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Reviews > Clothing > Shirts > White Sierra Perth Mens Crew Tee > Test Report by Coy Ray Starnes

WhiteSierra Perth Men's Crew Tee
Test Report Series
Initial Report: May 30, 2007
Field Report: July 31, 2007
Long Term Report: October 8, 2007
Amended Report: April 21, 2008

Front view of the Perth

Tester Coy Starnes
Gender Male
Age 45
Weight 238 lb (108 kg)
Height 6 ft (1.8 m)
Chest 44 in (112 cm)
Location Grant, Alabama, USA

Tester Biography
I live in Northeast Alabama.  I enjoy hunting, fishing, canoeing, and most other outdoor activities but backpacking is my favorite pastime.  I enjoy hiking with friends and family or solo.  I hike throughout the year and actually hike less in the hot humid months of summer.  My style is slow and steady and my gear is light.  However, I will sacrifice weight for comfort and durability.  A typical 3-season load for me is around 20 lb (9 kg) not counting food or water.  I usually sleep in a hammock and cook with an alcohol stove.

Product Information
Item Perth Men's Crew Tee
Manufacturer WhiteSierra
Year of Manufacture 2007
Listed Weight not given
Measured Weight my size XL 7.6 oz (215 g)
Color Pistachio (a light green)
Fabric 100% polyester Cool Dry™
Sun Protection UPF Rating 30

Product Description
WhiteSierra describes the tee as "Versatility is key in this performance men’s tee. Moisture management and UPF 30 sun protection fabric make this crew tee ideal for every summer adventure."  The fabric it is made of is 100% polyester and called Cool Dry™.  I tried to find a good fabric description for Cool Dry™ using Google but could not find one so I looked at other Cool Dry™ clothing articles from various manufactures.  Basically I found that Cool Dry™ is a fabric with advanced wicking technology that transports moisture away from skin to the fabric's outer surface where it dries quickly, thus regulating body temperature.

WhiteSierra says the shirt fabric has a smooth face and textured back fabric.  Obviously this is not saying the textured back is on the inside as I assumed because the shirt is smooth on the inside and textured on the outside.  I also think this is a good thing because the shirt is certainly smooth feeling against my skin.  Another nice touch is that the Perth has the sizing and care info printed on the area where a tag is normally placed.  I hate those as they often rub a raw place if I wear a shirt while exercising and sweating vigorously

Initial Impression

The shirt looks pretty much identical to the one pictured on the website.  I did notice the color I received is not listed on the website and I do believe the Pistachio is a lighter green than the Leaf color which is the only green listed.  Despite the slight difference in color, the shirt looks well made and I found no loose threads or faults anywhere.  One interesting thing I noticed is the shirt has a narrow strip of striped fabric sewn inside the back of the neck.  I'm not sure why as it will not be seen when worn.   

perth side viewThe fit of the XL Perth is great, perfect in my opinion as it is slightly loose but not baggy.  I am not surprised since I normally wear XL tee shirts which fit similarly.  In dress shirts I like a neck size of 17.5 and get the tall version.  My dress jackets are size 46.  My pants are size 38.  

The Perth is very comfortable and I felt no restriction of movement whatsoever.  It is very easy to slip on and off.  The fabric is slightly stretchy but since mine is not snug it just helps the shirt move with me and will let me flex my muscles, or, gain weight if I want...

The photo at the top shows the fit from the front and this one shows the fit from the side.  It also shows the length of the sleeves and waist which are about average for a Tee.

Performance Early On
So far I have had a couple of opportunities to use the Perth.  I wore it a few hours around the house and yard one evening and then a few days later, I went for a 20 mile (32 km) bike ride late in the afternoon.  The first wearing did not see me sweating much but on the bike ride I pretty much soaked the shirt.  It was 88 F (31 C) when I left the house and 79 F (26 C) when I returned some 2 hours later.  Even when fairly wet the Perth felt good and did not stick to me near as much as cotton tee's tend to do.  I took it easy the last few miles home and the shirt was almost dry.  I have worn cotton Tees under similar circumstances and they would not be near as dry so I feel the quick drying claims are accurate.

