Dive deep enough into the world of Merino wool and ‘technical’ clothing in general, and you’ll soon find yourself on Outlier’s site. I’ve talked before about their Futureworks, Strongworks, S120 Pivot Shirt, and New Ways shorts, today I want to talk about one of the shirts they consider a “core” item, the Ultrafine Merino T-Shirt.
First, it’s $100. Know that going into this.
I’ve had experience with quite a few brands of Merino t-shirts and while I think your best value/performance is had with Wool & Prince (though those are not all 100% Merino wool), it should be noted that if you want the most luxurious feeling t-shirt (even more than any cotton shirt), this Outlier t-shirt is the shirt you want.
I now own two of these shirts from Outlier, and if I had my way, these would be my only t-shirts. A lot of people stress out about caring for these shirts. Here’s what I do: I wash them only with other Merino goods, and I wash them with Kookabura wash. Otherwise they go right into the old top-loading washer at my house. The thing is, I could go buy a new washer. I could hand wash them. I could launder them elsewhere, but then why bother? Why spend so much on a shirt if they need to be treated with white gloves on? Merino is a lot stronger than people think.
I wash these shirts maybe every 2-3 weeks at this point. They never smell, it just starts feeling mentally weird at that point — like I should wash them, despite them not smelling or looking like they need to be. If they get visible dirt on them, I carefully clean it off right then and go about my day. The shirts dry so fast, I don’t worry about soaking them to get something off of it.
They start to look a little fuzzy, not pilled, but fuzzy, over time. This is normal, I am told. Eventually they might pill. So what, they still are comfortable and cotton pills over time too if many of my softer t-shirts are any indication.
I know you are skeptical about my love for merino t-shirts, but I’ve never worn more comfortable t-shirts than these. I’m not a t-shirt person, but these shirts are making me a t-shirt person. Yes, it’s $100 a t-shirt, but isn’t not having to launder your shirt after every wear worth it? I could make an environmental argument here, I bet, but I’ll pass.
You want to know how to pack for a weekend in a small bag? Buy one of these and it’s the only t-shirt you need for a week, let alone a weekend.
Two thumbs up. Go get one, or two.