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Steve McQueen
(cpholley) - F

Locale: Minnesota Transplant
What is the best wicking t-shirt? on 03/30/2007 08:37:23 MDT Print View

I'm looking for just a great tshirt, great material, great quality product that wicks moisture from my body quickly and efficiently.

I have a Hind long sleeve that I jog in, and it was fine for the mild weather, but as soon as it warmed up, I noticed that it wasn't doing that great of a job. I don't overly perspire, and it wasn't too humid, and not more than 75 degrees. But it almost felt damp. Not good.

So, my question: What's a great product that I can use on the trail, and also for working out, especially in a very warm climete (I live in Texas, hot summers coming up!)

Thanks for any help!

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: What is the best wicking t-shirt? on 03/30/2007 10:09:56 MDT Print View

I could be wrong, but I am wondering if you might be reading the ads too literally (e.g. this tee shirt will wick sweat away from you and keep you comfortable and dry no matter the temperature...). A lot of this is simply "marketing speak".

Summer in Texas? Hot AND humid, right? I guarantee you that you will sweat -- A LOT -- hiking under the sun no matter what tee shirt you wear. Heck, you will sweat profusely even hiking nekkid!

A really good synthetic tee shirt is supposed to first wick moisture away from you, then rapidly evaporate out that moisture. That can work in hot and dry places, but NOT when it's both hot and humid. A cotton shirt will also feel comfy initially as the cotton absorbs the sweat away from your body. But in both cases, synthetic and cotton will soon be overwhelmed and saturated and feel completely wet on you -- the difference being just a small matter of timing.

The actual difference between synthetics and cotton is simply that once you move indoors or rest up in the shade, the synthetic will dry faster whereas the cotton will take much longer to dry. In other words, when hiking and all, you will sweat no matter what -- and your tee shirt will become wet -- but once you get into the shade and stop sweating, the synthetic will dry sooner and thus get you comfortable quicker. I mention synthetics vs. cotton to illustrate what synthetics can and can't do.

My favorite tees are actually the very inexpensive Duofold tees carried by Campmor. They are very comfortable, quick drying -- and unlike some of the more expensive counterparts, they don't exhibit much of a "stink factor". I've worn them for up to five days without any problems or complaints (my hiking buddies are not the polite types).

Edited by ben2world on 03/30/2007 10:31:11 MDT.

Douglas Frick
(Otter) - MLife

Locale: Wyoming
Re: What is the best wicking t-shirt? on 03/30/2007 10:53:32 MDT Print View

>What's a great product that I can use on the trail, and also for working out


Try WalMart's Athletic Works tees; they're made of 80% polyester/20% lycra and they flash off perspiration quickly. Same mix of fibers as Under Armour, but much cheaper. I wear them hiking in Hawaii.

Mark Larson
(mlarson) - MLife

Locale: Southeast USA
Re: Re: What is the best wicking t-shirt? on 04/01/2007 08:23:51 MDT Print View

Capilene is often cited as the gold standard, but for my money it starts to smell worse, sooner and it's too pricey.

Ben and Douglas already mentioned my top 2 suggestions. Duofold is quite inexpensive, thin, light, and pretty durable. Be aware that they start to 'pill' after a while, but as long as you're not fashion-obsessed, you'll be fine. And the Wal-Mart Athletic Works body-hugging tees are great, too--I prefer the long-sleeve models. I don't know how it does it, but the skin-tight cooling feels pretty nifty.

-Mark

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
re:What is the best wicking t-shirt on 04/01/2007 08:52:42 MDT Print View

Both capilene and merino wick well, but capilene reeks. I never realized it did not have to be that way until I tried merino wool. Wool not only does not smell nearly as bad, it keeps ME smelling less. I returned all my Patagonia capilene and use only wool 1, 2, or 3 now.

Unlike capilene, wool seems to have a wider range of thermal comfort. More noticeable in long underwear(pants), capilene felt uncomfortably warm going from ski run into a hot humid lodge, whereas merino did not. Camping of course there is no lodge to run to, but proves a point.. merino is more versatile.

But, this will be my first hot humid summer in Japan exersizing in short sleeved wool-1.. who knows..

Chad Mason
(porch13) - M

Locale: Arizona
Wicking T on 04/01/2007 08:54:19 MDT Print View

I've always been happy with my Hind Flight T-Shirt. They are super light and breathe very well. They certainly do the trick for summer hiking here in Phoenix. Rei-outlet has them on clearance right now for $16.93.

http://www.rei.com/REI-Outlet/product/750814

Adam Rothermich
(aroth87) - F

Locale: Missouri Ozarks
Re: What is the best wicking t-shirt? on 04/01/2007 09:34:01 MDT Print View

I have a pair of Columbia wicking shirts and agree that they start to smell very bad, very fast. They do wick and dry quickly and were cheap so I'm happy with them. I can't exactly afford a wardrobe of merino wool, though I do have a Smartwool beanie that has yet to start smelling at all. If I did have the money I would go for wool.

Adam

Douglas Frick
(Otter) - MLife

Locale: Wyoming
Re: Re: What is the best wicking t-shirt? on 04/01/2007 09:50:56 MDT Print View

>I can't exactly afford a wardrobe of merino wool,


I should have mentioned above that the WalMart Athletic Works wicking tees cost less than $10. I wear mine for 3-4 days at a time, day and night, and they don't seem to stink like other shirts. I generally need to wash my other shirts daily.

Caleb Wininger
(caleb_sandler) - F

Locale: Michigan
capilene 2 on 04/01/2007 10:03:17 MDT Print View

the new capilene 2 stuff is actaully really awesome. it is the lightest, airiest shirt i've ever had, but it has a really durable feel to it. it has different weave patterns at different areas so it targets your "sweat spots". i has an antimicrobial treatment now that works pretty well. granted, it will start to stink sooner than wool, but it is lighter than the lightest merino that i've ever seen. and it costs half of what a comparable wool shirt will cost. the breathability is fantastic.

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
cheap merino on 04/01/2007 10:06:38 MDT Print View

..and I should have mentioned I got all my merino on steepandcheap, about $25 each. I didn't want to imply Im loaded or anything; takes time to scour froogle every day, and an aol bot set to email me when "merino" appears on SAC.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: cheap merino on 04/01/2007 10:08:22 MDT Print View

I would strongly recommend against wool of any kind for wearing in the hot summers of Texas.

Why not use each type of material to its advantage? I quite enjoy the added warmth and comfort of merino wool -- even here in southern Cal, with our relatively mild winters.

But when it comes to summer, synthetics are lighter, cooler, and they dry faster as compared to wool. Anyway, my 2 cents.

Edited by ben2world on 04/01/2007 10:16:04 MDT.

larry savage
(pyeyo) - F

Locale: pacific northwest
Re: Re: cheap merino on 04/01/2007 12:04:33 MDT Print View

I have a bike jersey[cannondale] that is made out of cocona that wicks like mad. I believe cocona also sells their fabric to go-lite, champion vapor tees,marmot shirts,new balance,royal robbins, and sporthill. One blog I've read claims the larger pores in the coconut carbon do not trap odor likke the bamboo carbon products.

James Pitts
(jjpitts) - F

Locale: Midwest US
Re: What is the best wicking t-shirt? on 04/01/2007 12:27:47 MDT Print View

I pretty much get anything for running and use that hiking. The Coolmax stuff is acceptable... I have a lot of Brooks stuff and I think I like this the best. I just get whatever is on closeout. The Patigonia stuff works well running in the winter and on the trail as well. I think I have a set of about 5 Brooks Coolmax T's that I have had for 10 years and still work well for running and on the trail.

abdon gonzalez
(abdon@sillypages.com) - F

Locale: Misawa, Japan
Re: Re: cheap merino on 04/01/2007 18:20:21 MDT Print View

> I would strongly recommend against wool of any kind
> for wearing in the hot summers of Texas.
>
> Why not use each type of material to its advantage?
> I quite enjoy the added warmth and comfort of merino
> wool -- even here in southern Cal, with our
> relatively mild winters.
>
> But when it comes to summer, synthetics are lighter,
> cooler, and they dry faster as compared to wool.
> Anyway, my 2 cents.
>

I humbly disagree. For Dry heat, wool performs better than anything else. Besides wicking, wool also retains a certain amount of moisture. A polyester shirt does nothing more than get clammy and waste all your fluids, wool will evaporate the retained moisture slowly.

More moisture evaporation will keep you cooler, which in turn will make you sweat less. Sweating less and staying cooler makes your system more efficient and avoids mineral depletion.

Again, this is for DRY, hot heat. For humid days, polyester wins.

Edited by abdon@sillypages.com on 04/01/2007 18:21:16 MDT.

John Kays
(johnk) - M

Locale: SoCal
Re: Re: Re: cheap merino on 04/01/2007 18:53:06 MDT Print View

Loose fitting wool has felt very comfortable on some pretty warm days in the Arizona desert. I recently purchased the micro-weight merino shirt by SW specifically for summer hiking. It surprised me to discover this several years ago but having tried just about all of the synthetic stuff, for me, at least for now, nothing beats an appropriate weight wool for comfort. Again this is my preference in response to the above question and not intended to be a dogmatic opinion that this is the best for all.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Re: Re: cheap merino on 04/01/2007 20:32:13 MDT Print View

Abdon:

You may be right... I was thinking hot AND humid Houston when typing my response above, but yes, Texas is a big state, with areas that are hot and dry.

I haven't tried wearing wool in hot and dry days... but dare I say it... cotton actually works beautifully in hot and dry areas! Loose-fitting cotton. :)

Eric Noble
(ericnoble) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Re: Re: cheap merino on 04/01/2007 22:29:49 MDT Print View

I have to agree with Abdon. I wear wool year around and have done so for about 3 years now. Mainly Ibex polo shirts around work and home and for day hikes. Including Ibex Breezer wool briefs, now sadly discontinued. I live in Colorado and even wore my wool in the heat and humidity of Costa Rica and the humidity of Hawaii. Wool is not just for cold weather.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: cheap merino vs cheap synthetics on 04/01/2007 22:43:57 MDT Print View

OK, the next time it gets above 100F, I'll put on my merino wool tee and compare it to my beloved Duofold poly tee. I don't expect to actually feel "comfortable" hiking in that kind of weather, but I'll see if one is noticeably less uncomfortable than the other... :)

René Jeninga
(renjen)

Locale: Near the coast in the Netherlands
What is the best wicking t-shirt? on 04/02/2007 09:30:35 MDT Print View

What about the new Icebreaker superfine 140 merino t-shirt? It is the newest and latest merinowool product from Icebreaker and should keep you comfartabel in warm temps.It is a 140g/m2 merinowool product and the lightest they make.

Eric Noble
(ericnoble) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: What is the best wicking t-shirt? on 04/02/2007 10:02:50 MDT Print View

My Ibex Polos are 17.5 micron merino and 165 g/m2. They have held up very well and are very comfortable. I'll have to check out the Icebreaker superfine 140 merino t-shirt to see how it compares. I wonder if durability is an issue?