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Reviews > Clothing > Shirts > Dakine Ridge & Upland Crew > Test Report by Coy Ray Starnes

Test Series by Coy Starnes
Initial Report: December 21, 2008
Field Report: March 18, 2009
Long Term Report: May 22, 2009

DAKINE Ridge Crew on Author

Tester Coy Starnes
Gender Male
Age 46
Weight 238 lb (108 kg)
Height 6 ft (1.8 m)
Chest 45.5 in (116 cm)
Location Grant, Alabama, USA

Tester Biography
I live in Northeast Alabama.  I enjoy biking, hunting, fishing, canoeing, and most other outdoor activities but backpacking is my favorite pastime.  I enjoy hiking with friends and family or solo.  I hike throughout the year and actually hike less in the hot humid months of summer.  My style is slow and steady and my gear is light.  However, I will sacrifice weight for comfort and durability.  A typical 3-season load for me is around 20 lb (9 kg) not counting food or water.

Initial Report: December 21, 2008

Product: Dakine Ridge Crew
Manufacture: Dakine
Year of Manufacture: 2008
Sizes Available: S, M, L and XL
Size I am Testing: XL
Listed Weight: N/A
Measured Weight: 9 oz (255 g)
Color: Olive Chop Shop

underarm ventingProduct Description
The DAKINE Ridge Crew is a long sleeve base layer from the Snowboard collection (also listed under the Ski section).  It is listed as a Mid-Weight [100% Polyester Double-Knit]
  * Two layers for warmth and dryness with no bulk
  * AEGIS Microbe Shield anti-bacterial fabric treatment
  * underarm venting with soft poly mesh

The website did not list much about the shirt other than the above but the box in which the shirt came had this to say. " DAKINE's Base Layer fabrics are extra breathable for maximum evaporation, heat regulation and comfort.  DAKINE Base Layers protect you from damp cold clothing and icy wind gust stealing your essential body heat.  The quick drying properties ensure you'll be as comfortable on the first run as the last"  I might have worded it last run as the first...

Initial Impression
The Ridge Crew appears to be a very well made base layer.  I was glad to see it has no tags at the neck area but it does have a care tag located on a side seam down near the bottom of the shirt.  However, after several hours of wearing the shirt I haven't really noticed the tag so it may not matter.  The color of the shirt is listed as Olive Chop Shop, which to me is a weird name for a color, and to be honest, the shirt does look a little weird, however, I like it.  And while I don't usually mention packaging in a report, I was impressed with the box this shirt came in.  It had the basic information about the shirt (some not found on the website) in no less than six languages and was just an overall nice looking box.

Trying It On and Early Testing
The Ridge Crew is easy to put on.  The XL fits me very well.  I liked that the sleeves are a good length for me and the waist is not to short.  I am long waisted and some shirts tend to ride up exposing some of my big belly after awhile but this has not been a problem with the Ridge Crew so far.  I got no static shock putting it on or taking it off as it was a very warm and humid the day it arrived.  I wore it a couple of hours and liked the feel of the material.  However, the next time I tried it on it was much colder but still fairly humid.   Still no static shock.  I will have to see if I notice any later when the air dries out.  I haven't worn the shirt enough to develop any more of an opinion other than this quick observation.

This concludes my Initial Report.  Stay tuned for the Field Report which should be forthcoming in about two months to see how well the DAKINE Ridge Crew is working.  I would like to thank DAKINE and for the opportunity to test this base layer.

Field Report: March 18, 2009

shirt in pongo
Author on a late January Paddle

Test Locations and Conditions
I have worn the DAKINE Ridge Crew on two overnight campouts, about a dozen or so day hikes, two 3 hour kayaking outings and several recumbent bike rides.  The overnights were local short distance hikes, the first at around 4 miles (6 km) round trip and the last even shorter as I just basically went a short distance into the woods and set up my hammock.  It was already raining lightly and with a fairly big snow was in the forecast I didn't want to be to far from home just in case the weatherman was right.  The overnight low for the first overnighter in early February was 44 F (7 C) while the most recent overnighter was a little cooler but still not real cold at only 28 F (-2 C).  However, it was very windy and  it did snow a couple of inches (around 6 cm).

On the dayhikes, I encountered temperatures as warm as 70 F (21 C) and as cool as 23 F (-5 C).  The bike rides were at around 50 F (10 C) or warmer with the most recent ride at a pleasant 77 F (25 C).  The kayaking trips were on the warmest days at the time which was around 50 F (10 C) back in late January and the one the other day at with one at 73 F (23 C).  The coldest I remember wearing the shirt was going to work one morning at 5 F (- 15 C) but I wasn't outside long.   In all this the shirt has seen everything from bright sunny days to cold and windy days with rain and or snow. 

snow on hammock
March snow on local overnighter

Field Test Results.
As can be seen from the above photo and other listed conditions, the DAKINE Ridge Crew has seen some pretty diverse weather.  All testing was done in a serious manner as I really don't have time for silly stuff...

serious testing
Testing the shirt proved to be dangerous at times...

Seriously though,  I have been pleased with the shirt's performance even if it was a tad more than needed on some of the warmer days.  However, this did give me a good chance to test the wicking abilities of the shirt.  In fact, I rode my recumbent bike March 17th when temperatures were around 77 F (25 C) and I got very hot in the shirt, but this was mostly on the steeper climbs when my speed was real slow.  Once I got back to a more normal speed on flat ground the shirt was comfortable again and it does dry fast.  I also found the shirt is not all that great for cool windy days as it left me chilled.  But on less windy days it was nice and warm even down near freezing.  But to be fair, the shirt is not supposed to keep me warm under cold windy conditions.  I usually just wore a jacket over it and was fine but I once wore the shirt on a chilly 40 F (4 C) day and because I was running a chain saw and then splitting wood for several hours I was very warm and had to remove my jacket.   

Now on to how the shirt felt wile I was wearing it.  First of all, the XL fits me well if a tad snug, but the material is stretchy enough that it did not feel restrictive. I never had any problem with binding at the shoulders or anywhere else and even when wearing it as a sleep shirt it stayed in place on me.  Sometimes a loose fitting shirt can get out of place and cause discomfort.  I liked it when paddling my kayak for the same reason as a good fit makes for more comfortable paddling.  The photo below shows me paddling hard in my new SOT kayak.

paddling my SOT
DAKINE Ridge Crew worked great as a paddling shirt

One area I was particularly interested in was the claim of the AEGIS Microbe Shield anti-bacterial fabric treatment reducing the shirt smell after wearing it a lot.   I am here to say it seems to work but it does not completely eliminate the shirt's odor.   I once wore a cotton tee one day and the DAKINE Ridge Crew the next and on both occasions I got the shirts soaked.  I laid both shirts in the laundry room for several days so I could compare the smell after several days.  When I got ready to wash them I pick each up and compared the smell.  The cotton tee definitely had the more sour smell.   The DAKINE Ridge Crew had a smell but I think the fact that it dried out faster than the cotton tee made the smell less objectionable.  Regardless, I was expecting it to smell worse than it did.  I also noticed that after each washing it always smelled great which is something I can't say of my other synthetic shirts.

Speaking of washing, I have washed the shirt dozens of times now and it is holding its color well.   I'm not sure if that is a good thing or not as I never minded the color of this shirt but I can't say it is great either...The shirt still looks good as I managed to avoid getting it caught on briar's.  I did have to carefully back up a few times.  It does seem to attract leaves but not any worse than similar type shirts. 

Summary Thus Far
The DAKINE Ridge Crew is a nice cool weather shirt that works in varied weather conditions with the proper layering.  It wicked well when I sweated and also kept me warm by itself on most outings, the exception being the cold windy days when I needed a jacket over the shirt.  The shirt is also very comfortable next to my skin and the fit is such that I really forget I have the shirt on.  Comfy is a word that comes to mind.

This concludes my Field Report.  Stay tuned for the Long Term Report which should be forthcoming in about two months to see how well the DAKINE Ridge Crew is doing.  It is warming up fast and my testing may be limited but I should see a few more cool mornings and afternoons.  I would like to thank DAKINE and for the opportunity to test this shirt. 

Long Term Report: May 22, 2009

sweating in the shirt
I pulled this off a video (thus the poor image quality)
but I was sweating heavily at 55 F (13 C)

Long Term Testing Conditions and Locations
With the arrival of spring and warm weather my opportunities to use the DAKINE Ridge Crew have dwindled.  I did however wear it for several more day hikes and on one nighttime kayaking trip and one overnight campout.  The kayaking trip was in early April and the low was around 50 F (10 C) but started warmer than that.  One particularly cool hike was in early May when the high only reached 51 F (11 C) but it was 47 F (8 C) by the time I got back home. This hike covered 5 miles (8 km) but included a lot of steep climbing and off trail use. The next few weeks were hot again but it cooled back down last week.  I went for an overnight hike in the woods near home and the low was 43 F (6 C)  followed by several more days of cooler than average weather.  In fact, the last time I wore the Ridge Crew was on May 18th on a 3 mile (5 km) day hike at a cool 55 F (13 C).  I did hike in the rain several times over the past few weeks as it rained nearly every day for 3 weeks solid.  I usually tried to avoid the rain but it would stop for awhile and look nice so I would head out only to get rained on before I got back home.

Long Term Test Results
I am still pleased with the performance of this shirt.  I feel it has done a good job of keeping me warm on cool hikes but still provided quick drying when I overheated.  On the early May hike I mentioned, I wore a thin wool shirt under the Ridge Crew and I did overheat some, especially when we were going up a slope that required getting on all fours (hands and feet).  I had to stop several times to catch my breath and I was soaked by the time we made it to the top.  I even removed the shorts I had on over my sweat pants but left both shirts on just to see what happened.  I found the Ridge Crew over the wool tee did in fact dry out first.  I guess that is to be expected though because it was not next to my skin.  But by the time we rested about 30 minutes then walked back down the mountain the Ridge Crew was almost dry while the shirt under it was still quite damp.

On the overnight hike when the low dipped to 43 F (6 C) I had a thin wool tee on under the Ridge Crew but still needed a light jacket to be warm.  I could have made it without the jacket but I like to be comfortable if I have the option.  I slept without the jacket but kept on both shirts and with my sleeping bag I was fine.   I really could have done without either but I was still wanting to see if I got any binding while sleeping with both shirts.  As before, only without the wool Tee underneath, I did not have any issues and I have to say this is a great sleep shirt.

The Dakine Ridge Crew is still in fairly good shape. It has quite a few more pills but nothing serious.  One thing that may have helped was getting a front load washer right after this test began so the shirt was washed maybe a 6 times in the old top load washer but probably more than twice that many time in the new front loader.  I also noticed that when taking it out of the front loader is was already almost dry.  But more to the point, the shirt saw lots of use on and off trails and as everyday wear and is still holding up well. 

I feel the Ridge Crew has performed as advertised except for odor control.  And by that, I mean, I found the shirt did develop quite a bit of odor when wearing it and then more while it was waiting to be washed.  I did observe that it held up much better in the odor department than a simple white cotton tee which seemed to sour more then the Ridge Crew.  So despite a little disappointing  in odor control I still like wearing the shirt and plan to use it next winter now that testing is complete.  My number one reason is the shirt is so comfortable.  But the shirt also gets high marks for managing my sweat as it dries fast. This is important to me as I sweat in cold weather at just the hint of an incline.

This concludes my testing of the DAKINE Ridge Crew.  I would again like to thank DAKINE and for letting me test this shirt.  I hope my findings are beneficial to all who read the report.



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