TASC PERFORMANCE HYBRID FITTED LST
TEST SERIES BY JOHN R. WATERS
INITIAL REPORT - December 30, 2011
FIELD REPORT - March 06, 2012
LONG TERM REPORT - May 09, 2012
John R. Waters
Canon City, CO USA
5' 9" (1.75 m)
170 lb (77.10 kg)
My backpacking began in 1999. I have hiked rainforests in Hawaii, Costa Rica, and Puerto Rico, glaciers in New Zealand and Iceland, 14ers in Colorado and Death Valley's deserts.
I hike or snowshoe 6-8 miles (10 km-13 km) 2-3 times weekly in the Cooper Mountain range, with other day-long hikes on various other southwest and central Colorado trails. I frequently hike the mountains and deserts of Utah and Arizona as well.
My daypack is 18 lb (8 kg); overnights' weigh over 25 lb (11 kg). I'm aiming to reduce my weight load by 40% or more.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
|Manufacturer: thriv NP, inc.|
Year of Manufacture: 2011
Manufacturer's Website: http://tascperformance.com
MSRP: US$ 40.00
Listed Weight: N/A
Measured Weight: 7.7 oz (219 g)
Colors Available: Navy, Black & Heather Gray
Color Tested: Black
Sizes Available: Small, Medium, Large, X-Large & XX-Large
Size Tested: Large
Other details: (from manufacturer's website)
"Constructed with our Performance Jersey and FlowMesh fabrics, this fitted long sleeve is perfect for all types of outdoor activities and allows for superior ventilation."
** Designed in New Orleans. Made in India.
|Picture Courtesy thriv NP inc.|
Prior to receiving the Hybrid Fitted LST, I checked out the tasc (which stands for "technical all-season comfort") website to get an idea of what the tee would be like. I found that thrive NP, inc. is a fairly new company (2009) committed to forging "the most innovative trail-running, training, outdoor, and lifestyle apparel the world has ever seen." The Performance line of bamboo based products is second generation technology which incorporates "new fabric structures, fiber blends and technical details." The Hybrid LST is made from 55% organic cotton, 40% viscose (from bamboo) and 5% Elastane.
Thanks to thrive NP's "Performance Jersey" and FlowMesh fabrics, the Hybrid LST (long sleeve tee) is a wicking base layer designed to maximize comfort by providing sufficient ventilation and sufficient warmth as needed. The Hybrid also incorporates UPF 50+ sun protection as well as anti-odor technology.
When I received the Hybrid, upon inspection, I found one nice-looking shirt! The black color is very snazzy with contrasting stitching. Smooth, flat lock seams run diagonally from the traditional tee collar to below the shoulders; my wife tells me these are called "raglan" seams. The fabric is moderately stretchy and very light-weight. It has a silky-feeling texture and is also, soft to the touch.
READING THE INSTRUCTIONS
Washing instructions are included on a cloth tag on the left side seam. Along with the international care symbols are the written in English directions of: "Machine wash cold. Do not bleach. Tumble dry low. Warm iron is desired." Simple enough, I suppose, but I was surprised to not see and additional warning against fabric softeners as with most of my other technical apparel.
Though it is technically not an "instruction", I am always interested in a manufacturer's warranty. While there wasn't any warranty information listed with the packaging or hang tags, the tasc website states its very generous return policy: "As part of thriv's no-hassle return policy, every package ships with a pre-paid return label. If you wear it, sweat in it, and don't like it; thriv pays for shipping both ways."
TRYING IT OUT
When I pulled the LST from its package I was immediately impressed by the Hybrid's light weight, its design and its softness. I quickly stripped off the shirt I was wearing and tried the Hybrid on. Putting the Hybrid LST on for the first time, I was very pleased with the fit and feel of it.
I normally wear a size 42 sport coat, a large tee-shirt and sometimes a medium dress shirt. The Hybrid LST being a large size, I was not sure if it would be too loose. I think a too loose base layer can be uncomfortable because it tends to bunch up under my mid-layers. However, the LST base layer fits great. It's 29 in (74 cm) "body length" (from collar to hem) is very adequate for covering my torso without being excessive.
I will say that if I was any larger, I probably would need the extra-large because the Hybrid large fits me skin-tight. That's good though, because then it is so easy to put other tops on over it.
The Hybrid is extremely soft and very stretchy. I like the way it feels against my skin. If I didn't know it was bamboo, I would have assumed it was silk or nylon.
