Wool is a high-quality, functional fabric that enhances comfort, warmth, and performance. There are dozens of brands and thousands of Merino products that act as a soft, protective layer, almost like a second skin. However, it can be surprisingly tricky to find a pair of Merino wool pants that meet all your needs, even with all the gear out there.
And that’s where we come in.
From joggers to dress slacks, we explore the best Merino wool pants on the market. So, make sure to take some notes so you can find the perfect pair of Merino pants for you!
- Best Overall: Icebreaker Shifter
- Runner-Up: Wool & Prince Stretch Chino
- Best Value: Naturwool Lounge Bottoms
- Best Joggers: Lululemon Engineered Warmth Joggers
- Best Travel Pants: Woolly Longhaul Pant
- Most Comfortable: Ibex Tranquil Joggers
- Best Dress Pants: Ministry of Supply Velocity
- Best Base Layer: Smartwool 250 Bottoms
- Best Hunting Pants: Big Bil Cargo Pants
- Best Hiking Pants: Icebreaker Trailhead
Disclosure: To maintain genuineness and authenticity, Merino Wool Gear DOES NOT sponsor products. However, we may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.
Merino Wool Pants: What To Look For?
Before diving into the top Merino wool pants, we need to look through some of the specs and features we reviewed. Therefore, you can make a more informed decision when searching through each product.
Don’t get too overwhelmed, either. There is a lot of information here (and we don’t expect you to read it unless you really want to). However, just like our Merino wool pants, we suggest you take in the information one leg at a time.
Click each criterion to expand.
Fit & Style
Best Overall Men’s Merino Wool Pants
98% Merino (2% LYCRA) | 260 gsm | Slim fit (tapered)| Drawstring | Black or Gray | $$$$
Pros: Excellent warmth-to-weight | Multi-pocket design | Stylish tapered fit
Cons: Not great with all outfits | Long-term durability concerns | Expensive
If you’ve been to Merino Wool Gear before, you may think we are biased toward Icebreaker products. However, they often land at the top of our lists due to their high-quality materials and fantastic craftsmanship. And these Icebreaker Shifter Pants are no exception. These well-engineered, minimalist Merino wool pants are a must-have in any eco-wardrobe.
The first thing is first: yes, these look like a simple pair of sweatpants. But that’s actually what makes them so great. There isn’t any need for flash with this type of functionality. The wool/synthetic blend – in combination with the midweight thickness – provides ample temperature regulation. However, we don’t suggest wearing these pants in rugged environments as the fabric is prone to snagging and tearing.
Still, we love the tapered design of these Merino wool pants. Not only does the slim fit improve versatility, but it also offers enough room for high-movement athletics. And even though they are just ‘sweatpants,’ they still are high-quality enough to be worn with a casual button-down (without looking homeless).
FinFinally, we know that the Icebreaker Shifter Pants can be a bit pricey. Yet, with manufacturing guarantees, extra comfort, and a chic all-around look, we feel the price tag is worth it! Moreover, most of the Merino wool pants we’ll review today will cost you a pretty penny.
Best Wool Pant: Runner-Up
44% Merino ( 44% nylon, 12% elastane) | 255 gsm | Slim & Straight | Button | Khaki or Stone | $$$
Pros: Functional features | Fashionable, versatile style | Relatively affordable
Cons: Not great for shorter people | Fabric inconsistencies | Pockets need improvement
In the realm of Merino wool pants, we mostly see base layers, joggers, and sweats. However, a few pieces break the mold, and the Wool & Prince Stretch Chino is one of them with its classic style. The versatile business casual design (which comes in both slim & straight fit) is perfect for those commuting to the office each day.
We’ll start first with the fabric. The midweight, 255-gsm material hits the sweet spot of thicknesses, so you can wear these pants all year round. Moreover, the wool/nylon/elastic blend provides extra durability and performance. However, the downside is that these pants don’t stretch as much as the name ‘Stretch Chino‘ would suggest. It’s not a significant issue, but just something to look out for.