I have washed the Perth once so far and followed the directions printed inside the back of the collar.  Basically, this is; Use cold water on the Gentle Cycle (the permanent-press cycle on my machine) and do not bleach.  I used All and then line dried as indicated.  The Perth came through this without any color fading or shrinking.

Future Testing
I am looking forward to putting the Perth through the paces.  The Cool Dry™ knit sounds like just the ticket for someone like me who sweats a lot.  My preliminary testing bares this out.

I will be wearing it while day hiking, backpacking and bike riding.  The Southeastern US is known for hot and humid summers and I tend to sweat profusely so testing should not be a problem.  I will report on how comfortable the shirt is and how it manages moisture.  I will report on any durability issues I may encounter.

Anticipated Testing Locations and Conditions
I will be making several short overnight hikes and a few longer hikes over the next 4 months. I will be testing in the southeastern US with trips into the local mountains of Tennessee, Georgia, and North Carolina as I try to get some relief form the heat by seeking altitude and cooler weather.  However, most testing would be done in Northeastern Alabama. Elevations will generally be less than 4000 ft (1219 m).

Field Report
July 31, 2007

creek crossing
Crossing the Jacks River

Testing Locations and Conditions
I used the Perth as my only shirt on a three day backpacking trip in the Cohutta Wilderness in Georgia.  On this hike the elevation was around 800 ft (244 m) at the river and we topped several ridges, the highest at around 2600 ft (792 m).  I have used it several times when hiking in my local woods and also when bike riding around the neighborhood here in northeast Alabama.  The highs have been in the mid 90s F (35 C) and lows around 60 F (16 C).  I have worn it in rain a few times.

Field Test Results
swimmingThe Perth has performed well.  On the hike in the Cohutta Wilderness I wore the shirt almost continuously, only taking it off at bedtime.  I even wore it for a couple of swims to help rinse off my sweat.  The only thing I really noticed that was a problem was removing the shirt to wring it out. When soaked it seemed to stick to my skin a lot more then when dry or even when pretty wet from a lot of sweat.  In fact, I thought I might have to ask for help but finally managed to get it off. 

It was somewhat cooler in the Cohutta's  but it still got up to around 85 (29 C) all three days.  That, combined with several good climbs made me sweat a lot.  The night air stayed fairly damp feeling, and we were camping along a river each night that was crossed several times each day.  My shoes seemed as wet each morning as the night before but the Perth did dry out hung across my hammock suspension line.

Besides my hiking trip, the Perth has served well for day hiking and bike riding.  This summer has actually been cooler than normal but I still made it out a few times when the temperatures were above 90 F (32 C). June was very dry and the humidity was not too bad.  I still managed to soak the shirt several times hiking and bike riding.  July hit with a dose of both hot and humid weather.  I could sweat just thinking about going outside so I avoided the hotter parts of the day when I could.  I did go hiking late in the afternoon several times and the walk back out of the holler always brought on a good sweat.  I did the same (rode late in the evening and soaked the Perth with sweat) on my bike rides.

I won't pretend the shirt does not stink after I soaked it with sweat.  Even with several swims it got pretty rank on the three day hike.  However, a good wash in the washing machine always took care of this.   

Care and Durability
The Perth is beginning to show a few signs of wear but nothing major.  In fact, I am surprised it doesn't look the worse for wear, considering the shirt is 100% polyester and textured on the outside.  I can see a few picks if I look closely but no runs have developed.

I have lost count of how many times the Perth has been washed but a dozen would be a conservative estimate.  Anyways, the Perth has not faded or shrunk as far as I can tell.  I still air dry it outside when possible or inside if raining. 

Summary Thus Far

The Perth seems to manage moisture (sweat) about as well as could be expected.  It leaves my skin feeling damp but not wet like a cotton tee would do.  When I would hang it on a chair inside the house to wear again later, it would dry in just an hour or so. 

