Merino wool jacket magic: Stay cool, comfy & casual without overheating

Natural fibers, teddy bear style, and easy-to-accessorize colors make this my go-to fleece jacket

In a plastic fleece, I overheat. It can happen when I’m hiking with my family, or when the day is just chilly enough to where I need a jacket. Since I switched to a merino wool jacket, however, that overheating has stopped happening.

The fleece jacket is a wonderful thing. Anthony loves his synthetic fleeces (and on the rainy, cool day when we’re working on this, he’s wearing one right now). I’ve been wearing my Wool& Hilltop Wool Fleece Jacket throughout our RV and outdoor adventures. After months of use, the more I appreciate how the wool fleece keeps me casual and cozy.

Most importantly, though? I don’t overheat when I wear it. The merino’s heat and body temperature regulation helps me stay more in a steady, comfy state. I prefer the feel and mindful product choice of the merino wool blend at the heart of the Hilltop’s design.

“The merino wool gives me comfort, but without the overheating that I often experience in synthetic fleeces.”

Merino fleece extends my body temperature comfort zone

I’ve come to think of my Hilltop Jacket a little like I think of my motorhome.

One thing my family and I enjoy about RVing is how having our motorhome extends our travel season for camping and the outdoors. By being in the RV, we can camp more in spring and fall, to destinations we otherwise might not visit outside of the summer months.

Camping in the shoulder season means being ready for chilly temperatures though. When the sun isn’t out, nights, mornings, and cloudy days get colder. However, being inside our RV helps us be warmer and more comfortable.

I think of my Wool& Hilltop Fleece Jacket in the same way. When the temperature drops and I put on my merino jacket, I extend my body temperature comfort zone. And when we want to head out of the RV for an afternoon hike or an evening around the fire, my Hilltop Jacket keeps my body temperature in a better state. Instead of feeling chilly when I sit or overheating when we’re on the trail, I feel just right. That ease and comfort of temp regulation alone has made the merino fleece my go-to for staying warm.

Less trail athlete, more comfy teddy bear

A merino wool fleece as part of camping wardrobes is great for a chilly night RVing

Today’s typical fleece has a pretty distinct look, which typically screams “I’m outdoors, I’m active, and I want everybody to know it!”

And you know what? I don’t need that vibe. My family and I like to get outside. We spent 6 months RVing from one corner of the USA to the other. And during our time traveling from Washington State to Florida, anytime the day or night was chilly, I could put on my Hilltop Jacket and feel just right.

I also realized how much I like the natural fleece look. My kids told me it was my “teddy bear jacket,” and I have no argument with that. The jacket brings out a vibe that’s less trail athlete, more comfy and chill, and that’s just right with me.

Natural neutral is easy to pair and accessorize

The Hilltop is currently available in Chestnut, Forest Night, and Navy Heather. I opted for the Chestnut. The natural brown heightens the teddy bear look. The neutral brown easily pairs and accessorizes with the rest of my travel capsule wardrobe, such as

Comfy fit and useful pockets

For starters, no, it doesn’t itch. The merino blend is soft on the skin, and the jacket isn’t bulky. When I put on my Hilltop Jacket, I immediately start feeling warm and cozy. The collar is also tall enough to keep my neck warm, but not so tall that the top brushes the bottom of my jaw.

The spacious pockets zip for extra security when I want to tuck my phone or earbuds’ case inside. The ribbon pull on each pocket zip has shown some wear and fraying though, but the zippers themselves slide easy.

Pros and cons

I’ve been wearing my Wool& Hilltop Wool Fleece Jacket throughout chilly mornings, cold evenings, and rainy days from Washington’s San Juan Islands to Savannah, Georgia (not to mention some really damp, foggy fall days in Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park). Here are some things I like and don’t like:

Pros

  • The lamb fleece look evokes a casual style
  • Warm natural color
  • The Chestnut color gives the jacket a casual outdoorsy feel
  • Easy to pair with lots of items
  • Cozy
  • Made from 63% wool, so less plastic and more natural fibers
  • The wool provides better body temperature regulation, and I feel less likely to overheat
  • Warm when I need it, cooler when I need it

Cons

  • Fraying on the main zipper ribbon pull and pocket zipper ribbon pulls
  • Hanging loop broke (it’s the same ribbon as the zipper pulls)
  • There’s been some fabric pilling on the fleece, more so than any of my other Wool& pieces

Merino wool jacket FAQ

What is a merino wool jacket?

A merino wool jacket is made from merino wool or a merino wool blend. It’s a temperature-regulating layer that can help you stay warm without overheating when outside temperatures are cool.

What are the benefits of a merino wool jacket?

The benefits of a merino wool jacket include:

  • Less plastic, more natural fibers
  • Better body temperature regulation: less overheating when active
  • Range of neutrals and colors
  • Comfortable, casual designs
  • Moisture wicking
  • Odor resistance

How do merino wool jackets compare to other types of jackets?

Merino wool jackets will have a little water resistance, but do not offer the same water resistance as a dedicated rain jacket. They’ll keep you warm in cool temperatures, but are not a heavy-duty or winter-weather coat.

Are merino wool jackets suitable for different weather conditions or activities?

Merino wool jackets work great in a range of cool conditions as an outer layer or middle layer. They work great in dry, cool, or damp conditions, and are a great layer when hiking, camping, and paddling. You can wear merino wool jackets in a range of casual, camping, and outdoor settings.

Go-to fleece jacket for just-right merino warmth and temperature regulation

I don’t always want my cool-weather look to look like athletic trail wear. So when Wool& released their Hilltop Wool Fleece Jacket, I immediately felt drawn to its teddy bear-like texture and warm light brown color. From coast to coast and season to season throughout my family’s travels in the USA, I’ve relied on my Hilltop Jacket repeatedly for warmth. The merino wool gives me comfort, but without the overheating that I often experience in synthetic fleeces.

“The jacket brings out a vibe that’s less trail athlete, more comfy and chill, and that’s just right with me.”

Cute. Cozy. And all warm, comfy, and breathable in the way merino wool can pull off. It’s a simple ask, and many jackets and fleeces on the market can do the job. But if, like me, you want less of the sleek trail look, more of the comfy teddy bear look, and no more worries about overheating, the Wool& Hilltop Wool Fleece Jacket has become my go-to fleece. I think it could be yours too.

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About the author
Jodie St. Clair

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