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Reviews > Clothing > Shirts > Mountain Khakis Granite Creek LS shirt > Test Report by Frances Penn

MOUNTAIN KHAKIS GRANITE CREEK LONG SLEEVE HIKING SHIRT
TEST SERIES BY FRANCES PENN
LONG-TERM REPORT
October 07, 2014

CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE FIELD REPORT
CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE LONG-TERM REPORT

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Frances Penn
EMAIL: oldhikergirl AT yahoo DOT com
AGE: 58
LOCATION: Santa Ana, California USA
GENDER: F
HEIGHT: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
WEIGHT: 130 lb (59.00 kg)

I have been backpacking for eight years mostly on long weekends in Southern California with two or more 5-day trips per year in the Sierras. My total daypack weight, including food and water, is usually 15 lb (7 kg) and my total backpack weight, including food and water, is usually 22-26 lb (10-12 kg) depending on the need for a bear canister. I have converted to a tarp and bivy sleep system instead of a tent to keep my pack weight down. I have experienced all night rain, hail, heavy winds, camping in snow once, but mostly fair weather.


INITIAL REPORT

PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS

Manufacturer: Mountain Khakis
Manufacturer's Website: www.mountainkhakis.com
MSRP: US $89.95
Listed Weight: 3.1 oz (88 g)
Measured Weight: 6.1 oz (173 g)
Colors Available: Lagoon (teal blue), Celery (light green), Truffle (medium gray)
Color Tested: Celery
Sizes Available: Extra Small, Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large
Size Tested: Small


IMAGE 1
courtesy website

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

The Granite Creek Long Sleeve shirt is a traditional hiking shirt with quick-dry and wicking features. It is made of 100% Brushed Nylon Plain Weave, with UVA-UVB 50+ resistant sun-protection. The proprietary peached TaslanŽ material is soft and abrasion-resistant. The first feature I noticed upon removing this shirt from its packaging was the soft feel of the material. Having noticed this item in the description on the website, I was anxious to feel the material. The material does feel soft next to my skin. The collar is oversized so it can be flipped up for additional sun and wind protection. There is a button on the underside of the left side of the collar to secure the collar in the up position for extra sun and wind protection.

IMAGE 2
collar and one sleeve up


The shirt has a Durable Water Repellent treatment. The roll-up sleeves have a button catch. There are two chest pockets with button closures. The princess seams in the back panel slightly taper the shirt at the waist into a feminine shape. The left side of the shirt front has a zip security pocket with an invisible zipper at the bottom edge adjacent to the side seam. Mesh was used for the material inside this pocket. There are no vents.

IMAGE 3
security pocket
IMAGE 4
mesh inside security pocket


The shirt fits snug but comfortable. The material does not stretch or give with movement. I will pay close attention to this aspect when putting on and taking off a fully loaded backpack. There is no room for a base layer under this shirt. I selected a small size because I wanted to wear it next to my skin to test the wicking, quick dry and sun protection features.

The washing instructions on the tag sewn to the inside seam adjacent to the interior mesh of the security pocket indicate to machine wash in cold water, do not bleach, tumble dry low, use a cool iron and do not dry clean. I always hang my hiking clothes to dry mostly to prevent shrinkage, but also to prolong the life of the garment. I will report on this aspect in my Field Report.

IMAGE 5
collar


The oversized collar is a full 3.5 in (8 cm) high. The idea is to provide additional protection from sun and wind and provide additional warmth should it be necessary.

IMAGE 6
sleeve hem


The sleeve hem is a little over 2.5 in (6 cm) with two buttons. The sleeves fit tight and the last roll of the sleeve to get it high enough to attach the button closure was a tight fit. I'm not sure this will be comfortable for a full day of hiking. I will report on this aspect in my Field Report.

The tag pinned to the shirt indicates a UPF rating of 45+ which refers to the Ultraviolet Protection Factor that is a measure of the amount of UV radiation that penetrates a fabric and reaches the skin. My internet research reveals that a fabric rated with a UPF of 45 will allow only 1/45th of the sun's UV rays to pass through. By comparison, SPF refers to the Sun Protection Factor which measures the amount of time it takes for skin to burn.

GUARANTEE

The other tag pinned to the shirt indicates simply that if the shirt doesn't fit, they will make it right.

I look forward to wearing this shirt on my summer trips to Yosemite, the Sierras and the San Gorgonio area.


