Backpacking (10) Gear (10) Camping (8) How to (2) Locations (2) Clothing (1) Food (1)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

EMS Techwick Endurance Crew


I've been really impressed with the "high performance" materials available today. Many of these keep you warm when you're cold, keep you cool when you're hot, keep you dry when you're sweat, repel insects, wash easily, dry in minutes, keep you smelling fresh and looking good at the same time. This tee shirt does almost all of these and still manages to fail! Here's why:

I am still looking for "the best" tee shirt for me and will keep testing until I find it. When I do I'll buy several an not wear anything else. Contenders include crew tee shirts by Under Armour (I wear their V-neck tee shirts as an undershirts to work), Craighoppers, Ex Officio and Fjallraven. What do you wear for your adventures?

What Wins:
  1. Wicking! The Techwick from EMS did a fine job of keeping me cool as I moved and climbed. This left me dry and comfortable as I set up camp in the snow at Yosemite.
  2. Looks! I hate clothes plastered with logos and other peoples names! If I'm going to be a walking billboard advertisement for your company you should give me the clothes for free. I usually de-badge my clothes. This has a nice, clean, two-tone look.
  3. Fit! This shirt fits an athletic body type without looking like pro wrestling costume reject. It is neither baggy nor clingy.

What Fails:
  1. Smell! After schlepping my backpack up 2400 feet to the top of Yosemite Falls and making camp my tent-mate was about to douse me tomato sauce! By the next day I wanted to light the shirt on fire! And then take it off... For the record I do not sweat excessively or normally have a problem with body odor.
  2. Quick-dry? Almost. It definitely drys much faster than cotton. Just not fast enough for me to wash it thoroughly each night and be confident it would be dry the next day (especially in cold climates).
  3. !=Insect repellent. If you wear it for more than one day the smell may actually kill small creatures!  NosiLife it is not.

  1. It's a tee shirt. Or T-shirt. Or tee. Or crew. What else is there to say.
 Other notes:
  1. This shirt is fine for one-day adventures. I'll continue to use it around town and for low-sweat activities. 
  2. I imagine the wicking action is what ultimately produces the smell. It must pull the moisture away from you and then hold it where bacteria can thrive.


  1. Wow, I just couldn't disagree more. I'm a 100% dedicated Peace Maker which in this sick society means I live on the streets of DC - zero support for such dedication. I'm fine with that, but my point is, I don't 'camp' for fun, but as a way of life. If you gross out easily don't read further. Folks only rarely offer things like showers, so it can be weeks, many weeks before I get one, living on the streets of DC 24/7. Between my long-sleeve tech wick shirt and undershorts - it is a frickin miracle - without this stuff I'd kill people with my BO in days! As it is, I can go for weeks and still be way tolerable. AND, every part of me covered by the techwick THE MOSQUITOES DON'T BITE! I'D NEVER HAVE GUESSED THIS, WAS NEVER TOLD, BUT IT SAVES MY, UH, SKIN, EVERY NIGHT. sl

  2. That's really good feedback SL! I've heard several similar reports from others as well. It may be that certain body types react differently to fiber blends. It's also likely that compared to any other shirt the Techwick smelled less bad but I haven't ran them through their paces enough to report on them.

    I don't know what a Peace Maker is but it sounds positive. Let us know what else works for you! Do you find the Techwick drys quickly when washed? (we regularly launder in bathroom sinks as well.)

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