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Gear Review: Rab Aeon Print T-shirt

A polyester performance t-shirt that's worth every penny–and we're giving away four! Read on to win!
gear review rab aeon print t 445x260Rab Aeon Print T-shirt (Courtesy Photo)

I’ve always felt non-cotton t-shirts cost a fortune for a shirt that ends up getting pilled and stinky. I am amazed that a couple years ago I paid $40 for a simple baselayer t-shirt and now it is coming undone at the seams and has a stretched neck. Then I came across this polyester t-shirt by Rab. The UK-based company makes expedition-worthy equipment, from sleeping bags to gaiters…to t-shirts…and they are worth the extra dollars.

Admittedly, the design of the men’s Rab Aeon Print t-shirt caught my eye as it has both style, heavy stitching, and a good fit all packaged in a three-ounce baselayer. During a four-day trip on the Foothills Trail in South Carolina, I didn’t smell nearly as bad as when I wear my Duofold polyester. Credit a high-gauge 100% polyester knit woven to feel like silk that wicks moisture (and odors – there’s no chemical odor treatment), dries fast (insanely fast), and feels great against the skin.

The thick, flat-locked (stitched flat) seams don’t crease and bunch compared to regular shirts so there’s no chafing in the underarms. The overall fit, while loose, isn’t skater baggy, but allows a little more breathing room than other performance t-shirts I’ve tested. (Note: The shirt I tested was a UK size large, and it fit like a roomy US medium.) The t-shirt also has a UPF rating of 30+, and protected my skin enough during mid-day jogs to maintain my hard-earned farmer’s tan.

Note: A “standard” t-shirt (same fit and performance without the print on the back) is also available in men’s and women’s styles. The Print version is only available in men’s sizes.

Bottom line: This is a great t-shirt for spring backpacking, and the price tag is competitive with other performance t-shirts on the market.

Congrats to our winners and thanks to everyone who entered! BUT, LUCKY YOU, Rab has agreed to give away several Aeon t-shirts! Here’s what you have to do: Post a photo of your tired, stinky, holey, ratty, worn-out, but favorite hiking t-shirt in one of three places. 1. Post a link to the photo in the comments below (with a way to contact you – via FB is fine). 2. Email us the photo at online@backpacker.com (subject line: t-shirt contest). 3. Post the photo on our Facebook page. We will collect entries until midnight next Monday, April 4, 2011 at which time the editors will choose two men’s and two women’s winners to receive brand-new Rab t-shirts. (Please note only S, M, and L shirts are available and the women’s t-shirt does not have a reflective graphic on the back.)

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