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Reviews > Clothing > Shirts > tasc Carrollton Performance Crew > Test Report by Coy Ray Starnes

tasc Carrollton Performance Crew
Test series by Coy Starnes
Initial Report: April 7, 2012
Field Report: June 20, 2012
Long Term Report: August 28, 2012

I'm pleased with the good fit of the tasc Carrollton Performance Crew

Tester Coy Starnes
Gender Male
Age 50
Weight 245 lb (111 kg)
Height 6 ft (1.8 m)
Location Grant, Alabama

Tester Biography
I live in Northeast Alabama.  I enjoy biking, hunting, fishing, canoeing/kayaking 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.
Initial Report: April 7, 2012
Product Information
Test Item tasc Carrollton Performance Crew
Manufacturer thriv NP, inc.
Year of Manufacture 2012
Manufacturer's Website
Materials 55% Organic Cotton, 40% Viscose from Bamboo and 5% Elastane.
Listed Weight N/A
Measured Weight 6.2 oz  (176 g)
Colors Available 8, to many to list
Color I'm Testing Orange
Sizes Available Small, Medium, Large, X-Large & XX-Large
Size I'm Testing X-Large
MSRP US$ 30.00

Product Description
The tasc Carrollton performance Crew is basically a stretchy tee shirt that benefits from the use of a specifically designed fabric called 160 GSM performance fabric.  The manufacturer calls it Bamboo Performance Technology.  According to the website there are seven key advantages to this Bamboo Performance Technology.  These would be light weight, moisture wicking, 4-way stretch, breathable, UPF 50+, comfortable and anti-odor. The tee I am testing is a very bright orange, almost, but not quite in the high-vis category.  The care tag is smartly located down on the left side below where it would contact my skin when worn outside (not tucked in).  The care instructions are to machine wash cold, do not bleach, tumble dry low and warm iron if needed  The shirt has a small tasc logo on the back just below the neck opening and the word tasc printed in small letters on the left shoulder.  I appreciate that the logo is not very noticeable like it was designed for a NASCAR team or TDF rider...not as a slam to NASCAR or bike racing, after all, I do like my racin', but, they do go a little overboard with logos on the uniforms. There are no pockets on the Carrollton Crew, and of course it is short sleeved.

A fit guide card pinned on the Carrollton Crew indicates that it is a compression garment for training and the word TRAINING is written in green. On another card I found this translates to BRISK, or level B, and is a mid-weight layer designed to adjust to unpredictable conditions.  The XL I'm testing fits me great, not too tight or loose.

Initial Impressions
My shirt arrived just one day removed from a pretty hard crash on my mountain bike.  I had my arm in a sling and was wearing a button up shirt because I found it very difficult to put on a tee shirt.  However, with the help of my wife, I managed to get the Carrollton Crew on.  It helped tremendously that the shirt is very stretchy so I was able to first pull it up over my dangling right arm, temporarily out of the sling but held as immobile as possible, and then get my neck and left arm in the appropriate holes.  Once I had it on I marveled at the softness of the material.  My wife also oohed and aahed as she helped me get it on.

A little about the company
tasc is a relatively new company established in 2009.  tasc stands for "technical all season comfort" but based on my examination of the Carrollton Crew, if I were naming the company I would have to go with "ssss&sc" (super soft, super stretchycute packaging and super comfortable).  From what I read on the tasc website, it appears that the goal of the company was to create a high performance line of  athletic apparel that would incorporate the comfort of cotton and the wicking ability of synthetics, while at the same time eliminating much of the odor associated with synthetics. That is a pretty tall order, but my initial impression is that they nailed the comfort part.  Testing will reveal the wicking ability and stinky stop factor.   Another thing that I'm impressed with is the return policy.  Each package is shipped with a return label and no matter the reason, if you don't like something, tasc will reimburse the full cost of the order, including shipping both ways.   It might be a good idea to save the packaging (see photo) in order to return it in it, but there was no mention if this was required.

Summary so far
I still can not get over how soft the fabric feels.  This would make a good sleep top.  As a matter of fact, I could easily see packing another top just for pajamas. The tasc Carrollton Performance Crew looks to be just about perfect for the activities I have planned.  I hope my arm heals fast and I can get back out on my bike as well as hiking, kayaking and my other outdoor pursuits.

