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more breathable hiking shirts?
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Stephan Doyle
(StephanCal)
Re: motus/phase on 01/25/2012 20:59:42 MST Print View

Thanks for clearing that up Robert.

Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
Re: Re: motus/phase on 01/25/2012 23:53:59 MST Print View

I'm going to also back up the Arc'teryx phase SL material. It is by far the lightest and most breathable shirt I've ever worn. I have a long sleeve and it's my default shirt for summer. I'm glow in the dark white AZ native (my mom's hispanic and my dad is irish that tans, I must be adopted), so I feel my skin "burning" in summer almost instantly. The Phase SL is the only shirt I've found that keeps the sun off but breathes enough so that I actually feel like I'm in a breezy shade.

The material also wicks sweat away so well that it provides a great cooling effect. It's not the warmest under 60dF (I shiver at mid 70s though so YMMV).

Brett Peugh
(bpeugh) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
warmth on 01/26/2012 08:25:33 MST Print View

But wouldn't these shirts also add warmth? And they are not exactly loose for the warm temps.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
more breathable hiking shirts? on 01/26/2012 08:35:19 MST Print View

I've never unnderstood why you'd want something to wick sweat away when you're hot. Kind of kills the natural cooling cycle, doesn't it?

And despite our love of pricy logos, I have to call $2 thrift store shirts for the win.

Kenny R.
(k1t0r5) - F

Locale: Florida
Re: more breathable hiking shirts? on 01/26/2012 11:58:24 MST Print View

I think the biggest thing to consider is the humidity of the area you'll be hiking in. I'm in Minnesota now, but lived in FL for the first 22 years of my life, so I can safely say that I've done the vast majority of my sweating in very humid, very sunny conditions.

In that type of weather, sweat just does not evaporate like it does in low humidity. By wearing cotton, all you're doing is making yourself soaking wet with very little cooling effect. With a shirt that wicks sweat, you will be noticeably cooler because it will at least give the sweat a fighting chance to evaporate, though you'll most likely still be soaked. There's a reason why football players in FL who wear cotton shirts under their pads will literally cut off every inch of fabric they can. It ends up looking like a sports bra and is simply there to prevent the pads from chafing. I've even seen this done with wicking shirts as well because those sometimes prevent evaporation as well.

IMO the most versatile type of shirt for hiking in hot conditions is a super thin nylon fishing shirt, WHITE in color, and with mesh vents on the sides, under the arms, and under flaps on the back. It's the same as with WP/B rain jackets. No matter how breathable the material, the best way to dump heat and moisture is to vent! The built in vents, buttons for adjustable venting, and collar for added sun protection can't really be beat.

If I knew I was going to be in a desert, then I'd probably go with a cotton or 50/50 type dress shirt simply because I know the sweat is going to evaporate there. I don't have much experience in those conditions, but I can certainly imagine that the evaporative cooling effect would be worth it. Unfortunately I'm used to sweat just dripping off rather than evaporating.

Edited by k1t0r5 on 01/26/2012 12:01:44 MST.

Mike W
(rcmike) - MLife

Locale: California
Columbia Tamiami Fishing Shirt on 01/26/2012 12:11:23 MST Print View

I've been using the Columbia Tamiami shirts for 4 years now and I find them to be perfect for hot weather. They breathe well and dry quickly. I've jumped into a river with the shirt on and it was bone dry inside of 20 minutes while wearing it. The temperature was probably around 80-85°.

Edited by rcmike on 01/26/2012 16:01:56 MST.

Heath Pitts
(heathpitts)

Locale: Nashville
Tamiami on 01/26/2012 12:17:25 MST Print View

Another vote for the Columbia Tamiami shirts. The shirts run extremely large. I'm normally a medium and the small is almost too big for me

Matthew Bradley
(patojo) - F

Locale: Berkshire County
Give and take. on 01/26/2012 15:18:00 MST Print View

Capilene 2 is very breathable, not very durable. That’s the dialectic.

Ty Ty
(TylerD)

Locale: SE US
Shirt Materials on 01/26/2012 15:50:57 MST Print View

When ya'll are mentioning all these shirt brands I think it is more important to post the material they are made of than the brand. For the most part polyester is polyester, cotton is cotton. I am more interested to see what materials people are wearing and liking versus the brand.

I tend to hike in 95% polyester, 5% spandex mix shirts mainly because that is what most of the Starter brand stuff at Wal-Mart is and the shirts are cheap.

I also hike in 100% nylon fishing style shirts (some Gander Mountain brand I have) but I have never really liked the feel of these shirts, too rough and maybe a little thick. Ends up feeling like kind of a wet piece of cardboard on you, the advantage is they dry quickly.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Cotton for the desert on 01/26/2012 16:17:32 MST Print View

For desert, Mexico, and summer Grand Canyon hiking I like a $3 thrift store 100% cotton shirt (or just one that I've retired from office wear to round-the-house to hiking use). In part because when I pass a stream, I can carry more water away from the stream absorbed into my shirt. I also like the wrist-to-wrist and collar-over-the-neck coverage in the sun.

But even if I wet the shirt from a water bottle, I find that less tiring than to sweat out that same water.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: motus/phase on 01/26/2012 16:42:06 MST Print View

"Motus is the same fabric different fit and features reflective striping because its a running designed tee."

