Backcountry Merino Crew Shirts Are Pretty Nice

I managed to avoid the powerful lure of SteepAndCheap for a good year, mostly thanks to a bank account containing some pocket lint and maybe an Altoid or two. Their recent splitting of ski, snowboard, kayak, bike, etc. gear and focus on traditional camping gear and clothing has pulled me back in with several purchases in recent months. Of course, most of them were some form of merino wool.

bcmerinoThe most recent purchase was of the Merino Crew Short Sleeve Shirt.  Three of them, in fact. I already own a few BC merino items and have been impressed with their quality, so this purchase was a safe one. The BC merino quality, softness, and weave easily rival Icebreaker’s, which is a very high compliment judging from the several thousand (retail) dollars worth of Icebreaker hanging in my and my wife’s closets.

Most of my merino is long sleeve, winter stuff, which is quite dumb considering I live in a state that is over 100F approximately 11 1/2 months out of the year. A good bit of my camping, backpacking, and general travel is in the southeast as well, so I was on the prowl for lighter weight merino. Merino t-shirts are actually very comfortable in the summer, due to the temperature regulating properties of merino fibers. They wick moisture, keep you cool when warm, and dry faster than cotton. Plus, they have natural anti-funk properties, which is nice on multi-day outdoor excursions. You might reek and cause other hikers to recoil at your stench, but your shirt won’t!

Man, I can really babble about merino, can’t I? Anyway, the BC Merino Crew Shirts are nice. The shirts have sleeve and shoulder seams that come down on the front and back of the collar instead of the traditional top of the shoulder seams. The different cut seams do not rub your shoulders when you have a pack, meaning that the 50 lbs of crap you have to carry when backpacking with your significant other is not quite as uncomfortable. The merino is very soft and the material is relatively thin, same as the other BC pieces I own. The weave is a tighter weave than a lot of companies use, but it has a lot of stretch to it. The collar itself is a combination of a v-neck along with another piece of material that makes it a quasi crew neck, a combination that is actually nice and comfortable.

The only downside to the shirt is that it is extremely form-fitting, which depending on your fitness level, may or may not be a downside for you. It, unforutnately, is currently a downside for me.