Field Report: June 20, 2012
tasc carrollton
Author cooling off on a hot afternoon hike

Test Locations and Conditions

I have worn the tasc Carrollton Crew about twice a week since getting it, all here in northeast Alabama.  Due to a broken collar bone I was limited to mostly day hiking for the first 6 weeks of testing but have since been wearing it on several recumbent bike rides and on my StreetStrider (an elliptical on wheels).  I also wore it on an overnight backpacking trip on June 14.  Conditions have gradually gotten warmer since receiving the shirt.  Most of my day hikes were either early in the morning or late in the afternoon but one was a mid afternoon hike of 4 miles (6 km) when temperatures rose to 91 F (33 C)) and the humidity was high.  I have managed to avoid rain on all my hikes and rides but have gotten the shirt wet from both sweat and splashing around under a small waterfall.  Last but not least, I have worn the shirt doing some exercise at a play ground and at home.  This was standard stuff like pull-ups, push-ups and even a few yoga moves thrown in.

Field Test Results
The Carrollton Crew is now my favorite t-shirt. It just feels good.  I'm not sure if it is the stretchy fabric or the fact that it feels good next to my skin, but an even better reason is probably because that even when soaking wet, it does not stick to my skin.  On most hikes the shirt would get wet under my pack (center of my back and under shoulder straps) and under my underarms, but sometimes I managed to soak the entire shirt.  For example, on a recent 4 mile (6 km) day hike I left the house with 70 oz (2 L) of water in my hydration vest. I drank about 2/3 of my water during the hike. It was 88 F (31 C) when I started and warmed to 91 F (33 C) by the time I got home.  I had weighed myself  that morning and was 250 lb (113 kg).  When I got home I was soaking wet with sweat and had been drinking what felt like enough water, but after my shower I weighed myself again and was surprised to see I now weighed 247 lb (112 kg). 

When riding my recumbent I imagine I sweat just as much as when hiking, but the constant movement of air, plus the fact that I do not have on a pack seemed to make a difference in how dry the shirt stayed, even though my back was against a mesh seat-back.  On the other hand, when I rode my StreetStrider I would completely soak the shirt if I rode long enough.  This was usually within 30 minutes. This was whether I had my hydration pack on or not, but I did notice the shirt would get wet under the pack first if I had it on.  Here I am after riding my recumbent 13.6 miles (22 km) in just under an hour.  It was around 82 F (28 C) but humid.  My ball cap was soaked but the Carrollton Crew was fairly dry, much dryer than my cap.
tasc carollton crew
Author on a mid-morning ride

On my overnight hike I left home pretty late in the afternoon but it was still fairly warm at 86 F (30 C).  I did not sweat much on the hike to the creek as it is mostly downhill hiking.  It felt a little cooler down at the creek but I did sweat quite a bit as I cooked my supper over an open fire.  My cook fire was not that big but I was moving around a lot.  It cooled down to 68 F (20 C) overnight.  I wore the shirt in my hammock for the night and did sweat a little during the first part of the night. However, the shirt was very comfortable as a sleep shirt. I carried a light fleece blanket but it stayed on my lower legs for most of the night.  I got up early and hiked home before the heat of the day arrived, but with my pack and all uphill hiking, I was sweating pretty hard. When I got home I hung the shirt out on my deck but this was one time that the shirt smelled even after hanging it out a few hours after getting home.  I guess the anti-odor properties are not designed for wood smoke.

And now, a little about the wicking ability of this shirt. I noticed it would stay pretty wet on a hike once I got to sweating profusely so I kept the shirt on after a hike a couple of times and it seemed to dry a little faster than a cotton tee would have.  However, with no way to wear both at once I could not be sure.  I decided it would be a good idea to wash a few shirts with different fabrics and see just how fast they dried hung outside.  I had a 100% polyester shirt, a 100% cotton tee and a 55% Organic Cotton, 40% Viscose from Bamboo and 5% Elastane shirt (the Carrolton Crew).  I washed them and hung them out at 1 PM sharp. The temperature was around 86 F (30 C) and there was a slight breeze blowing.  I checked the shirts every 15 minutes and found that the 100% polyester shirt dried the fastest but not by much.  The cotton shirt took the longest but even it dried fairly fast. The poly shirt was dry in 45 minute, the Carrollton in an hour and the cotton in an hour and 15 minutes.  However, as I stated previously, the Carrollton feels great next to my skin even when wet and it definitely does not stick to my skin like my cotton t-shirts do.  Here are the shirts shortly after I hung them out.  The tasc Carrollton Crew is in the middle.
tasc carrollton crew

