This shirt is brand new for the 2018 season, and I had to get my hands on it after being in love with my Chama hoody over the past two seasons. I like to hike into my areas, and being able to strip down to a merino wool T-shirt when the weather is hot comes in handy.
The composition of Aerowool is 64% Merino Wool, 34% 37.5 coated Nylon, and 2% spandex giving the shirt a little bit of stretch where you need it. The shirt weighs 6oz making it feel light and airy, despite the warmth it provides.
Aerowool touts itself as being quick drying, moisture exhausting, and neutralizing odor. I’ll tell you, I took my shirt on a four hour death march up and down French Pass outside of Breckenridge and the shirt still smelled fresh as a daisy. It’s ideal for warmer weather or for use as a baselayer. The merino fibers are coated in something called Cocona 37.5 technology, 37.5C being the temperature that your body feels most comfortable. It claims to dry some five times faster than other synthetic material, and that the particles are naturally derived… other than some backsweat against my pack I’d tend to agree. The wool dries insanely quick and never once was I uncomfortable even as the sun was blazing on our hike. I’ll have to test it out on a longer backpacking trip before I can be really sure.
I’ve had the shirt for several weeks now and have to say that I enjoy it thoroughly. Like most of FirstLite’s wool products, I wouldn’t go swimming in a briar patch with it, as it will tear. The fit is a little looser than I am used to, so I had ordered a Large and probably needed a Medium for a more form fitting look. For me though it might form fit to my beer belly, so I suppose I’ll stay at the Large as opposed to looking like a conifer colored Michelin man. The Large is somewhat loose and flowy, and still ridiculously comfortable. I did notice a little bit of fuzz coming off of the shoulder area where I had pack straps after only a day of wearing the shirt with a pack. Washing the shirts made them come out just like new, and you should likely wash them as you would any other wool product, Cold/Cold with a light touch on the dryer. Generally I pull my wool out still somewhat wet to finish air drying.
Overall I’d recommend the shirt for someone who wants a wool early season hunting layer — who doesn’t want to have the boxes upon boxes of “other” insulating layers that stink after a hard hike that I do. The price is a little on the steep side at a $60-65 MSRP for a t-shirt, but the light weight, comfort, and odor control certainly help deaden the blow.
Full Disclosure: The author is part of FirstLite’s Research and Development Pro Program and assists in gear testing, the program comes with a discount towards gear. All gear is reviewed honestly and put through its paces during the hunting season both in Colorado and Pennsylvania.