Synthetic hiking tees present a conundrum: You want them to perform like a tech shirt —banish sweat, prevent odor, and resist rips—but still feel like your favorite old cotton t-shirt. The new Capilene Cool Trail Shirt delivers all that; it’s one of the softest trail tops we’ve ever worn, yet still provides excellent wicking and odor control.
The shirt’s brushed polyester has a texture that we can only describe as “buttery, cotton-like goodness.” The women of BACKPACKER especially appreciated the flattering scoop-neck cut, and both men and women liked the shirt’s flowy shape, which isn’t so loose that extra fabric hinders movement.
When a shirt feels this good we never want to take it off, and with the Capilene Cool’s effective odor control, we didn’t have to. “On our trip to Arch Canyon, some of the editors wore the shirts for the entire time,” our photo editor says. “After six days in the desert we could still stand the smell of each other on the car ride home.” The key is HeiQ Fresh, a bio-based, anti-microbial treatment.
Plus, the shirt gets an eco-boost for this year: Its fabric is completely made from upcycled plastic bottles, reclaimed industrial trimmings, and previously used Patagonia garments. (Note: solid colors only; heathers are 50 percent recycled.)
Soft, stink-free, and eco-friendly? Yep, the Capilene Cool Trail Shirt will have a place in our trail wardrobe for years. $39; 4.6 oz. (m’s M); m’s XS-XXL, w’s XXS-XL