So you’re planning 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 ticking off your mandatory gear list and 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 and three years as an official UTA sponsor, we’re no rookies when it comes to making some of the best Merino gear on the planet that is perfectly suited to ultra running.
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 have a few 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.
Let’s talk mandatory gear. Our range of thermal leggings, long sleeve tops and accessories 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 your mandatory items sorted, you’ll be ready for anything, not only during the race, but on future adventures as well.
We have 3 style options that are all mandatory approved; our Altitude Collection which is a tight fit, Ultra Collection which has a streamlined, sports fit and our Universal Collection which is looser, more casual fit.
All of our thermal tops are ultra lightweight and fold up really small in your pack. (Most long sleeves will fit into a zip lock sandwich bag!) Our Merino fabrics are breathable, moisture wicking to keep you cool and dry, odour resistant and designed to take you through a wide wide range of temperatures without overheating so you don’t have to be taking them on and off if the temperature changes - like coming out of the shad into full sun. All styles have flat-lock seams and tag-free labels to eliminate chafing and maximise comfort.
The Altitude tops come in crew, zip neck or hooded. This range is ‘contact fit’ (ie. body-hugging and conforming) and has an added 4% Elastane which gives it a nice, easy, 4-way stretch for complete flexibility and freedom of movement.
The Zip style is great for extra temperature regulation: sleeves up, zip down when it’s warmer; zip up, sleeves down, thumb loops on when the temperature drops. You can put it on late afternoon when it starts to really cool down and be comfortable well into the night, rather than adding an extra layer later in the evening.
The Altitude fabric is super smooth and soft, and feels like a second skin.
While the Altitude Tops are contact fit to maximise the thermal properties, the Universaland Ultra styles offer a more casual, relaxed fit - but still deliver all the natural performance and comfort of our MicroMerino® thermals.
Both ranges are made with 83% superfine Australian Merino Wool with 12% core-spun Nylon for added durability. The fabric is incredibly lightweight, soft and stink-free to take you through a range of temperatures.
The Ultra range is a streamlined, sports cut featuring thumb loops to keep your hands warm and reflective trims for added safety in low light conditions.
The Universal tops are looser again for those of you who don’t want something too tight fitting. Still Lightweight, incredibly warm and comfortable, just in a more casual fit which might also be handy if you want to put it over other layers.
We have 2 mandatory gear approved long leg thermal wool pant options.
The Altitude Tights are the same thickness as the Altitude top. They are a classic thermal leggings style and great for warmer to cool temperatures.
The Altitude Tights 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 and won't get getting stinky and sweaty like synthetics. The Altitude Tights also happen to be super lightweight and fold up tiny to fit in your pack and not weigh you down if you don’t need them.
Don't be fooled by the name, our Merino Compression Leggings are still 76% Merino and mandatory gear approved thermal pants.
After extensive research, we developed this totally unique fabric, combining all the benefits you expect from our high-performance merino fabrics, with the high performance of compression garments. So you don’t have to choose between the breathability, thermo-regulation, moisture wicking and the odour resistant qualities of Merino for the fit, feel and performance of a compression garment - you can have both.
The Merino-compression Leggings are thicker and more opaque than the Altitude Tights and are similar to a traditional running legging. Good for warm to very cold temperatures.
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.
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 call them). Yes, it can keep your neck warm, but it can also be worn as a headband, bandana, beanie - a versatile way to meet the UTA mandatory gear requirements. Unlike some other similar products, the unique MicroMerino® fabric will prevent any condensation build up from freezing and it’ll stay warm and comfortable even when it’s wet.
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, 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.
All the ioMerino T-shirts (men's and women's) are fully trail tested and 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 temperature-regulation also help keep you cool when you hit the trails over summer.
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!)
Like a lot of people, Stevi-Lee wasn’t convinced our clothes were good value. So naturally we figured she would be the perfect person to reviewer them. If we could convert her, perhaps other customers would believe her rather than the usual claims all companies make about how good their products are. Did we change this ioMerino sceptic into a believer?