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Quick drying hiking tshirt help

philo

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
April 2023
Hi,
I am looking for some quick dry tshirts, though I don't like the Polyester Elastane ones.

Are the only other options merino?
 
Very light, comfortable and compressible poncho. Specially designed for protection against water for any activity.

Our Atmospheric H30 poncho offers lightness and waterproofness. Easily compressible and made with our Waterproof fabric, its heat-sealed interior seams guarantee its waterproofness. Includes carrying bag.

€60,-
Lightweight Merino i used synthetic on the Portuguese Coastal in up to 27C !
Although i washed them by lunch they smelled a bit (probably a lot)
I have brought Merino for my Frances in May!
As i wanted to know how they performed i wore the same t shirt for five days recently walking 5 to seven miles each day and no smell;so they work well!
However people did comment on the egg yolk,ketchup and baked bean juice down the front 🤣!!!!
Woody
 
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There are lots of "quick dry" options... but in my opinion - Merino Wools is the best. Quick dry, doesn't hold odor, helps you keep your temperature regulated even when wet. I am a Merino Wool "snob" though - I really only love the Icebreaker brand which is more expensive - but for me it holds up very well and I even machine wash it. Other brands seem to fall apart faster even when handwashing only. Except my SmartWool hiking dresses - but those are a mix blend.

And yes - synthetic will stink fairly quickly. Somewhere someone was recommending washing them in vinegar to get the stink out - yes that works - but you you really want to be carrying or buying vinegar on the Camino? And not practical for handwashing.
 
Tencel (viscose from wood fibers) is a fairly quick-drying option if you want to avoid both wool and polyester. It is also very soft and comfortable, and you avoid that synthetic feeling of polyester. I wear tencel underwear, but for T-shirts I still prefer merino wool.
 
The chemical composition of a fabric may contribute less to the tactile feeling than the way how it is woven. Polyester shirts from different manufacturers, and different models as well, may provide dramatically different wearing experience.
Indeed, they do not possess inherent bactericide properties, but I would hardly blame them for this. Because the root of evil here is those germs living on the human skin, and their composition is rather individual, as the smell is.
So, no universal recipes, but empirically I have found a shampoo with a slight bactericide properties which I use to wash myself and do the everyday laundry while on Camino. Obviously the best results are expected if one can afford the luxury of morning showers.
 
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I agree that “merino is your friend”. However, I had a great experience with simple Costco 32 Degrees Cool black t-shirts. Super lightweight and comfortable. Quick dry. And, they have some sort of anti-odor built in. I got a four pack in store for about $15!
 
Wool is your friend here.
Right, wool is our friend. I would say pure merino wool is our dear friend, worth the price for finest fibers when serving as the closest to the body layer in harsh conditions of long hikes, where means for personal hygiene are limited.
It would be regrettable to kill the friend exposing it directly to the backpack harnesses end everyday washes.
 
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I was an avid backpacker back in prehistoric times and was managing a mountaineering shop when polypropyline first came out. I educated customers and students of the importance of materials that are wicking and fast drying for the inner layer of clothing when outdoors hiking, skiing, hunting, whatever. I just say that to show that I am knowledgable and that I realize what I'm about to say goes against common wisdom. But it works for me.
I must be the only person who finds even merino itchy. And I hate the feel of the synthetics. Another example; the difference between down jackets/sleeping bags and their synthetic counterparts. I find that down - the natural fiber - is comfortable in a greater temperature range - less likely to be too hot when it's on and too cold when it's off - than synthetic materials. (I like fleece, but it also doesn't give as wide a comfort range, so I bring a fleece vest.)
I shudder at the thought of a long-sleeve "tech" shirt, which a lot of people swear by. I love cotton, which I know is a No No in everybody's book because it doesn't dry fast. My compromise for the Camino was cheap, lightweight tee shirts (Walmart) that were 65% polyester and 35% cotton. They are soft like cotton, but dry faster. This might not be a great option for a winter or early season Camino, but they worked great for me for three caminos (2 in spring, 1 in fall). Just throwing it out there.
 
