Friday, July 6, 2012

On the Water: Sperry Long Sleeve Tech Shirt







Always working hard to keep our website up to date José Turcios's blue water sailing background and a love for traveling makes him a great touchstone for new products. He recently finished the Annapolis to Bermuda race and a delivery from Annapolis to Nantucket. (2012) With him on both trips was the Sperry Tech shirt.




     I was asked to try the Sperry Tech shirt  right before heading out to Wednesday night races. The weather was calling for it to be in the mid 50’s, little damp, and the winds to be around 5 kts, so I happily welcomed a chance to take out this long sleeve tech shirt by Sperry Topsider. It felt good, I liked it, and it was fun trying out new swag.

It is made out of 91% Polyester and 9% Spandex.  The shirt has all the basic qualities that you look for in a tech shirt:  quick dry, breathable, stretchy and lightweight. Having this kind of base layer on a cold and active night is essential for keeping warm and comfortable, whether you are at the helm or trimming sails.

This tech shirt also has extra accoutrements (I like the silliness of that word) that make it stand out: anti-microbial, SPF up to 50, water resistant, mesh inserts for extra breathability, hidden pocket zipper for holding cash, a key, and ID, Raglan sleeves for added mobility, flatlock seams for minimal chafing, and reflective logos for visibility. This all sounds awesome but you read this on so many products that you wonder how much of it is true and necessary. So this is what I figured out right from the start…

The shirt has that super soft, satiny feel to it.  The medium runs a little bit larger, leaving extra room.. Extra mesh panels, flatlock seams, reflective patches and super-secret, small side pocket all seem so synonymous with something that suggests…$pend the extra few dollars for the cool add-ons. 

The Good
It feels great! (I wonder if I can get sheets that feel so nice?)  The pocket is useful and I’m a sucker for something so practical but doesn’t interfere with the styling (It’s more useful during the summer when I don’t have so many foul weather gear pockets available). It kept me warm till the sun went down, which I was surprised about because I typically chill easily. Though it kept me warm, it still had that cool to the touch feel that tech shirts typically have. Strange combination, I know, but I really enjoyed wearing it while at the helm.  Since the fit is a bit loose, it doesn’t have that under armor tightness to it that sometimes reveals my stomach’s lack of exercise and love of good food. I also like the use of Raglan sleeves on this shirt because you get better range of motion and less pinching in your shoulders. It breathes really well and its anti-microbial fabric is very useful.

The Bad
Mesh panels for increased breathability. Not everyone sweats a lot; and if you fall into this category, you might find the mesh side panels to be a bit overkill. With that said, this would still qualify as an ideal summer/sun protection shirt for those people, right?

(I put this ‘bad’ comment in parentheses because the following effect might not bother you at all. However, I think it’s an important disclaimer: The shirts are relatively thin and “tuft up” over chest hair. For those of us who have manly chest hair, it shows a bit. With that mentioned, they are indeed thicker than other tech shirts on the market that would be described as thin.)


Overall
Since first writing this review I have done the Bermuda Ocean Race and done a delivery to Nantucket from Annapolis and took the Sperry Long Sleeve Tech Top on both trips. GREAT ADDITION!!! It was a good base layer in the evenings, was extremely comfortable and convenient to fall asleep in, and provided me with ample sun protection during the day while keeping me cool. I wore this shirt on and off during the course of my 6 and 4 day trips and it managed to keep some of the odors in check with its anti-microbial fabric. The minor cons I listed don’t bother me at all. I’m actually thinking I want to get another shirt but this time in blue.

-Jose


This shirt comes in Men's Long Sleeve, Short Sleeve, and Polos. Also
Women's Long, and Short sleeve.

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