Supremely comfortable and high performing, this full-merino T-shirt-style hiking and running top has done me proud on many miles of trail running and hill rambling, and it has never developed any of the odors that cling to many of my other outdoor clothes.
Doesn’t accumulate bad odors
Shorter lifespan than many tops
Heavier when wet
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EDZ 135gsm T-shirt: first impressions
The EDZ 135gsm T-shirt (available direct from EDZ) hails from a brand based in the UK’s Lake District. And whether they’re walkers, runners, cyclists or climbers, the outdoor-active people of the Cumbrian fells have a deep knowledge of at least two things: hills and sheep. With this impressive multitasker, EDZ have combined elements of the two, to make an excellent adventure-ready top.
• List price: £44.99 (UK) / Not currently officially available in the US
• Sizes: Men’s: S-XL; Women’s: 8-18
• Center Back Length (men’s large): 68cm / 27in
• Weight (men’s large): 140g / 5oz
• Materials: 135g merino wool (100%)
• Colors: Men’s: Black / Emerald / Gray / Red; Women’s: Black / Purple / Green / Gray
Available in versions for men and women, this lightweight EDZ short-sleeved top is made entirely from super soft, ultrafine 135gsm merino wool, and it features flat seams, which add to the excellent comfort levels. It can be worn as a hiking shirt or a running top, or indeed while rock climbing, cycling or during any outdoor activity, as I’ve found out over several months of trail- and track-testing this versatile garment.
Merino is a magical material that wicks moisture away from your body as you perspire while ascending steep trails. It also keeps you warm when conditions are chilly (even when it’s wet), and cool when temperatures soar.
Being a natural fiber, merino is both better for the environment during the production stages, and biodegradable at the end of its life. It also contains antibacterial properties that combat the buildup of bad smells (a massive bonus over time). All these factors make 100% merino tops like the EDZ 135gsm T-shirt ideal for any high-intensity outdoor activity in any conditions.
While it is a miracle material in most senses, merino can get a bit heavy when wet (either with sweat or rain), takes a little longer to dry than manmade poly fabrics, and – although it always smells much nicer – it doesn’t last as long. For me, however, the comfort levels outweigh these concerns Some woollen garments can be tricky to launder and look after, but this top can be machine-washed at 30°C.
EDZ 135gsm T-shirt: on the trails
I have been wearing the EDZ 135gsm T-shirt for several months now, while hiking, biking, running, scrambling up and down rocky routes and climbing at the crag. Made entirely from merino, and with no irritating seams, it’s a luxuriously lovely top to have next to your skin, whether you’re out for a short stroll or an all-day epic.
It can be worn as an outer layer on warmer summer days, and as a short-sleeved base layer when temperatures are lower and you need a fleece or wind- and waterproof jacket over the top. I love the versatility of this shirt, and the fact that it wicks sweat away and helps with temperature control.
Over the months that I’ve been hill- and trail-testing this tee, it hasn’t started to accumulate any sort of odor, which is mostly thanks to the antibacterial properties of the merino fabric, but also because you can machine wash this garment at 30°C.
The material is also crease resistant, so it always looks good, whether you’re tackling a trail or hanging out in the beer garden of a pub during or after a country walk.
Author of Caving, Canyoning, Coasteering…, a recently released book about all kinds of outdoor adventures around Britain, Pat has spent 20 years pursuing stories involving boots, bikes, boats, beers and bruises. En route he’s canoed Canada’s Yukon River, climbed Mont Blanc and Kilimanjaro, skied and mountain biked through the Norwegian Alps, run an ultra across the roof of Mauritius, and set short-lived records for trail-running Australia’s highest peaks and New Zealand’s Great Walks. He’s authored walking guides to Devon and Dorset, and once wrote a whole book about Toilets for Lonely Planet. Follow Pat’s escapades on Strava here and instagram here.