LASTING MERINO ALEA SHIRT
TEST SERIES BY NANCY GRIFFITH
October 11, 2020
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Northern California, USA
5' 6" (1.68 m)
126 lb (57.20 kg)
My outdoor experience began in high school with a co-ed scout group which made a 10-day canoe voyage through the Quebec wilds. I've been backpacking since college in Pennsylvania. I have hiked 1/4 of the Appalachian Trail and 2/3 of the Pacific Crest Trail. My typical trip is in the Sierra Nevada from a few days to a few weeks long. My base weight is lightweight at 15 lb (6.8 kg) while still using a tent, stove and quilt. Longer mileage summer trips are now stoveless.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Manufacturer: LASTING Inc.
Year of Manufacture: 2020
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.lastingmerino.com
MSRP: $59 US
Listed Weight: 5.6 oz (160 g)
Measured Weight: 4 oz (112 g)
Color: Yellow Green (no other color available)
Size Tested: M
Sizes Available: XS through XL
Made in Czech Republic
The Lasting ALEA Women's Merino Wool t-shirt is a short-sleeved, single-layer plain knitwear base layer. For warmer weather it would likely be the only layer. The construction uses flat seams for comfort and raglan sleeves for ease of movement. There is a logo and Lasting name on the hem and another logo on the left sleeve. Both are unobtrusive and with a cool design.
The ALEA is made of 100% top-quality Australian 16.5 microns Merino wool which is a renewable sustainable material. This is a super-fine category of wool with 16.5 microns indicating the diameter of the fiber. This fine wool is claimed to not be itchy. This wool is supposed to keep the skin dry, provide thermal insulation and moisture wicking properties. Wool is naturally odor-resistant, flame resistant, machine washable and provides UV protection.
Lasting lists four categories of wool of light (160 g), medium (180 g), heavy (220 g) and double heavy (260 g). The light is for the warmest temperatures.
INITIAL IMPRESSIONS & TRYING IT OUT
My initial impression was that the color was attractive or strange or both. It is a yellow green color that reminds me of a yellow shirt that faded into a different shade with multiple washings, but I also really like the appearance of it. It is unique. My next impression was how soft and lightweight the shirt is. Lastly, I noticed that there is no tag or even printed marking inside the collar area. There is just one tag inside the side seam.
Next, I verified that the size was what I ordered, medium. Then I tried the shirt on and it fit much as I expected based on the website information and sizing chart. The fit is good but the fabric is clingy so it is a fitted style. I'll be happier with this when I'm back to my summer body weight.
The fabric is very soft and comfortable. The collar has a perfect opening with enough room to fit easily over my head without compromising on coverage for protection from the sun. They hem is long enough to cover my hips and stay down if I lift my arms.
The construction seems to be very robust. The seams are flawless with no snags, loose threads or uneven stitching. There is one tiny spot on the back that looks like a stain, but I expect that it was a variation in the yarn making it a little darker. I'll monitor it to see if it goes away after washing.
READING THE INSTRUCTIONS
The shirt is to be machine-washed in warm or cool water with like colors using powder or liquid detergent. No fabric softener, bleach or heated drying are to be used. Line drying is recommended.
While these instructions are quite normal, I'm a little concerned about the warning to not tumble dry. Clothes get tossed in the dryer in groups, so I'll have to be careful to pull this out and to remind my husband. Hopefully the consequences won't be too bad if it happens.
The Lasting ALEA Merino short-sleeved shirt is a lightweight base layer designed to be a stand-alone layer in the summer.
Will the shirt accidentally get tossed in the dryer?
FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
During the Field Test Period, I wore the Lasting Alea Shirt on two backpacking trips and one car camping trip along with wearing it on five dayhikes, three mountain bike rides and sixteen morning runs. In total, I wore the shirt 33 times.
Emigrant Wilderness, Sierra Nevada, California: 3-day fishing trip from base camp; 15 mi (24 km); 5,960 to 7,380 ft (1,817 to 2,249 m) elevation; 30 to 74 F (-1 to 23 C); varied conditions from full sun to dark clouds and cold winds
Redfish & Alpine Lakes, Sawtooth Range, Idaho: 4 days; 27 mi (43 km); 6,547 to 8,337 ft (1,996 to 2,541 m) elevation; 40 to 75 F (4 to 24 C); varied conditions from full sun to light sprinkles
Silver Lake, Sierra Nevada, California: 3-day fishing trip including kayaking and hiking; 7,200 ft (2,200 m) elevation; 49 to 80 F (9 to 27 C); varied conditions from full sun to sprinkles with major thunderstorms nearby
Western States Trail, California; 5.5 mi (9 km); 500 to 1,500 ft (150 to 450 m) elevation; 50 F (10 C)
Minkalo Trail / Silver Lake, Sierra Nevada, California: 4.5 mi (7.3 km); 7,200 to 7,600 ft (2,195 to 2,216 m) elevation; 76 F (24 C)
Rubicon Trail / Loon Lake, Sierra Nevada, California: 6 mi (10 km); 6,327 to 6,500 ft (1,928 to 1,981 m) elevation; 75 F (24 C)
Two hikes on Gerle Loop in the Auburn Recreation Area, California: 2.5 mi to 3.5 mi (4 to 5.6 km); 500 to 1,500 ft (150 to 450 m) elevation; 72 to 81 F (22 to 27 C)
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
As noted previously, I was able to wear the shirt 33 different times for outdoor and/or athletic activity. But based on the odor-resistant quality of the shirt, I tried to sporadically wash it in order to get some good testing in regarding that claim. So although I wore the shirt 33 times, I only washed it 11 times for an average of 3 wearings per washing. The longest I went between washings was four days which I did on the Sawtooth backpacking trip. Not only did I wear it four days in a row, but I wore it continuously including sleeping in it overnight for the three nights. When we got back to the car, I took the Lasting Alea off and put on a clean synthetic shirt for the ride home. Later that night when I was doing laundry, I smelled the armpits of both the Lasting and the 'ride home' shirt and was amazed to find that the 'ride home' shirt was stinky while the Lasting didn't really smell bad at all.
