I have been wearing EMS Techwick Short Sleeve Shirts as a baselayer for over 5 years and they’re my goto shirt of choice for 3 season hiking and backpacking.
I like Techwick because it wicks moisture away from my skin really well. The Teckwick fabric has a grid-like weave that promotes rapid transport of sweat from my skin to the mid and outer layers of my clothing in cooler weather, and which promotes evaporation in warmer weather when I’m just wearing the shirt by itself.
Techwick is a synthetic baselayer that is 100% polyester, which means that it picks up body odors fairly quickly, and my Techwick shirts get pretty ripe after a few hours of hiking. When that happens and it gets smelly enough to bother me, I just wash my shirt in a stream (without soap), wring it out and hang it up or wear it until it’s dry again. The fabric is thin enough that it dries very quickly.
Fit and Fabric Comparisons
Over the years, I have tried other synthetic base layer short sleeve shirts like Patagonia’s Capilene 1 and Icebeaker’s Tech T Lite, but they really don’t work as well for me. I don’t like the fit of Patagonia’s short sleeve shirts which is too form fitting for my taste and wearing wool against my skin just creeps me out.
Then there the issue of value. Techwick short sleeve shirts cost between $16 and $29 each, which is insanely inexpensive compared to other brands that are one or even two times as costly.
Techwick is also indestructible. I still own the original shirts I bought years ago. I’ve worn and washed them hundreds of times and wear the same shirt week after week on my longer 100-200 mile section hikes. After all this time, none of them have unraveled or disintegrated on me despite enormous abuse.
I honestly don’t know how Eastern Mountain Sports makes any money of these shirts at this price point, but if you’re looking for a top quality baselayer at a great price, I recommend you give EMS Techwick shirts a try.
Disclosure: The author owns this product and purchased it using their own funds.
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