Merino wool isn’t just for the chilly months of the year. Icebreaker also offers light weight shirts for summer, and they’re giving them away in May. This may sound strange as wool is associated with warmth, and you’d wear it while throwing snowballs, not throwing yourself off jumps while mountain biking. Intrigued, I tested out the Tech T Lite Shirt to see for myself how merino performs under the blazing sun. To make it even more interesting, I did it with a black, long-sleeve version.
The Icebreaker Tech T Lite shirt is made with 100% merino wool that’s thin – only 150 grams. Icebreaker says these lighter wool shirts are perfect for summer since they regulate temperature, breathe really well, and don’t stink even after days of high-intensity activity. Plus they’re so thin, they pack light and dry quickly if you get caught in a summer thunderstorm.
To test, I wore my Tech T Lite for three straight days. First, I went mountain biking in the foothills of Salt Lake City. Daytime highs were is the 80s, and I was nervous about being too hot in a black, wool shirt. My fears were quickly put to rest however as the shirt felt great. While I could feel the black color soaking up the sunlight, I never felt more sweaty than usual and it was obvious that the shirt was expelling moisture away from my body. The only place the shirt got soaked was underneath my pack. Color me impressed.
To test out the odorless claim, I wore my mud-splattered, sweat-soaked shirt to work. Once again, I felt not-to-hot, and not-too-cold the entire day and into the night, and none of my co-workers made any mention or stink face at me despite my wearing a shirt I went mountain biking in… either that or my cohorts are really polite.
On to day three and it was time to head out for some spring ski touring. I love merino wool as a base layer in the mountains, and the Tech T Lite did not disappoint. I layered it underneath a light mid layer and a windbreaker as temperatures were expected to climb into the 60s at 10,000 feet. For 10 hours we biked, hiked, skinned, boot packed and finally skied down Deseret Peak, and the shirt was a comfortable and versatile layer. As temps rose, I peeled off the windbreaker and mid-layer, and finally just wore the Tech T Lite under the spring sun while making turns on manky snow through the trees.
Even after all of that, the shirt doesn’t have a whiff of B.O.
Another cool aspect is that this year the Tech T Lite shirts feature cool new designs by guest artists that depict the outdoors. According to Icebreaker the designs show nature in juxtaposition. I really like my shirt that shows a mountain range that is really just a series of tiny triangles.
If you want a chance to win one for yourself, or be entered to win a $1,000 shopping spree at Icebreaker.com, then check out the contest that is running for the month of May. Trust me, you’ll love this shirt.
The Good: Light, breathable, comfortable, no stink.
The Bad: Nothing to see here. Move along.
Final Word: I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, merino wool shirts from Icebreaker are some of the most comfortable and versatile shirts money can buy.