DeFeet Un-D-Shurt Short
TEST SERIES BY LARRY KIRSCHNER
INITIAL REPORT - March 3, 2008
FIELD REPORT - May 13, 2008
LONG TERM REPORT - July 21, 2008
5' 9" (1.75 m)
200 lb (90.70 kg)
I've been an intermittent camper/paddler since my teens, but now that my kids are
avid Boy Scouts, I've caught the backpacking bug. I typically do 8-10 weekend hikes
per year, and have spent time over the past 2 years backpacking at the Philmont Scout
Ranch in Cimarron, New
Mexico and canoeing the Atikaki wilderness in Manitoba. I like to travel "in comfort", so
I used to pack heavier than needed, but now I'd say I'm down to medium weight. With all of my
investment into these ventures, I expect my wife and I will continue to trek long after the kids are gone…
March 3, 2008
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Year of Manufacture: 2008
Manufacturer's Website: www.defeet.com
MSRP: USD $30.00
Listed Weight: N/A
Measured Weight: 4.1 oz (116 g) (XL size)
The DeFeet Un-D-Shurt (which I will refer to as the "Shurt", or the shirt) arrived
packed in a ziplock type plastic bag, with an information insert describing it.
The shirt is made of Microsupreme Acrylic fiber, which is apparently a composite
fabric consisting of 64% polyester, 19% Hydrofil nylon, and 17% Spandex. The shirts come
in three styles: a tank top, a short-sleeved shirt, and a long-sleeved shirt, and this test
is concerned with the short-sleeved variety.
The idea behind the Un-D-System, of which the Un-D-Shurt is one component, is to
provide a thin baselayer for athletic activities, including hiking, biking, etc.
The pieces are very thin and are designed to be form-fitting, so that they can be
layered underneath other garments, or multiple Shurts can be layered on themselves for extra warmth. The
shirts have wicking ability, as would be expected for a modern-day baselayer.
On first examination, the shirt has a fine-woven waffle knit texture, which is smooth
to the touch. There is a tag at the back of the neck which is flush with the fabric, and the DeFeet
logo is present on the front of the chest.
Both the neck and the sleeves have a
reinforced border, whereas the bottom of the shirt is unfinished. There is a tag with washing
instructions (machine wash cold, tumble dry low) at the inside of the left lower seam. This is a good benchmark to demonstrate
the thinness of the shirt, as the tag is easily seen through the shirt.
EXPECTATIONS AND CONCERNS FOR THE GEAR
At this point, I think the shirt is actually nicer
than I expected. It is quite comfortable (see below) and the spandex gives it a
fitted feel. My only concern for the Shurt is the fact that it only comes in white.
I wonder what this will look like after a few days on the trail?
TRYING IT OUT
I have not worn the Shurt on the trail yet, but I have worn it around town as a quick
way to try it out. First of all, the shirt is very soft to wear, and is quite
comfortable. It is also very thin, and I had no problems wearing it under another
T-shirt. I wore it on a short walk (0.6 mi/1 km each way) around town on a day when the temperature outside was
about 35 F(2 C). I did feel that the Shurt kept me warm, despite the fact that I was only
wearing another T-shirt and a sweatshirt on top of it. I also noted that when I was inside,
I did not feel it necessary to take off any layers, as the Shurt breathes very well.
For the Field test, I will be wearing my Un-D-Shurt during all of my hikes, as it should be
a comfortable piece for both cold weather and warm weather hiking. I will also wear
it as a baselayer for other endeavors, including biking and running, and other outdoor activites.
I want to see how the shirt looks after a few days outside, and if it can be restored to its
current whiteness by simple washing. I also want to see if it will stretch out any to fit
my body shape, or if it will retain its snug (but comfortable) feel over the course of the
This concludes my Initial Report on the DeFeet Un-D-Shurt.
Back to the Top
May 13, 2008
To date, I have worn the Un-D-Shurt for about 6 days, although I have not yet had
the opportunity to take it on an extended trip. I wore the shirt on a day trip on the first weekend of
April on a sunny day that started out cool in the morning (40 F/ 4C) but rapidly warmed up to about
65 F (18) by the afternoon. I also wore it on a 2-day hike in the Akron (Ohio) area in
mid-April. On that trip, the weather was rainy and fairly cool, with temperatures around 55-60 F
(13-15.5 C) during the day and down to about 45 F (7 C) at night. There was also a light rain
falling during the day when I was hiking. The other times I have used the Un-D-Shurt have been for
short, high intensity activities like running or playing soccer. These have been at a range of
temperatures, including as high as 75 F (24 C), and a variety of conditions ranging from sunny to rainy.
Because this shirt is so thin, I have not yet worn it without an overshirt. Maybe if I was ripped
like the models in the ads, I wouldn't mind it as much, but...no, I don't think so. Depending on
the activity in question, I have worn the Un-D-Shurt under a cotton T-shirt, or layered under a
long-sleeve synthetic T-shirt and a fleece. I have also washed the shirt 5-6 times so far.
From my testing so far, I can report that the shirt is extremely comfortable to wear as a base layer.
It is soft against the skin and has excellent wicking characteristics. I have another hiking shirt
that has a waffle cut fabric like the Un-D-Shurt, but that one seems to irritate my skin after a while.
I have had not such problems with the Shurt, even after wearing it with heavy exertion.
Even when worn under another shirt at temperatures where a single shirt is sufficient (e.g., at 75 F/24 C),
it did not make me feel hot. In fact, the wicking character actually provided a good cooling effect,
and the shirt never became noticeably damp. The same cannot be said for the cotton
overshirt, which ended up absorbing most of the moisture transferred through the Un-D-Shurt.
