Ultra Trail Australia Mandatory Gear Approved

November 28, 2018

Ultra Trail Australia Mandatory Gear Approved

So you’re planning on 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. 



Mandatory Gear List 

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 our merino stuff is 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. 

Ultra Trail Australia Mandatory Gear List Items: 

1. Long Sleeve Top 

We have 3 style options that are all mandatory approved: our Altitude Collection which is a 'contact fit' (think body hugging snug), 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 shade into full sun. All styles have flat-lock seams and tag-free labels to eliminate chafing and maximise comfort. 


Altitude Tops - 

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. 

Men's Altitude Zip
Women's Altitude Crew Women's Altitude Hooded Zip


Universal and Ultra Tops - 

While the Altitude Tops are contact fit to maximise the thermal properties, the Universal and 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 keep you comfortable through a range of temperatures. 



The Ultra range is a streamlined, sports cut featuring thumb loops to help keep your hands warm and make putting extra layers on and off easy, with reflective trims for added safety in low light conditions. 

Women's Ultra Zip Men's Ultra Zip
Men's Ultra Crew Neck Women's Ultra Crew Neck


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.

Men's Universal long sleeve Women's Universal long sleeve



2. Full Length Thermal Leggings

We have two mandatory gear approved full length thermal wool legging options. Remember, regular compression leggings like 2XU are NOT acceptable mandatory gear! If you turn up with those, you will not be allowed to race with them.


Altitude Tights - 

The Altitude Tights are the same thickness as the Altitude top. They are a classic thermal leggings style and great for milder 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 if you stop for a drink. Or maybe a quick nap. But when you’re on the go, they’ll keep you warm without overheating and won't get getting stinky sweaty like synthetics. The Altitude Tights also happen to be super lightweight and fold up tiny to fit in your pack so won't weigh you down if you don’t need them.

Altitude tights


Merino-Compression Leggings - 

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 firmer fitting, traditional running legging. Good for mild 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.  


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 easily and give you the warmth you need.

ioMerino Neck Warmer


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. 


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, 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 out T-shirts and tanks (men's and women's) are fully trail tested, ultra comfortable and perfect for all your trail running and training. Like our long sleeve tops there's contact fit, sport fit and regular fit. They're all lightweight, have a super soft next to skin feel, and are designed to provide the perfect level of warmth when it’s cold, the natural breathability and temperature-regulation will also help keep you comfortable when you hit the trails in the warmer weather.

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 - 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: