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Reviews > Clothing > Shirts > Scottevest Performance Tee > Test Report by Leesa Joiner

Test Series by Leesa Joiner

Initial Report: January 15, 2008
Field Report: March 24, 2008
Long Term Report: May 25, 2008

Personal Information:
Leesa Joiner
Southwestern Maine
46 yrs                                                                    
5'7" (1.7 m)
160 lb (73 kg)

     My outdoor experiences include trips varying in length from one-day hikes to two-week trips.  Most involve my three children. While my style isn't as 'high adventure' as some, I do enjoy the time we spend outdoors.   My load used to be HEAVY - think pack mule.  Now that the kids carry their own gear, plus the two oldest help carry the food, etc, my load is lighter.  I go for durability over weight when selecting gear.
    While outdoors, I spend time hiking, geocaching, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and camping. I spend almost as much time outdoors during the winter as I do during the summer.


Product Information:

Manufacturer: ScotteVest, Inc.
Size: L
Measured weight: 8 oz/212 g
No advertised weight available
MSRP: $40 US

Product Description:
The tee shirt that I received has long sleeves and is a cobalt blue color.   The shirt has a smooth texture and is made from what is referred to as Huntsman High IQ Performance fabric (which according to the manufacturer, means innovation and quality).   I tried the shirt on and found it fit well - it is closer fitting than a typical t-shirt, but not 'close' fitting.  I am able to reach my arms above my head, and the hem of the shirt rides just below the waistband of my pants.  When my arms are outstretched, the sleeves hit just below my wrist, when my arms are at my sides, the sleeves end on my wrist bone.   I sometimes find that sleeves are too short for my arms, so I take notice of sleeve length right away.   The shirt is similar to what I pictured it would be, from information on the website.  One difference is just my perception - but I thought it would be a heavier weight shirt.  It is very light feeling.   The shirt appears well made - I like that the seams, while not flush with the shirt, are very smooth and well finished.  Hopefully, they won't rub uncomfortably while being worn.   The tag on the back of the shirt is printed on the fabric, which will keep it from irritating my skin.
    blue performance TSome of the features are unusual - the shirt is advertised as having 3 pockets.  One was easy to find - it is a chest pocket, on the right side of the shirt.   The other two pockets straddle the lower right seam of the shirt and are somewhat hidden.
    There are loops that hold earbud cords, in order to keep the cords out of the way, and in an easy to access place.  There is an elastic loop on the inside of the top, back of the shirt- that holds the cords in place.

From the manufacturer:
The performance fabric feels fantastic, resists fading, and wicks moisture away from your skin to keep you drier and more comfortable. It’s also lightweight enough that you can control your iPodŽ right through the fabric!'
    'The pockets-1 chest pocket and 2 side seam pockets-are strategically located and ergonomically designed to minimize shifting, chafing, and neck stretch (unlike other t-shirts that simply have pocket cloth sewn on the outside).'

These are the primary areas I will look at while testing, along with durability and overall comfort.   I wonder how it will hold up to repeated wear and washings, being stuffed in my pack, slept in and worn for a few days in a row.   I will primarily use it as a base layer, and depending on the temperatures, will layer it with either fleece pullovers, or a heavier weight wool blend shirt.

Upcoming testing will involve a lot of snowshoeing - both day trips, and at least two long weekend trips.   I will be heading to Vermont this coming weekend for some snowshoeing.  The temperature during the day is expected to be in the freezing range, with night temperatures well below freezing.   Most of the terrain we snowshoe on is hilly, but not overly steep or mountainous.  I can't predict the type of snowcover, but they have had quite a bit of new snow, so I am not expecting too many snow packed trails.    I will be carrying a pack, so I can predict that I will perspire.  

My next planned overnighter will be in western Maine, in a fairly mountainous area.  I don't plan on doing any extreme climbing, sticking to trails.   This will still provide a good workout - for me and the shirt.

My day trips consist of using the local area to put in a few miles (km).   Most weekends I can get out at least 3-5 hours.  My typical trips are either on designated trails, or unmarked areas.   One of my favorites going with my family ice fishing.  While some fish, others put on the snowshoes and go exploring.  Most of the lakes we use for ice fishing are surrounded by woods and trails.  We meet back for lunch and then set out again to snowshoe some more.   We have had some very good snowfall this year - total so far is 44 in (1 m) with very little melt off.  I'm looking forward to testing this shirt - snowshoeing tends to cause a lot of perspiration and I'd like to see how it handles wicking away the wetness, and also the 'aroma'.  

I will also be using my Mp3 player while wearing the shirt - which will be new for me as I don't usually take it with me outdoors because I like the quiet.   I do have some new music though that I'd like to listen to, and some audiobooks.  I want to see if running the wires inside the shirt is comfortable, and convenient.  

  Thanks to ScotteVest and for the opportunity to test this shirt.  The above photo is from the ScotteVest website.
Field Report
March 24, 2008

Field Information:

Over the last two months, I have worn the ScotteVest at least 5 times snowshoeing.  It also saw some around town wear, and a few dog walking (hunting for the dog, actually) expeditions.   Most of my snowshoeing has been at below 1500 ft (457 m), actually all my snowshoeing was below that elevation, while wearing the shirt.  The one time I was above that, and the temperature was above freezing - I couldn't wear the ScotteVest, without changing clothes in a parking lot.  I didn't think I should scare the locals.  

