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Reviews > Clothing > Base Layers and Undies > tasc Performance Bamboo Merino SS Shirt > Test Report by Ryan Lane Christensen

courtesy of
tasc performance

tasc Performance
Performance Base Layer
SS Shirt Level A

Test Series by
Ryan Christensen

Last Update - November 2, 2012

Level A


Jul 3, 2012
November 2, 2012

July 3, 2012

Reviewer Information Backpacking Background
Name:  Ryan L. Christensen
Age:  47
Gender:  Male
Height:  6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:  235 lb (107 kg)
Email:  bigdawgryan(at)yahoo(dot)com
City, State, Country:   Idaho Falls, Idaho, USA

I began backpacking at twelve, continuing until 25. After an extended hiatus, due in part to a bad back, I resumed cycling, hiking, and backpacking several years ago. I also began snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. I share my love for backpacking and these sports with my children. I am a midweight backpacker, but carry a full array of necessary gear.

Product Information:

The information below came from tasc's website and product packaging.

tasc Performance Level A T-shirt
Manufacturer: thriv NP, Inc.
Manufacturer website:
Place of Manufacture: India
Year Manufactured: 2012
Materials: 65% viscose from bamboo
30% merino wool
5% elastane
Sizes Available:

Chest Sizes

Small (36-38in or 91-97cm)
Medium (38-40in or 71-102cm)
Large (42-44in or 107-112cm)
XL (46-48in or 117-122cm)
XXL (50-52in or 127-132cm)
Size Tested: XL

No-Hassle Returns

"If you are not entirely satisfied with our product, TASC Natural Performance will reimburse you for the full cost of your order, including shipping both ways. As part of this no-hassle return policy, every package ships with a pre-paid return label. Even if you wear it, sweat in it, and donít like, TASC Natural Performance pays for shipping both ways."


Product Specifications
Manufacturer's Specifications  


Tester's Actual Measurements  


5.5 oz (156 g)

Product Description:

The tasc Performance Bamboo+Merino Performance Base Layer SS Shirt Level A, hereafter referred to as "shirt" is a short-sleeved, crew neck T-shirt. This shirt is part of tasc's three-level bamboo+merino base system. This particular shirt is rated level A. A = All Weather [all conditions, intense activity] a lightweight regulation layer of 160 gsm jersey cloth. B = Brisk [moderate-cool conditions, outdoor environments] a midweight versatility layer of 200 gsm jersey cloth. And finally, C = Cold [cool-cold conditions, protection from elements] a heavyweight insulation layer of 280 gsm micro waffle.

There is no tag inside the shirt. Rather, inside just below the back collar, there is a silk-screened tag which includes the tasc name and logo, shirt size, level rating, materials, statements "Designed in New Orleans" and "Made in India" along with four laundry or care symbols.

As indicated on the label, the shirt is made from a combination of recycled bamboo and merino wool; 65% viscose from bamboo, 30% merino wool, and 5% elastane.

Care instructions for the shirt, as shown via the care symbols, include:

  • Machine Wash, Cold [Initial water temperature should not exceed 30C or 65-85F]
  • Do Not Bleach
  • Do Not Tumble Dry
  • Iron, Low [Regular ironing, steam or dry, at Low setting (110C, 230F) only.]
All of the seams are exposed and flat. They appear to be of the 3 needle 5 thread coverstitch variety. The lightweight fabric is soft to the touch and stretches somewhat in every direction and snaps back to its shape. There is a tag sewn on the front of the shirt via red thread; lower left, just above the hem. This tag includes the tasc name, logo, and BAMBOO+MERINO BASE SYSTEM.

The packaging the shirt came in lists four performance properties of the bamboo+merino base system They are:

  • DRY
tasc claims the following for each of the four performance categories. REGULATING: "Works with your body and adapts to keep your temperature stable in all conditions." ANTI-ODOR: "Bamboo and Merino fibers naturally resist odor for protection that doesn't fade over time." COMFORTABLE: "The most comfortable performance layer on the planet." DRY: "Transfers moisture away from the skin and dries fast for top performance in all environments."

During my testing, I will pay close attention to how well the shirt performs in each of these four areas.

Initial Impression:

I was immediately impressed with the silky smooth feel of the shirt as I pulled it from its packaging. In addition to being soft to the touch, the fabric is thin and lightweight which I like in my hot-weather shirts in particular. The shirt is black, which is not my first color choice for hot summer wear.

Initial Testing:

My initial testing included thoroughly inspecting the shirt. I found everything to be in order. There were no noticeable flaws in the weave of the material. All seams appeared tight and even. The exposed seams are two slightly different colors. The seam around the crew neck and the hem is of a slightly darker thread than the rest of the exposed seams.

According to tasc's sizing guide, I would most likely need a men's XXL. However, tasc sent an XL. A bit concerned about the sizing, I quickly donned the shirt. It fit well, snug, but not overbearingly tight or restrictive. Due to the stretch in the material, I believe I can comfortably wear and adequately test the XL. Should sizing prove to be an issue of any sort, I will note it in future reports.

Initial Pros:

Initial Cons:

  • soft next to my skin
  • lightweight material
  • stretchy material
  • utilized two renewable resources with odor fighting properties: bamboo and wool
  • None at this time

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November 2, 2012


I wore the shirt approximately 20 days during the test series. The shirt performed well.

Likes Dislikes
  • soft next to my skin
  • lightweight material
  • stretchy material
  • utilized two renewable resources with odor fighting properties: bamboo and wool
  • maintains shape and color very well
  • does not retain malodorous smells
  • None

Field Locations and Test Conditions:

I wore the shirt several different days while mowing the lawn, doing other yard and miscellaneous work, and kicking about.

In July, I wore the shirt while helping a youth group rappel at Heise Rock in Kelly Canyon, which is located 26 miles (42 km) northeast of Idaho Falls, in the Targhee National Forest. The area of Kelly Canyon where we were rappelling sits at an elevation of approximately 5,300 ft (1,600 m). We had about 0.26 in (0.66 cm) of rain. However, the temperature reached 79 F (26 C).

In August, I wore the shirt for three consecutive days during our BSA Varsity Scout/Venturing High Adventure to Bear Lake which straddles the Idaho/Utah border. There was a significant rainstorm our first afternoon. The high temperature over these three days was 93 F (34 C).

I wore the shirt on an overnight backpack trip in Island Park, located between Ashton, Idaho and West Yellowstone, Montana. Island Park is approximately 6,500 ft (2,000 m) above sea level. High temperature on this outing was 75 F (24 C).

I wore the shirt on an overnight backpack trip to the Menan Buttes, located approximately 38 mi (61 km) northeast of Idaho Falls. The North Menan Butte is designated as a National Natural Landmark. The high temperature during the afternoon was 88 F (31 C).

In September, I wore the shirt on another overnight trip in Island Park and on an overnight backpacking trip in the Kelly Canyon Nordic Area, which is located 26 miles (42 km) northeast of Idaho Falls, in the Targhee National Forest. The Nordic Area starts at an elevation of approximately 5,900 ft (1,798 m) and reaches elevations of 6,700 ft (2,042 m). The high temperature on this outing was 68 F (20 C).


The shirt has performed well for me. On the outing listed above, the T-shirt was my primary layer. I really like how the soft fabric feels next to my skin. I sweat a lot. Two of the best things thus far with this shirt are how quickly it dries (whether wet from rain or sweat) and the fact that after wearing it several days in a row, it really did not have a malodorous smell. Both the quick drying and odor resistance have been quite valuable during the hot dry summer and early fall we have had this year.

For me, the fit is a little snug. This is the result of me testing an XL, when according to tasc's sizing guide, I should wear an XXL. tasc did not have XXL available at the time this test series began. Although the fit is snugger that I would like, it has not restricted my movements in any way. I simply prefer a looser-fit.

Even though the shirt did not stink, I have laundered it six times to date. The shirt maintains its size, shape, and color. There are no visible signs of distress, such as loose seams or fraying threads or material. Thus far, the shirt has held up quite well.

With temperatures dropping rapidly, I look forward to wearing the shirt as a base layer under heavier layers on my late fall backpacking trips and snowshoe and cross-country ski outings once there is enough snow on the ground. This is the first tasc product that I have worn. I have decided to try other tasc products based on my experience with the Bamboo+Merino Performance Base Layer SS Shirt Level A.

This concludes my test series on the tasc Performance Bamboo+Merino Base System Level A crew neck T-shirt.
Thanks to tasc Performance and for allowing me to test this performance T-shirt.

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Read more gear reviews by Ryan Lane Christensen

Reviews > Clothing > Base Layers and Undies > tasc Performance Bamboo Merino SS Shirt > Test Report by Ryan Lane Christensen

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