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REPOST Owner Review - REI Lightweight MTS Long Sleeve Crew

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  • Phillip Engle
    Roger - You gave me great feedback on my last review - I d take you as an editor any day! I addressed each of the items you listed in your email and have
    Message 1 of 1 , May 27, 2005
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      Roger -

      You gave me great feedback on my last review - I'd take you as an editor any day! I addressed each of the items you listed in your email and have uploaded the review to the test/or section. Let me know if you additional issues.

      I sent in my Tester Agreement to Shane some weeks ago so I should be good.

      Thanks for all your help.


      Owner Review - REI Lightweight MTS Long Sleeve Crew
      Review Date: May 7, 2005

      Biographical Information
      Name: Phillip Engle
      Age: 40
      Gender: Male
      Height: 6 ft (1.8 m)
      Weight: 180 lb (82 kg)
      Email: pjengle@...
      City, State, Country: Austin, Texas, USA
      Backpacking Background: I've been backpacking since about 1975 (30 years). Since 1995, I've made at least one long (7-14 days) trip every year - two when I can manage it - and at least two shorter trips (3-5 days). I've spent a lot of time in Maine, the New Hampshire Whites, Colorado, New Mexico, California, a little time in Washington (too little), and, of course, Texas. I've section hiked the Northern 400ish miles (640 km) of the Appalachian Trail (AT) (North-South). I'm planning to alternate my annual long trip each year between section hikes of the AT, Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) and Continental Divide Trail (CDT). I don't consider myself an ultralighter, but I'm just as interested in lightening my load as the next hiker.

      Product Information
      Manufacturer: REI
      Year Model: 2004
      Date Purchased: February 2004
      Price: $28.00 MSRP
      Website: http://www.REI.com
      Listed Weight: 7 oz (198 g)
      Delivered Weight: 7 oz (198 g)
      Product Description: A lightweight, synthetic underwear top. Comes in a variety of colors: black, white, grey, blue, green. Sizes available are Small - Extra Large in all colors, XXL in black. I purchased this item at the store in Austin. I'm fortunate to have an REI no more than 5 minutes from my house so I only use the website for special orders or to research gear before going to the store. Even if the store were not so close, I probably would not purchase apparel on-line since I like to try items on before buying. The shirt has a somewhat stiff feel like a lightly starched shirt, but has a soft texture - not as soft as cotton in my opinion, but close.
      The website describes the fabric used as A quick-drying polyester fabric that wicks moisture away from your skin with an anti-microbial finish that resists odor-causing bacteria and a UPF 15+ sun protection rating.

      Field Information
      I purchased this shirt for a trip to Central Texas in early Spring and an annual trip to wet New England in the early Fall. I have since used it as an undershirt for work on cold (sub-freezing) days in Chicago and Northern Indiana, and I recently used it on a Grand Canyon trip where temperatures ranged from 28�F (-2�C) to 98�F (37�C) in the same four day period.

      First the good news. This shirt is an excellent insulator. In the Grand Canyon I wore it at the rim near freezing and at the river with temperatures near 90� F (32� C) all in the same trip. The long sleeve white shirt protected me from the sun without being uncomfortable and insulated me from the cold. The longer-than-normal sleeves are a nice touch that kept my wrists from exposure when extending my arms. The cuffs on the sleeves are not elastic and don't roll up well, but the weight is so light I didn't notice it much in hot, dry weather.
      This shirt is also comfortable. I didn't notice scratching at the seams, even on sunburned shoulders under a pack. The material is not as soft as cotton, but is much lighter weight so I wasn't uncomfortable. After a year of use as a cold weather undershirt and 10 days with a 35+ lb (16+ kg) pack, I see no signs of pilling. I have noticed a small amount of fraying on the shoulder seams that ride beneath the pack straps.

      This shirt breathes remarkably well - especially for something that insulates this good. Even in full sun in the middle of the afternoon in the inner gorge of the Grand Canyon I didn't feel the need to shed it. A moderate breeze will cut right through this shirt, but that's expected in a shirt designed to breathe this much.

      Now the not so good news. This shirt holds on to body odor like a thru hiker holds on to his last package of ramen. When I wore this shirt as an undershirt at work I had to go home at lunch to change. The stench got so bad after two days in the Grand Canyon I couldn't bear to have it in the tent at night and dreaded putting it on in the morning. In my experience the smell is gone with one washing, but that's little comfort on the trail. Rinsing on the trail seemed to alleviate the problem temporarily, but soap seems to be the only solution to this problem. Even though white, this shirt has remained stain-free. Recommended care is gentle cycle and low heat, but I throw it in with the rest of my white laundry. I don't use bleach.

      I will continue to wear this shirt when I'm traveling alone (or want to be) through terrain with varied climate.

      Pros Cons
      a.. Excellent insulator
      b.. Longer than normal sleeves keep wrists toasty
      c.. Breathes well
      d.. Light weight
      e.. Low volume
      f.. Resists staining
      a.. Doesn't protect from wind
      b.. Holds odor
      c.. Sleeves don't roll up well

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