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Huge fan of Merino here but I find that often it doesn't last. Merino can be thin and in my experience can be particularly vulnerable to developing holes when wet and hanging from wherever I can manage to place it.

Sometimes a merino combination works better.

Don't know if they still do it but I got a long lasting Merino polo shirt in the angling section. Thicker than most offerings, a naff green colour it might not be the first choice of most but it lasts!
 
I wear long sleeve cotton blouses. Lighter than a t-shirt, and they dry quickly. Sleeves can roll up easily when it is hot or protect you from the sun. I have a turtle neck t-shirt to wear under them if it is cold out, but usually take it off after an hour or so,
 
Very light, comfortable and compressible poncho. Specially designed for protection against water for any activity.

Our Atmospheric H30 poncho offers lightness and waterproofness. Easily compressible and made with our Waterproof fabric, its heat-sealed interior seams guarantee its waterproofness. Includes carrying bag.

€60,-
I agree that “merino is your friend”. However, I had a great experience with simple Costco 32 Degrees Cool black t-shirts. Super lightweight and comfortable. Quick dry. And, they have some sort of anti-odor built in. I got a four pack in store for about $15!
Cool, unfortunately don't have Costco here.
 
I wore a long-sleeved, lightweight merino shirt after being very impressed with the young salesman who said he had worn one for four days in a row and "didn't stink". If it was chilly I wore a long-sleeved silk undershirt. Most clothing will last longer if it's not washed every time it's worn (although one must wash one's underwear after each wearing ;)). I also wore cotton or cotton-blend T-shirts after a day of hiking. "Wicking" fibres feel more like a plastic bag in that they don't seem to breathe when I wear them, instead being creepily wet. Natural fibres are the way to go for me. They also cost more and last longer than fast fashion, thus are more environmentally friendly.
 
Merino is great, however I have a severe sweating disorder which means my clothes are literally wringing wet. I do not find merino dries fast enough so I wear a synthetic layer and as far as I am aware I do not smell!!
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
Huge fan of Merino here but I find that often it doesn't last. Merino can be thin and in my experience can be particularly vulnerable to developing holes when wet and hanging from wherever I can manage to place it.

Sometimes a merino combination works better.

Don't know if they still do it but I got a long lasting Merino polo shirt in the angling section. Thicker than most offerings, a naff green colour it might not be the first choice of most but it lasts!


Woolpower has that naff green colour. Love it.
Combination of different fabrics works perfect for me.

60% Merino wool
25% Polyester
13% Polyamide
2% Elastane

 
Consensus is "merino wool" ( of which I agree )
lightweight, warm, comfortable, quick to dry, durable...and not stinky
if your budget stratospheric, purchase a wardrobe
 
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The US retailer REI has a webpage where they discuss and rate synthetic vs. merino wool vs. silk fabics on a scale of 1 to 5 for each of wicking, durability and odor-resistance. The total score for both synthetics and merino is 12/15. Silk scores a 6.

They do say this which looks good for walking in summer:

Ceramic/Wool​

Wool that’s embedded with ceramic particles is an emerging technology in base layers designed specifically for hot weather. The ceramic attracts body heat, then dissipates that heat quickly to help cool your skin.

Here's the article:
 
Ideal sleeping bag liner whether we want to add a thermal plus to our bag, or if we want to use it alone to sleep in shelters or hostels. Thanks to its mummy shape, it adapts perfectly to our body.

€46,-
Hi,
I am looking for some quick dry tshirts, though I don't like the Polyester Elastane ones.