On one trip, my daughter and I headed out for a few hours, and were snowshoeing on top of 4 ft (1.2 m) of packed, hard, crusty snow.  It was a fun and easy hike.  It was weird to be looking down at things that we normally are eye to eye with.   We went about 4 miles (6 km) stopped for hot chocolate, and headed back. We were gone a couple hours and didn't work up much of a sweat.  The temperature was 15 degrees F (-9 C), with clear sunshine.  I wore the ScotteVest under a midweight fleece, along with a Patagonia Micro-Puff vest.  I stayed 'warm enough' while moving, but got chilled when we stopped.  Once moving, I warmed up enough to be comfortable.  

The following weekend, I went to a Boy Scout Klondike Derby.  While the boys were doing their activities, I was able so spend about two hours snowshoeing around.  This time, I was on a frozen lake, that had about 6 in (15 cm)of snow on top of the ice.  The snow was pretty well blown around, so there were small drifts in different spots.  It was windy and about 10 degrees F (-12 C).  I wore the ScotteVest, fleece pullover, and my winter jacket.  Once again, I was fine while I was moving, but cooled off and got chilled quickly.  

On three other occasions, under similar weather conditions as the two above trips, I had the same findings.  I stayed warm while moving, but cooled off quickly while resting.   I was suprised that the shirt didn't hold my body heat better than it did.  I plan on looking at this issue during the next two months - when hopefully our weather moderates some, and I can wear the shirt in warmer temperatures.  I may have expected too much from it in such cold weather.  

The condition of the shirt has remained very good. There are no pulls or pills in the fabric.  I have washed it by hand after wearing it - and find that it dries quickly.  We heat with wood, so the house is fairly dry, which aids in things drying quickly.  I'm not sure if the dryness of the house contributes to the amount of static that the shirt seems to have.  I have noticed a surprising amount of static when wearing the shirt.  
I have carried my Mp3 player, cell phone, car keys, gps and a few dollars in the pockets (not all at once).  I like being able to keep the wires of the Mp3 player inside my shirt.  I use the two side pockets for the most part, and just put a package of tissues in the chest pocket.  

I have come to like the two side pockets and how they straddle the side seam. They don't pull downwards, even when they have a couple of the above items stashed inside.  The zippers work smoothly, and allow easy access to whatever is inside.  The fabric is thin enough that I can adjust the volume on my mp3 player, without taking it out of my pocket.  

Over the next two months, I plan on wearing the shirt with different layer combinations and will hopefully be able to wear it alone by the end of the test.  This will depend on the weather, and how quickly it warms up.  I also plan on wearing it on at least one multi-day trip.

I like the feel and fit of the ScotteVest, it allows for free range of motion.  The feel of the fabric is smooth and it doesn't rub uncomfortably on my skin. The sleeves and neckline have maintained their shape, with no areas becoming stretched out.    I am not as happy with the amount of static that the shirt attracts.  It makes the shirt cling and that becomes irritating.  Over the next few months, I will keep an eye on how well the shirt works in different weather situations.  I'm curious as to how it performs in regard to warmer weather, and wicking moisture away from my skin.

Long Term Report
May 25, 2008
Over the last two months of testing, I have worn the ScotteVest on 3 snowshoe outings, 3 hikes and for a three-day long weekend.  

Summary of use
As I found in the Field Report stage, the ScotteVest works well as part of a layering system.  It does not seem to help maintain body temperatures very well, but it does add a layer of warmth over a base layer, and under either a fleece or my Patagonia Micro Puff vest.  When snowshoeing in the spring, I found I was putting on and taking off layers frequently, trying to regulate my body temperature.   This happened primarily in temperatures around freezing, especially if it was sunny, with little wind.    While hiking, the shirt performed just about the same, but because I don't tend to exert myself as much hiking, it was easier to maintain my body temperature.   For the three hikes, the temperatures were in the low 40s F (approx. 4 C) and most of the terrain was snow, mud or slush covered trails, with lots of debris.  Elevation was at or below 2500 ft (762 M).  The longest of these was 8 miles (13 K), and the shortest was 3 miles (5 K).

I wore the ScotteVest over a three day camping, backpacking, fishing weekend.   It turned out to be the worse weekend for mosquitoes - they were so thick that it looked like fog in the distance.  I never use DEET, but broke down and used it.  The ScotteVest was great at protecting my upper body from bites.  I put it on Saturday morning when I got dressed, and did not take it off until I got home.  I was amazed that I did not have one bite in that area.  I'm not sure why the shirt was so good at keeping them away, because it is not close fitting and I would have thought that they could have flown inside, if they wanted.   The long weekend was spent climbing in the White Mountains of Maine (on the border of New Hampshire).  
Scottevest on top of Jockey Cap
One of the climbs, although not very high (about 1200 ft gain (366 M)) had the best panoramic views of the Presidential Mountain range.  By the time we reached the top, the sun was out, and it had warmed up to about 60 F (15 C) with bright sun. I had also been perspiring some, since it is a fairly steep climb.   I pulled off the shirt, only to put it back on minutes later when it became apparent that mosquitoes have no problem at that altitude.  On other climbs, that were higher, but not as steep, I did find the shirt to be comfortable, temperature wise.  I did not take the shirt off again until I was home and ready to climb in the shower.  The smell wasn't intolerable, but it definitely needed a good washing.  

I am pleased overall with the shirt, I like that it has held up so well with no obvious signs of wear.  The color is still bright, and the shape has not become 'droopy'.  I am truly impressed with its ability to keep out the mosquitoes.  Truly an unexpected benefit.  The only thing I am less than thrilled with is that it doesn't seem to do much for maintaining body temperature.  I found that I was constantly taking off and putting on layers, more so than normally.   I will continue to wear the shirt, as it is comfortable, and adds a layer of warmth that is a benefit in colder weather.  

I would like to thank and ScotteVest for the opportunity to test the long sleeve Performance Tee.

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