It seems like every outdoor clothing manufacturer or retailer on the planet has their own branded wicking layer. Picking between them is a complete crap shoot and I recommend that you try out a few of the brands available on the trail in order to figure out what properties feel best for you. For example, some of the key things that I look for are temperature range, wickability, weight, odor retention, sizing, price and durability. That’s why I like the Techwick short sleeve shirt from Eastern Mountain Sports.
First off the Techwick is very reasonably priced, at only $25. EMS also puts them on sale often and you can buy them at a discount in quantity. Wickability is excellent. The Teckwick fabric has a mesh-like texture that draws your sweat into the shirt where it can evaporate quickly. The fabric drapes nicely and is less clingy than Patagonia’s Capilene 1 short sleeve shirt ($26-42). Fit around the ribs is loose for us older guys with a few extra pounds around the middle. The Techwick shirt does not begin to retain noticeable odor until about 2 days on the trail in summer weather, and it can be washed in streams and will dry quickly while you are wearing it. The shirt’s durability is also much better than the Capilene 1 which snags on brush and is easily damaged. The weight of a Techwick men’s large is 4.8 oz. and it can be worn alone from the 50’s F on up, as long as you are moving and generating heat. The shirt also has an SPF of 30, even when wet. In contrast a wet cotton short has an SPF of 4.
Disclosure: The author owns this product and purchased it using their own funds.
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