Are the only other options merino?
I wore all quick dry clothes, I showered every day and light washed my clothes every day. No odour and fresh every day. I had a Merino wool long sleeve top which I wore as a top layer as I found it itchy but I do have super sensitive skin
 
Consensus is "merino wool" ( of which I agree )
lightweight, warm, comfortable, quick to dry, durable...and not stinky
if your budget stratospheric, purchase a wardrobe
Trying to keep my pack weight to around 5kg without water or snacks; but if your up for carrying a wardrobe give it a go :) !!
Woody
 
Hi,
I am looking for some quick dry tshirts, though I don't like the Polyester Elastane ones.

Are the only other options merino?
I found the merino wool worked great for me last year on the Coastal Portuguese Camino. I washed them every night because the did smell, no way could I have worn them for two days...maybe I'm just stinky!! The good thing is they dry overnight.
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
Cool, unfortunately don't have Costco here.
As with many such stores, you can go to costco dot com to shop online for such. Costco tends to be seasonal. I just checked - at the moment they have 32 Degrees Men's Cool Tee, a 3-pack (~$14) which is 85% Polyester | 15% Spandex. They claim it to be anti-odor.

Costco is also offers a Seg'ments Ladies' Merino Wool (100%) top (green / black / red options) - long sleeved, (~$20) as well as a Katherine Barclay Ladies' Merino Wool Sweater (~$15)

My favorite long-johns are black Merino Blend Paradox - 84% polyester 11% merino 5% Spandex. I don't recall where I bought them, though. They tout 'drirelease®, with FRESHGUARD®' - whatever those are. I've never noted them to be odor sinks, with the longest wear time between washing about 4 days.
 
The chemical composition of a fabric may contribute less to the tactile feeling than the way how it is woven. Polyester shirts from different manufacturers, and different models as well, may provide dramatically different wearing experience.
Indeed, they do not possess inherent bactericide properties, but I would hardly blame them for this. Because the root of evil here is those germs living on the human skin, and their composition is rather individual, as the smell is.
So, no universal recipes, but empirically I have found a shampoo with a slight bactericide properties which I use to wash myself and do the everyday laundry while on Camino. Obviously the best results are expected if one can afford the luxury of morning showers.
Would you share the name of the shampoo that you use? Thanks, and buen camino.
 
These are very personal choices, and there’s no right answers. The forum is a wonderful resource for these sorts of questions. I’m a big merino fan and wear it when it’s cool. It’s getting a lot of votes here and I can understand why.
Here’s my experience though (a contrary view): Last year I walked 42 days straight (end of Vezelay, GR10 to Hendaye and then Norte/Primitivo) late May, June early July. Every one of those days I wore my Lululemon Metal Vent Tech tee. A few cooler mornings I added a merino layer. Washed the tee every day. Worked well for me. Little or no odour. Comfortable, light weight and very quick drying. The Norte is humid so drying overnight is not a given. Worn it heaps since then and I’m about to re-purchase as the neck seam is finally starting to show wear. Lululemon’s polyester technology is smart.
FWIW I also wore the Lululemon lined shorts which were just as good.
 
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I wore all quick dry clothes, I showered every day and light washed my clothes every day. No odour and fresh every day. I had a Merino wool long sleeve top which I wore as a top layer as I found it itchy but I do have super sensitive skin
Me too, I find the Kathmandu version of quick dry dry t's are fine - I wouldn't wear them normally but they work well on Camino. I wash daily and they dont smell if washed daily.
I have Icebreaker merino, but could only wear next to skin in cold weather or it makes me itch.
Smell is a very subjective issue though. Ive walked downwind of someone who thought they didnt smell, and had to breathe through my mouth until I could get ahead of them
 
Actually as Joe M says above, quite a subjective topic. But here's my 3 cents' worth:
I've worn polyester t-shirts for many years on the camino and for other hikes and exercise. No probs at all with odour. I used to have a couple of quite soft and stretchy polyester tops which were OK, but have now switched to something that works much better, and is perfect for cheapskates like me:
These are the Trespass Albert t-shirts and here in the UK they cost £10 each. They breathe well (you can easily see through them if you hold them up to the light, but not when you are wearing them!), this Polyester material is quite firm and structured, which means
1 They make me look a bit fitter than I actually am, sort of de-accentuating the saggy bits...
2 You can really wring a lot of water out of them after washing, which speeds up drying.
They seem to be hard wearing - I snagged a couple of times on thorn bushes and although the thread pulled a little it hasn't torn or unravelled. Made in Bangladesh.
Cheers, tom
 
Would you share the name of the shampoo that you use? Thanks, and buen camino.

