May 1, 2014 at 9:19 pm #1316345
I have one of those ubiquitous tight weaved, thin and somewhat lightish weight ls button up nylon shirts that i got from Bass Pro Shop. I have a couple of issues with it. Doesn't wick at all, and isn't that breathable. I turned it inside out and dropped some water on it. The water just sits on the surface. Because of that, and that it's not that breathable, it's not that comfortable in hotter and more humid weather.
Anyways, i'm looking for a all or mostly all nylon ls shirt (pull over or button up, doesn't matter) that doesn't have a chemical finish to make it wick, but wicks based more on fiber structure (so it's permanent), is relatively light weight, and more breathable that the above type shirts which don't tend to be all that breathable.
It's gotta exist.. I have a pair of Calvin Klein mostly nylon (i think microfiber) boxers, and when water is dropped on the inside of the fabric, sucks it right in and spreads it out. (which i find funny because my more expensive, highly touted, mostly nylon Ex Officio boxers don't wick at all, much like the nylon shirt described above, water sits on top for awhile.)May 1, 2014 at 11:05 pm #2098495
Owen McMurreyBPL Member
@owenmLocale: SE US
Don't have an answer, but perhaps the same question. I have a Royal Robbins "High-Performance Plaid" nylon shirt that is very comfortable initially, and provides good protection from sun and insects, but isn't as breathable as I'd like, and is very slow to dry in our high humidity. I've seen, but not used, similarly styled shirts made of polyester, and wonder if I shouldn't try one of those.May 2, 2014 at 12:27 am #2098504
Derek M.BPL Member
@dmusasheLocale: Pacific Northwest
Just curious: why nylon? Anything against polyester? You'll have more options with that fabric type.
Also, does the weave need to be tight and bug bite resistant? If so, it's going to be hard to find anything that is truly wicking.May 2, 2014 at 2:38 am #2098509
John S.BPL Member
The term wicking is a marketing gimmick to me.May 2, 2014 at 6:26 am #2098520
And occasionally are on sale for as little as $8.50 each:
http://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=1011405&vid=1&pid=939624032May 2, 2014 at 6:40 am #2098525
"The term wicking is a marketing gimmick to me."
I think you're right
It's important to absorb little water so it dries out quickly
Funny how much talk there is about wicking if it's just marketing hype : )May 2, 2014 at 6:56 am #2098528
@pastyj-2-2Locale: SE US
My favorite hiking shirt has turned out to me a Columbia Tamiami II in white. It is very light, thin, stretchy and well ventilated. Now discontinued, Columbia sold a version of this shirt with Insect Shield…really wish I had scored one. Also wish it had some sort of anti-stink built in, but rinsing it out every other day or so seems to work ok.
Alas it is getting somewhat worn and I just found a super deal on Columbia's new AirGill Chill Zero. I am trying that as a replacement. I like the design, but miss the stretch of the Tamiami II fabric. I (strongly) suspect that "Chill Zero" is a load of hoo-hah, but it's still a nice shirt with a decidedly less "fishing shirt covered in pockets" vibe than the Tamiami.May 2, 2014 at 7:10 am #2098532
Sun protection is good. UPF 30 or 50.
More effective than sunscreen.May 2, 2014 at 7:35 am #2098539
Old Navy sells poly T-shirts in various colors. I usually wait and get them on sale for $5 each. They dry fast and don't stink.May 2, 2014 at 7:39 am #2098541
OP asked for nylon shirts and all I see being recommended is polyester.
If he is willing to go polyester, the OR Echo shirts will blow everything else out of the water and go for $17 each ($30 in long sleeve)May 2, 2014 at 7:40 am #2098542
Max DiltheyBPL Member
I HAVE A REALLY GOOD ONE!
Check out Kuhl's Wunderer shirt (not a typo).
The shirt is very lightweight (something like 5 or 6 ounces) and there's a different weave in the armpits and across the back of the shoulders that is absolutely gossamer. It wicks really quick and breathes like mesh. The rest of the shirt is a standard nylon shirt.
It's my new favorite shirt.May 2, 2014 at 7:44 am #2098545
With the right STP code, can be had reasonably and a good warm weather travel shirt to boot.May 2, 2014 at 7:58 am #2098549
David OlsenBPL Member
@bivysack-com-2Locale: Channeled Scablands
""The term wicking is a marketing gimmick to me."
I think you're right
It's important to absorb little water so it dries out quickly
Funny how much talk there is about wicking if it's just marketing hype : )"
If you talk with military folks back from the desert, they will tell you that living at 120 F requires a wicking fabric to help prevent
chaffing etc under body armor. Even some of the outer layers the military uses are treated to wick moisture, They are synthetic
and do not absorb much, but wick.May 2, 2014 at 8:20 am #2098553
There are a few reasons why i'm interested in nylon over polyester–particularly for hot and humid weather application. I think nylon is less innately stinky than polyester because it's less innately hydrophobic, and recently i'm realizing that there is probably no truly permanent anti stink treatment that is applied to synthetics so far. Even Polygiene which claims to be permanent for the life of the garment–if you read between the lines, is rated at a 100 washes (so yes, truly durable and long lasting, but i wouldn't call that permanent for the life of the garment myself).