This concludes my Field Report.  Please check back in approximately 2 months for my Long Term Report to see how the Perth is doing.

Long Term Report
October 8, 2007

The Perth was a great shirt and I must say, it performed well on the trail while backpacking and day hiking.  It also worked great for my bike riding in the hottest weather imaginable.   I say was because, unfortunately, I seem to have misplaced the Perth.  So how is it possible to loose a shirt?  Let's see, perhaps it was ripped it off by an adoring fan while doing the Tour de Grant (slightly less prestigious than the Tour de France)., the honest truth is, I have no idea how I lost it.  I was using it regularly for short day hikes and bike rides during the brutally hot August weather we had this summer.  It required washing after every ride or hike and I would hang it on my deck to dry.  It was such a common occurrence that I didn't notice the shirt missing as I gathered other items until I was ready for my next ride.  We had some high winds and it may have simply blown off and any of my 3 dogs or the neighbors 3 dogs took it from there.  Regardless, I looked high and low for the Perth, including getting a kid to crawl under the house and look.  It just seems to have vanished.

Testing Locations and Conditions
Early summer was cooler than normal so I guess it was only fair that late summer was much hotter than normal.  In fact we had 18 days (10 consecutive) over 100 F (+ 38 C) this summer.  All my Long Term testing was limited to here in Northeast Alabama due to losing it before my Smokey Mt trip.  I used it for several day hikes down in the holler (woods) behind my home and while riding my bike on the local back roads around here.  I did not keep up with my hiking mileage but I did ride 417 miles (671 km) on my bike with an odometer and I estimate at least 100 miles (161 km) more on another bike (computer messed up) while testing the Perth.

Long Term Test Results
I was impressed with the comfort and quick drying of the Perth.  I rode several evenings when it was + 100 F (+ 38 C) as I left home but had to go then or not ride at all to avoid riding after dark.  It was usually in the mid 90s F (around 35 C) by the end of each ride.  Each time I was already sweating from just going outside and soaked after just a few minutes of riding.  I can't really describe how hot the air felt but it reminded me of using a hair dryer on low heat.  I feel the Perth was cooler than my regular bike jersey but any shirt would feel hot in these conditions.

I wore it on a few slightly cooler morning rides.  One was a 2.5 hour ride that covered 26 miles (42 km) and included a 500' (152 m) climb near the end.  It was around 80 F (27 C) during this ride but I still managed to soak the Perth.

My day hiking experiences were much the same.  Due to the heat wave, I waited until almost dark and hiked back by headlamp several times.  I took the Perth off for swimming and sometimes when hiking back uphill because I was so hot.

During both the hiking and biking, I feel that the Perth contributed immensely to my comfort.  On the bike rides it felt really good when I could coast.  On the hikes it dried quickly when I took it off, but more importantly, I think that it helped to cool me slightly as the Cool Dry™ knit was working to evaporate sweat even as I produced it.

Overall Durability
The Perth held up fairly well.  It was starting to show some signs of wear in the form of small picks and fuzz balls.  It still had not shrunk despite the many washings.  The color also held up well.  

I have a few shirts that seem to retain odor even after washing so I was expecting the Perth might as well.  It did retain some odor if I wore it more than once but this always washed out.

Suggestions for Improvement
It really is a fine shirt.  I guess a SLB (shirt locator beacon) would be handy....  I would also suggest adding some pockets similar to pocket tees. This would give me a good place to keep my cell phone or other small items when hiking or riding.  In fact, I would love to see something similar to the Perth offered as a bike jersey with back pockets.

The Perth is a great hot weather shirt.  The Cool Dry™ knit did a good job of drying fast when I got it wet but in the meantime it still felt good against my skin when wet.  I did not wear it in much cool weather (didn't have much) but it was good for early summer mornings in camp when temps were down to around 60 F (16 C). 