Care and Durability
So far the Carrollton Crew is holding up well.  It still fits just like it did when I got it. I don't think it has shrunk from washing or stretched from wearing. I have not done much bushwhacking but there are limbs across the trails I hike and I hike these trails at least twice a week and for at least a couple of hours each time.  I can't see any wear where my pack rides either.  I generally washed the shirt after ever other use and would hang it out on my deck a few hours after coming in from a sweaty hike or ride and also after each washing.  I washed it with towels a couple of times and was pleased to see the shirt does not pick up lint or at least not enough to see. 

Summary so far
Hopefully I'm not sounding like a broken record but I really like this shirt. It wicks well, feels great even when wet and the anti-odor properties work well enough that the shirt does not have to be washed after every use.  The fabric seems like it would be fragile but so far it seems to be holding up to some fairly heavy duty use.  That's all for now. Please check back in approximately two months for my Long Term Report to see how the tasc Performance Carrollton Crew continues to perform.

Long Term Report: August 28, 2012
paddling in the Carrollton Crew
Author paddling in the Carrollton Crew

Test Locations and Conditions

cooking in tasc Carrollton CrewI have continued to wear the tasc Carrollton Crew on bike rides and day hikes on local trails and roads in Northeast Alabama.  I also wore it on a 3-day, 3-night canoe trip in Southern Mississippi. July was brutally hot and I would hike or ride early or late to avoid the 100+ F (more than 38 C) temperatures.  August (and the canoe trip) was much nicer but still rather warm.  It was around 92 F (33 C) in the afternoon on all 3 days of the canoe trip. Lows were around 70 F (21 C) each night.

On the canoeing trip I wore the tasc shirt almost the entire time.  I paddled, cooked, swam, cut wood, built fires, cleared brush, set up and broke camp and slept in it. The first night (Thursday night) was really car camping.  I put the shirt on shortly after arriving at the campsite and kept it on almost constantly for the next 3 days and nights until my shower and change for the ride home at 3:45 PM Sunday afternoon.  I did not pack a sleeping bag or blanket but did change into some long pants and a long sleeve shirt at 4 AM on Sunday morning because I woke up a little chilly.  I changed back into the tasc tee around 8 AM when I started getting a little warm in the pants and shirt I had put on.

The shirt performed very well on the trip.  It was great while paddling, but there were times I wished it had long sleeves.  This is because the shirt offers such good sun protection but is still nice and cool next to my skin.  I would have to reapply my sunscreen because I went swimming every few hours during the trip to cool off.  I did notice the shirt was slow to dry. I usually took my last swim right before dark (around 7 PM) so without any sun it would still be damp when I turned in each night around 10 PM.  However, it would finish drying each night while I slept, usually by around 2 or 3 AM.

I did find the limit on how long the shirt stays fresh smelling.  Well, I'm not sure of the exact time frame as the smell gradually became worse during the trip.  I actually did not find the smell to be objectionable but the guys I was with did notice it about supper time on the second day and even more the last day.  Once I showered I could smell it a little as I packed it away for the ride home. Once home it had ripened a little more because I put it away damp and it took me 8 hours to drive home. 

Care and Durability
The Carrollton Crew has been easy to keep clean.  I just threw it in the washer and line dried afterwards.  I have washed it several more times since the Field Report but it is still in good shape.  The bright orange color has faded a little but it has faded evenly so it really is not noticeable.  The material is also tougher than it seems like it would be. For instance, I was clearing a trail up to a campsite and caught the arm portion on a sharp limb stub I had just cut and it did not tear even thought it pulled me backwards.

I really have enjoyed wearing the Carrollton Crew.  It is a cool and comfortable shirt for just about any activity.  Despite the fact that is does not dry out quite as fast as a nylon shirt would, I still prefer the tasc over one of those.  

This concludes my reporting on this excellent shirt.  I would like to thank thriv NP, inc. and for the opportunity to test it.

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