I am headed off shortly to Rocky Mountain National Park for a few days of snowshoeing at 9,000+ ft (2,700+ m) that will put this Hybrid LST base layer and everything else I am wearing through a good workout under winter conditions. More later.
I am very happy with the fit, feel and quality of the Hybrid LST so far. It fits snugly, but is not constrictive; stretching to cover my torso closely as a good base layer should. Length-wise, the LST is well proportioned, covering enough of my rear without having excess to cram into my pant legs.
The material is pleasing and feels smooth against my skin with no scratchy seams or neckline tags.
All seams are neat and even, with no loose threads or dropped stitches. The material appears to be sturdy, durable and of quality construction. Of course, time will tell if my initial high expectations are met. But that's what testing is all about. Let the fun begin1
LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
During this phase of the 16 week field testing, about 8 weeks between January and March 2012 I was able to wear my tasc Hybrid Fitted Tee baselayer under a variety of conditions.
In various locations in Utah and Colorado mountains:
Altitude varied from 5200 ft (1585 m) to over 9,200 ft (2804 m) above sea level
Temperatures ranged from -4 F (-20 C) to over 75 F (24 C).
Humidity ranged from less than 10% to 99%.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
I made a commitment to wear my tasc Hybrid Fitted Tee baselayer as much as possible during this trial period; so during these eight weeks the Hybrid has been practically the only undergarment I've worn. What's even more interesting is that over the course of these past 8 weeks, I did not wash the tasc Hybrid Fitted Tee at all. I didn't need to.
My intent was to see how the bamboo fabric handled odor because according to the Eco-Market Web Site: "Bamboo also has many antibacterial qualities, which bamboo fabric is able to retain, even through multiple washings. Bamboo exhibits up to a 99.8% antibacterial rate. This helps to reduce bacteria that thrive in clothing and cause unpleasant odors. It can also kill odor causing bacteria that live on human skin, making the wearer and his or her clothing smell sweet."
Since I have not washed the baselayer yet, I cannot report on how it holds up after washing until the next report. What I can say right now is that the tasc Hybrid Fitted Tee exceeds my expectations on all counts as to odor control.
Let me also explain that when I was on the trail during the day or working outdoors, I've usually worn the tasc Hybrid Fitted Tee and a lightweight field vest if the temp was over 60 F (16 C).
|Under all this is a tasc Hybrid Fitted LST!||I'd wear the tasc Hybrid Fitted Tee and a mid-layer lightweight thermal pullover if between 40 F (4 C) and 60 F (16 C). |
And if between 20 F (-7 C) and 40 F (16 C) I'd usually wear the tasc Hybrid Fitted Tee base layer, a thermal midlayer, and a down vest or a light-weight down jacket.
Below 20 F (-7 C) all the way down to -4 F (-20 C), I just added a wind shell over a down jacket for a total of 5 light-weight quality layers.
Even with winds blowing at over 65 mph (105 kph) in Estes Park with temps at 20 F (-7 C) and windchills down to -20 F (-29 C), the 5 layers kept me dry and warm with no damp feeling at all from the aerobic activity. I attribute a lot of that comfort to the tasc Hybrid Fitted Tee baselayer, since that is what was up against my skin and what I felt.
As an aside, those hurricane force winds in Estes Park got under my snowshoe when I lifted my foot and picked me up and tossed me on the ground. We were getting pelted with icy snow at 65 mph (105 kph) or more (reports were gusts up to 80 mph (129 kph) that felt like being sand-blasted. Our gear performed very well and we never got wet or really cold, just breathless at times.
To summarize my experiences so far
Hiking, backpacking, and snowshoeing:
Extremely comfortable. Lightweight. Never bunched up or tugged. The thing has a LOT of stretch capability in all directions, yet fits tight against my body. Even under strenuous steep climbs and strenuous snowshoeing I never felt uncomfortable and never ever felt the slightest bit damp.
I have problems with my clothing getting bunched up when I sleep. I hate it. I always hate waking up having to twist and turn to keep from getting choked. I did not have that problem at all with the tasc Hybrid Fitted Tee. Because it fits snuggly and allows so much motion due to its stretching ability, I really felt very comfortable sleeping in sleeping bags and in beds. What is really nice is that I never felt damp at all, even when sleeping in a warm bag or warm bed. The tasc Hybrid Fitted Tee appears to wick quite nicely. It is long though. The thing goes down to the bottom of my butt. So to avoid it wrapping around me at night, I did have to tuck the base layer into my undershorts.
