Searching for a lightning quick drying shirt to replace my regular cotton tees led me on quite the path to enlightenment. Although I’ve done plenty of hiking and a bit of backpacking, here or there, I haven’t done much research into this arena, mainly due to daunting prices. Quick drying gear seems to run the gamut from cheap, uncomfortable and ill-designed, to expensive, still slightly uncomfortable, and possibly goofy looking; and I’ve tried on plenty.
My main gripes for most shirts are the fit and feel. Polyester and others seems to have a harsh, plastic feeling on my skin. Not something I’d like to wear while getting gritty in the backcountry. Hello Arc’Teryx.
The Arc’teryx Motus Crew shirt is silky smooth, and not at all like the aforementioned plastic feel. It doesn’t rub or chaff, even after a few hours on the trail. Moisture wicking seems to be very decent. I’m a sweater, so whether running or with a clammy backpack on, it never felt soaked, even if it was. Any sweat would simply evaporate in a few minutes, leaving me dry and ready for more.
Another great feature: odor control. Even after a few days of backpacking, I noticed the shirt hardly picked up any obnoxious man-odors from me. The Arc’T guys say that the shirt has “polypropylene yarns that have silver-ion encapsulated into the fibre for long-lasting odour control.” Whatever that means, it seems to work. I almost feel bad for washing it before it starts to smell.
Day hike with the short sleeve Motus, 90+ degrees in the sun. Wicks sweat like a charm!
Although originally meant for runners, I found the Motus crew to work great in a variety of conditions. I haven’t tried it cycling yet, but running, hiking and backpacking make the grade with flying colors. I caved and picked up both the long and short sleeve versions, finding both to work the same, though perhaps the long sleeve fits a bit more loosely. The one downside I’ve noticed is heat from direct sunlight will cause the shirt to become warm, and fast.
Pricey at $65, the entry ticket is worth it. Comfort, both in material and the ability to wisp sweat off my skin, and great style makes this shirt one you’ll want to have on your shoulders.
***UPDATE – After a few backpacking trips, it seems the material does start to pill slightly where large, heavy backpacks rub on my back (love handles). Keep in mind, this is meant as a minimalist running shirt and was never intended for heavy wear. I still use it all the time for day hikes, but do not recommend it under a heavy pack. Seek out the Ether Crew for that instead. Much thicker material, though my gripe for this shirt was the Athletic Fit was a bit too baggy for me, even with a size I normally wear.
Above: 10k foot summit climb made comfortable by Arc’Teryx.