Sure, but I need to make a disclaimer that I have no relationship with P&G.
220ml of H&S cool mint was sufficient even for VdLP. Btw, some people claim that in larger quantities it has a power to fight even smelly aliens 😎

4F54EE13-CB69-4E2F-AB52-30ED76E1C46A.jpeg
 
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
😂 And all these years I thought H&S was just for problem dandruff. Then again, back in the early 70s, a favorite uncle of mine used to use original Listerine mouthwash on his head for his dandruff. Swore by it. Go figure…🤙🏽
 
I use shampoo to do hand laundry too. Easy to rinse out & works well. If washers are available, try and share one with 1-2 others.
Yes!! Shampoo works great on the trail, or just traveling in general. Hotels usually supply the little bottles, and a little goes a long way.
 
New Original Camino Gear Designed Especially with The Modern Peregrino In Mind!
Agree Merino is great and odour resistant, but I also find the basic Decathlon synthetic T-shirts excellent & also very odour resistant.

Some people, not necessarily through any fault of their own, seem to have more malodorous sweat than others.
 
Hi,
I am looking for some quick dry tshirts, though I don't like the Polyester Elastane ones.

Are the only other options merino?
I love merino wool. Keeps you dry, warm when cool, and cool when hot. Resists odour. But it isn't magic. See a great pro/con list here.
 
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Check out merino shirts by woolx. Pricey, but they often offer 20% off and have great customer service. I also love Patagonia ‘Capilene cool’ fabric. ‘Clinical strength’ underarm anti-perspirant helps a lot. 🙂
 
I bought sweat resistant tshirts from CIMALP, a company out of Valence in France. They are excellent shirts as opposed to the poor sweat resistant tshirts found in large sports shops over here.
 
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Except for me. I find merino itchy. Maybe it's a case of the "Princess and the Pea"?
I'm with you, @JillGat. I cannot wear wool and even the softer merino is itchy on my skin. For some unknown reason I can wear wool socks, although they are a bit rougher than synthetics and a bit hot in summer.
 
Merino all the way. Doesn't stink and dries quickly. Anything synthetic (running shirts etc.) will stink, no matter how many times you wash them.
Agree, at a point they just die and you can’t get the smell out. Merino all the way for me, appreciate they aren’t as robust , are more expensive but worth the money
 
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
Or bamboo

There are four outdoor pursuits chains operating (some with several shops) in my region of about 400,000 people. A quick search for "bamboo" showed one result for only one chain. The products were water resistant socks and gloves with a bamboo lining.

That confirmed my recollection of not seeing and bamboo tops on the shelves for some considerable time.

As with many talking points by others over the year, their usual focus is on what is available locally.

Kia kaha @RussB
 
I have a few merino shirts of various weights and sleeve lengths. Most of them are an Australian brand called merino skins sold in the US by Rivendell Bicycles www.rivbike.com. They are not extra light and seems to last a long time.
 
New Original Camino Gear Designed Especially with The Modern Peregrino In Mind!
I dislike the feel of synthetics, and I find wool of any type to be hot when hiking in hot weather. I have several tshirt and tank tops made of very lightweight knitted linen. They are cool to wear even in the hottest temperatures and wash, wring out, and dry as easily as polyester. As knits, they do not need ironing. Linen is a strong fiber, and they wear well.

