July 19, 2018


Written by ioMerino Outsider Ben.

Last time we heard from the BMX Bandits, they were focusing on the final race of the Inaugural Australian Adventure Racing Championship series. After finishing 3rd overall, the BMX Bandits are home and are here to tell us why they have to literally rely on the gear they carrying to save their lives.  

Every expedition race I do I go through about 10 shirts… give or take a few.  The pile of funk-riddled linen that accumulates at the end of an expedition race is truly impressive.  Even my dogs, who love nothing more than rolling in rotting kangaroo or feces, stare sideways at my quivering pile of mouldy lycra, wool and nylon, as if to say “Jeeeezus no, I am not touching that thing”.

The fresh, fluro orange Ultra Tee that arrived on my door-step was a beautiful thing.  Fresh, soft and supple – it smelt as luxurious as it felt.  Dare I ruin such a beautiful virgin shirt?  Yes – I dare.




The fit was grand.  Sporty but not skin tight.  Super comfy really.  It was long enough in the torso and arms, there were no strange pinchy bits or scratchy tags and the neck was comfortably loose.  It smelt and felt like Merino, soft and stupidly comfortable.  But perhaps best of all was the wild, bright orange.  Evidently not everyone’s cup of tea (because not everyone has a sense of style), but it was perfect for the BMX Bandits and I was instantly in love.  But really – who cares – you’re not reading this to find out whether or not I love being a fashion icon.



Wildside is a 400+km, non-stop expedition length adventure race.  It’s several days of running, riding, paddling and generally grinding away through untracked bush – all on about two hours of sleep.  It’s tough on your body and it’s tough on your gear.  This time round, we would be racing hard to cement our place in history in the inaugural Australian Adventure Racing Championships, and I chose to wear only one top – my ioMerino Ultra T.  What could possibly go wrong?



As it turns out – nothing.  The Ultra T was super duper comfy, durable and issue free.  Despite bashing through endless kilometres of dense scrub, being ground up beneath a pack, dragged across rocks and being poked with sharp bike bits, it pulled through without so much as a single frayed thread or stretched panel.  I have a reputation for breaking things: bikes, watches, clothing, children – I’m good at it.  Merino is particularly easy – jag it against a single sharp branch and you’ll get yourself a hole.  But this tee took it like a champ.  I was genuinely surprised.  The endless application of sunscreen, grime, bike grease and litre after litre of sweat did stain the neck hem ever so slightly, but otherwise it’s still beautiful.  The merino/nylon mix was a real surprise.  The damp merino smell and extended periods of moist, sweat-soaked t-shirt were all but gone.  Yep its still merino, but whatever magic the IO wizards have woven into this shirt (they say 12% Nylon and 5% Elastane), has changed the dynamics of wool beyond compare.  Same feel, no smell, but dries three times quicker.  Only magic could do that.  At the end of Wildside I gave this shirt a comfortable 10/10.Suitably impressed, this shirt is now my go-to adventure shirt. (Click here to read the benefits of ioMerino’s MicroMerino fabric.)



As for our quest to win a giant novelty cheque? Well we came out with one of those, stories to tell the grand-kids and were crowned the 3rd best adventure racing team in Australia.


Words Rohan Kilham

Photos Ben Cirulis


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Fabric Guide

While Merino is an amazing natural fibre, not all Merino fabrics are created equal. At ioMerino, we make our own fabrics, using only the best quality fibres, and to very specific specifications that make the most of the natural benefits of Merino. All of them are 'Merino rich’. No cheap blends passed off as Merino. No cheaper scratchy fibres or synthetic substitutes to save money. No unethical production. And each fabric is made for a specific purpose. So if you see something with a small amount of elastase or nylon added, you can be sure it absolutely needs to be there to enhance the natural stretch and durability. 

It took every bit of our 140 years of experience in the wool industry to perfect our fabrics, but we think you’ll agree the end result was more than worth the effort.

Ethically Made. Ethically Sourced. Perfectly Natural. 


Altitude / Zodiac

Lightweight 170gsm 96% Australian Merino Wool with 4% elastane for extra stretch and comfort. A MicroMerino® Fabric. 


Ultra / Universal

Lightweight 160gsm 83% Australian Merino Wool blended with 12% nylon blended for extra durability and 5% Elastane for stretch and comfort.



Midweight 265gsm 96% Australian Merino Wool with 4% elastane for extra stretch and comfort. A MicroMerino® Fabric. 


Summerino - Celsius 

Made from 45% ultra fine MERINO (Ultra Lightweight 150gsm), 45% natural TENCEL (made from sustainably grown wood fiber), and 10% nylon for extra durability. 


Summerino - Keystone 

Ultra Lightweight 150gsm 100% Australian Merino Wool. A MicroMerino® Fabric. 


Merino Compression

Midweight 280gsm 76% Australian Merino Wool, 15% Elastane and 9% Nylon for extra stretch and compression properties.



Ultra lightweight ribbed 155gsm 100% Australian Merino Wool. A MicroMerino®  Fabric. 



Outer Weight 280gsm Fleece 100% Australian Merino Wool. MicroMerino®  Fabric. 



Midweight 260gsm 100% Australian Merino Wool. A MicroMerino®  Fabric. 



Midweight 260gsm waffle texture 100% Australian Merino Wool. A MicroMerino®  Fabric. 


Stride / Glacier / Velocity

Midweight 255gsm French Terry 100% Australian Merino Wool. A MicroMerino®  Fabric. 


Natural Merino Wool benefits: