Alright, I’ve needed a new pair of shorts for a while. More specifically, ones that are comfortable enough to wear around the house but with enough style to run errands and enough breathability for the gym. You know, something that can help me optimize my daily performance. And since we are Merino wool lovers, they must be Merino wool. So, after much deliberation, we decided to order a pair of Woolly Pro-Knit Warm-Up shorts.
I’ll take you through a brief overview of Woolly as a brand, my initial thoughts, and perform our three-day wear and laundry tests. These lengthy tests offer you a glimpse into how these shorts will feel and act. And if you like what you read, you can get a pair, too. Let’s get started!
Disclosure: Merino Wool Gear DOES NOT sponsor products to maintain our genuineness and authenticity. However, as an affiliate member, we may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases
Overview & Tech Specs
These Warm Up shorts were created to replace your old, ratty shorts hanging by a thread for a year. They feature a soft, 100% Merino wool fabric (midweight, 250gsm). You won’t experience any ride-up or annoying bunching thanks to the tagless interior, drawstring closure, pockets, and flatlock seams.
The cost of these shorts varies with the seasons, and Woolly also releases new colors occasionally. If you want to check out the latest collection’s price tag and color variety, please check the link below.
Overall, Woolly believes in its fabric and design, and its Pro-Knit series is “just as nice for loungewear as it is for warm layer shirts.” We hope these shorts are as high-performing and comfortable as they claim to be. Let’s find out!
The first thing I noticed after opening the package was the soft, silk-like feel of the fabric. The material was so smooth out of the plastic that it almost felt buttery. I could already tell these shorts would feel velvety before I tried them on!
Moving onto the fit and style, they look like your typical lounge shorts. I measured the inseam to be about 6-7”, so the bottoms should rest above your knees. And in terms of features, the two front pockets feel deep enough to hold an oversized smartphone easily. The zippered back pocket would be nice for carrying cards or cash, but anything more significant may feel uncomfortable.
The color is a classic heather gray, consistent throughout the material. Although it’s not as light of a gray as I would have hoped, I honestly can’t complain. You can tell immediately that this shade of gray works with nearly any color top. And after checking myself out in the mirror, I might get another pair in olive. Still, I can’t get too far ahead of myself; I still need to wear them!
And before I finally try these on, it’s important to note that there were some loose threads in the waistband stitching. I’ve come to expect this with some Merino wool due to its difficulty to manufacture, so I just snipped off the threads and moved on with my day, but only after letting you know about it!
And finally, the time has come to try them on. And. They feel great. The waistband is snug but not restrictive, the drape rests evenly, and they are all-around comfortable. I can’t wait to put them to the test!
Three-Day Wear Test
At Merino Wool Gear, we always like to put the clothing we test through the wringer. So, we wear the gear for three days and sample some of the marketing claims from each brand. We want you to understand the good and the bad that come with each product we recommend.
I hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed testing it!
Day One: The Comfort Test
At first, I was hoping to test these shorts in an athletic environment, but for some reason, I wasn’t feeling it today. So instead, when I woke up, I took a shower, threw these shorts on, and stayed in the house all day, which was beautiful. I have absolutely no regrets.
In fact, despite their higher price tag compared to the alternative, these Merino wool shorts are perfect for hanging around the house. The soft, elastic waistband doesn’t rub or chafe, and the drawstring holds up even when I run around the house. Heck, you could honestly wear them without anything underneath. Still, since I have a couple more days of testing, we’ll wear underwear for now.
Overall, after day one, I’m still wearing the shorts as I’m typing this, and they are still as comfortable as when I put them on initially. So, for that, they passed the comfort test so far. My new shorts and I are now off to bed.
Day Two: The Stress Test
After wearing these shorts to bed last night, I can officially say they passed the comfort test. They didn’t bother me one bit. Moreover, my sleep tracker said I got a 100% of my necessary rest, and that only sometimes happens (but don’t give the shorts too much credit).
The shorts held up better than I did during the run, which slowed to a walk-jog pace after the first mile. I was surprised they didn’t flop around or cause any underwear ride-up. Moreover, the shorts did provide a dry, comfortable microclimate. However, the temperatures were mild, so I wasn’t expecting to sweat too much.
Now, I did experience a few potential snags from bushes and vines along my route. These shorts performed well, but I still would be hesitant to wear them in a more rugged setting.
After day two, these shorts are starting to grow on me. Although, I’ll air them out while I sleep for safe measure.
