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Reviews > Clothing > Shirts > TrailDog Clothing Wicking T-Shirt > Test Report by Brett Haydin

November 03, 2008



NAME: Brett Haydin
EMAIL: bhaydin AT hotmail DOT com
AGE: 35
LOCATION: Denver, Colorado, USA
HEIGHT: 5' 11" (1.80 m)
WEIGHT: 195 lb (88.50 kg)
CHEST: 42 in (107 cm)
WAIST: 35 in (89 cm)
SLEEVE: 33 in (84 cm)

I started backpacking in Wisconsin as a youth, being involved in the Boy Scouts programs. As a young adult, I worked at a summer camp leading backpacking, canoeing and mountain biking trips. I now generally take short weekend or day trips in rough, mountainous terrain, although I have extensive experience in the upper Midwest as well. I take one or two longer trips each year, where I typically carry about 40 lb (18 kg). I prefer to be prepared and comfortable, but I have taken lightweight trips as well.



Manufacturer: TrailDog Clothing
TrailDog Wicking T
TrailDog Wicking T-shirt

Year of Manufacture: 2008
Manufacturer's Website: N/A
Listed Weight: N/A
Measured Weight: 7.5 oz (213 g)
Color: N/A but is a shade of green
Size: XL
Fabric: 100% Polyester

The TrailDog Wicking T-Shirt arrived with one hang tag attached to the sizing label. The color is almost exactly what I expected. There is no website or information on the manufacturer that I can find, so I had little information to go on. According to the hang tag, the t-shirt includes three features:

  • DRYDOG system wicks moisture quickly and dries fast.
  • CLEANDOG anti-microbial inhibits bacteria, so you won't smell like a dog.
  • SUNDOG offers UV protection to SPF30.

While I am not an especially large person, I do prefer loose clothing and chose an XL based on my past experiences with t-shirts. The size of the t-shirt meets my expectations. The shape of the t-shirt is cut fairly straight; it does not noticeably taper either in or out. There is also a TrailDog logo on the left sleeve that is 3 x 1.25 in (7.6 x 3.1 cm).

The stitching is rather simple. There are a few places where there were loose threads, and in one area the stitching cinches the t-shirt cuff. This is barely noticeable as I missed seeing this during my initial inspection. One noticeable detail is that the seams along the back of the neck and extending to both shoulders are reinforced with an additional piece of matching fabric. This extra detail creates a flat seam along the shoulders and back of the neck.

Loose Threads
Loose threads at juncture

More loose threads
Loose thread on waist hem

The instructions for the t-shirt call for hand washing with warm water and to drip dry or to machine wash and dry on permanent press settings. It also states not to iron or to use bleach.


Flat Seam
Reinforced flat seam

I wasn't quite sure what to expect since there was no information available about the product or the manufacturer online or locally. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the t-shirt also incorporates both anti-microbial and SPF features. I will certainly report back on how well these features perform in addition to the wicking properties.

The texture of the fabric is much softer than I anticipated, especially for 100% polyester. Other wicking t-shirts I have worn have had a much more synthetic feel, but this t-shirt feels similar to cotton. It is soft and comfortable so far. The flat seam on the collar and shoulders are also nice features. I am interested to find if this detail will help with any rubbing on my shoulders and neck with a loaded pack. The quality of the contruction has me only slightly concerned. A few loose threads should not impact the overall performance, but I will note any further deterioration.

I am going to wear the t-shirt when backpacking, biking, running, on day hikes and engaged in any other activity I would normally wear a t-shirt. I will be monitoring the wicking properties as well as the CLEANDOG and SUNDOG properties of the fabric. I will pay attention to see if the t-shirt shrinks when washed. I will also be testing durability as the t-shirt will be washed several times during testing.


Quick Overview

I have taken the TrailDog Wicking T-Shirt on 10 days of backpacking and camping during the initial two months of this test series. I have found this shirt to be comfortable beyond my expectations, although I would like the sleeves to be cut a little longer. Read on to find out why I like this shirt so far.


White River National Forest, Colorado - Quandary Peak Trail - June 20-22, 2008
Elevation: 10,400 - 12,000 ft (3,170 - 3,658 m)
High Temperature: 75 F (24 C)
Low Temperature: 45 F (7 C)
Weather Conditions: light winds, sunny and warm

Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado - Longs Peak Trail - July 29-30, 2008
Elevation: 9,400 - 14,255 ft (2,865 - 4,345 m)
High Temperature: 85 F (29 C)
Low Temperature: 50 F (10 C)
Weather Conditions: slightly gusty winds at times, occasional showers.

Holy Cross Wilderness, Colorado - Missouri Lakes Trail - August 23-24, 2008
Elevation: 10,250 - 11,250 ft (3,124 - 3,430 m)
High Temperature: 79 F (26 C)
Low Temperature: 45 F (7 C)
Weather Conditions: occasional thunderstorms, but otherwise sunny and warm.

