In light of a lot of upcoming travel opportunities, I’m refreshing my spring/summer clothing options for outdoor adventures. Because I pack light, I like pieces that perform well, but that can always be used for other parts of my trip without looking too out of place.


I recently tested out the Icebreaker Women’s ZoneKnit Merino Short Sleeve T-Shirt, a lightweight shirt for activities that require high exertion, like hiking in a warmer climate. The fabric is comprised of a blend of merino wool, tencel, and nylon. On the front, the composition is: 52% merino wool, 35% tencel, and 13% nylon. On the shirt’s back, which has an eyelet mesh (as do the sleeves), the composition is only subtly different: 51% merino wool, 35% tencel, and 14% nylon.


The lightweight and breathable fabric blend is designed to wick moisture away from the body—in a shirt that employs Icebreaker’s ZoneKnit, a body-mapped technology to regulate your body temperature and let your skin breathe.


Shoulder seams are offset to prevent friction, for those who hike with a pack. And the fabric weight is Icebreaker’s “featherweight,” with a size large weighing only 4.44 ounces.


When washing this shirt, go ahead and machine wash warm with like colors, but don’t tumble dry. The shirt is so lightweight that you can line dry it in the shade and it’ll dry quickly. And that’s optimal when you want to wear it over and over on a trip. Even though merino wool has antibacterial properties that allow you to wear the shirt a few times before odors may cause you to wash it, that’s always that moment when you need to toss it in the washing machine or the hotel room sink.


The only thing I don’t love about the shirt is that after wearing shirts with a longer hem, this one felt a little short in comparison. The back high point shoulder to hem measurement is 58.2cm, based on size medium. For those of you who enjoy longer shirts, there may be a different Icebreaker shirt to consider.


The Women’s ZoneKnit Merino Short Sleeve T-Shirt comes in haze (light blue), cosmic/grape (a pink and brown combination), and black, and is on sale for $60 on the Icebreaker site.

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