Traveling Light: Warm Weather Gear

I mentioned in my initial posts that I would be following up to post about shorts and short-sleeved shirts. This is that post. I tried out the Outlier New Ways, and the Ministry of Supply Apollo Polo shirts. Both are outstanding.

Polo Shirts

I really struggled with which polo shorts to buy and ultimately landed on the Ministry of Supply shirts because I hated the looks of every Merino shirt I found. The Apollo polo is the same material and cut as the Apollo dress shirt — I actually thought they shipped me a dress shirt by mistake when I first opened the package.

So it looks sharp, and like a nice polo. It also is crazy comfortable to wear. I put it through quite a test too, only packing two of these as my short sleeve shirt options for a week of theme park travel. I start sweating at 75°F and I am not sure if it even got cooler than that at night while I was vacationing — basically, I was sweating non-stop and wore a backpack almost the entire time. Try not to picture it, it wasn’t pleasant.

Yes, the shirt was cool to wear. Yes the shirt dries super fast. But for me what I really liked was two things:

  1. They look and feel great.
  2. They resisted body odor supremely well, and cleaned up quickly and easily.

There was only one time when I actually had to wash these in a machine: when I accidentally got some powder makeup on the shirt that was sitting on the counter. I could not get the makeup to come out by hand, and had to machine wash the shirts. For everything else I only rinsed the shirts out, and they never smelled. And I only rinsed them out for my own peace of mind.

My only issue with the shirts is the length. I am very tall in the torso and found the shirts to be at the shortest length I could wear without them looking too short on my body. I’d love to see a tall option in the sizing which adds about 0.75″ to the length of the shirt. These are definitely not shirts made to be tucked in.

I most certainly recommend these shirts. I own both the Lavender and the Medium Grey. The lavender is a great color, and very lightly tinted. The Medium Grey is a few shades too dark for my taste, but not too bad. It looks much darker in person than on the site. The collar also tends to spread more than you might be used to for a polo shirt, so check the pictures on the product page where the shirt is show on the model — those are true to form with how the shirts look when on.

Shorts

Less than two weeks after getting the Outlier New Way Short’s (navy blue) I told the team at MartianCraft that if they wanted new shorts, these are the ones to buy. I didn’t write about them here though, because I wanted to really put them through the wringer on some upcoming trips — mainly our trip to Disneyland, Legoland, and the San Diego Zoo. Last year we spent a little over a week at Disney World where I packed three pairs of shorts, and one pair of swim trunks — and a day in I blew out the crotch in one pair of shorts and by the end of it my most warn pair looked like they had been to sticky glitter hell and back again.

This year I packed only the Outlier New Ways and one pair of backup shorts, which I never even took out of my bag. I still haven’t had a chance to test these shorts as swim trunks, but holy shit are they great shorts.

I wore them the entire trip without washing them. They constantly repelled glitter (worth the price alone) and each time anything got on them, I just wiped it off with a damp towel and everything looked clean again.

In addition to all of that: the pockets are outstanding. Deep enough that nothing ever fell out of them. The comfort is superb, and the waist draw string is fantastic for leaving the belt behind and getting a more casual look.

They are shorts, so I can’t speak much to breathability, but they felt at least as cool as any other pair of shorts I have owned — if not more. They also moved incredibly well — an important factor when you have small kids at theme parks.

Bottom line: I thought I liked these shorts before my trip, but I was wrong, I love these shorts. I see no reason to own any shorts outside of these. I felt silly paying this much for shorts, but now I feel like a fool for not buying them much sooner.

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tl;dr

I never thought I would be so excited about a pair of shorts.