Day Three: The Odor Test
After airing out for the night, the shorts still looked brand new. And after taking a few cautious sniffs, I can safely say the material is yet to have an odor. While this is 100% expected for pure Merino wool fabric, testing is still essential. So, let’s turn the testing up to the next level.
I thought the best way to test the odor was to sweat my butt off. I mean, they are “Warm Up” shorts! After wearing these shorts for a solid hour on the elliptical and another fifteen minutes on the Stairmaster, these shorts performed just fine. And when I finally got them off, they were still slightly damp, but with no smell!
So far, these Woolly Pro-Knit shorts can hold up to the rigors of my predominantly work-from-home lifestyle, but there is still one more test to go!
The Laundry Test
Even after three days of wear, judging the short’s durability is difficult. That’s why we perform The Laundry Test. We wash all our gear in a 15-year-old washer and dryer to see how it fits the washing and drying process.
Woolly has outlined their specific recommendations for washing this piece in the case of these Pro-Knit Warm Up shorts. And we will follow it as closely as possible for the best results. The recommended laundering steps are as follows:
- Use mild detergent
- Wash cold with similar colors
- Do not iron or bleach
- Flat dry or tumble dry low
So, after putting these shorts through the laundry (and flat drying), the 100% Merino wool fabric dried quickly and maintained the same comfort. However, there were two concerns in terms of the stitching. The first was the thread around the drawstring, which seemed to loosen after the wash. Moreover, there was a thread in the seam intersection near the crotch that frayed out.
While we are accustomed to slight defects during the laundering process, these two blemishes are something to be apprehensive about. Now, I did wash these with a large load of laundry, so perhaps a zipper or button snagged the thread. However, take extra caution when laundering these shorts. If you need more information on washing your Merino wool clothes, check out our comprehensive laundry guide!
What We Liked
After three days of wear and an interesting laundry test, I’m ready to lay out what we liked the most from these Woolly Pro-Knit Warm Up shorts.
Performance with Comfort
The overall performance and comfort are undoubtedly the best aspects of these Merino wool shorts. The fabric is comfy and non-restrictive, which helps manage sweat during high-intensity activities. Moreover, the elastic waistband is covered with Merino wool, so there is no itch or irritation. And the extra back pocket is a nice touch when storing your phone or a card.
And honestly, we wouldn’t expect anything less from Woolly as high-performing Merino wool “Foundationwear” is the niche in which they shine.
If you took the time to read through our Three Day Wear Test, you might have noticed we wore these shorts in three distinct scenarios: lounging at home, hiking outside, and exercising at the gym. These shorts are just functional gear I can always wear, especially since those three activities take up 80% of my life!
Finally, what we like most about these shorts is their price tag. If you look at other Merino wool shorts of similar quality, you can expect to pay $100 or more. Yet, Woolly has reasonable pricing and seasonal sales on their collections, so you can get their gear for a lot less. When we got these shorts, they were on sale for 30% off, so we couldn’t pass up that deal.
Areas For Improvement
In the spirit of authenticity, it’s essential that we also highlight some of the negative aspects of these Woolly shorts. We want you to get the complete picture – the good and the bad – so you can make a better purchasing decision!
As you saw after we washed these shorts, there is some cause for concern about the long-term strength of the fabric. The weak points tend to be in highly stitched areas and high-movement areas. Over time, there might be a weak spot in the stitching, which reduces the strength of the fabric.
For now, it’s not a significant issue since we don’t have enough wear life in them yet to truly judge. After a few more months of wear, we’ll have a final recommendation for you.
Side Pocket Placement
Alright, this one is me being picky, but the side pockets should be rotated slightly toward the front of the short. It’s not that they aren’t functional, but if you wear a shorter shirt, the pockets flap out around the hips. It could be a more flattering look, but it’s okay for now.
You become more accustomed to manufacturing defects when you’ve tested Merino wool clothing as long as we have. It’s common across the industry, and most brands have warranties to protect against them.
I snipped a few loose threads initially in the case of these Pro-Knit Warm Up shorts. However, if you receive your shorts with glaring imperfections, contact Woolly. You should be able to quickly initiate a return.
Final Thoughts: Woolly Pro-Knit Warm Up Shorts
And that’s our comprehensive review of the Woolly Pro-Knit Warm Up shorts. We tested them for three days in three distinct situations – lounging, hiking, and working out – and they performed well. However, the Laundry test gave us some questions about their long-term durability.
If you think these Woolly Pro-Knit Warm Up shorts fit your lifestyle, check them out below! We recommend these shorts for errands and lounging around the house, but they also perform well in high-intensity activities. Inspect them for any manufacturer defects before you try them, and be extra careful when laundering them to increase their wear life.
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