water wicking t-shirts

I am heading to the local REI and thinking of switching from my cotton t-shirts to water-wicking shirts.

Last time I asked the girl at REI, she had no idea of how to tell other then to read every label on every shirt.

Is there an easier way to tell which shirts wick water?

What do I look for on the laundry/size tag?

What materials are they made from?

Basically an easier way to find such a shirt without having to read every bloody tag on every miserable shirt in the store.

and Pnet sells them:



– Last Updated: Jun-08-16 4:33 PM EST –

They're typically made from Polyester knit.

They're usually easy to spot as the fabric is light and thin. It's generally pretty sturdy though and washes well.

The range of them at my local EMS store is called "Techwick"! Makes it pretty obvious huh?

The filters on the REI website will help too.



Cotton wicks water
I’d think cotton would probably wick water better than most other materials. I think what they probably mean by the marketing term is that the material doesn’t tend to hold water; allowing it to evaporate faster if it gets wet. Cotton isn’t so good for that.

I like cotton/poly blends. I have 100% poly shirts and don’t much care for the feel/texture. Duofold used to make really nice ones that were a 85/15 poly/cotton blend but you can’t get those anymore. I probably have a dozen of them but at this point they’ve all been relegated to “shop duty” due to stains. The other day I ordered a few different brands from blankapparel.com and will see how I like them. Fingers crossed.


maybe smartwool and capilene.

It’s nice to have a range. I have some poly and some cotton/poly.

Link to cheap ones
Here’s a bunch of “moisture wicking” t-shirts for decent prices. Haven’t tried any of them.



Try this link

Those ARe Good REI Examples
Under Armor is good too.

Go up one size
The wicking shirts all run tight, many have spandex in the blend. Get a size larger than you usually wear so you don’t feel like a sausage.

Wicking works best when the material is
against the skin, so too loose, reduces effectiveness.

I like Eddie Bauer Departure long sleeve
for paddling and yard work on hot, humid days. I like them better than other button up and pocketed wicking shirts that I’ve tried. I like pockets and higher collars.


Shirts showed up today
The poly blend t-shirts I mentioned above showed up today. So far so good. Fit is good and quality so far looks as good as any other t-shirt and a much better price ($6) without a name brand label on it.

These are the ones I’m wearing now: http://www.blankapparel.com/Bella-Canvas_3413C.htm

I’ll probably order a dozen or so to stock up.


If you’re wicking sweat, yes
Particularly if you want it to help cool you skin contact is necessary, so get a nice snug one to wear under your shoulder pads while playing football.

If you just want a shirt that dries quicker when you’re paddling, not so much

Everlast EVERDRI
So here’s my story, or reason for the recommendation, or what I like about these shirts. It’s the mesh looking material, but there are no holes clear through, so total sun protection.

Playing sand volleyball in the summer in southeastern NC can be hot. I find out just how much water (sweat) materials retain in a hurry. A couple different higher end shirts, and eventually I’d be ringing sweat out of them to lighten the load. Soaked up shirts can start to feel heavy and clingy. I saw these Everlast t shirts and tanks on sale at Sears. $6.99 range. Bested my others significantly, and significantly less expensive.

That’s the key to it. It doesn’t absorb and retain water. These happen to be 100% polyester, which is common. Good stuff. Great price.

I use rash guards for kayaking, but this would be my next choice for that if I wanted loose-fitting.

Item #881428
BUY 2 GREY 2 BLUE HEATHER 2 sizes larger than what you would ordinarily buy.

grey n light blue tend to be lighter. more breathable than other more difficult to dye colors. A harsh weave is cooler than a slippery weave. the state patrol uses a harsh weave. Pussy hikers use a slippery weave.

look polyester maybe polypropylene…I dunno polypro cept for rope. need to search: blog polypropylene hiking t shirts clothing

place to look for T’s are cop shops in S Cal/AZ/NM

also look for a buy in Terramar’s more expensive T’s. Tmar is like lingerie. The fabric is windowed with each window crossed by fine threading. Super breathing

the general category is: synthetic running short sleeve t shirts

Nice shirt…
…but probably not something I’d want to wear paddling on a hot day.

I like the EMS ones that frequently go on sale for under, sometimes well under, $20.

They are typically T-shirt style, short and long sleeved, bright colors with mesh panels under the arms and sides. As well as being comfortable and feeling cool they provide excellent SPF protection.

The Eastern Mountain Sports ones run pretty much true to size.

Russell Dri power
Is what I use. Very affordable and pretty durable to.

is made from cotton…induces hypothermia. not good.

stay with polyester.

Hypothermia in summer?

more hypothermia danger in Summer
The highest threat from hypothermia tends to be during windy wet conditions in the 40 to 50 degree range, when it most affects people who have ventured out (without checking the forecast) without water- or wind-proof clothing. And such sudden weather switches are most apt to happen in the Summer and that is the same season where people most often fail to carry protective clothing and are dressed in the highly absorbent and evaporative cooling prone cotton and a lot of exposed skin. I was an outfitter guide and trip leader for many years, year round, and the only times I had to deal with hypothermia among participants (or people we encountered outside the group) were during warm weather trips. During Fall through Spring the problems more tended to be people being over-dressed and over-heated.