Also, if you’re short – like me – you may want to look for a different pair of Merino pants. As of December 2021, Wool & Prince only has a leg length of 32″+ available. We’ll try to keep you updated if the size range changes.
In short, you really can’t beat the Wool & Prince Stretch Chinos as a pair of business casual pants. Sure, the pockets aren’t as deep as we’d like, but the rest of the features make up for them tenfold.
Best Value Merino Wool Pants
100% Merino | 240 gsm | Slim fit | Drawstring | 4 colors | $$
Pros: 18.5-micron Merino | Second-skin comfort | Most inexpensive pair on our list
Cons: More base layer than pants | Durability concerns | Fit feels strange at first
When we first got into Merino wool, we didn’t have the bank account to fund our endeavors. But, we started off with a lot of the value brands to gain experience. And, while we didn’t explore these Naturwool Joggers personally, they were sure on our list. They are a solid mix of quality, functionality, and affordability.
But first, let’s talk about the elephant in the room: yes, these are pants. They may look like long underwear at first glance, but they function well as athletic pants (in public). Plus, there are pockets to carry your keys and phone at the gym even though you – we all – should go more.
And while many of these wool pants are blended with synthetics, these Naturwool loungers are 100%, Woolmark-certified Merino. It feels like a soft layer next to your skin but offers plenty of warmth as the fabric is 240 gsm. Still, the pure wool construction leaves us questioning the fabric’s long-term durability.
All in all, these Naturwool loungers are great ‘starter‘ pants for those looking to dive into the world of Merino wool.
Best Merino Wool Joggers For Men
35% Merino (39% nylon, 25% polyester, 1% elastane) | Midweight | Slim fit (tapered) | Drawstring | 4 colors | $$$$
Pros: Baffled construction for warmth | Zippered front pockets | 100% Merino interior
Cons: Waffle design is not for everyone | Sizing inconsistencies | Relatively expensive
It’s not every Merino wool review that you see Lululemon make the cut, and you may even be surprised! When we first found out they make Merino clothing, we were intrigued. A high-performance clothing brand paired with a high-performance fabric. In other words, these Engineered Warmth Joggers may be the most technically sound pair of Merino wool joggers on the market. And here’s why.
The truth is we love Lululemon products, Merino wool or not. We jumped on that brand train decades ago since their clothing provided us years and years of use. So, in our professional clothing reviewer opinions, you can trust anything they put their name on.
Yet, it’s the baffling design that is both functional and stylish. The waffle structure & 100% Merino lining hYet, it’s the baffling design that is both functional and stylish. The waffle structure & 100% Merino lining helps to trap warm air against your skin like hundreds of tiny little sleeping bags. The baffling is so subtle that it doesn’t play a significant role in the overall ‘look’ as much as you think. And while some people don’t think the style is flattering, we don’t share that opinion.
To sum up, these Engineered Warmth Joggers are a solid option for outdoor athletics or hanging around the house. You are getting industry-leading quality and craftsmanship, which may be why they are a bit pricey. They are genuinely the only textured pair of Merino wool pants we like.
Best Merino Wool Travel Pants
66% Merino (29% cotton & 5% elastane) | 215 gsm | Regular fit | Button | 5 colors | $$$
Pros: Versatile, functional construction | Lightweight, airy fabric | Packs small
Cons: Cut not suited for everyone | Pilling experienced | Sizing inconsistencies
Woolly has an exciting take on Merino wool. While many outdoor brands focus on high-performing alpine wear, Woolly understands that you can’t spend every day in the woods. However, they transfer the power of Merino outdoor clothing to daily life with their Merino Foundation Wear. And the Woolly Longhaul Pant was one of their flagship pieces of gear.
Before we get into the specs, we’d love to share how these pants actually came to be. Woolly launched a Kickstarter campaign back in 2018 that raised over $200,000 to fund the production of these pants. Tt worked so well that they created two more Kickstarter campaigns for their all-Merino jackets.
