Gear Review: Merrell Ngeo Crew - Backpacker

Gear Review: Merrell Ngeo Crew

This super soft synthetic crew shirt has excellent wicking and quick-drying properties.

“The Ngeo is as comfortable as my favorite cotton T-shirt, but it offers all the excellent wicking and quick-drying properties that I want from a high-performance technical tee,” says one tester who wore it on a 30-mile fall backpacking trip on the Grand Canyon’s North Rim. The “silky, smooth” feeling comes from a spun polyester yarn that mimics the supple softness of cotton, while a proprietary treatment creates a paper towel-like action that absorbs moisture and disperses it over a broad surface area to speed up dry times.

“It’s also less stinky than many of the synthetic shirts I’ve worn,” says one tester. That’s because the 97 percent polyester fabric (the rest is spandex) dries so quickly, limiting bacteria’s ability to take hold. The fit is relaxed and durability is impressive; testers report no signs of pilling after dozens of laundry cycles. $40; 6 oz.; m’s S-XXL;