I am outdoors almost daily climbing around fixing our broadband radio antennas when not playing on the trails, so I regularly work up a sweat in our bright Colorado sunshine. What else can I say about wearing the same baselayer for eight weeks, almost every single day, at work and at play and NOT having to toss it in the dirty clothes bin because there was no way I was going to put it back on again. The thing is still amazingly odor free and comfortable to wear. It's the first piece of clothing I reached for in the morning and the last to come off. I have it on now as I sit here writing this report because it is so comfortable to wear.
Very attractive. Subtle design. I think it makes me look slimmer, but hey, it is me looking at myself in the mirror, so that reporting is a little opinionated.
I figured out that I can put it on properly in the dark by feeling for the stitching that runs across the top of the shoulders. The tasc Hybrid Fitted Tee logo is imprinted at the rear of the collar, so there is no tag to feel for, which is great, because then there is no tag to be annoying.
I also want to note that because the fabric is such a tight weave, that it is really easy to put my midlayers on over the tasc Hybrid Fitted Tee. They slide over quite nicely.
Even after so much use, there is no sign of wear at all. No pulls. No loose strings. The thing looks brand new.
I like it!
Spring is right around the corner and I have plans to be out in the unpredictable weather (it could snow several feet (meter) one day and be shirt-sleeve weather, the next) a lot. I will need to dress in layers to be ready for sudden shifts in temperature and the tasc Hybrid Fitted Tee will continue to be my baselayer of choice.
Oh, and I promise to wash it at least once in these next two months!
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
I have been wearing the tasc Hybrid baselayer a LOT. Naturally, I have to wear it when backpacking and hiking, but I have actually been so comfortable in this baselayer that I find myself wearing it around the house too! I'd estimate I've worn the Hybrid on 4 more overnights, 5 day hikes and probably more than 14 casual days during the last 2 months of this test period. All of this wear took place in south central Colorado near where I live. No special locations or destinations to speak of, just throughout the foothills of the Rocky Mountain area in either the Wet Mountains or the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) region of Cooper Mountain near Canon City. It's rocky terrain filled with pine, juniper and cactus.
We have had a warmer than normal spring here in Colorado. Temperatures have been breaking warm weather records. In fact, there have been many days over 80 F (27 C) with such bright sun in March that I didn't need a baselayer on most of my treks.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
Despite the unseasonably warm weather, the temps in our high desert region can quickly drop to below 40 F (4 C) even on those record-breaking days. That's when the tasc Hybrid baselayer came in handy. It packs so well into a small space in my bag and has proven to be great to sleep in because it has retained its shape and won't bunch up when I roll around in my sleeping bag. It's even long enough to wear as a night shirt, since it goes all the way down and covers my butt. And, since it does not retain odor, there has been no problem with wearing it all night and then just slipping on pants and heading out to make coffee and breakfast on cooler 40 F (4 C) mornings with just a light fleece over the Hybrid baselayer.
The odor control of this baselayer has been fantastic. As I reported in my last report, I had not yet washed the tasc through the first 8 weeks of this trial and it had no detectable body odor after dozens of hours of wear under all sorts of conditions.
It DID however retain campfire smoke odor and that's what triggered the first and only washing during this 16-week field test. We use a tech-wash liquid soap for all our other technical clothes laundering and that is what was used for the tasc Hybrid. Cold wash. Cool dry. Makes for less fabric stress for tech clothing.
The tasc baselayer came through its washing just great. No change at all in form, fit or appearance. No pilling. No pulls. No discoloration or lightening. The wood campfire smoke smell completely disappeared.
The fabric wicks quickly. I know this because there were many times that I was sweating and had to remove my mid-layer as the temperature rose from 40 F to 70 F (4 C to 21 C) and higher while hiking or working outdoors. The fabric evaporated all of my sweaty wetness within several minutes. Of course, our humidity here has been well under 30% most of the time during March. We've had little rain and there have been red flag warnings our for brush fire danger for the past several weeks.
With its good looks, great fit and fantastic wicking and odor control, what's not to like about the Hybrid? I'm very impressed with the quality and features of this product and I am putting this into my wardrobe as another one of my favorite baselayers.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5
Copyright 2012. All rights reserved.
I know I'm repeating myself, but the tasc Hybrid looks great, feels great and performs great. I can't say anything bad about it at all.
My sincere thanks to BackpackGearTest.org and tasc Performance for the opportunity to wear and enjoy this great shirt!
John R. Waters
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