WHEN SUMMER HITS the Pacific Northwest, people go bonkers. A typical sunny Saturday might consist of rock climbing in the morning, longboarding in the afternoon, and grabbing a six-pack before paddling out to a distant beach to watch the sunset.
Your cotton thrift store tee isn’t going to cut it on days like these. Thankfully, a new breed of synthetic wool shirts offers a lightweight, tough, breathable, and stink-resistant alternative. Combining the durable, sweat-wicking qualities of synthetic nylon with the super-soft, odor-killing abilities of Merino wool, these shirts raise the bar for blended synthetic tees. For several weeks, I took selections running, rock climbing, tooling about town, and through the most grueling endurance test of all—the washing machine.
Spinning yarn made from synthetics and Merino isn’t new. But NuYarn is. The New Zealand-based company creates a two-ply yarn with merino wool drafted around a nylon core, laying the fibers along the same orientation instead of twisting them. This makes the yarn both stronger, with greater mechanical elasticity, and lighter than conventional ring-spun varieties.
Wearing the Trew Gear Superlight Nuyarn Pocket Tee ($69) in public makes you feel like you’re an Internet celeb, or at least somebody who’s a little bit famous. The striking colorways and fashion-oriented design details draw a lot of eyes, and even the occasional high five. The extreme softness and clinginess of the TREW shirt meant that it absorbed and dispersed sweat quickly. It survived three turns in the washing machine with no pilling or shrinkage.