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Reviews > Clothing > Shirts > Dickies Temp-iQ Performance Cooling Tee > Test Report by joe schaffer

Dickies Temp-iQ Performance Cooling Tee

Test Report by Joe Schaffer

INITIAL REPORT - April 14, 2018
FIELD REPORT - June 11, 2018
LONG TERM REPORT - August 11, 2018

NAME: Joe Schaffer
EMAIL: never2muchstuff(at)yahoo(dot)com
AGE: 70
WEIGHT: 175 lb (79 kg)
CHEST: 40 in (102 cm)
WAIST: 34 in (86 cm)
SLEEVE: 30 in (76 cm)
HOME:  Bay Area, California USA

     I enjoy California's central Sierras, camping every month with a goal to exceed my age in nights out each year. For comfort I lug tent, mattress, chair and such. Typical summer trips run 5-8 days; 40 lb (18 kg), about half food and water related; about 5 miles (8 km) per hiking day in the bright and sunny granite in and around Yosemite. I winter base camp most often at 6,000 to 7,000 ft (1,800 to 2,000 m); 2 to 3 nights; 50 lb (23 kg); a mile or so (1.6 km) on snowshoes.

Product: shirt frontDickies Temp-iQ Performance Cooling Tee

Manufacturer:  Williamson-Dickie Mfg. Co
        Weight: NA
        Features: (from website)
            • Raglan sleeves for mobility
            • Jersey, 50% polyester/50% cotton
            • Dynamic cooling and moisture management technology
            • Cooling effect triggered by sweat and rising body temperature
            • Exceptional durability and
            • Superior breathability
            • Temp-iQ technology traps cool air inside the yarn and keeps it next to your skin, effectively cooling while wicking away sweat.
            • Big & Tall options available.

            Black, Bright Orange, Bright Yellow, Cane Red, Dusty Blue, Dark Navy, Desert Sand, English Red, Knit Black Heather, Moss Green, Smoke, White
            Sizes (Not all sizes available in all colors): S, M, L, LT, XL, XLT, 2XL, 3XL, 3XLT, 4XLT, 5XLT

       Care: Cold wash, non-chlorine bleach if needed, no softeners, low heat, medium iron

My Specs:  Large
       Weight: pre-wash 7 3/8 oz (208 g); 1st wash: 7 1/4 oz (205 g)
       Circumference at waist hem: 44 in (112 cm)
       Circumference at chest (pocket logo): 44 in (112 cm)
       Neck-to-cuff length: 29 in (74 cm)
       Pocket: W 4 1/2  x L 5 1/2 in (11 x 14 cm)

MSRP: $14.99-$16.99 US

Received: October, 2017

My Description:
    This is a short sleeve no-taper round-neck tee with a breast pocket. The arm seams run from the front side of the neck ring down and around the pit, then back up to the back side of the neck ring; and at sleeve bottom. A seam runs down each side of the shirt from the center of the pit to the bottom cuff. Painted logo, size and origin sit just below neck ring inside in back. Separate stitched-in layer at back of neck ring also has painted 'PERFORMANCE' logo. Breast pocket sports a small logo. Care tag is sewn in near the bottom of the left side seam.

      The shirt fabric feels incredibly soft and comfy with a texture simulating premium merino wool. On days that I really have to dress up I wear a golf shirt. So except for my friends' funerals and their grandkids' weddings I'm in a tee, and if I were to hear the background noise around here it would seem I tend to the wear the same one. I've worn this one about 79 hours total so far; and have hiked in it 10 1/2 mi (17 k) on various short and sunny day hikes. It'll get a better workout on camping trips as a base layer when I will want something under my long sleeve hiking or lounging shirt.
    It may be a bit of conundrum to test the cooling power of the shirt as I'm most likely to get hot in the sun. I avoid wearing short sleeve collarless shirts alone in the sun on backpack outings; and if it's hot I'm not likely to want a warm tee under my long-sleeve. Thus as a limited use garment at nearly half-a-pound (209 g) it's a tad heavy in my style of backpacking clothing. The comfort level suggests the extra increment could be worthwhile. And of course if it performs well as a wet wicker that will be a major plus.
    For around the house wear, I suspect I'm going to have to bear an undue amount of comment related to my habiliment habituation, or buy a couple of different colors. Oh, the pain of having to spend money on another one before wearing this one out. 'It's for the test, Sweetiepie. Have to wear it every day.' Now, that might actually work.
    Most of my tees are seamed around the pit, more like a traditional shirt with a seam across the top of the shoulder. This is a new style of shirt for me; and now I understand what 'raglan' means. But wouldn't you hate to be a shirt maker and have to refer to an aspect of the garment that contains the word 'rag'?
    Thus far the 50/50 blend seems to be doing its job in damping the devil of pilling. More exertion will be required to see if the ratio of cotton lets the shirt dry in timely fashion.
    I'm fussy about the fit of my tees. I like this one a lot. It gives me room to move my shoulders around, but isn't bulky around the mid-section. I don't like snug and I don't like floppy. Very often a shirt big enough in the shoulders feels like a tent around even my pudgy middle. This shirt is just right. The neck and arm holes are perfect for me.
    I don't much care for that painted stuff at the back of my neck. Maybe if the shirt wasn't so comfortable in every other regard I wouldn't notice the paint, but I can feel it and would rather not.