FIELD REPORT

FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

Trip #1:
Location: Little Jimmy Campground, Angeles National Forest area, California, USA
Elevation:7,600 ft (2300 m)
Trip Duration: 4 hour day hike
Trail Conditions: dirt forest trail with some rocky portions
Temperatures: 75 F (24 C)
Weather: sunny with mild winds
Hours wearing shirt: 8

Trip #2:
Location: Butler Peak, Big Bear area, California, USA
Elevation: 8,500 ft (2,591 m)
Trip Duration: 7 hour day hike
Trail Conditions: dirt forest trail with some rocky portions
Temperatures: 75 F (24 C)
Weather: sunny with mild winds
Hours wearing shirt: 8

Trip #3:
Location: San Gorgonio area of San Bernardino Mountains, California, USA
Elevation: 7,500 ft (2286 m)
Trip Duration: 6 hour day hike
Trail Conditions: dirt forest trail with some rocky portions
Temperatures: 75 F (24 C)
Weather: sunny
Hours wearing shirt: 12

Trip #4:
Location: San Gorgonio area of San Bernardino Mountains, California, USA
Elevation: 9,500 ft (2,896 m)
Trip Duration: 2 days, 1 night
Trail Conditions: dirt forest trail with some rocky portions
Temperatures: 40 to 75 F (4 to 24 C)
Weather: sunny
Hours wearing shirt: 15

Trip #5:
Location: Little Jimmy Campground area of Angeles National Forest area, California, USA
Elevation: 7,600 ft (2300 m)
Trip Duration: 2 days, 1 night
Trail Conditions: dirt forest trail with some rocky portions
Temperatures: 50 to 75 F (10 to 24 C)
Weather: sunny
Hours wearing shirt: 18

Trip #6:
Location: Butler Peak, Big Bear area, California, USA
Elevation: 8,500 ft (2,591 m)
Trip Duration: 7 hour day hike
Trail Conditions: dirt forest trail with some rocky portions
Temperatures: 75 (24 C)
Weather: sunny with mild winds
Hours wearing shirt: 8

Trip #7:
Location: Yosemite High Sierra Camp Loop, California, USA
Elevation: 9,800 ft (2,980 m)
Trip Duration: 6 days, 5 nights
Trail Conditions: dirt forest trail with some rocky portions
Temperatures: 40 to 75 F (4 to 24 C)
Weather: sunny with mild winds at night
Hours wearing shirt: 32

Trip #8:
Location: Mt. Silliman in Sequoia National Park, California, USA
Elevation: 10,000 ft (3,000 m)
Trip Duration: 2 days, 1 night
Trail Conditions: dirt forest trail with some rocky portions and a large granite slab to climb up to camp at Silliman Lake
Temperatures: 40 to 75 F (4 to 24 C)
Weather: sunny with mild winds at night
Hours wearing shirt: 16

Trip #9:
Location: Midnight Lake area of the Sierras, California, USA
Elevation: 11,300 ft (3,400 m)
Trip Duration: 3 days, 2 nights
Trail Conditions: dirt forest trail with some rocky portions
Temperatures: 40 to 70 F (4 to 21 C)
Weather: partial sunny days with overcast skies and drizzles the first and second day and a thunderstorm on our way out the third day
Hours wearing shirt: 20

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

Normally I like to wear a base layer type of long sleeve shirt so it is easier to add and remove an outer layer without having to deal with the collar, cuffs and buttons. Considering this is an actual shirt rather than a base layer style top, it has been very comfortable to wear for my day hiking and backpacking trips.

The shirt provides a stylish appearance and I receive compliments on the fitted shape on every trip. The material is durable and has maintained its soft feel. I have washed the shirt after every trip due in part to the unusual amount of dirt spots. After a particularly hot long uphill portion of the trail in Yosemite up over 10,000 ft (3,000 m) Tuolumne Pass carrying a heavier than I wanted backpack, I noticed the shirt was almost completely wet and there was some body odor coming from me. Once the shirt had a chance to dry while we set up camp, the odor from the perspiration was not noticeable. I rinsed out the shirt in the lake and it dried just before dark. When I put on the shirt the next day, I was happy to notice that the odor was gone and the shirt felt refreshed.

The shirt seems to attract stains like a dirt magnet. Within a few minutes of putting on the shirt, I look down and wonder how that dirt spot got on the shirt so quick. By the end of the day, when I look down at the dirt spots, I feel like a child who has used the shirt to wipe my hands on all day which is definitely not the case. It is possible that I am just a messy hiker, but this doesn't happen on any of my other hiking shirts. The dirt spots wash out without using any type of stain remover. I wonder if the dirt is attracted to some component of the peached soft material.

