W’s NTS Microweight Tank
by Jennifer Koles
Skip to my
Initial Report- May 25, 2011
Skip to my Field
Report- September 6, 2011
Skip to my Long
Term Report- November 1, 2011
Height: 5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)
Weight: 140 lb (64 kg)
Email address: jennksnowy at yahoo dot com
City, State, and Country: Orange County, California, United States
getting into the outdoors scene camping while 4-wheeling
and day-hiking, I switched to backpacking in the
early 2000's. I have backpacked extensively in Utah,
Wyoming and Idaho along with California, Pennsylvania
and Nevada. I have slowly been cutting my base weight
to be able to go longer in duration and distance.
I have done so mainly by using better gear and dumping
heavy luxuries. I backpack year round in all weather,
and usually take a free standing tent and a gas stove
on all my trips. I love trying out new gear.
The author in the Narrows at Zion
National Park, Utah.
Product: W’s NTS Microweight
Year of Manufacture: 2011
Manufacturer Website: www.smartwool.com
Colors Available (on the
manufacturer’s website): Turquoise,
Natural White, and Black
Color Tested: Peony
(not listed on the manufacturer’s website)
Sizes Available (chest measurement): x-small
(32-34), small (34-35), medium (36-38), large (3-40), x-large
Size Tested: Medium
Measured Weight: 74
grams (2.61 oz)
MSRP: $50.00 USD
NTS Microweight Tank is made of 100% New Zealand
Zque Merino Wool. This wool is soft, non-itchy, designed
to wick moisture away, regulate temperature, and
This sleeveless tank has a semi-fitted
style with a scoop neckline and a racer back design.
It also has a shaped bottom hem for a body enhancing
fit. There are bound edge details at the neckline and
armholes for a smooth finish. The tank is constructed
with flatlock seams to eliminate chafing.
This tank can be used as a baselayer
or as a stand alone garment. The wool properties allow
this garment to provide warmth when layered as an underwear
garment or cooling properties when worn as a stand
alone outer layer.
On the product care tag it is suggested
to turn the garment inside out before washing, machine
wash in warm water/gentle cycle, tumble dry low, professionally
dry clean, do not bleach, and iron on low setting.
Microweight Tank fits me perfectly; it fits snugly
but not overly tight. The wool microweight fabric
is soft and lightweight. I can barely feel it against
my skin. The wool feels soft and there is no itchy
wool feeling. I like the idea of the racer back design
to prevent straps from sliding down. The wool fabric
looks like it is a good quality; there are no holes
in the material or no stitching undone.
The Peony color is a hot pink. I
am not used to wearing such a bright color, but it
can be nicely paired with black or worn alone.
Prior to wearing the tank, I washed
it in cool water and dried it on a rack overnight.
The tank washes nicely with no pilling or fuzzing of
the fabric and it dries quickly.
Wasatch Mountains, Utah: The
Smartwool Microweight Tank was worn here on day hikes. It
was mostly sunny and the temperatures ranged from the low
70's F (21 C) to the mid 90's F (35 C).
St. George area, Utah: Camping
for two nights amongst the Southern Utah red rocks. The temperatures
ranged from the low 70's F (21 C) to the mid 90's F (35 C).
It was sunny with no wind. The elevation was around 3,500
ft (1,067 m).
El Moro/Crystal Cove Backcountry,
California: Went bikepacking for one night in
the backcountry and wore the tank at night. It was breezy
and the fog rolled in quickly after sunset. The temperatures
were in the 50's F (11 C). The elevation was about 400
ft (122 m).
Southern California: The
tank was worn on two hikes in El Moro.
It was mostly sunny on these hikes/outings, but there were
days that it was misty and foggy. The temperatures were the
low 60's F (16 C) to the low 80's F (27 C). I also worn the
tank while mountain biking on one occasion and while rollerblading
on the beach path.
Performance in the
have been wearing the Smartwool Women's Microweight
Tank in the field for just over three months. The tank
has been worn alone and layered under both short and
long sleeve tops. I was able to wear the tank in temperatures
as high as the upper 90's F (35 C) and at night while
sleeping at camp with the temperatures in the 50's
F (11 C). In the warm temperatures the tank does a
good job of regulating temperature; I was not overly
warm or uncomfortable.
At first I did not know
what to think of the Peony color. I have grown to like
it and consider it to be a fun color. It goes well with
black, white, aqua, and turquoise shades.