Field Conditions:

1. Various dates and local locations of short day hikes typically in temps around 70 F (20 C).
2. Apr 26-30: Yosemite National Park, Kibbie Ck. Five-day outing, six hours backpacking 10 mi (16 km). 40 lb (18 kg) leave weight. About 5,000 to 6,500 ft (1,500 - 2,000 m). 40-60 F (4 - 16 C).
3. May 7-12: Yosemite National Park, Kibbie Ridge. Six-day outing, 16 hrs backpacking 22 mi (35 km). 40 lb (18 kg) leave weight. About 5,000 to 8,000 ft (1,500 - 2,440 m). 35-70 F (2 - 21 C).
4. June 6-9, 2018: Stanislaus National Forest, California. Four days/64 hours, 5,000 - 5,200 ft (1,525 - 1,585 m). 10 mi (15 km); leave weight 36 lb (16 kg). Temps in 45-70 F (7-21 C). Dry, no wind.

    1. The shirt is remarkably comfortable for house wear and warm day hikes. I haven't hiked far enough in hot enough temps to form an opinion about its cooling properties. It does seem to gather moisture in the pits.

    2. Day one of the Kibbie hike was sunny and warm and lasted a little over two hours while I exposed arms and neck to the risk of solar radiation cancer for sake of the test. When I got as far as I could the sun was going down as I pitched camp and I started feeling uncomfortably cool before the shirt got dry. I put a wool shirt over it while finishing camp preparations, becoming cold enough to forego any outdoor activity and changing into sleeping clothes for the night. The shirt was still a little damp the next day, but dried in use while I packed up for a sunny hour's hike to my destination. There it was again a little damp and I put a wool shirt over it to blunt the chill of a light breeze. Even on these short hikes the lower back (shirt was kept above the hip belt) and arm pits got rather damp, though not liquidy wet. Pit area seems stubbornly slow to dry in use, even when only mildly damp.
    On the two-and-a-half hour hike out tickling breeze made temps almost chilly, prompting frequent wishes for long sleeves! I dawdled at the car for half-an-hour or so wearing the shirt as I debriefed gear and finished breakfast gruel, thinking it might dry enough to wear on what turned out to be a four-and-a-half-hour drive home. But it didn't.
    Temps were not warm enough to test the shirt's cooling power. It was not slept in as I needed only a single layer and wanted a long sleeve clean shirt while in the bag.
    My impression at this point is that the shirt has too much cotton to be good for backpacking even if it had long sleeves and a collar. It does dry faster than 100% cotton, but perhaps not fast enough to earn its keep as a backpacking shirt. The high cotton ratio intends the specific purpose of cooling the body, a point not well taken in lower temperatures of this hike. My experience with all-cotton shirts is that they start off clean feeling great until they get 'full', at which point they become impossibly nasty. Perhaps my next hike will test whether the poly ratio is high enough to wick off wet and avoid the pig-out point of saturation.
    The shirt had about 12 hours wearing from the previous wash when I left wearing it for the trip, then accumulating another 40 hours of day and evening wear. It did not get rinsed. Trails were mostly damp (not dusty); temps were probably too low to get the shirt dried in less than a day or two; and I specifically wanted to see if it would grow stinky. Some of my synthetics would have ripened to the point of being unusable, but this shirt remained pleasantly me throughout.
    Maybe it was the shivers, but I never noticed the painted stuff against my neck.
    The shirt was machine washed for the second time after this trip.

    3. Hiking temps were mostly mild and sunny. I wore the shirt all six days, changing out of it to sleep. It doesn't smell bad, and never got nasty. It went through some sticky brush on a two-mile (3 km) XC one afternoon and managed the torture with no rips or snags, an outcome more favorable to the garment than the wearer.
    The shirt was machine washed for the third time after this trip.
    I'm noticing the neck is just a smidgen high in front. I don't mind this, but were I to design the perfect tee the neck would be maybe 1/2 in (1.25 cm) lower in front. The shirt goes well down over my hips, which prevents it from riding up or blowing up in the wind, so I find the body length quite right.