San Isabel National Forest, Hancock, Colorado - Car Camping Trip - August 30 - September 1, 2008
Elevation: 11,150 - 14,000 ft (2,865 - 4,345 m)
High Temperature: 77 F (25 C)
Low Temperature: 45 F (7 C)
Activities: Day hikes (2), off-roading and rock-hounding
Weather Conditions: ranged from warm and sunny, to cool and breezy as well as soaking rains.

Other Activities: I also went on five day hikes and two bike rides during the field report stage.


TrailDog on trail with a dog
The TrailDog Wicking T-shirt with my dog.

Up until this point, I have found that the TrailDog Wicking T-Shirt lives up to its name. The most difficult trip was up to Longs Peak, with high temperatures of 85 F (29 C) and averaging 600 ft (185 m) of elevation gain for every 1 mi (1.6 m). During the hike, I had to shoulder extra weight for another in our party Even with the extra workout, I was able to stay comfortable. I use an older-model backpack which does not have any air flow features built in, so any noticeable difference should really be a result of the t-shirt. I noticed that the shirt did a good job of wicking the moisture away from my back.

With other non-wicking shirts I have worn, I notice that the moisture accumulates throughout the day, but this shirt, while damp in spots, was mostly dry at the end of the hike. What remained was able to quickly evaporate! I have noticed this pattern on each of my hikes as well as my bike rides. This is one dry dog.

On a few nights, I have experimented with layers over and under the t-shirt. The fabric is thin, so I added both long underwear and a fleece jacket on several nights when the temperature was below 50 F (10 C).

On the cleandog feature, I have found that the t-shirt does not hold odors any more than other t-shirts. While on trail, the t-shirt does have a build up of odors. However, they do go away after washing. I have been careful to wash and dry the t-shirt according to the manufacturer's recommendations. So far, this feature is working quite well.

With as much sun as I have had on trail, I was able to test the sundog feature as well. I applied a topical sunblock on my arms, neck and face, being careful not to apply any to my shoulders, back or chest. I am happy to report that I did not get any sunburns on any areas covered by the TrailDog Wicking T-shirt!

I noted in my initial report that there were some loose threads in a couple of areas. These have not noticeably impacted the performance of the t-shirt.


I have been really pleased with the TrailDog Wicking T-shirt up until this point. I am anxious to see how well it performs in the cooler fall weather. I have not used the TrailDog as part of my excercise routine. I will make an effort to report back on this use during my long term report.

Things I like:

  • Comfortable fabric
  • Excellent wicking properties
  • Placement of seams does not cause any rubbing under my pack

Things I wish were better:

  • The cut of the sleeves is a little short for my liking



Collegiate Peaks Wilderness, Colorado - Kroenke Lake and Horn Fork Trails- September 27 - 30, 2008
Elevation: 9,950 - 12,750 ft (3,033 - 3,886 m)
High temperature: 80 F (27 C)
Low Temperature: 35 F (2 C)
Precipitation: occasional light rain and snow mix.

Other activities: I also took an additional 5 day hikes. I used the Traildog on 6 workouts at the gym while performing cardio-based work out routines for between 30 and 60 minutes.


This shirt has performed exceptionally well over the long term testing period. I have been continually impressed with its ability to wick moisture away from my body efficiently. I have worn it in a mix of conditions requiring me to use it alone or as part of a layering system. When worn as part of a layering system, I put my base layer on followed by the TrailDog. Over this I wore a fleece jacket and, if needed, a rain or wind shell. This did not seem cumbersome at all, and I was comfortable and warm when needed.

As I mentioned in my Field Report, I wanted to work out with this shirt to see how it compared to what I normally wear. I was surprised to see that no matter how hard I pushed myself this shirt was able to handle the moisture. Just as when I hiked in the heat of the summer, there were damp spots, but nothing excessively wet.

The only deterioration I could find was with the cleandog feature. I have noticed that after all the use, that there is a hint of a lingering odor even after washing. My wife hasn't complained about it, and it is only when I hold the shirt directly to my nose that I can detect the odor. I feel that I have used this shirt quite a bit, subjecting it to a lot of odors, and I remain satisfied that it does an adequate job of keeping them at bay.

The seams and material are still in great shape, despite my early misgivings. The flat seams on the shoulders continue to be comfortable under a pack and are showing no signs of weakness or fatigue.


I continue to have the same impressions I had at the Field Report. This is a comfortable shirt that is excellent and wicking away moisture. It has a roomy cut, which I like.

I noted early on that the sleeve length felt too short to me. While I still feel they should be longer, I am no longer dissatisfied with the length. Having dark, olive colored skin, I generally don't have to worry about sunburns. Over the course of the summer and now fall, I have noticed that my tan line on my arms is a bit more faded. I know this sounds vain, but it kind of evens out my tan.


While I wish that the sleeves were longer, I do plan to continue to use this shirt while backpacking and on day hikes. I just love the feel of the shirt as well as the color. As I said, I have grown accustomed to the sleeve length by now.

I would like to thank and TrailDog Clothing for allowing me to be a part of this test series.

This report was created with the Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.

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