At the same thickness and similar weave, nylon will be a bit cooler than polyester because the material itself is more conductive–an important factor i think in hot, humid weather. One of the nice things about linen is how conductive the material itself is. Linen does really well in hot and up to moderate-high humidity, but at those ridiculous temps and humidity, even linen starts to get overwhelmed and soggy when you're active (though it's much better than cotton). I think nylon might strike a nice balance in that area. I have the OR Echo LS polyester shirt, like it, but i don't expect it will last too long at that thinness/lightness.
No, i don't need it to be fully bug bite resistant–in any case, i think those nylon shirts i talked about previously, could probably get a bit more loosely woven (and more breathable) and still provide decent bug bite resistant. Not sure though. I say this, because i used a linen ls shirt in Alaska during some truly horrendous skeeter conditions, and it did well enough and it wasn't nearly as tight weaved as those formerly mentioned nylon shirts, though it was noticeably tighter weaved than the typical "summer" style ones.
Nylon is also a lighter fiber, so might save an ounce or so, which is really not that important to me–more just a side benefit. Nylon tends to be a bit more durable then poly.
The problem with nylon though, is that it's significantly less UV resistant than polyester. I'm not sure how this would translate into the real world though–some people say they use nylon shirts in the desert and their shirts are fine for some years.May 2, 2014 at 8:20 am #2098554
So maybe wicking isn't 100% hype : )
Wicking to prevent chaffing under body armor in 120 F heat is a little different than what a typical hiker would experience
One thing that makes me skeptical is when some piece of equipment works in some extreme situation, like a mountaineering tent on Mt Everest, and then it's marketed to normal people – "this tent worked for Hillary on Everest so it will work for you"May 2, 2014 at 8:42 am #2098562
Nathan WattsBPL Member
I thought linen material was used for hot weather clothing because the stiffness of the fabric helps keep it off of your skin and promote airflow. Interesting to learn that the conductivity of the fabric is also a factor.
Back to the topic – I would look for stiffer, looser fitting, button up style shirts, preferably with additional vents. I've used a couple of different railriders shirts (explorer and bone flats). The material in the explorer shirt (not the newest one however) is a bit heftier so it runs hot for that reason. The bone flats shirt material, while thinner, drapes more on the body which doesn't allow as much airflow. It dries out super fast if you get a breeze though. I'd say neither of those are ideal.
Not nylon, but I've found some of the thinnest shirts from Arcteryx are able to absorb sweat faster and spread the absorption throughout the shirt for more surface area and better evaporation.May 2, 2014 at 8:56 am #2098565
"The term wicking is a marketing gimmick to me."
I partly agree, but more so i find it's misrepresented and misunderstood. It seems like companies market all synthetics as "wicking", which just isn't true, and personally i've noticed a big difference between a synthetic shirt that does wick well and one that doesn't in hot, humid weather.
You may (or probably) know the following, but sharing it for any newbies on the topic: Synthetics by nature, are not inherently wicking at all, but natural fibers are. Reason being is because synthetics are inherently hydrophobic. Synthetics have to be altered in some way, either by chemical treatment or special fiber structure or combination of different structure/size (like capilene, bi-component weaves).
The difference between between a wicking synthetic and a non wicking is essentially this. The "wicking" synthetic will immediately pull/seemingly absorb and spread out your sweat/moisture over a larger surface area increasing rate of evaporation which speeds up the cooling and drying of a garments fabric. In very humid and hot weather, this is crucial. This is why i liked my Echo LS shirt so much when i was recently in Costa Rica–it wicked very well, and combined with the fact that it was so thin and breathable (and it's polyester, so quicker drying depending on weave and thickness), made those conditions more tolerable. My linen shirt did really well when i wasn't too active (just walking around casually), but got too overwhelmed when active (hiking, walking up and down hills [of which there seem to be a lot of in C.R.], etc).
The non wicking synthetic, like that ubiquitous tight weaved nylon shirt mentioned originally, well the moisture just tends to get trapped and has to be moved more by air evaporation through the open interstices of fabric. It's not as efficient, and tends to trap more moisture to your skin. This, and that they are not that breathable, is why plenty of people have found these ubiquitous tight woven nylon shirts to be "clammy" feeling in hot, humid weather when active. You can tell the difference between a wicking and non wicking synthetic immediately by a quick test–just drop some water drops on the inside of the fabric. The wicking kind will immediately absorb and spread same, on the non wicking the water will just bead and sit on the fabric–though course under pressure, movement, etc it will speed up the moisture movement process some, and nylon seems to be only borderline hydrophobic compared to polyster and p.p.
It "may" be that in more extremely cold weather, a very hydrophobic, but non wicking fabric– say made out of polypropylene, might be an advantage, as there might be less cooling effect? Combine that with the fact that p.p. is really non conductive–also helps.