    4. The only time I kept the shirt off during this trip was the first night of sleeping. That night my back got cold against the mattress, so thereafter I left the shirt on. It was insulation enough to make a difference. Of course the shirt got soppy under the backpack and wet under the arms and below the neck. It doesn't dry as quickly as a 100% synthetic shirt, but fast enough that I left it to dry on me after each hike. I didn't have occasion to rinse the shirt and it remained comfortable for the duration of the trip. It's hard to see mosquitoes on it, but I think they had a difficult time trying to bite through, as I felt relatively few given the bug load in early evenings. With a wool shirt over it my torso was well defended.
    The test is to see if the shirt super-cools. I confess to not having given that a thought. Hiking hours were mostly rather warm with a light breeze. The shirt never felt cold, nor did I ever feel hot in it. After it dried, which was just before dark, the shirt felt warm enough under a wool shirt that sitting around a campfire I never put on any more layers.

    5. The shirt was my base layer every evening, all night and in the morning. Hiking hours were too sunny for a tee shirt. Though I didn't do anything particularly dirty while wearing the shirt, I did wear it all week without rinsing it and the shirt remained very comfortable for the duration.

    6. For this trip my only observation is that the temps were too high and the sun to radiant to wear the shirt. It was a nice top layer for my pillow.

The concept of having a cotton/poly blend makes sense to me for a cooling shirt. Cotton's cold when wet; polyester helps the shirt dry faster. Whether that plays out in real life I'm not so sure. My feeling is that the shirt stays damp longer than I might prefer in the trade-off to make the cotton do its thing. Perhaps most of my testing has been outside the parameters of design intention--I'm going to get wet backpacking and I want to dry out quickly when I get to camp. There's no cooling going on underneath a backpack; the pits just feel sticky; and the front part of the torso keeps getting wetter the longer I work. Sounds like I'm saying the cooling properties of the shirt are not compensating for my priority to dry faster, which seems a sounder strategy for evaporative cooling. It is a wonderfully comfortable shirt when dry; not so much when wet; and I'd opt for more synthetic and less cotton.

Accumulated wear: 412 hours / 76 1/2 mi (123 km)

Field Conditions:
5. June 16-21, 2018: Emigrant Wilderness, California. Six nights/mornings with 101 hrs wearing. Camping at 7,400-8,940 ft (2,260-2,725 m). Leave weight 36 lb (16 kg), return 30 lb (14 kg). Temps 35-75 F (2-24 C). No wind or rain.
6. Aug 7-9, 2018. Loon Lake, California. Two nights car camping at 6,400 ft (1,950 m). Temps 90-50 F (32-10 C). Smoky and hot.
7. Aug 9-11, 2018. Spider Lake, California. Two nights. 10 mi (16 k) backpacking. Camping at 6,700 ft (2,040 m). Leave weight 40 lb (18 kg), return 30 lb (14 kg). Temps 90-45 F (32-7 C). Sunny, some smoke haze.

    5. This trip let me test the shirt in cool-to-comfortable temps. It works great as a base layer in the cooler temps; and as an outer shirt hiking in moderate temperatures.
    6,7. I wore the shirt for 99 consecutive hours, taking it off only twice to wring it out. This last phase of the test provided the chance to wear the shirt in truly sweltering conditions. I'm not sure it is even fair to make remarks about the shirt as I don't think anything would have been comfortable except pool service at the Hilton. Twice I jumped in a lake to cool off, wrung out the shirt and put it back on. Of course the wet material helps cool things down a bit, but the saturated fabric also seems not to breathe very well. Even hiking, when the shirt gets 'full' it feels a little clammy. When wet, it stops wicking moisture off the skin, which then accumulates and rolls down the body. The shirt
dries much quicker than all-cotton, but still takes too long. My conclusion is that I think the shirt has too much cotton for hot hiking.
    Some areas of the shirt have begun to discolor. On first notice I thought the issue was random, and perhaps it may be partly that. However, the part of the shirt under the backpack shoulder straps has discolored the most. The shirt shows no sign of pilling. There are no holes or loose threads. The shirt has held its shape.
It does not hold odor.

Total wearing: 521 hours / 93.5 mi (151 km)

SUMMATION: Super soft and comfortable short-sleeve tee for cool to moderate temps.

Quick shots:
    a) comfortable
    b) heavy
    c) not fast-drying
Thank you Williamson-Dickie and for the opportunity to test this product. This concludes the test reporting.

Read more reviews of Williamson-Dickie gear
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Reviews > Clothing > Shirts > Dickies Temp-iQ Performance Cooling Tee > Test Report by joe schaffer

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