I was so disappointed when I lost this shirt right before my last hike.  It was basically my only high performance short sleeve shirt and I ended up wearing a cotton tee.  Now I know cotton kills, but I managed to escape death.  I did however, note that when I stopped for about 30 minutes for a rest break and hung my shirt over a limb in full sun, the cotton tee remained fairly wet.  I had observed the Perth drying almost completely under similar circumstances so this helped confirm my respect for the quick drying abilities of the Perth.   I will be on the lookout for this shirt but if it stays MIA I plan on getting another one or something similar the next time I see one in a store.

This concludes my report.  I would like to thank and White Sierra for the opportunity to test the Perth.         

Amended Report: April 21, 2008

perth add
Author wearing the Perth on a nice spring hike

Shortly after submitting the Long Term Report I found the Perth.  I won't bore you with the details but suffice it to say, I need to keep my gear more organized.  Since the weather was getting colder,  I didn't find many chances to use it over the winter months but here recently it has warmed back up nicely and as a result, I have had ample opportunities to use the Perth.

Testing Locations and Conditions
All my hiking and biking was in Northeast Alabama.  Two recent overnight hikes were in warm enough weather to wear the Perth alone during the hike in and wear it under a light wind breaker in camp.  I also wore the wind breaker part of the time during the hike back out.  One overnighter was cool but not cold with a low of 46 F (8 C).  The other was even warmer with a low of only 57 F (14 C).  In addition to the 2 overnighters, I have used the Perth on about a dozen more day hikes. Most of these hikes were in cool but nice spring weather with temps in the mid 40s F (around 7 C) to mid 60s F (around 18 F).  However, in the past few weeks it has warmed considerably, and I actually day hiked in mid 70s F (around 24 C) several times.

Since the Long Term Report, I have also used the Perth for several bike rides on both my Cafe (a recumbent) and my traditional upright bike.   The rides on the upright  were short in nature, anywhere from 8 to 12 miles (13 to 19 km) long, but included going down and back up 600 ft (183 m) in elevation. The rides on the recumbent were usually longer in time and distance but on flatter roads.  I used the Perth with a Warmfront (chest warmer) and also under a light wind breaker jacket on a few of the colder rides but by itself on several rides above 60 F (16 C).  The coldest ride was at 41 F (5 C) and the warmest at 77 F (25 C).

Total additional mileage with the Perth for backpacking was only 12 miles (19 km).  I am estimating about 60 miles (90 km) for day hiking and around 200 miles (322 km) when riding my bike.

Long Term Field Performance
The Perth has continued to work well for each of the activities I used it for,  During my last two overnight hikes the weather was warm enough that I could hike in shorts and the Perth but not so hot that I was uncomfortable.  Each hike was about 6 miles (10 km) round trip so even though I sweated just a little, I wasn't hiking long enough or far enough to really work up a major sweat.  It also helped that my pack only weighed 16 lb (7 kg) on those 2 overnighters

On the day hikes I wore the Perth under the same pack but with even lighter loads, around 10 lb vs 16 lb (5 kg vs 7 kg).  The longest day hike was 7 miles (11 km)  and several were in the 3 to 5 mile (5 to 8 km)  range.  On my last day hike I was testing some shoes so I pushed myself and even jogged a little.  I worked up a very nice sweat but the Perth dries very quickly.  By taking it easy for the last half mile the shirt was nearly dry by the time I reached home. 

Care and Durability
The Perth is not the toughest shirt I own but it is one of the most comfortable.  It now has several picks showing but no runs or other major wear indicators.  It has survived at least a dozen more washes and the color is still bright.

The best testament I can think of is the fact that I could have just quit wearing the Perth after finding it again.  However, I found myself grabbing it at nearly every opportunity.  I have not only worn it for the hikes and bike rides mentioned above, but also just about anytime I found it clean.  This included road trips to Memphis, working around the house and just lazy days doing almost nothing.  I would have worn it to work as well but we have a policy to wear a shirt with a collar.   In a nutshell, I like the Perth!!!

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