Anyways, their Longhaul pants are designed for the on-the-go traveler. The lightweight 215-gsm fabric offers warmth while managing moisture well. Moreover, there is even a hidden, anti-theft zipper pocket in the back! The material itself is more professional-looking than other Merino alternatives. Therefore, you can wear them with more variety of outfits when you’re on the go.
However, the only real gripe we (specifically me) have is that regular cut doesn’t look great for shorter people. It’s a bit boxy, and since the sizing runs large, you have to get them hemmed.
Still, the Woolly Longhaul Pants are our go-to for one-bag trips, as they pack small and weigh under a pound. And, we get to experience the comfort of Merino wool even in the discomfort of an airport terminal!
Most Comfortable Merino Wool Pants
26% Merino (70% organic cotton, 12% elastane) | 230 gsm | Relaxed fit | Drawstring | 3 colors | $$$$
Pros: Superior comfort | Functional fit | Useful pocket design
Cons: No choices for inseam length | Limited versatility
If you’re looking for a comfy pair of Merino wool pants, you’re in luck! We think the Ibex Men’s Tranquil Joggers are the coziest pair on the market! The unique blend of Merino wool and organic cotton provides a sensational next-to-skin feel. Although, as Merino fans, we would love to see Ibex use a bit more Merino in these joggers. That is if it doesn’t affect the current comfort level.
Moreover, the fabric itself is not the only reason we love these comfy Merino wool pants. Ibex crafted the design of these joggers with the utmost precision. The pockets are functional, the taper is near-perfect, and plenty of room for movement with their self-titled ‘relaxed’ fit. Although, we would call them more of a regular-tapered fit as they are not very baggy.
Ibex notes in their sizing charts that for a medium & large, the inseam is 31-32″. Although, we have noticed that the inseam is a bit long, especially for shorter people. Again, it’s not a dealbreaker for us, but it would be nice if they offered more variety of inseam lengths.
In summary, the Ibex Men’s Tranquil Joggers will keep you comfy around the house or on the go. And if you’re looking for ‘fuzzier’ sweatpants, Ibex also makes a similar Hero Jogger that may suit your needs. Finally, if you want to explore their vast collection more, head over to Ibex now!
Best Merino Wool Dress Pants
49% Merino (49% polyester & 2% polyurethane) | Lightweight | Slim & Regular fit | Hook & Button | Black | $$$$$
Pros: Professional, classic style | At-work performance | Matching suit jacket
Cons: Minimal stretch | May need to hem | High price tag
As we mentioned before, Merino wool is a solid pants fabric, all the way from the gym to the office. And in our opinion, the best pair of Merino wool dress slacks is none other than the Ministry of Supply Velocity Pant. They are an ideal combination of comfort and professionalism that we don’t often see with other wool pants.
The premium Merino fabric is blended with polyester for a formal yet stylish look. Moreover, with Merino’s natural wrinkle resistance, you’ll always look good at work. Now, throw in the matching Merino suit jacket, and you’ve got a perfect, comfortable outfit for any black-tie events.
Although, we do have a few gripes about these pants that we’d like to note. Ministry of Supply that the fabric is a “4-way stretch woven,” yet there isn’t much stretch to these pants. And, while the non-wool Velocity pant is available in several colors, the Merino version only comes in black. Plus, they are a bit expensive, but what do you expect from a luxury piece of Merino wool gear?
Overall, suppose you need a solid pair of black pants for a wedding, work, or just a night on the town. In that case, you can’t go wrong with these Velocity Merino Pants. As the Ministry of Supply would say, it’s a perfect blend of ‘comfort & convenience.’
Best Merino Wool Base Layer Pants
100% Merino | 250 gsm | Athletic fit | Elastic band | 3 colors | $$$
Pros: ‘Sweet spot’ temperature regulation | Trusted Smartwool brand | Perfect base layer
Cons: Unflattering standalone piece | Not quick-drying | May stretch with improper care
Of course, these Smartwool 250 Bottoms aren’t your typical pair of Merino wool pants. We would classify them as base layers – something to be worn underneath something else. Still, these are the best thermal underwear on the market. And if you want to wear them as pants, you do you.
