It’s not often that you come across an article of clothing, or any product in general, that ticks all of the boxes on your list of preferences. A list of attributes such as high-performance, sustainable, comfortable, ultralight, and fairly priced rarely all can be found in a single product.
Fortunately, the Arms of Andes Alpaca Wool Long Sleeve Shirt is one such product. This casual activewear garment is a joy to wear for many reasons, including those attributes on the aforementioned list. It’s great for layering or wearing all on its own, whether you’re sipping coffee at a cafe or scaling a snow-capped mountain.
Now, if you’re unfamiliar with alpaca wool, you may have some questions. Rest assured, though, that it is a supremely comfortable material that performs better than other common activewear fabrics, such as merino wool. Read on to learn more.
Arms of Andes Alpaca Wool Long Sleeve Shirt Specifications
|Feature Type||Feature Specs||What This Means|
|Weight||4.9 oz||The weight of a men’s medium. This is light enough to be considered ultralight.|
|Material||110g/m2 Royal Alpaca Wool||100% alpaca wool composition|
|Insulation||Semi-hollow core fibers||Though thin and lightweight, the fibers do well to regulate body heat.|
|Fiber Thickness||18 microns||This and similar to merino wool. However, smooth scales provide enhanced comfort.|
|Moisture Wicking||Yes||Alpaca wool prevents moisture absorption and wicks moisture away.|
|Prevents Odor||Yes||Alpaca wool naturally prevents bacteria growth and body odor accumulation.|
|Pockets||None||Smooth and seamless for comfort and layering.|
|Material Source||Single-origin from Peru||Sustainably sourced from free-roaming Andean alpacas.|
|UPF||High||Though not clearly specified, Arms of Andes says that this shirt provides high UV resistance and protection.|
|Fit||Slim and fitted||Casual activewear that naturally stretches.|
|Sustainability||Highly sustainable.||Fully traceable single-origin sourcing, biodegradable materials, no microplastics, and no chemical alterations.|
|Retail Price||$75||Comparable to other wool shirts that do not perform as well and are far less sustainable.|
Unique Features of the Arms of Andes Alpaca Wool Long Sleeve Shirt
Single-original Royal Alpaca Wool is more than the core of the Arms of Andes Alpaca Wool Long Sleeve Shirt—it’s everything. Though alpaca wool itself has many standout attributes that elevate it above other textiles, Arms of Andes takes the extra steps to ensure that its alpaca wool is entirely sustainable and leave-no-trace friendly without compromising the overall quality of the product.
The Benefits of Alpaca Wool
The alpacas of the Andes Mountains evolved to withstand the harsh weather and climate conditions of living at over 15,000 feet of elevation. Dramatic temperature swings, intense sunlight, and extreme high-altitude storms forged the fibers that the alpacas needed to survive. As such, the alpaca wool sourced by Arms of Andes is highly resilient and highly effective.
Alpaca wool is comprised of complex protein fibers that offer a long list of benefits over the cellulose fibers in fabrics such as cotton and rayon. Inside, alpaca wool has hollow and semi-hollow spaces that keep the material lightweight while providing excellent insulation. Think of a bird’s feathers—they hollow and extremely light, yet keep a bird warm even through the frigid depths of winter.
Additionally, the scales of alpaca wool are much smoother than that of sheep’s wool, or merino wool. As a result, alpaca wool is softer to the touch yet still can wick away moisture.
Next-To-Skin Baselayer Fit
The Arms of Andes Alpaca Wool Long Sleeve Shirt is an all-purpose long-sleeved shirt with a subtly fitted cut. It was designed to be the ultimate baselayer. By providing all of the benefits that alpaca wool has to offer (moisture-wicking, temperature regulating, odor control, unrestricted breathability), this shirt will keep you feeling fresh no matter your activity. Because of its inherent ability to self-clean, alpaca wool clothing doesn’t need to be washed often.
Alpaca wool has a natural stretch that gives this shirt great flexibility. It’ll move with you, rather than restrict you. The overall look is quite stylish—this shirt looks more like a casual sweater, especially when layered, than it does an informal piece of athleisure. This versatility makes it a great piece to take from an afternoon on the trail to dinner in town.
How the Arms of Andes Alpaca Wool Long Sleeve Shirt Compares to other Wool Products
The benefits of alpaca wool are clear, but how does Arms of Andes stack up directly against other wool products? Why should you purchase an Arms of Andes shirt instead of a merino wool shirt from brands like Smartwool or Icebreaker? Here’s why.
Alpaca Wool vs. Merino Wool
In general, alpaca wool has a lower carbon footprint than merino wool, and that’s especially true for the single-origin Royal Alpaca Wool used by Arms of Andes. This is because the raising and grazing of sheep requires a lot of land, and large amounts of water and chemical are required for merino wool production in order to strip the lanolin and scales that would otherwise make it itchy.
Arms of Andes sources its alpaca wool from free-roaming alpacas that do not have a negative impact on the land because they are a natural part of the landscape in which they roam. The naturally smoother scales of alpaca wool make it so harsh chemicals are not required. Plus, being single-sourced, there is much less international shipping and processing with alpaca wool than is commonly involved with merino wool.
But sustainability isn’t the only way that alpaca wool comes out on top. Alpaca wool is warmer, softer, more breathable, and has lower moisture retention than merino wool. As such, an Arms of Andes Alpaca Wool Long Sleeve Shirt is often a superior choice over merino wool shirts.
Arms of Andes vs. Other Alpaca Wool Brands
Arms of Andes is a superior choice because of its single-origin sourcing and transparent supply chain practices. By building strong relationships in Peru, Arms of Andes is able to source high-quality alpaca fleece that is remarkably soft and has the least amount of impact on the local environment.
Sustainable processing and production keep the environmental impact to a minimum, and a streamlined distribution pipeline reduces global CO2 emissions. Other alpaca wool brands are not nearly as transparent nor as focused on sustainable, leave-no-trace business practices. If you want the best of the best, you want Arms of Andes.
Who is Arms of Andes?
Arms of Andes is a sustainable clothing brand created by a sister and brother who have a familial connection to the highlands of Peru. They care as much about the alpacas they source, the local Peruvian farmers they work with, and the global environment as they do about creating high-performance alpaca wool clothing.
Arms of Andes sponsors this post.
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