The Microweight Tank
is super comfortable and lightweight. Even when the
wool fabric becomes damp the tank does not feel heavy.
The tank wicks moisture away from my skin so that I am
not feeling sticky or clammy. I was surprised that even
after hiking in the hot sun and sweating that the tank
was not stinky. I have worn the tank for two consecutive
days without washing and I could not smell any stench.
But, the tank is very sheer and some of my sports bras
can be seen and the tank clings to my skin and shows my
like the racer back styling, mostly because my racer
back sports bras
are not sticking out when I am wearing the tank. Plus
there are no shoulder straps to slide off while wearing
it. But, there is a small problem with the racer
back styling. When I am carrying a pack the
shoulder straps from the pack give me some irritation
on my exposed back skin.
The tank washes nicely
and there is no pilling of the fabric; even where my pack
straps rub against the fabric. But, unfortunately there
is a small hole in the front of the tank, near where my
pack hip belts would rest. The tank has been washed since
the hole was discovered and it has not grown in size. Since
the hole is small I am considering sewing it.
I am happy so far with
the Microweight Tank. I just wish it did not have a hole
El Moro/Crystal Cove Backcountry,
California: The tank was worn six times in
this area over the past two months on hikes before or
after my park patrols. The temperatures were in the
upper 50's F (14 C) to 90 F (32 C). The elevation ranged
to just slightly above sea level to about 400 ft (122
m). Some days it was sunny and other days there was a
Southern California: I
also wore the tank while mountain biking (three times)
and while walking/rollerblading on the beach path near
my home (two times). The temperatures ranged from the upper
50's F (14 C) to the lower 80's F (27 C).
Performance in the
During the past two months the SmartWool Microweight
Tank was worn on day hikes, walking on the beach path,
and as a layer while biking. What is nice about the SmartWool
Tank is there is no stink. Even after sweating profusely
the tank did not smell like body odor. It had the slightest
damp wool odor; as it does when it is wet and hung up
to dry. But, there is no foul odor. I even wore it for
two days in a row unlaundered; just because I got
home too late to do laundry.
The tank washes up nicely. There is no fuzzing or pilling
of the wool fabric, nor any pulled stitching. Also
there are no heavily worn areas from my backpack straps
and hip belt. However, there is still the hole on the
front of the shirt. The hole has not grown in size from
wearing or washing, but it is still there. And how it
got there is still a mystery to me. Since the testing
of the SmartWool Tank is completed I will mend the hole
so it is not noticeable and to protect the shirt from
During the past two months the tank has been worn in
temperatures reaching into the 90's F (34 C) and
as low as the upper 50's F (14 C). The tank works nicely
as a stand alone layer or as a base layer under a button/zip
down shirt or a jacket. The tank is what I would
describe as being light and airy. It dries quickly and
pulls moisture away from my skin. When it gets damp from
my sweat my skin does not feel clammy. The tank feels
comfortable both while worn alone or worn layered under
another top or jacket. The wool has a soft feeling and
is not scratchy or irritating to my skin.
I generally wear sports bras with this tank that have
a racer back design. This is so the straps do not show
where my upper back area/shoulders are exposed. The tank
is cut with a racer back design, therefore regular bra
straps definitely show. If I am wearing the tank as a
base layer I will wear regular bra straps without an
issue. I just do not care for my bra straps showing if
I wear the tank alone, my self-confidence actually plummets.
I like to wear beige sports bras under the tank, because
my white bras show through the thin fabric.
The tank has not stretched with washing. It is still
form fitting and shows every imperfection I have because
the fabric is so thin. Luckily I am not in bad physical
shape and I have no insecurities when wearing it as a
stand alone layer.
Over the past four months I have enjoyed wearing the
SmartWool Microweight Tank. It is comfortable, breathable,
moisture wicking, and dries quickly. The color is on
the bold side for me, but it is not a fashion show in
the wilderness or while exercising. I plan on mending
the hole on the front of the tank so it does not stretch
out or start to unravel the surrounding threads. I like
the SmartWool Tank and plan on wearing it until it basically
Things That Rock:
- Not itchy
- Racer back styling-straps
do not slide off
Things That Are So-So:
- The back of my shoulders is exposed and
my shoulders get irritated when wearing a pack
- It is sheer
concludes my reporting of the
W’s NTS Microweight Tank.
Thank you SmartWool and BackpackGearTest.org
for providing me with the opportunity to test the
W’s NTS Microweight Tank.