The light green color blends into the surroundings so well that one of my friends wasn't able to find me once I was in the shade on the trail about 500 feet (152 m) in front of him. Even though there are no vents, the moisture wicks away by the end of my five minute trail breaks with my pack removed.

IMAGE 1
On the way to Little Jimmy Campground


On most of the trips, I have turned up the collar and used the button to keep the collar up for warmth in the cool mornings, to keep mosquitoes away and to keep the sun off my neck. I find the collar slouches down just a bit in this configuration which is comfortable for hiking.

After the day hike to Butler Peak, I hand washed the shirt in the sink and dried it on a hanger. By the next morning, it was completely dry and the dirt spots were gone.

IMAGE 2
Just below the Butler Peak Fire Lookout


After all the trips, I have noticed there are dirt wear marks where the shirt comes in contact with the back of my pack and my pack shoulder straps. These don't wash completely clean, but they do not affect the performance and comfort of the shirt. The dirt wear marks are slight and I have to look close to find them. Other than these dirt wear areas, there is no fraying of the seams, near the edges or any other wear showing on the shirt.

IMAGE 3
At Poopout Hill with San Gorgonio in the background

SUMMARY

This is a comfortable and stylish hiking shirt that I receive many compliments on during use.

Things I Like:
Long collar with a button to keep it turned up for extra warmth or sun and bug protection
The soft feel of the material
The shirt dries within 5 minutes of removing my pack
Once the shirt is dry, the odor from perspiration evaporates
The shirt dries quickly after being rinsed out to remove the dirt spots

Things I Don't Like:
Dirt spots appear quickly and increase during the day
Dirt wear spots are showing where my pack contacts the shirt
No vents to allow perspiration to evaporate quicker
The shirt gets wet from perspiration during hiking and only dries once I remove my pack for a quick trail break


LONG-TERM REPORT

LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

Trip #10:
Location: Sugarloaf Mountain area of Big Bear, California USA
Elevation: 9,955 ft (3,034 m)
Trip Duration: 1 day hike
Trail Conditions: rocky forest trail
Temperatures: 50 to 70 F (10 to 21 C)
Weather: clear skies with light winds
Hours wearing shirt: 7

Trip #11:
Location: Sugarloaf Mountain, Big Bear area, California, USA
Elevation: 9,955 ft (3,034 m)
Trip Duration: 2 days, 1 night
Trail Conditions: dirt forest trail with some rocky portions
Temperatures: 40 to 75 F (4 to 24 C)
Weather: sunny
Hours wearing shirt: 10

Trip #12:
Location: Saddlerock Lake area of the Sierras, California, USA
Elevation: 11,100 ft (3,380 m)
Trip Duration: 5 days, 4 nights
Trail Conditions: dirt forest trail with some rocky portions
Temperatures: 40 to 75 F (4 to 24 C)
Weather: sunny
Hours wearing shirt: 16

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

On the Sugarloaf Mountain trips, the shirt continued to be comfortable to wear. I prefer to wear the collar up and buttoned to shade my neck from the sun. The higher collar eliminates the need for a bandana around my neck for sun protection. The shirt has not shrunk with multiple washings after each trip and the material still feels soft to the touch. The sleeves remain tight and it is difficult to roll them up high enough to attach the button closure. The UVA/UVB 50+ sun resistant protection worked well to shade me from the sun. I did not get sunburned where the shirt covered my skin. As is obvious from my pictures in the Field Report, I prefer to be covered completely when hiking in the sun.

On the Saddlerock Lake trip, I wore the shirt the first two days. At the end of the second day of hiking, I rinsed it in the lake and hung it up to dry. The next day it was so wrinkled from being thrown into the corner of the tent while still a little damp that I didn't wear it for the rest of the trip. The dirt stains where my pack comes in contact with the shirt are getting more noticeable which I don't mind if I am by myself. On this trip, I was the leader in charge of the group and I didn't feel comfortable wearing a dirt stained, wrinkled, and slightly smelly shirt. I hadn't noticed the odor previously. The mild odor disappears once I get the shirt home and wash it in the machine. The dirt stains however remain after being washed.

SUMMARY

The shirt is very comfortable to wear as long as I don't look at it too closely. The shirt material and seams do not show any wear, fraying, unraveling or any other damage. Because of the stains, I will most likely not select this shirt for longer trips where I usually wear the same shirt everyday and rinse it in the lake if needed. I will continue to wear the shirt on day hikes and overnight backpack trips.

This test series is now concluded. Thank you to Mountain Khakis and BackpackGearTest.org for this testing opportunity.

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2014. All rights reserved.

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