Posts Tagged travel shirts
The latest line of shirts from Mountain Khakis is out now, with an array of good-looking and practical choices for travelers.
We’re big fans of the look and the attitude of Mountain Khakis products, and it’s not just because they hand out shots of whiskey and have mechanical bull riding contests at the Outdoor Retailer show. They make shirts and pants built to stand up to repeated use in the real outdoors—not just look outdoorsy for a fashion spread.
I’ve been trying out a range of different shirts from their new spring and summer line and realized on one trip they were about all I’d brought along. It’s a versatile bunch!
This Fairway Polo shirt looks and feels like a regular cotton polo shirt you’d buy at any department store, but you can’t always trust your senses. It’s soft and supple, but is actually made from recycled PET bottles. As in the kind travelers keep drinking water out of and chucking into the trash. (Not you of course, those other people.) Depending on size, each of this polo shirts has kept up to 14 bottles out of a landfill.
I’ve worn and washed mine about 20 times now and it still looks new. It’s comfortable, has snaps instead of buttons in the front, and the way the shoulders are stitched this is a good shirt to wear when you’re carrying a backpack. When you shed the pack though, you’re looking good.
With a name like Equatorial, this long-sleeve but lightweight blended fabric shirt has to be ready to travel. It’s especially ready to travel to Portland or Brooklyn as all the bearded hipsters seem to be wearing this retro style now. (Oh, if only I’d held onto my shirts from high school…)
This is a bit modernized though, with softer color patterns that have some depth. It’s also somewhat ec0-friendly, with 70% cotton and 30% of a material derived from cellulose fiber, using an organic process. It’s not as wrinkle-resistant as your average synthetic travel shirt, but not too shabby the times I’ve had it in a suitcase for days The fabric is thin enough that the shirt dries overnight when sink washed. The two front pockets are secured with a button, but also have a side stash pocket behind that for sticking in your sunglasses or something else you need to get to.
The Granite Creek model isn’t new. That name is to Mountain Khakis what Air Strip Lite is to ExOfficio – the foundation for the travel line. Amy has reviewed some Granite Creek women’s wear in the past and I checked out the short sleeve shirt last year.
I’ve been wearing a long sleeve version for the first time however and have mostly been happy with it. There’s DWR baked in to make it stain resistant. It wicks moisture, dries fast, and is vented in the back. I like the 2-section pockets (one zippered each side) and the loop on the collar for hanging it on a hook.
What I don’t like is that my seamstress making this shirt seemed to have downed a few too many Tsing Taos the night before: I had to get out a sewing kit to secure two of the buttons that were coming loose the first time I wore it. Not something you expect to do with a shirt listing for $90. Hopefully mine was an anomaly, but if you ever experience something like this after buying a Mountain Khakis product, you’ve got a one-year warranty against defects.
Casual clothing can sometimes be so, well, casual. It’s often difficult to find a shirt that can take a beating on a hike during the day, yet still be a good choice for going out on the town at night. The Horny Toad Swifty Racer Tank and Pocket Long Sleeve Tee are ideal items to include in your suitcase for both outings, as well as plenty of others.
Both made of a blend of dri-release poly, Tencel and spandex, the tee and tank wick moisture, dry amazingly quickly and are super soft. Seriously, they’re so soft that I’ve selected them as my go-to tops for air travel. Twisted trim at the neckline of the tee (and neckline and arms of the tank) adds a little bit of style for both the city and country, and allows your clothing to stand out just enough.
A built-in shelf bra in the tank gives support without mucking up the structure and making it uncomfortable. The asymmetrical neckline and drop-in front pocket of the tee makes it that much better than your average tee. Available colors are heathered versions of pink, gray and lavender, and they go with nearly anything.
Aside from the versatility of the tank and tee in a number of settings, my favorite travel-related factor is how quickly they dry after being washed in your hotel room’s sink at the end of the day. If you wanted to, you could wear them each day of your trip.
Thinking about that possibility, perhaps it’s a good idea to get a few different colors.
The Horny Toad Swifty Racer Tank lists for $58 on the Horny Toad website. It’s priced between $28.98 and $57.95 at Amazon, depending on size and color choice. It’s also at Backcountry.com. The Horny Toad Swifty Pocket Long Sleeve Tee lists for $65 on the Horny Toad website. It’s priced between $56.47 and $64.90 at Amazon, depending on size and color choice.
I’m back with more Mountain Khakis offerings. Their Oxbow line features comfortable, practical cotton wear that’s easily paired for fall travel. The women’s Oxbow long-sleeved shirt is made of 100% cotton yarn dye, and is substantial enough to work well on cool mornings or layered for after the sun goes down. I wore it for a full day in foggy-then-sunny-then-rainy San Francisco, and it worked in all weather contingencies. The Oxbow isn’t as lightweight (or does it move as easily) as the Mountain Khaki Granite Creek long-sleeved shirt I reviewed, nor is it water resistant or SPF-protectant, so if you’re looking for a shirt for active wear, I’d go with the Granite Creek. The Oxbow looks great, however, doesn’t wrinkle (much), and is nicely tailored, so it’s a great pick for city touring, lunch out, or airport and train station delays. (Not that I wish those on anyone!)
