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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Gear Review: Outdoor Research Sequence S/S Zip Tee

A few weeks back, Appalachian Outdoors, an outdoor sports and apparel distributor, contacted me to see if I would be interested in checking out some hiking gear and writing an unbiased review on it. Obviously, I accepted this offer and picked out a few things in Appalachian Outdoors’ full and attractive portfolio. I chose a set of gaitors and a new hiking shirt. For now, this review will only cover the hiking shirt, as I most likely won’t use the gaitors until the snow falls.

I have a favorite hiking shirt, as most people do. It is a Mountain Hardwear shirt, made of a wicking fabric of sorts…not sure what exactly. What I likeabout it most of all is that it has a collar, which keeps the sun and sweat off the back of my neck. Since it has been on the trail so many times, it’s really starting to get ratty. The part of the shirt that rubs against my pack is starting to break down. Also, it may be time to get a new shirt since all my hiking pictures show me wearing the same thing! Unfortunately for me, Mountain Hardwear has discontinued this shirt so I can’t even get a new one.

The shirt I chose from Appalachian Outdoors is made by Outdoor Research, a company I had never heard of before. The model of the shirt is the Sequence S/S Zip Tee. It appealed to me because it had a collar (see my reasoning for this above), and the product features section stated that it was made of Dri-release® fabric to manage moisture and would dry quickly. It also had built-in FreshGuard® odor neutralization, which must be a plus…right?

Outdoor Research Shirt I Am Reviewing

I received the shirt quickly after placing the order and tried it on. It was lightweight and comfortable, as I expected it would be. I had plans to hike North Uncanoonuc Mountain a week later (my trip report) so I figured that may be a good time to try out my new shirt. The day came, and I packed the shirt in my truck for the trek.

North Uncanoonuc is fairly steep and I was trying to test my endurance by not taking breaks. Due to this, I started to sweat fairly fast. Right away, I got hints of a strange odor. I wasn’t sure what it was, but kept moving forward. Soon, the odor became pretty overwhelming and it reminded me of burning hair or perm smell. I figured it must be the wool in the shirt getting wet from my sweat. For the rest of the hike, I was wet and I smelled awful. The shirt did not release moisture or dry quickly, even on the downhill when I had stopped sweating, I stayed soaked.

As soon as I got to the truck, I pulled the shirt off and laid it on the back seat. After a forty minute drive home, it did not dry. When I arrived home, I placed it on a drying rack to see how long it would take to dry, but it didn’t dry that night. By the next morning, it was finally dry, but the wet hair smell remained. I then decided to wash it to see if I could get the smell out. The same thing occurred after washing, very smelly and took a long time to dry. However, once dry, the smell did seem to go away.

I must say that I was a bit disappointed in this shirt. I had high hopes for it and this is my first impression of the company Outdoor Research. I’m hoping the gaitors I received, which are also made by Outdoor Research, perform better than the shirt did. I’ll definitely have a post reviewing these gaitors after I’ve used them.

I can say one good thing did come out of this experience. I had never heard of Appalachian Outdoors before and after visiting their site, it is a distributor that I will be using in the future. The people there are very nice and I enjoyed dealing with them. Also, they have a $6.95 flat rate shipping for everything…how can you beat that? Thanks for the opportunity Appalachian Outdoors!

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4 comments:

  1. That stinks! HAHAHAHA. Good review Karl. I be sure to stay away from that shirt. I can make my hiking/running shirts stink all on my own, no help needed. :P

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  2. Nice review! I am sorry to hear the shirt was not the best but OR gaiters are the absolute best. I have the crocodile gaiters and they have served me well.

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  3. Tim - Same here! I always stink after a hike, but this was on a whole new level. I'm glad it was the shirt...I thought there was something wrong with me before I realized it was the wool!

    Grant - I'm not sure what model I got. I'll have to look. There shorter gaiters, and I have been wanting a pair for a while. They look pretty nice. Can't wait to try them!

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  4. Sounds like the last shirt I would want on a hike...perfect for hypothermia. Iv never heard of Appalachain Outdoors either...I will have to give them a look. Thanks for the review!

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