Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

Apparel

What We’re Testing Now: This Lightweight Wool Shirt is a Summer Superstar.

The Ibex Journey offers impressive thermoregulation, even on hot days.

Lock Icon

Become a member to unlock this story and receive other great perks.

Already have an Outside Account? Sign in

Outside+ Logo

All-Access
Intro Offer
$3.99 / month*

  • A $500 value with everything in the Print + Digital Plan plus 25+ benefits including:
  • Member-only content from every title in the Outside network like Outside, SKI, Climbing, and more
  • Annual gear guides for backpacking, camping, skiing , climbing, and more
  • Outside Learn, our new online education hub loaded with more than 2,000 videos across 450 lessons including Wilderness Weather Fundamentals and 6 Weeks to Trail Fit
  • Gaia GPS Premium with hundreds of maps and global trail recommendations, a $39.99 value
  • Premium access to Outside Watch and 1,000+ hours of exclusive shows
  • Exclusive discounts on gear, travel, and race-entry fees
  • Annual subscription to Outside magazine
Join Outside+
Backpacker

Digital + Print
Intro Offer
$2.99 / month*

  • Annual subscription to Backpacker magazine
  • Access to all member-exclusive content and gear reviews on Backpacker.com
  • Ad-free access to Backpacker.com
Join Backpacker

*Outside memberships are billed annually. Print subscriptions available to U.S. residents only. You may cancel your membership at anytime, but no refunds will be issued for payments already made. Upon cancellation, you will have access to your membership through the end of your paid year. More Details

Wool in summer? Yes, please: I’ve been convinced of merino’s year-round merits for quite a few seasons now, thanks to the magic designers have worked with ultrafine fibers that feel soft against the skin and make for lightweight shirts that breathe exceptionally well. So I welcomed the chance to test this wool-blend tee from Ibex. So far, my opinion has only improved. On a strenuous hike gaining 1,000 feet in about a mile on exposed Pengelly Ridge near my home in Missoula, Montana, the 75°F, sunny weather had me sweating—but the Journey Short Sleeve Crew wicked the moisture away as well as any synthetic, keeping me comfortable and moving forward. That held true even when I upped the exertion on a trail run up the local Barmeyer Trail at 80°F.

How does it work? Merino wool fibers—especially in a lightweight shirt like the the Journey—have tiny pores that allow sweat vapor to escape quickly, before you even start feeling sticky. And when you do sweat, wool wicks moisture into its core but leaves the surface feeling dry against your skin. 

The other major benefit of merino is that it’s naturally stink resistant—an especially nice feature as this summer’s heat waves have made all my outings especially sweaty. After three tough workouts without a wash, this top still smells fine.

The Journey is formfitting but not supertight, with a slight drape that allows for unrestricted movement. My biggest question is durability, as one place synthetics beat merino is toughness and longevity, and this particular shirt is very thin: I haven’t tested this with a pack yet, and I’m a little concerned about shortening its lifespan with rubbing under the straps, especially given its luxurious price tag. But this top is 89 percent merino and 11 percent nylon; the merino fibers are wrapped around a nylon core, a construction which should boost the shirt’s staying power longterm.