It is a little harder for me to assess how warm the shirt feels, although the Un-D-Shurt plus a
long-sleeve synthetic shirt was plenty warm while hiking in the mid 50's F (approx 14 C).
One peculiar aspect of the shirt that I wanted to note is that it has a particular scent to it.
It is not unpleasant, but there is a definite smell to the shirt noticeable when I take it off.
As I have worn and washed it more, I have noticed this less and less, so maybe this is an effect
of the manufacturing process that will continue to fade out as time goes on.
WEAR AND TEAR
As noted, I have worn and washed the shirt 5-6 times so far. I have been pleasantly
surprised by the fact that the shirt comes out of the washer as bright as when it was new.
I have also not noted any change in the shirt's elastic properties-it still fits as snugly as
when I first tried it on. I have also not noticed any significant wear on the fabric
or loosening of any of the seams to date.
Overall, I have been favorably impressed with the performance of the DeFeet Un-D-Shurt.
Most of the time when I am wearing it, I hardly even realize it is there. It has kept me
warm in the cool weather, and cool in the warm weather. I also like the fact that despite
its light weight, it appears quite sturdy so far.
Over the final two months of the test, I will be doing more weekend trips, as well as a
week-long trip at the end of the test period. This will let me see how the Shurt holds
up on a longer trip between washes. Also, as I expect the weather will continue to warm up,
I will do more testing under warm weather conditions, possibly including wearing the shirt
without an overshirt.
This concludes my Field Report on the DeFeet Un-D-Shurt. Please check back in about
2 months for my final report on this item.
Back to Top
LONG TERM REPORT
July 21, 2008
FIELD CONDITIONS (LTR phase)
Over the long-term phase of this test, I have worn the Un-D-Shurt in 3 different
conditions: First, I wore the shirt on a a weekend hiking trip in April on the
Wildcat Hollow Trail in southeast Ohio. Elevations on the trail
were between 800 and 1000 ft (250-300 m). The temperature on the trip was between
65-75 F (18-24 C) during the time I was hiking,
and somewhat cooler overnight, probably around 60-65 F (16-18 C) while I was in camp.
Although I started out wearing a long-sleeved shirt over the Un-D-Shurt, I quickly
warmed up and did most of the trip just wearing my Un-D-Shurt.
Second, I took
the shirt with me on a 5-day/4-night camping/kayaking trip to the Florida keys
in mid-July. I wore the shirt as my "dry" shirt while I was not on the water,
typically around 6-8 hours per day. The weather was hot, close to 90 F (32 C)
during the day, down to about 80 F (27 C) during the evening/night. It was also
very humid most of the time.
Third, I have continued to wear the Un-D-Shurt biking
to work. Because it is now summer time (in the US, anyway), it has been warm
enough in the morning that I wear the shirt by itself for these trips, but
I wear a daypack to carry my books and papers to work.
I have really worn the Un-D-Shurt quite a bit over the course of this test, although backpacking has not been its major use. When I was considering wearing the shirt without an overshirt for backpacking, I was concerned about the fact that the shirt is so thin. I was worried that I might have chafing of my skin under the pack straps. Fortunately, this was never an issue with the shirt. However, I did note a different problem with the shirt. Because it has a waffle-knit texture, the shirt tended to catch on low-lying branches and other brush when I needed to push through stuff like this on the trail. I noticed after the hike that there were a few small pulls in the shirt when I was done. Although these haven't caused any big problems for the shirt, I found this to be rather disconcerting on the trail.
Wearing the shirt on the trip in Florida did not involve any hiking, but it was very hot and humid. Under these conditions, the shirt was quite comfortable, and allowed my body to breathe quite comfortably even in the heat. Also, it's worth pointing out that even after the trip was over, the shirt did not retain a lot of odor, which is always a good thing.
I think the shirt really shone when I wore it for bicycling. It typically takes me about 30 minutes to bike to work, which is enough to work up a little sweat. When I wear the Un-D-Shurt, I notice that my torso stays quite cool and dry, even when I feel my arms (below the shirt sleeves) and my neck start to sweat. I change my shirt when I get to work, and the shirt feels slightly damp, but it quickly dries and is quite comfortable to put back on for the ride home.
Regarding wear and tear, the shirt has made it through the washing machine 10-12 times,
and it still retains most of its original white color, which is pretty amazing to me.
It also has retained its stretchiness, and still fits me quite closely.
However, I'm afraid that I have to report that the shirt is now beginning to pill on me.
I am starting to get concerned that it
might begin to deteriorate if I continue to wear it as much as I have been. (The pen points
to one of the areas that pulled while I was hiking).
The DeFeet Un-D-Shurt is a high-quality, lightweight baselayer. It is very comfortable to wear,
and provided very nice moisture wicking, keeping my body dry even during fairly
strenuous exertion. It has reasonably good durability, particularly given its
modest weight, although I found it had a tendency to catch on branches and such
when wearing it on the trail. I doubt that I will wear it much by itself on future treks,
but I would definitely wear it as a baselayer under another shirt when the weather is
just starting to turn cooler. I also liked it for biking, and will continue to wear
it either by itself or under another shirt for this activity.
Things I liked about the DeFeet Un-D-Shurt:
Things I disliked about the Un-D-Shurt:
- Very comfortable
- Excellent wicking
- Tended to catch on brush when wearing on the trail
- Starting to pill after 10-12 washes
This concludes my report on the DeFeet Un-D-Shurt. My thanks once again to
DeFeet for providing the Un-D-Shurt for testing, and to
BackpackGearTest.org for selecting me to participate in this test.
Read more gear reviews by Larry Kirschner