks
  • Pros: Versatile weight, great fitted cut for layering
  • Cons: Runs small, size up for a relaxed fit

Woolx Arctic Hybrid Pant

  • Worn For: Backpacking, camping, winter landscape photography
  • Pros: Weather-resistant exterior sheds rain/snow, cozy wool inside
  • Cons: Slightly heavy compared to softshell pants

Products That Disappointed

Woolx Women‘s Cloudlight Rain Jacket

  • Worn For: Spring hiking, rainy dog walks
  • Pros: Packs down tiny into included pouch
  • Cons: Not actually waterproof as claimed

Woolx Hiking Crew Socks

  • Worn For: Day hikes, around-town wear
  • Pros: Light yet warm merino blend
  • Cons: Developed holes in heels quickly

How Woolx Stacks Up to the Competition

Woolx prides itself on value by using quality materials without the ulta-premium price tag. But how does it compare brands known for performance like Smartwool and Icebreaker?

I pitted my Woolx favorites head-to-head against similar pieces from other top merino labels. Here‘s my take:

Brand Comparison Metrics Smartwool Icebreaker Woolx
Price $$$ $$$ $$
Quality Excellent Excellent Very good
Comfort Great Great Great
Durability Durable Average Average
Functionality High performance Better for lifestyle Good performance
Size range Solid Solid Decent
Style Outdoor core with some lifestyle Lifestyle driven Outdoor core

While Woolx doesn‘t beat Smartwool‘s bulletproof construction or Icebreaker‘s ultrasoft merino, it holds its own at a gentler price point. I award Woolx an overall grade of A- as a mid-range merino competitor.

Keeping Warm & Dry: How Merino Wool Makes Winter Adventure Possible

I‘ve tested my Woolx layers everywhere from winter backpacking to waiting for the bus. Here are a few memorable adventures where merino proved its magic:

Snowshoeing Mt. Cardigan in New Hampshire

The forecast called for sunny skies and 35°F. Perfect weather to snowshoe up this New England beauty! I wore my Woolx Avery leggings and Riley crew topped with a softshell jacket and waterproof shell pants.

After gaining nearly 3,000 feet in elevation, the winds picked up and temps dropped. Most hikers descended but my merino layers locked in body heat so I continued upwards. When I stopped to enjoy the views, the windchill must have been below freezing. But my Woolx crew and leggings kept me toasty during this unplanned endurance test!

Backcountry Winter Camping in Vermont‘s Green Mountains

For this overnight trip I expected lows around 12°F and packed accordingly. As my base layer, I wore the Woolx expedition weight 400 crew and leggings. Mid layers were the Riley LS zip hoodie and Pacific loft jacket stuffed into a waterproof-breathable shell.

Woolx‘s blend of merino and polyester insulation wicked away sweat during the steep uphill skin to our backcountry site. After setting up the tent as winds whipped to 20 mph, the merino crews kept me warm enough to melt snow and cook dinner inside my uninsulated shelter!

Daily Dog Walks & Errands During a Snowy Winter

While outdoor trips are the true testing ground, merino performs magic during daily winter wear too. Over a snowy couple months when temps hovered around 25°F, I wore my Woolx Avery leggings and core top almost daily. Whether walking my pup, grabbing groceries or meeting friends, these layers kept me dry and comfortable.

The natural odor and moisture control meant I could rewear pieces all week without needing to wash. A true miracle compared to stinky synthetic base layers!

Crafting the Ultimate Layering System with Woolx

One benefit of merino apparel is its versatility across seasons and activities. With a coordinated layering system, you‘re ready for everything!