I find the fit of the Alea to be a little too form-fitting for my taste. I love the collar being open but not too much so. I love the length of the Alea to cover my hips and stay down during vigorous activity or for sleeping.
The durability of the Alea has been great. There are no holes, snags, loose threads or wear from pack straps so far. I always washed the shirt by machine in cold water and tried to grab it before it went into the clothes dryer. I was successful a few times, but mostly it went into the dryer on extra low for a few minutes before I pulled it out to finish air drying. A couple of times it ended up fully drying on extra low. However, I didn't see any shrinking or other effects from the machine drying.
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
During the Long-Term test period, I wore the Lasting Merino Alea Shirt for three camping trips, six day hikes, five mountain bike rides and four softball games. I also wore it to work in the yard and as a base layer under my motorcycle jacket for cooler rides.
Car/Boat Camping and Fishing Trips:
Loon Lake, Sierra Nevada, California: 3 days; 6,327 ft (1,928 m) elevation; 45 to 82 F (7 to 28 C); clear with afternoon thunderstorms
Lake Davis, Sierra Nevada, California: 4 days camping, fishing and mountain biking: 5,886 ft (1,794 m) elevation; 55 to 91 F (13 to 33 C); mostly clear
Lake Siskiyou, Southern Cascade Range, California: 5 days camping, fishing, kayaking and mountain biking; 3,185 ft (971 m) elevation; 52 to 86 F (11 to 30 C); clear with occasional wind
Monroe Ridge Trail, Sierra Nevada, California; 4.8 mi (7.7 km); 743 to 1,262 (226 to 385 m) elevation; 80 F (27 C)
Heart Lake, Southern Cascade Range, California: 4.5 mi (7.3 km); 5,450 to 6,050 ft (1,660 to 1,845 m) elevation; 80 F (27 C)
Lower and Middle McCloud Falls, Southern Cascade Range, California: 3 mi (5 km); 3,100 to 3,600 ft (945 to 1,095 m) elevation; 75 F (24 C)
Gerle Loop in the Auburn Recreation Area, California: 2.5 mi (4 km); 764 to 921 ft (233 to 281 m) elevation; 72 F (22 C)
Two hikes on El Dorado Trail, Sierra Nevada, California: 4 mi (6.4 km) and 4.7 mi (7.6 km); 1,630 to 1,900 ft (500 to 580 m) elevation; 55 to 60 F (13 to 16 C)
Three rides around Lake Davis of 4 mi (6.4 km), 5.5 mi (8.9 km) and 20 mi (32 km)
Two rides around Lake Siskiyou Loop Trail: 7.8 mi (12.6 km) and 8.7 mi (14 km)
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
Since I convinced myself of the odor-resistant nature of the Alea during the first few months, I didn't venture to wear it for so many days in a row during this test period. However, I did wear it multiple times and for multiple activities between washings on several occasions. The shirt still performs very well in terms of odor resistance. Along with wearing the Alea for outdoor physical activity, I liked wearing the Alea for sleeping for its comfort, coolness, wicking and length that stays down over my hips during the night.
|Lake Siskiyou view of Mount Shasta|
There were many times when I was sweating heavily in the Alea especially for softball games on warmer days. While it showed the wetness through a little bit, the fabric did a good job of wicking the sweat away and not dampening the fabric much.
My new favorite use of the Alea is as a base layer under my motorcycle jacket on cooler rides. It wicks great and feels so comfortable, not too hot and not too warm. With cooler weather coming, I expect to wear the shirt as a base layer which suits me better for the clingy fit that I don't particularly relish.
I washed the Alea probably eight more times during this test period. The shirt continues to look nearly as good as new with no snags, stains or other issues. One day after a hike, I managed to squirt a big blob of guacamole on the front. Fortunately, the stain kind of blended in with the shirt color. I didn't wash it out right away, so it dried on the fabric. But it came right out in the wash even though I forgot to stain treat it.
The Lasting ALEA Merino short-sleeved shirt has been a top-notch odor-resistant and durable shirt for summer!
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2020. All rights reserved.
Fit is a little too clingy for my taste
This concludes my Long-Term Report and this test series. Thanks to Lasting and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this fine shirt.
Read more reviews of Lasting, Inc gear
Read more gear reviews by Nancy Griffith