|NATIONAL PARKS QUICKLINKS|
Backpacker Magazine – September 2008
For all-purpose performance year-round, this layering system works overtime through any weather.
All weights are for men's large (unless otherwise noted), on BACKPACKER scales.For more in-depth apparel reviews, check out our exclusive online Apparel Guide supplement.
MontBell Super Merino Shirts
No debate here: For versatility, these shirts, in both short- and long-sleeve versions, were the hands-down favorite among the 30 technical tops we tested. In temperatures ranging from 20°F to 80°F–from Colorado's Arapaho Peaks to sweaty Grand Canyon hikes–they offered moisture management on par with the best synthetic tops but, because of the thermo-regulating properties of wool, they were also more breathable in hot weather and insulated better in cold. And even after eight days of continuous wear, the natural odor-fighting ability of merino kept the fabric remarkably stink-free. Soft 18.5-micron fibers are tightly woven to boost durability; shirts never frayed or pilled, and they didn't lose their shape after washing. $60 (T-shirt), $80 (Long Sleeve Zip Pullover); men's S-XL, women's S-L; 8 oz. (men's M long-sleeve); montbell.com. Reader service #119