I have the 2011 version and it doesn't have any reflective striping. It is also "really fitted" and is designed for just about any aerobic activity outdoors. I found it superb on 2 8 day trips in the southern Sierra last year, everything I could ask for in a base/hiking layer.

Stephan Doyle
(StephanCal)
Re: Shirt Materials on 01/26/2012 17:12:08 MST Print View

@Ty Ty: Sorry, I disagree. The weave of the fabric makes a big difference. You can have polyester no-see-um mesh and a polyester vapor barrier. Two ends of the spectrum and an extreme example, to be sure, but construction of the material makes a difference.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Shirt Materials on 01/26/2012 17:39:38 MST Print View

"@Ty Ty: Sorry, I disagree. The weave of the fabric makes a big difference. You can have polyester no-see-um mesh and a polyester vapor barrier. Two ends of the spectrum and an extreme example, to be sure, but construction of the material makes a difference."

+1

Ty Ty
(TylerD)

Locale: SE US
Re: Re: Shirt Materials on 01/26/2012 20:24:11 MST Print View

>@Ty Ty: Sorry, I disagree. The weave of the fabric makes a big difference. You can have polyester no-see-um mesh and a polyester vapor barrier. Two ends of the spectrum and an extreme example, to be sure, but construction of the material makes a difference.

You are right but I still think we should mention the materials. It's hard to know the make up of each shirt and brand, they change them around, re-name them, etc. It would be helpful if people said I like my Brand X brand shirt that is X% this and Y% that.

Kenny R.
(k1t0r5) - F

Locale: Florida
Re: Re: Re: Shirt Materials on 01/26/2012 21:30:49 MST Print View

It seems the consensus is that cotton is king in the desert because it will hold water. As I alluded to a few posts up, in sunny, humid conditions I'm not really sure the material matters all that much. In those conditions I think it's most important that the shirt is extremely thin, light in color, provides full sun protection, and gives you the ability to vent as much as possible. Typically the stuff I find that fits those criteria are the super thin nylon fishing shirts. There's nothing really special about nylon in this instance, it just happens to be what they're most commonly made of.

Maybe the best compromise is a 50/50 cotton/synthetic shirt that meets the criteria I listed above. No one shirt will be good for all conditions though.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: Re: Shirt Materials on 01/26/2012 22:18:55 MST Print View

Well I'm not sure. Deserts are dry and really hot, so as the water evaporates it cools the skin. In humid areas it is not going to evaporate, so maybe you would want something like a Cap 1 t-shirt or something that moves the moisture out as quickly as possible; that is it does not retain water like cotton. My only real experience in really sticky weather was compliments of Uncle Sam and he did not provide us any options.

P. Larson
(reacttocontact) - F
Re: more breathable hiking shirts? on 01/26/2012 22:59:51 MST Print View

Exofficio has a bunch of them.

Matthew Bradley
(patojo) - F

Locale: Berkshire County
Re: Re: Shirt Materials on 01/31/2012 10:08:57 MST Print View

I concur. The first section of Keith Conover’s excellent overview of clothing materials is entitled “Names and Fabrics: A Rose is a Rose, but Polyester isn’t just Polyester!” www.pitt.edu/~kconover/ftp/Clothing%20Materials.pdf

Edited by patojo on 01/31/2012 10:10:20 MST.

Ty Ty
(TylerD)

Locale: SE US
Re: Re: Re: Shirt Materials on 01/31/2012 10:46:39 MST Print View

We are talking about shirts though so that gives some definition of say polyester.

What I am saying is when someone is asking about shirts, me saying I like Columbia and Wal-Mart Starter brand shirts tells the OP almost nothing because each of those brands makes shirts in everything from cotton to nylon. Even if I say I like Columbia XYZ shirts it does not tell the whole story because Columbia changes the makeup of these shirts over time.

So rather than posting the brand and type shirt you like and me/OP/others having to go on a research expedition trying to figure out what fabric blend the shirt was using in the year your shirt was made...it is helpful to post the fabric mix.

If I say I like Starter Brand from Wal-Mart t-shirts that run 95% polyester and 5% spandex that gives the whole picture. I think since we are talking about breathable shirts it is fairly obvious that my favorite shirt is not made up of polyester no see-um netting nor is it non-breathable polyester. I think knowing that I like a shirt in 95% polyester 5% spandex for it's comfortable feel and breath ability tells you a lot and when you run across say an Underarmour brand shirt with the same mix you might understand that while not exactly the same as the WM Starter brand, you might also enjoy that shirt for the same reasons I enjoy my shirt.

My point was directed towards people posting shirt names and brands without telling what the make up of the fabric is.

Edited by TylerD on 01/31/2012 10:48:53 MST.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: Re: Shirt Materials on 01/31/2012 11:16:54 MST Print View

On most trips I just grab the shirt that is at the top of my closet shelf, with a little eye towards the weather. If hot it might be a T shirt, usually some sort of polyester or nylon. If a large range of temperatures without extreme cold then a long sleeve shirt. If even colder then some sort of base layer that will be worn alone or under other garments as the temp drops. I have 3 stacks... long sleeve shirts, T shirts, and base layers. So what I pick at the top of the stack is probably what I wore last, unless it is still in the hamper. I don't fret, worry, or give much consideration in choosing something for a trip. I have a lot of shirts, because there is little I need in life, and friends and family often give me shirts as presents.