On hot summer hikes, poly tees feel sticky and plasticky, wool is too hot, and cotton takes too long to dry. What’s your favorite summer tee?
For steamy hikes, I like ultrathin, stretchy fabrics that feel cool and breezy. Problem is, they often have durability issues: Polyester snags easily, while wool pills. Westcomb’s Bishop/Pulse ($75; 2.6 oz.; shopwestcomb.com) is a barely-there nylon (known for durability) crew made with an ultrafine yarn that feels oh-so silky and dries almost instantaneously. On humid, 75°F Florida runs, it wicked fast and never felt clammy, even when I was sweating buckets. That’s because each fiber has micro-slits, which increase surface area to boost wicking and dry time. The stretchy fabric drapes nicely with zero cling, and I’ve worn it backpacking for several days straight before stink kicked in. It’s spendy, but I don’t mind paying up for a shirt that won’t disintegrate after one season.
Go to backpacker.com/gear for more answers or to ask your own equipment question.