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Ultra Trail Australia Mandatory Gear Approved

November 28, 2018

Ultra Trail Australia Mandatory Gear Approved

So you’re thinking of running the famous Ultra Trail Australia? Awesome!

As you well know, no one can do the training for you, so when it comes to all those miles and all those hills, you’re on your own. But as far as staying warm, comfortable, and safe, during your training and the race, we’ve got your back. And front. And legs. And head. With our trail tested and UTA mandatory gear list compliant, natural, lightweight, Australian Merino thermal layers.




And let’s get something out there up front. We know we’re not the biggest Merino brand in the world. But with six generations of wool know-how, we’re no rookies when it comes to making some of the best Merino gear on the planet.

We also know how to walk the walk, and run the run. David Michell, the man behind ioMerino, ran this race a few years back. As did one of our Outsiders. So when they give advice about what to take with you, what to wear, and how it’s going to work, they know what they’re talking about. Even more so because both of them are slower than elephants wading through treacle, so they were out there for longer and needed their thermals more than most.



Mandatory Gear List 

Now, let’s talk mandatory gear. Our range of thermal leggings and long sleeve tops are UTA compliant, approved and recommended. Sure you could buy cheaper, stinky synthetics. But these are way better. Breathable. Odour-resistant. Moisture wicking. Temperature regulating. Soft. Lightweight. Natural. What more can we say? You can find out more about the benefits of Merino right here. And these are as soft and comfortable as they come. Pack them in your kit and you’ll not only have a few mandatory items sorted, you’ll be ready for anything, not only during the race, but on future adventures as well.


1. Long Sleeve Top 

Altitude Tops - 

The Altitude tops come in crew, zip neck or hooded, the choice is yours. They all feature flat-lock seams and a tag-free design to make them ultra comfortable and chafe-free. The crew is your standard, ‘contact fit’ cut (ie. close fitting) and the 4% Elastane gives it a nice, easy, 4-way stretch for complete flexibility and freedom of movement. The Zip allows even more temperature regulation: sleeves up, zip down when it’s warmer; zip up, sleeves down, thumb loops on when the temperature drops. This allows you to whack it on late afternoon when it starts to really cool down and be comfortable well into the night, rather than having to add an extra layer later in the evening. 


Universal Tops - 

While the Altitude Tops are contact fit to maximise the thermal properties, the Universaland Ultra Tops offer more of a casual, relaxed fit - perfect for those of us who aren't rocking six packs!

The Universal tops are made with 83% superfine Australian Merino Wool and are incredibly lightweight, soft and stink-free to take you through a range of temperatures. The Universal range is slightly thinner than the Altitude range (but still fully mandatory gear compliant), so if you're looking for all of the natural performance and comfort of our MicroMerino® thermal layers, but with a regular, everyday fit, then the Universal is for you! 



Ultra Tops -

Our new Ultra range is ultra-natural, ultra-breathable, ultra-comfortable and, of course, ultra warm for such a lightweight garment. The tops and tees are packed with high performance features and they’re just perfect for running in cold weather. Wear it on its own if it’s just a bit chilly, or layer up when the temperature really drops.



2. Long Leg Thermal Wool Pants

The Altitude Tights are the same thickness as the Altitude top and are fully UTA compliant, delivering a good level of warmth even if you slow down to a shuffle going up those hills or stop for a drink. But when you’re on the go, they’ll keep you warm without overheating or getting stinky and sweaty like synthetics will. The Altitude Tights also happen to be super lightweight so will fit in your pack nicely and not weigh you down if you don’t end up needing them, but keep you nice and warm if you do.

Or give our new revolutionary Merino-Compression Leggings a try. After extensive research and development, we’ve created a world first and totally unique fabric that combines all the benefits you expect from our high-performance merino fabrics, with the high performance of compression garments. Now you don’t have to choose between the breathability, thermo-regulation, moisture wicking and the odour resistant qualities of Merino or the fit, feel and performance of a compression garment - you can have both.

Remember, almost all other types of compression garments are simply for compression and don't have thermal properties like our Merino-Compression leggings, and they will not pass the UTA mandatory gear requirements, but these will. 



3. Beanie, Balaclava or Head Sock (Buff)

This lightweight Merino skull cap is the perfect way to meet the mandatory requirements - and keep your head warm. It’s soft, it’s warm, it’s natural, it’s breathable, and importantly, it takes up next to no room and is feather light in your pack. If the weather is mild or you’re a fast finisher, you won’t even know you’re carrying it. For the rest of us mere mortals who end up out there well into the night, it will slip on easy and give you the warmth you need.


And then there's the Altitude Neck Tube (head sock as the UTA likes to called them). Yes, it can keep your neck warm, but it can also be worn as a headband, bandana, beanie, face mask, the uses are endless. You’d basically be mad to not have one of these handy when you’re on the trails and they are fully mandatory gear approved. Unlike other in the category, the unique MicroMerino® fabric will prevent any condensation build up from freezing and it’ll stay warm even when it’s wet. 



4. Full-Fingered Lightweight Thermal Wool Gloves

Everyone knows Merino is nature’s little miracle when it comes to lightweight warmth and these gloves are no exception. So lightweight and comfortable, you’ll hardly even know you’re wearing them. They’ll not only meet UTA mandatory requirements, but they’ll also stop your fingers freezing and breaking off in the cold. Plus you can even use your touchscreen devices without taking them off, thanks to the touchscreen-friendly pads on the thumb and forefinger.



Something to train in?

All the ioMerino T-shirts (men's and women's) are fully trail tested and the perfect for all your trail running and training. Our lightweight fabrics are super soft next to skin feel and designed to provide the perfect level of warmth when it’s cold, while the natural breathability and thermo-regulation also help keep you cool when you hit the trails over summer.


Any Questions?

As always, our ioTeam are pretty helpful when it comes to answering questions, so if you have any that aren’t too difficult, send us an email any time and we’ll get straight back to you. (Unless we’re out hitting the trails ourselves in which case you may need to be a teeny bit more patient!)


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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 - 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: