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Reviews > Clothing > Shirts > Dickies Temp-iQ Performance Cooling Tee > Test Report by Michael Pearl

WILLIAMSON-DICKIE TEMP-IQ COOLING TEE
TEST SERIES BY MIKE PEARL
LONG-TERM REPORT

INITIAL REPORT - April 25, 2018
FIELD REPORT - June 13, 2018
LONG TERM REPORT - August 26, 2018

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Mike Pearl
EMAIL: mikepearl36ATyahooDOTcom
AGE: 44
LOCATION: Hanover, New Hampshire, USA
GENDER: M
HEIGHT: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
WEIGHT: 155 lb (70.30 kg)

I have a great appreciation for the outdoors and get out at every opportunity. I am a three-season, learning to be a four-season backpacker and year-round hiker. Currently, my trips are two to three days long as well as an annual week-long trip. I utilize the abundant trail shelters in my locale and pack a backup tarp-tent. I like to cover big distances while still taking in the views. I have lightweight leanings but function and reliability are the priority. I mostly travel woodland mountain terrain but enjoy hiking beautiful trails anywhere.


INITIAL REPORT

PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS

IMAGE 1


Manufacturer: Williamson-Dickie Mfg. Co.
Year of Manufacture: 2018
Manufacturer's Website: dickies.com
Made in Nicaragua
MSRP: US$14.99 - $16.99 (Varies with Shirt Size)
Listed Weight: Not Listed
Measured Weight: 7 oz (200 g)
Sizes Available: Small through 5XLT
Size Tested: Medium
Colors Available: Black, Bright Orange, Bright Yellow, Cane Red, Dusty Blue, Dark Navy, Desert Sand
English Red, Knit Black Heather, Moss Green, Smoke and White
Color Tested: Dusty Blue
Materials: 50% Polyester / 50% Cotton
Features: Raglan Sleeves
Dynamic cooling and moisture management technology
Cooling effect triggered by sweat and rising body temperature

A Raglan sleeve is one that extends from the collar to the end of the sleeve in one piece of fabric.
Temp-iQ technology traps cool air in the fabric next to the skin helping to cool while wicking moisture away.

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

IMAGE 2The Temp-iQ Performance Cooling Tee arrived neatly folded in a plastic bag. My first thought is nice color this could go with just about anything I wear. Not that I am fashion minded or even color coordinated when hiking but this shirt has around town potential. Unfolding the shirt I next notice the left chest pocket. It measures about 4 x 5 in (10 x 13 cm) with about 1 in (2.5 cm) sewn off vertically to make what I assume to be a pen/pencil pocket. On the pocket is the Dickies company logo. The inside back portion of the collar there is a small band of fabric sewn. This seems to act like a cushion or transition between the thick seam of the collar that attaches to the body of the shirt. There are two tags attached to the shirt. One is a product tag with shirt size. The second gives information about Temp-iQ dynamic cooling feature. As mentioned this feature reacts to body temperature and sweat level. When hot it allows moisture out removing heat. When cold it retains body heat thus assisting in thermoregulation.

The company that makes the Smart Temp thermoregulation is HeIQ. Their website HeIQ is listed on the tag so I checked it out. I am curious how the fabric is treated to make it do what is claimed. I learned several things. HeIQ is a Swiss company. Compared to untreated fabrics Smart Temp fabrics reduce skin temperature by 2.7 to 4.5 F (1.5 to 2.5 C). Fabric treatment provides 100% performance for up to 40 washings. Treated fabric is independently tested as safe for skin using cosmetic testing standards. And lastly complies with EU REACH, US TSCA, JP METI, ZDHC and most RSL regulations. These are standards set in various countries addressing production and use of chemical substances. So I know what the fabric treatment does, a little about how it does it but not exactly what it is made of. The closest I got was that HeIQ Smart Temp is a hydro-functional polymer that is built on components used and registered in the pharmaceutical industry.

As for the shirt itself it looks to be of very good quality. All stitching and seams are very well done. I find no flaws, loose, frayed or stray stitches. The fabric is soft and comfortable to the touch.

READING THE INSTRUCTIONS

A tag found inside the shirt provides laundering instructions.

- Machine wash cold with like colors
- Only non-chlorine bleach when needed
- Do not use softeners or drier sheets
- Tumble dry low remove promptly
- Medium iron

My standard laundry practice follows all but the last item. But I can't image ever needing to iron a T-shirt. So no worries caring for this shirt.

TRYING IT OUT

The Cooling Tee fits nicely. The cut and proportion of sleeves, collar and body are good. The fabric is soft and comfortable. It has that comfy, well worn casual feel of a traditional T-shirt. Not too much more to say here yet. I think I need some active warm days to see what this Tee can do.

SUMMARY

The Temp-iQ Performance Cooling Tee is a comfortable and well made shirt. It fits well and feels as looks good when worn. I am a bit skeptical about the cooling claims. A 4.5 F (2.5 C) decrease in skin temperature sound pretty significant. But I keep an open mind and let field testing flush that out.


FIELD REPORT

FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

Day Hikes

Appalachian Trail - Woodstock
Distance and Elevation - 4 mi (6 km) from 850 to 1600 ft (260 to 488 m)
Pack Weight - none
Temperature and Conditions - 50 F (10 C) light to moderate rain

Bridal Veil Falls - Franconia, New Hampshire
Distance and Elevation - 5 mi (8 km) from 994 to 2100 ft (303 to 640 m)
Pack Weight - 15 lb (7 kg)
Temperature and Conditions - 55 F (13 C) clear and cool

Smarts Mountain - Lyme, New Hampshire
Distance and Elevation - 8.2 mi (13 km) from 1110 to 3240 ft (338 to 988 m)
Pack Weight - 15 lb (7 kg)
Temperature and Conditions - 60 F (15.5 C) dry and clear, windy and chilly on summit

Balch Hill - Hanover, New Hampshire
Distance and Elevation - 6 mi (9 km) from 525 to 950 ft (160 to 290 m)
Pack Weight - 15 lb (7 kg)
Temperature and Conditions - 64 F (18 C) with light rain

Mts. Blueberry and Black - Glencliff, New Hampshire
Distance and Elevation - 8 mi (13 km) from 1278 to 2800 ft (390 to 853 m)
Pack Weight - 15 lbs (7 kg)
Temperature and Condition - 80 F (27 C) hot and sunny

Mt Cube - Lyme, New Hampshire
Distance and Elevation - 5 mi (8 km) from 1400 to 2909 ft (437 to 887 m)
Pack Weight - 15 lbs (7 kg)
Temperature and Condition - 58 F (14 C) cloudy, cool and windy on summit

Trail Work Hike

Appalachian Trail - Pomfret, Vermont
Distance and Elevation - 4.4 mi (7 km) from 775 to 1295 ft (236 to 395 m)
Pack Weight - 20 lbs (9 kg)
Temperature and Conditions - 75 F (24 C) and sunny

Overnight Backpack

Galehead Hut - Twin Mountain, New Hampshire - Two days / One night
Distance and Elevation - 16 mi (26 km) from 1500 to 4902 ft (457 to 1494 m)
Pack Weight - 25 lbs (11 kg)
Temperature and Condition - 35 to 58 F (2 to 14 C) clear and sunny with strong winds on summits

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

IMAGE 1


The majority of my hikes this test period have been in cooler temperatures. So the cooling feature of the shirt wasn't push too hard. None the less it has been comfortable every time as the only layer or under soft shell rain jacket. It fits nicely, looks good and I like wearing before, during and after hiking (as long as it doesn't smell).

The first time I noticed the cooling in action was on a trail maintenance hike. Hiking a couple of miles with heavy metal tools can be tough. Add in using a handsaw to cut a section out of a 8 in (20 cm) tree laying across the trail and now it's really work. After doing this I was quite warm, breaking a mild sweat. As I packed up my tools I thought my shirt felt wet against my chest. I reached down to touch it with my hand but it was dry. As I walked away and the motion caused the Cooling Tee to move away and against my skin I noticed the cool sensation. What first registered as wet was the temperature difference created by the Cooling Tee, it works!

Next time the shirt lived up to its name was on the first warm day of the season. I chose a two mountain hike with a short drive between the two. The first was a gradual climb but in the sun most of the time. The second had better shade but was a steep climb just about the whole way up. These two condition combined with 80 F (27 C) made it hot and sweaty. I perceived a difference in temperature on skin under the shirt compared to my shorts. Not always very obvious unless standing still. When at rest in an envelope of my on warmth radiating off of me I notice my upper body becoming more comfortable sooner.

On the overnight backpack to Galehead Hut the temperature was not in the "hot" range. But with longer miles, greater elevation gains and the greater pack weight I worked up a sweat. I am quite sure I need not mention the area of the shirt that made contact with my pack was the wettest. When removing my pack especial on the windy summits I cooled, my back chilled and the shirt to my surprise dried much quicker than expected. When not on exposed area of the trail I welcomed the cooling. On the summits after the shirt dried I put on a soft shell rain jacket and was cozy.

SUMMARY

I have to admit I was skeptical of the cooling claim. And while it is not like switching on A/C it does provide a amount of cooling that is noticeable and welcomed. I have washed the Cooling Tee several times. It needed it most after the overnight hike when it received its first backpack aroma. After the wash the odor was completely gone. The rigors of the trail and washing machine have not had any negative impact on the Cooling Tee, it remains in good condition. The forecast for the coming week is hot and staying hot. I look forward to pushing the cooling capacity of this shirt on hikes to come.


LONG-TERM REPORT

LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

Day Hikes

Mt Ascutney - Weathersfield, Vermont
Distance and Elevation - 6 mi (9.6 km) from 1080 to 3128 ft (329 to 953 m)
Pack Weight - 15 lbs (7 kg)
Temperature and Conditions - 87 F (30.5 C) hazy and humid

Sculptured Rocks - Groton, New Hampshire
Distance and Elevation - 4 mi (6 km) from 790 to 1060 ft (240 to 323 m)
Pack Weight - 10 lbs (4.5 kg)
Temperature and Conditions - 85 F (29 C) sunny and clear

Mts. Flume and Liberty - Lincoln, NH
Distance and Elevation - 11 mi (18 km) from 1500 to 4450 ft (457 to 1356 m)
Pack Weight - 15 lb (7 kg)
Temperature and Conditions - 78 F (25.5 C) breezy and clear

Overnight Hikes

Guyot Shelter - Mt Zealand and West Bond, New Hampshire - Two days / One night
Distance and Elevation - 14.5 mi (23 km) from 2000 to 4540 ft (609 to 1384 m)
Pack Weight - 25 lbs (11 kg)
Temperature and Conditions - 77 to 55 F (25 to 13 C) sunny and humid light breeze on summits

Monadnock - Sunapee Greenway, New Hampshire - Five days / Four nights
Distance and Elevation - 52 mi (84 km) from 1200 to 3165 ft (370 to 965 m)
Pack Weight - 38 lbs start / 28 lbs end (17 / 13 kg)
Temperature and Conditions - 78 to 50 f (25.5 to 10 C) sunny and pleasant except for one night into
morning of heavy rain

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

The heat was turned up for this phase of testing. The first hot hike of the season was a tough one. Our internal thermostats had not yet switched to summer mode. While hiking I did not feel any cooling benefit from the Temp-IQ Tee. However when we stopped to rest after removing my pack I did notice a difference. The area the Tee covered I perceived a slightly cooler skin temperature. The other day hikes were slow paced to a swimming hole or warm but with breezy exposed summits. So the shirt was not pushed into the really hot sweaty point.

On overnight hikes again the temperatures were cool to warm, not at or above what I feel is hot. The heavier, larger overnight pack did keep my back hot and sweaty. When removing my pack for breaks or at the end of the day I felt a quick chill on my back. However this regularly occurs with all shirts. On day two of five, the hottest day I did soak the Tee in water and wring it out several times. I hung it up to dry on a line in the shelter on a warm, dry night. In the morning it was "fresher" but still rather damp. The Cooling Tee is slower to dry most likely due to being 50% cotton. This is great for comfort and cooling affect. However quite chilly to put on after coming out of a warm sleeping bag. I wash the shirt after every hike and it comes out of the wash odor free. However after warming up and breaking a sweat the hiker odor in the Tee returns. But after five days on the Monadnock - Sunapee Greenway trail the odor finally locked in. After washing the Tee is not offensive but mildly aromatic. It is now permanently assigned to hiking or exercise use only.

Other than a mild "tang" the shirt remains in good condition. There are no holes, loose threads or tears. There is an every so slight sweat stain where my pack contacts the shirt. As I think about sweating I found the chest pocket a great place to store my bandana. It makes for a quick and convenient place to reach when wiping sweat or swatting bugs.

IMAGE 1


SUMMARY

Throughout this test series the Dickies Cooling Tee has been a comfortable shirt to hike in. It fits well and held up to life on the trail and the many washings afterward. As for washing I never kept track of how many times I laundered it. So not sure at what point the applied cooling treatment will no longer work. While I was somewhat skeptical of that treatment I now can say the Cooling Tee does just what its name suggest. Even after the cooling treatment has been washed from the Tee I will continue to wear it for physical activities.

This brings my Long-Term Report to an end. Thank you to Williamson-Dickies Mfg Co and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test the Temp-iQ Performance Cooling Tee.

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5 Copyright 2018. All rights reserved.

Read more reviews of Williamson-Dickie gear
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