I recently was traveling in a really hot climate for five weeks, and these shirts were great.

They aren’t easy to find and they aren’t cheap, but they sure travel well and there is nothing better for hot weather. I will probably bring one or two on my next camino, which will probably be in late summer.

I have never seen them for men. Sorry, guys.

Like this, but buy them on sale: https://www.garnethill.com/organic-linen-cap-sleeve-tee/521541
 
I was an avid backpacker back in prehistoric times and was managing a mountaineering shop when polypropyline first came out. I educated customers and students of the importance of materials that are wicking and fast drying for the inner layer of clothing when outdoors hiking, skiing, hunting, whatever. I just say that to show that I am knowledgable and that I realize what I'm about to say goes against common wisdom. But it works for me.
I must be the only person who finds even merino itchy. And I hate the feel of the synthetics. Another example; the difference between down jackets/sleeping bags and their synthetic counterparts. I find that down - the natural fiber - is comfortable in a greater temperature range - less likely to be too hot when it's on and too cold when it's off - than synthetic materials. (I like fleece, but it also doesn't give as wide a comfort range, so I bring a fleece vest.)
I shudder at the thought of a long-sleeve "tech" shirt, which a lot of people swear by. I love cotton, which I know is a No No in everybody's book because it doesn't dry fast. My compromise for the Camino was cheap, lightweight tee shirts (Walmart) that were 65% polyester and 35% cotton. They are soft like cotton, but dry faster. This might not be a great option for a winter or early season Camino, but they worked great for me for three caminos (2 in spring, 1 in fall). Just throwing it out there.
Hi JillGat! Before my first month-long backpacking/mtn climbing trip (31 yrs ago) I bought a polypro turtleneck at an outdoor clothing supply store, I wore it through 2 more month long backpack/climbing trips. I wore it every cold winter day in Omaha,NE (washing it almost everyday from Nov. - March) while training for marathons/running marathons over another 15yrs (is that really 46 yrs for 1 shirt?} It still hangs in my closet and I wear it in the winter here, or on cold beach days in FL. or when I have a slight chill at home. I wear it for long fall walks and spring walks. The only time I dont wear it is when its hot. Thats a lot of mileage out of 1 shirt. I'll take it on my 1st Camino. I really love that shirt.
 
I just wear the same polyester t-shirt everyday for 35 days from Point A to Point B. Quick dry, lightweight, cool during warm days, warm when drenched. Doesn't retain odor. I washed it every night in albergues, drip it outside for 1-2 hours, transfer it inside where body warmth from pilgrims helped dry it, then wear it in the morning. Repeat process.

Day 18, Villaviciosa.

IMG20220706125450.jpg
 
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Using the link you gave I found the "Easy Linen Tunic" range.

For me, as a guy, I would find these good to wear.

I have several linen men's shirts and find them easy wearing and washing - ironing can be an issue.
I would only consider knitted linen for the Camino. It never needs ironing. I do like to wear linen in general in hot weather, and I don’t mind ironing, but the knitted linen is completely different and really wonderful. 🙂
 
Merino shirts make me have to scratch my skin off. An REI athletic shirt works fine and doesn't stink.
 
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I would only consider knitted linen for the Camino. It never needs ironing. I do like to wear linen in general in hot weather, and I don’t mind ironing, but the knitted linen is completely different and really wonderful. 🙂
Many years ago, I said: "But linen gets wrinkly" to my very fashionable male friend. He looked down his aristocratic nose at me and said, "That's how you know it's linen."
I'm considering bringing a wrinkly linen button up shirt as sun protection on my Sept. Coastal Portugues. I don't like those synthetic UV shirts. I'll try it out on some training walks this summer.
 
I'm a big fan of the Icebreaker Sphere II T-shirts. They are made of 40% Merino wool and 60% Tencel, combining the best of both worlds: odor resistance and a soft, non-itchy, quick drying fabric.
 

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