In hotter and drier weather, the strengths of a wicking synthetic is it's weakness. It dries way too fast. That's why cotton is pretty good for keeping you cool in very hot and dry conditions because it's a combo of conductive and absorbs AND holds moisture well–prolonging the evaporation effect, the combo of which keeps you cooler.
I'm speaking from both experience and holistic logic with all the above, i've been to the tropics, been to the desert, and to various in between climates (my wife is a travel whore!).May 2, 2014 at 9:01 am #2098567
John S.BPL Member
For a shirt to wick it must be skin tight or body hugging.May 2, 2014 at 9:01 am #2098568
Lapsley, thanks, but i'm looking specifically for all or mostly all nylon shirt, not polyester.
I have some very good polyester shirts, but they are either too stinky, or in the case of my OR Echo LS shirt too fragile for more long term use and eventually the polygiene treatment will become ineffective anyways. Nylon is less innately stinky than polyster, because it's less extremely hydrophobic–yet when thin, still dries pretty fast. It also conducts heat through the fiber material itself more efficiently–though this is not a big factor, every little bit helps in very hot and humid weather which i sometimes experience here in VA.May 2, 2014 at 9:08 am #2098573
"I thought linen material was used for hot weather clothing because the stiffness of the fabric helps keep it off of your skin and promote airflow."
That is definitely a factor too, but even linen when it starts to get overwhelmed with sweat, will start to 'hug' the body more (and when that happens, and because it doesn't dry as fast as synthetics, it becomes more uncomfortable, though again it still dries significantly faster than cotton).
In hot, but only moderately humid weather, i find linen does REALLY well–it's one of my favorite hot weather fabrics. But in Costa Rica recently and when i went to Puerto Rico at the end of July years back… man, talk about heat and humidity–i thought VA was bad in the summer.May 2, 2014 at 9:14 am #2098575
Thanks Max, i will check it out.May 2, 2014 at 9:44 am #2098584
"Sun protection is good. UPF 30 or 50.
More effective than sunscreen."
I agree to a point. But really, unless you're albino, or you're on a equatorial mountain all day, very few really need a UPF 50 shirt.
I have a combo celtic-germanic type complexion. I have some red in my hair and especially in my beard, lots of freckles, rather light gray blue eyes, but can tan a little. I don't think i've ever experienced a sun burn through any kind of shirt, even thin cotton. I don't like sunscreen much and have been using clothes as my primary sunscreen for years now–i'm that dude on the beach and in the water wearing the white long sleeved shirt and tilley or desert style hat with sunglasses on.
There are conditions i've been in wherein a thin cotton shirt would not be good for UV protection, and i don't advocate black and whites in this area… (there are probably some conditions i've been in wherein i would have been burned if i had just worn a thin, somewhat loosely woven cotton shirt or the like).
Also (in my mind), there is some question of how much of the rise in skin cancer is purely from UV exposure, and how much it is being facilitated by a combo of over use of chemical based sun screens with really crappy, unnatural, and unhealthy diets and lifestyles which has become more and more common the world round.
When i do use sunscreen, i use a home made kind i make, that only has micronized zinc oxide powder in same.
We need a certain amount of sun and UV, in fact, far too many people get too little good vitamin D.
Life Extension magazine talks a lot about the need for a much more vitamin D in the body. One way for that is smart and controlled Sun exposure.
I'm not saying that you can't over do UV, course you can–that is obvious. In todays really interconnected world, you have all kinds of people living in climates that their bodies are not innately adapted to pigment wise. There are a lot of light skinned people living much closer to the equator than their ancestors tended to, and getting far more UV than they can naturally tolerate. So i think wearing clothes in the sun is important, but i do find the issue over hyped, even for my fairly light and burn easy complexion.May 2, 2014 at 10:02 am #2098592
Good info – I need to investigate linen shirt
Maybe the rise in skin cancer is because people use sunscreen which prevents UVB and sunburn, so they're out in the sun more, but the sunscreen does little for UVA which causes skin cancer, so they end up getting more UVA and skin cancer.
If your going to spend a certain amount of time in the sun, then sunscreen is good – partially effective.
But if the sunscreen enables you to spend more time in the sun, you're mis-using the sunscreen. Better to use shirt/hat/pants.
The zinc is effective at stopping UVA, but I hate how it comes off and makes a milky mess everywhere.May 2, 2014 at 10:07 am #2098596
Aaron SorensenBPL Member
@awsorensenLocale: South of Forester Pass
No one has mention Rail Riders yet.
Expensive, but exactly what you’re looking for.May 2, 2014 at 10:11 am #2098598
Usually i use sun screen on just my face, hands, and legs (if i'm not wearing pants), because i'm usually wearing ls shirts, wide brimmed etc hats, etc when in more intense Sun conditions.
Re: zinc oxide based sunscreens, depends some on the medium it is put in how much it does or doesn't come off. I use a combo of extra virgin coconut with raw shea butter, and when i apply it, try to apply it as light as possible.
From what i've read so far, nano zinc is pretty safe (doesn't penetrate deeply into the skin under normal circumstances), works better at blocking UV and has less of an issue with the milkiness aspect. But currently i make mine with a micronized zinc, which still rubs in mostly clear.
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