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Smartwool Lightweight Tee

I’m a big fan of clothes I can wear all day for any activity. That’s why I wear a lot of merino wool.  Smartwool’s Lightweight Tee is the ideal summer top (and also a great baselayer for colder temps, too).

First, I LOVE the long length of this versatile T-shirt.  I tested a women’s size L (the top is also available in men’s sizes; both tops were redesigned in 2011), and was happy to be able to wear a top that covered the waistband of my low-rise pants and shorts. It makes such a difference. Too many women’s T-shirts are too short, so tall ladies like me don’t get the belly coverage we want and even shorter gals can’t tuck them in. 

I also like the streamlined, body-hugging fit of the Lightweight Tee.  It’s comfortable for workouts because there’s no excess material flopping around, and, because the fabric stays against my skin, the wool does a great job of breathing and wicking.  I don’t get too hot, even when I’m in 80+ degree temps.  The contoured fit also makes the Lightweight Tee ideal for layering. The side panels and offset shoulder seams add to the slim fit, and thanks to flat seams, the Lightweight Tee doesn’t chafe anywhere.  I like the cute, capped sleeves, too. I didn’t think that was a sleeve style I liked, but it actually looks good on me.

The Lightweight Tee is one of three tops I took on a three-week vacation in the steaming hot Midwest, and it kept me comfortable on hot days because it breathed and it kept my torso warm in restaurants and theaters when the air conditioning made the indoors downright chilly.  Best of all, I could wear the Lightweight Tee for days before it needed to be washed.  Merino wool is incredible at remaining stink-free, so it’s perfect for travel.  I often wore the top out for the day, and didn’t even change when I did a yoga practice or went for a walk around the lake.  Then I was off to a BBQ. The top dries quickly, so I never needed to pack an extra top in my purse.

I like the lightweight fabric.  I’m usually a microweight gal, but found the Lightweight Tee quite comfortable. The top fit true to size, and I loved the color Smartwool sent me to test: Grape.  It’s a fun dark purple shade with contrasting purple side panels in an even darker shade. So fun. 

The 100% merino  Lightweight Tee is available in women’s sizes XS-XL in a variety of fun, bold colors and in men’s sizes S-XXL.

Bottom Line: I'm loving this sleek, high-performing top.--E.D. (May 2012)

BUY ONLINE: $70, Shop REI.com! HOME PAGE Link.

Manufacturer's Site: www.smartwool.com

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When hiking or camping, always carry the "10 Essentials":

Extra clothing, extra food and water, lighter or water-proof matches and fire starter, map in waterproof envelope, compass, pocket knife, sunscreen and sunglasses, flashlight or headlamp, first aid kit, emergency shelter.

Source: Seattle Mountain Rescue and Seattle Mountaineers.