Here is my Qu-T Field Report for your editing pleasure. I have posted
the HTM version in the Tests folder. Stephanie, I request a two-day
extension (to Sept 6) on my LTR as I have a backpacking trip scheduled
for Labor Day weekend. Richard
Ibex Men's Qu T
July 2, 2006
PERSONAL DETAILS AND BACKPACKING BACKGROUND
Male, 59 years old
Height: 6' 4" (1.93 m)
Weight: 200 lb (91 kg)
Email address: rlyon AT gibsondunn DOT com
Home: Dallas, Texas USA
I've been backpacking for 45 years on and off, and regularly in the
Rockies since 1986. I do a weeklong trip every summer, and often take
three-day trips. I'm usually camping in alpine terrain, at altitudes
5000 to 13000 ft (1500 - 4000 m). I prefer base camp backpacking, a
long hike in with day trips from camp, but I do my share of forced
marches too. Though always looking for ways to reduce weight, I'm not
yet a lightweight hiker and I usually choose an extra pound or two over
foregoing camp conveniences I've come to expect.
The Qu T is a featherweight merino wool short sleeve collarless shirt
with a very tight weave. For a detailed description of styling,
features, and construction see my Initial Report
Manufacturer: Ibex Outdoor Clothing, LLC (www.ibex.com
> ). All quotations in this review come from
Year of manufacture: 2006
Material: 17.5 micron New Zealand merino wool
MSRP: USD 79
Intended use: "Everyday wear or as a decadent active top."
Listed Weight, per Ibex website (size not specified): 6.4 oz (181 g)
Measured weight, size XL: 6.5 oz (184 g)
Available sizes: Men's S, M, L, XL, XXL
Colors: Kingfisher (bright blue). Also available in heather grey, ivy,
red pepper, and black.
In the field I have worn the Qu-T on fourteen different days. These
included hiking and backpacking in the Texas Hill Country, at an
altitude of about 500 feet (150 m) in early May, and in Wyoming in late
May, at altitudes from 5000 to 8000 feet (1500 to 2400 m). Temperatures
at both locations ranged from about 40 70 F (5 21 C). (It
was unseasonably warm in Wyoming and unseasonably cool in Texas.)
I've worn the shirt on day hikes in North Texas, altitude about 200
ft (60 m), at temperatures from 80 95 F (27 35 C),
throughout the last two months, and in Montana in mid-June at about 5000
feet (1500 m), with temperatures from 55 85 F (13 29 C). I
describe one other outdoor use below. Except for some scattered showers
and a brief hailstorm on the Wyoming trip, the weather has been sunny
with low humidity.
In the gym (air conditioned) I've worn the Qu-T six times, always
during one of my aerobic sessions, from 45 to 90 minutes on a spinning
bike, moving stairs, or treadmill; one treadmill session was with a
I report on one other indoor use, as an undershirt on two long overnight
flights, in each case under a cotton denim long-sleeved shirt.
Except for a special test, described below, I washed the Qu-T at home
after every aerobic session or day hike, and at the end of each of the
road trips. As recommended by Ibex, I used cold water, gentle cycle,
t/> , a non-detergent product, then air-dried the shirt flat. Because
of its bright color I washed the shirt separately the first two times
but thereafter simply included it with other woolen items. I
hand-washed the shirt in a hotel room with some wool hiking socks, using
a one-shot packet of Woolite. I have not yet washed the Qu-T in the
RESULTS TO DATE
Fit. My choice of size XL has proven to be correct, and that size is
just about perfect for me. Day pack straps, and backpack straps on the
overnight trips, haven't caused any stretching or other distortion.
I have noticed no shrinkage after any washing; this is a benefit of
air-drying. There's also been no expansion or distortion of the
collar, often a problem for me with cotton shirts worn under a pack.
The length of this shirt has meant that when I tuck it inside shorts or
trousers, it stays tucked in my ardent thanks to Ibex for not
skimping on fabric.
Comfort. I find nothing as comfortable as natural fibers, and when
I'm hot and sweaty nothing beats merino wool. Sweat-soaked cotton
tends to bunch up under pack straps, causing irritation and even minor
abrasions, but not the Qu-T. Because it's wool it wicks, so the
shirt has never felt completely saturated, even in the bright sun at 95
F (35 C). I haven't detected the shirt's increasing my body
temperature even under these conditions. On summer evenings it's
soft and silky.
Smell. Since I didn't have a multi-day backpack during the initial
test period, I contrived conditions to test whether the Qu-T would pick
up an odor from me or (as has been my experience with synthetic shirts)
develop its own. Over Memorial Day weekend (late May) I wore the Qu-T
to my hour-long spinning class Saturday morning, kept it on for a couple
of hours of clearing flood debris in my back yard, then kept it on for a
five mile day hike later that day. I took a shower at this point, but
didn't wash the Qu-T, which I wore for another day hike on Sunday
and a ninety-minute Stairmaster session on Monday. Outdoor temperatures
were in the 90s F (30+ C), and I was sweaty and smelly after each
session. While the Qu-T wasn't odorless it had the odor of
wet wool - it wasn't pungent either. Very impressive. I noted
comparable results after the red-eye flights, when I always wake up
sweaty and smelling and feeling slightly rank.
Durability. After what I consider moderate use and several washings, it
looks like new. I was hoping for some fading of its bright blue color,
but that hasn't happened yet.
Appearance. The Qu-T is the perfect weight for wearing under a
lightweight sport coat on a warm summer evening as "dressy
casual" wear. Its semi-raglan shoulders make it much more stylish
than an everyday t-shirt, whether worn in this manner or by itself with
shorts in more casual circumstances.
The remainder of the test period will permit evaluation of this shirt in
more rugged circumstances. I have a weeklong backpack in the Swan
Range, Montana during the first week of August, during which I'll be
doing trail maintenance and other backcountry work as a Forest Service
volunteer. I expect daytime temperatures in the 50s through 80s F (~10
- 30 C) in the high country, with nighttime taking things down to
freezing or somewhat below. On this trip I shall wear the Qu T as a
base layer under a shirt or sweater, sole upper body garment during the
day, and backcountry sleepwear. Over Labor Day weekend (first weekend
in September) I have a combination hiking fishing trip in Paradise
Valley, Montana and Yellowstone Park. While temperatures comparable to
those in the Swan Range are normal, considerably cooler weather is
possible. These trips should permit observation of the Qu-T after an
all-day hike and some bushwhacking, after a couple of days of manual
labor, after exposure to brush and trail dust, and perhaps in the rain
under a Gore-Tex shell. I'll also see how easily I can wash it and
how quickly it dries in the backcountry.
I'll continue to wear the Qu-T during indoor exercise and on day
hikes in Texas.
Durability - stout construction and surprisingly robust fabric
It doesn't stink after even the sweatiest exercise.
It looks great.
Very little. Perhaps air drying, in the front country.
My thanks to Ibex and BGT for the opportunity to test this wonderful
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