The fit itself is slim, with enough room for movement, but not overly baggy that you can’t layer overtop. Plus, Smartwool has recently updated its base layer design to be more performance-oriented. Overall, it’s a minimalist, simple design that focuses more on functionality as opposed to aesthetics.
Anyways, these seemingly-basic wool ‘pants’ are actually jam-packed with features. The midweight, 100% Merino wool construction provides plenty of warmth, breathability, and durability. Although, if you’re planning on getting wet, you may want to look elsewhere for Merino wool long underwear. These aren’t the most quick-drying pair of the bunch.
To sum up, if you need a base layer, you can’t go wrong with Smartwool. In fact, even in the transitional seasons, we wear them as pajamas. Although in the summer, we opt for the lighter 150 gsm version. Either way, check out a pair of Smartwool Base Layer Bottoms today!
Best Wool Hunting Pants
80% Merino (20% nylon) | Heavyweight | Regular Fit | Button | Hunter green | $$$$
Pros: Improved durability | Interior suspender buttons | Accesible cargo pockets
Cons: Not a lot of stretch | Sizing runs large | Dry clean only
Rugged and comfy? We know you don’t see those descriptive terms together very often. Yet, the Big Bil Merino wool cargo pants are just that. These heavy-duty, 80% Merino pants are for outdoor comfort, especially for extended periods. Combined with the olive drab color, they actually make a solid pair of hunting pants.
Note: While we have deemed these Merino wool cargo pants for hunting, they can be used for all sorts of outdoor activities. In fact, they also make the perfect outdoor work pant – especially when you have to rake the leaves in near-freezing temperatures!
The outside texture of these pants is more felted than many of the other options. While this enhances your comfort levels, it’s also the reason that Big Bil recommends that they only are dry cleaned. So, make sure you factor in that cost when making your decision.
Still, we can’t think of a more rugged pair of Merino pants. And yes, they don’t stretch as much as we would like, but the fabric loosens up with use. Trust us when we say that you have to give them a shot (pun obviously intended).
Best Merino Wool Hiking Pants
30% Merino (67% nylon & 3% LYCRA) | Midweight | Regular fit | Button | Black or Gray | $$$$
Enhanced design features
Nylon improves breathability
|Rarely in stock|
Limited color selection
Regular fit not suited for all
Pros: Excellent durability | Enhanced design features | Nylon improves breathability
Cons: Rarely in stock | Limited color selection | Regular fit not suited for all
If we are out hiking, we typically wear Merino wool shorts. However, when there is a lot of brush and the potential for ticks, we wear pants on the trail. And our favorite pair of Merino wool hiking pants are the Icebreaker Trailheads. They are a solid blend of comfort, durability, and protection, three must-have properties when exploring nature.
As wool lovers, we have to talk about the material first. The Merino wool feels soft and luxurious, the nylon adds strength and quick-drying properties, and the little bit of spandex adds some stretch. However, we think that Icebreaker could use a higher ratio of wool in these pants and still get the same enhanced properties.
Moreover, you need a proper fit to move with you and reduce excess rubbing when hiking. Icebreaker uses a gusseted crotch for mobility and ‘articulated knee seams’ so that the fabric doesn’t stretch out over time. And while we don’t suggest wearing them in freezing temps for extended periods, the Trailhead pants perform well in cooler climates.
Lastly, you know you can trust products from Icebreaker. They are one of the most well-established Merino wool brands, and this is even their second entry on our list. So, grab a pair for your next backpacking trip now!
Final Note About Merino Wool Pants
That’s all, folks! These Merino wool pants have you covered no matter what you are doing. Not only are they comfortable and protective, but they allow you to improve your performance. So if you are wearing Merino wool pants, you’ll be ready for any situation.
In other words, Merino will never let you get caught with your pants down.
Did you see your favorite pair of Merino wool pants make this list? If not, let us know, and we’ll try to test out their apparel in another review. Or, if you would like, follow us over on Instagram and Twitter. We don’t post as much as we should, but when we do, you’ll find plenty of great deals, discounts, and news about the best Merino wool gear.
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