The shirt has a nice princess seam and a drop tail back hem, and you can toss it in the regular wash cycle. It’s garment-washed, and comes in six understated colors (three of which are checked ‘gingham’ patterned, which is much cuter than it looks online…I was pleasantly surprised). It retails for $79.95.
The matching Oxbow skirt is a new favorite in my closet. More versatile than the shirt, I find myself reaching for the Oxbow skirt all the time…it’s stylish but still very comfortable (with an elastic 4 inch waistband), and looks equally good with flip-flops, Chacos, or ballet flats. (On the top, pair it equally well with a t-shirt or a blouse.) It’s fun and flirty, but still ideal for a day of serious walking or even hiking. I’ve received many compliments on the skirt (the shirt, too!) and love how lightweight and soft it is.
The skirt is made of the same cotton yarn, and there are belt loops at the waist (though I’ve never used them). One of my favorite features are the deep side pockets. From the outside, they look small and decorational, but when you put your hand inside, you’re surprised: they go down twice as far. The Oxbow skirt comes in a muted blue or gray, and retails for $59.95…definitely a good buy for summer and fall wear.
See more reviews of Mountain Khakis clothing here at Practical Travel Gear.
ExOfficio is so well-known for its signature travel shirts and pants that people refer to adventure travelers as having “an ExOfficio look” about them. The company has branched out over the years though into items that would look just as good on a college campus or a tech company office though and this Teanaway long-sleeve shirt with a 1/4 zip is a good example.
This one looks a lot like the ExO Dri shirt I reviewed a year and a half ago if you go by the photos. The Teanaway is considerably thicker and warmer though, feeling more like a fall or winter layer than a cool night summer shirt. Both are an effective layering shirt, but this version is more substantial (and more expensive).
That’s because the fabric blend has 11% wool added to the nylon and spandex. This proprietary drirelease blend gives you the usual quick-drying, wicking properties of other ExOfficio clothing plus a bit of extra warmth and odor resistance provided by the wool.
While it looks great to just wear around town, it has plenty of features travelers will appreciate. The flat seams throughout make it rub less and the placement of the ones on the shoulders keep them off the main pressure points if you’re carrying a backpack. I really like the handy, well-made key pocket hidden on the inside bottom. It has a little fabric hook you can fasten a key to or you can just use the hidden pocket as a place to stash a credit card and cash.
The Teanaway 1/4 zip shirt is cut to look attractive on a sculpted body, but has plenty of stretch for all body types. It packs a lot of warmth into an easy-to-pack weight. I’ll be packing this on a trip to Ecuador next week for cool nights in the cloudforest of the Andes and I’m sure it’ll be my most-used shirt of the week.
This long-sleeve shirt comes in four colors and sizes up to XXL. It lists for an even Ben Franklin and probably won’t get discounted for a while. Check the ExOfficio site directly (where they do run a lot of sales) or see it on Amazon or Rock Creek. There’s also a women’s version for 10 bucks less and a men’s polo shirt version with buttons instead of a zipper.
See other ExOfficio clothing reviews here on Practical Travel Gear.
After using this Granite Creek travel shirt for three weeks in Europe and three weeks in Asia, I’m ready to make it a wardrobe staple.
When most people think of the Mountain Khakis brand, they think of heavy-duty clothing for cold weather, the kind of shirts and pants that cowboys and cowgirls might wear as they gallop along in the Rocky Mountains.
There’s that, yes, but the company has been warming up as fast as our planet, putting out respectable summer travel clothing that’s lightweight and well designed. This short-sleeve Granite Creek shirt is a great example. It is quick-drying, wicking, lightweight, and wrinkle free, ticking off all the important boxes for packing light. It’s also got two chest pockets that are handy and secure, with an additional hidden zipper compartment underneath them—a great place to stash cash or a credit card.
I felt cooler in this shirt than I with most pure synthetics, partly because of the venting in the back and under the armpits. What I really like about this shirt though is it doesn’t completely change colors when you start sweating as so many do when you hit the tropics. When it was 100 degrees and super-humid on a regular basis on my recent trip to Southeast Asia, this is the shirt I would wear when I didn’t want to advertise the fact I’d sweat out a gallon of water in 30 minutes. As soon as I’d hit a good fan or air conditioning, it would dry faster than most of the others as well. Then the couple times I sink-washed it, a few hours later it would be dry.
The touted 50+ sun protection seemed to be on the mark as I had a bonafide farmer’s tan after wearing this around Ankor Wat all day. It also weighs in at just 3.7 ounces, which sure made packing it a pleasure.
This Mountain Khakis Granite Creek short-sleeve shirt just came out this year, so you probably won’t yet find it discounted much off the hefty $85 list price. It comes in three colors and five sizes. It’s designed to be “casual fit” – loose enough to breathe in the heat. For women, there’s a long-sleeve version of this shirt that Amy reviewed recently. There’s also a men’s version for $10 more than the short-sleeve one.