As an experienced Woolx wear tester, I‘ll share my perfect layering combos using specific pieces from their collection:

Colder Temps (25°F to -10°F)

  • Base: Expedition Weight Leggings + Crew
  • Mid Layer: Riley Zip Hoodie
  • Insulation: Timber Parka
  • Accessories: Balaclava, Mittens, Mountaineering Socks

Shoulder Season Temps (35°F to 20°F)

  • Base: Avery Leggings + Crew
  • Mid Layer: Women‘s Mia Long Sleeve
  • Outer Layer: Cloudlight Rain Jacket (Need a better option though!)
  • Accessories: Beanie, Fingerless Gloves, Short Socks

Warmer Weather (50°F to 80°F)

  • Base: Lightweight V-Neck Tee + Boxer Briefs
  • Mid Layer: Linden Short Sleeve Button Up
  • Outer: None needed
  • Accessories: Balaclava for sweat, Cap for sun

Layer intelligently by choosing breathable, sweat-wicking merino wool pieces that work together to cover your needs in any weather.

Helpful Background on Woolx as a Brand

While my performance reviews come from personal testing, I dug into some helpful history on Woolx too:

  • Founded in 2012 by Nicole and Joe Calleo in upstate New York
  • Inspired by their 60 year old family outdoor apparel shop
  • Goal to create affordable, ethical merino clothing
  • Headquartered in Endwell, NY with temps from 5°F to 95°F
  • Manufacturing is overseas in certified factories

Fun fact: The breed of sheep that provides merino wool thrives in environments with average annual temperatures between 5°F and 95°F. No wonder this wool regulates across seasons so well!

Answers to Common Buyer Questions on Woolx

During my years wearing Woolx, I‘ve gotten quite a few questions from friends about this lesser known brand. Here‘s the scoop on some frequently asked topics:

How accurate is the sizing?

  • Tip: Read product reviews for fit feedback. Woolx runs trim in places but overall I‘ve found their size chart accurate if you don‘t prefer an ultra-loose fit.

What is Woolx‘s return policy?

  • Woolx offers free returns within 30 days as long as items are unworn with tags attached. You cover any shipping costs.

Where is their clothing manufactured?

  • Per their website, Woolx uses "certified factories" in China but imports Australian merino wool. No specifics though.

Does Woolx make 100% merino pieces?

  • Yes, a handful of their core base layers like underwear contain no synthetic fibers. But most Woolx products do incorporate nylon, lycra or polyester for enhanced durability while still maximizing wool content.

How does Woolx compare to brands like Patagonia or Arc‘teryx for quality?

  • In my experience, Woolx delivers very good quality but lands a tier below premium outdoor brands that cost 2-3x more. You get great value (not status symbol value).

Is their clothing true to size?

  • Reviews note Woolx fits trim in some styles like the Avery legging or expedition-weight base layers. I‘d recommend sizing up if you prefer a roomier cut.

Can someone machine wash and dry Woolx clothing?
Yes, the beauty of Woolx is you can machine wash gentle and tumble dry low most pieces without ruining the merino fabric integrity. I have done so for years with only minor pilling.

Do I need to buy special wash for Woolx?

  • Nope, conventional laundry detergent works just fine. I prefer scent-free. Do avoid fabric softener and always wash cold.

Can I put Woolx in the dryer?

  • Yes, even though air drying prolongs lifespan I almost always tumble dry low without issues. Just remove pieces promptly when finished drying.

How long does Woolx clothing last?

  • With proper care, 2-5 years depending on the piece based on my testing and friends‘ experiences. Baselayers are more delicate while outerwear withstands abuse.

The Verdict: My Wholehearted Recommendation

If you haven‘t noticed already, I‘m clearly a fan of Woolx! Their accessible price point and focus on performance over prestige continues to win me over. Sure, a few pieces disappointed but most exceeded my expectations.

For shoppers seeking well-made, functional merino layers without emptying their wallets, Woolx checks all the boxes. The value is excellent for the quality. Their foundation of durable merino coupled technical features equips you for outdoor adventure in comfort and style.

If I had to encapsulate Woolx in one word it would be: dependable. Like a loyal adventure buddy, their gear performs consistently time and time again. That‘s vital for harsh alpine environments.

After years testing Woolx across all seasons, I happily award them my seal of approval. Their layers deliver on winter warmth, odor resistance and moisture wicking every time. Don‘t overthink it – Woolx works. I promise your adventures will be better with their merino clothing in your pack.

Stay cozy out there friends! Let me know if you have any other Woolx questions.

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