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Reviews > Clothing > Shirts > tasc Hybrid Fitted Long Sleeve Tee > Test Report by Larry Kirschner

tasc Performance LST (long sleeve T) shirt

TEST SERIES BY LARRY KIRSCHNER

tasc Hybrid Fitted LST
(Image courtesy of tasc Performance)


INITIAL REPORT - December 12, 2011
FIELD REPORT - March 5, 2012
LONG-TERM REPORT - May 7, 2012



TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Larry Kirschner
EMAIL: asklarry98 at hotmail dot com
AGE: 47
LOCATION: Columbus, OH
GENDER: M
HEIGHT: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
WEIGHT: 205 lb (93 kg)

I've been an intermittent camper/paddler since my teens, but now that my kids are avid Boy Scouts, I've caught the backpacking bug. I typically do 8-10 weekend hikes per year, and have spent time over the past few years backpacking the Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico and canoeing the Canadian wilderness. I like to travel "in comfort", but I've shrunk to medium weight, and continue to work toward going lighter and longer. With all of my investment into these ventures, I expect my wife and I will continue to trek long after the kids are gone…


INITIAL REPORT
December 12, 2011

PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS

Manufacturer: thriv NP (Natural Performance)
Year of Manufacture: 2011
Country of Manufacture: India
Manufacturer's Website: http://tascperformance.com
MSRP: USD $40.00
Size Tested: XL
Color Tested: Navy Blue (Other colors: Black, Heather Gray)
Listed Weight: not provided
Measured Weight: 221 g (7.4 oz)



ITEM DESCRIPTION

The tasc Performance Hybrid Fitted Long Sleeve T (LST) is a wicking shirt designed "for all types of outdoor activities." It is a baselayer shirt made to provide ventilation in the heat and warmth in the cold. Like a good baselayer, it also has sun protection at UPF 50+ and has anti-odor technology. Tasc itself stands for "technical all-season comfort", which seems an apt moniker for this shirt.

From reading the website, it appears that the tasc company was founded on the principle of producing high-quality exercise gear without synthetic fabrics. The Hybrid LST is no exception to this mantra, as it is made from 55% organic cotton, 40% viscose (from bamboo) and 5% elastane. This is all put together into a '160 GSM performance fabric'. GSM stands for grams per square meter, and is a measure of fabric thickness. According to my research, 160 gsm is just a tiny bit thicker than a standard white t-shirt, like I might wear under a dress shirt. The website indicates that the shirt is "constructed with our Performance Jersey and FlowMesh fabrics."

The fabric is stretchy and soft. There are flat-lock seams which are more visible on the outside of the shirt than the inside, meaning the inside seams are very smooth. There are 2 seams on each the front and back of the shoulder areas, in addition to a seam which runs vertically along each side of the shirt. There are 'regular' seams stitched around the collar and the bottom hem as well.

As indicated in the shirt's name, the cut on this shirt is fitted, meaning it is meant to be worn reasonably tight. The tasc website has a nice sizing chart, so it was easy for me to select the XL as most appropriate for my body size.

I was a little concerned by the fact that the website indicates that the shirt has a 29 in body length (74 cm), since I wasn't sure what the meant. As it turns out, 29 in/74 cm is the distance from the collar to the bottom hem. This is plenty, since the distance from my t-shirt collar to my waist is about 19 in/48 cm. This means there is plenty of shirt to tuck into my hiking pants.


INSTRUCTIONS and WARRANTY

Washing instructions are provided on a tag on the inside of the shirt about 4 in/10 cm from the bottom. The instructions indicate that the shirt can be machine washed in cold water and dried on the low setting in a drier. It may be ironed (I'll be sure to pack that on my next trip) but should not be bleached. No warranty information is provided, although the tasc website indicates a 'no-hassle' return policy. Specifically, the website states the following: "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." I think that is pretty self explanatory, and pretty awesome.


INITIAL IMPRESSIONS and TRYING THEM OUT

The tasc shirt arrived in a cylindrical cardboard package. I had no idea what it was until I cracked it open, and was pleasantly surprised by the presence of the shirt. Picking it up, I found the fabric to be very soft, with a decent amount of stretch to it. The shirt arrived on the day I had planned for an overnight in a heated cabin. I brought the shirt to sleep in, since I knew I wouldn't be going outside much. I put the shirt on before hopping in my sleeping bag. It was really quite comfortable. It fits well and is not too tight. I got into my sleeping bag, but found I was just too hot. I don't fault the tasc for this, since it was probably about 70 F/21 C inside, which is way too hot for a long-sleeved t-shirt. In fact, it was almost too hot for me to sleep in my sleeping bag with a plain cotton t-shirt on! To get a better initial impression, I wore the tasc for an afternoon stroll around town. It was about 36 F/2C, and I wore just the LST and a heavyweight fleece (and a hat and gloves). I walked for about 3 miles/4.8 km in the cold sunshine. I was a little cold when I started, but after I had walked for a few minutes I quickly warmed up and was comfortable the rest of the way. I took the shirt off when I got back-it was bone dry.


EXPECTATIONS for the tasc Performance Fitted Hybrid Long Sleeve T Shirt:

I have never heard of tasc products before and I'm not a big believer in the value of natural products compared to good ol' synthetics. However, my initial impressions may make me change my mind.


THE STORY SO FAR

    Impressive
  • Very Comfortable
  • Good fit
  • Good warmth so far
    Concerns
  • None at the moment
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FIELD REPORT

March 5, 2012

FIELD CONDITIONS

During the Field Report, I wore the tasc on one weekend trip to Rock Creek Ohio, which is in the northeast corner of the state and is definitely in the snow belt. As expected, it was cold and snowy, with temperatures down to about 20 F/-6 C overnight and a high of 35 F/2 C during the day, with intermittent snow. Sleeping was in a rustic cabin with a wood stove for heat. Although no one fed the fire overnight, it probably didn't get below 45 F/7 C inside. It was about a 0.6 mile/1 km hike to and from the cabin. The rest of the time I just carried a light daypack, walking about 5-6 miles/ 8-9.5 km in total.

As in the initial report, I also wore the tasc shirt twice during walks around town, typically averaging about 3 mi/5 km. Temperatures on those days was around 40F/4C and was dry, although not often sunny.


FIELD EXPERIENCE

My main experience with the tasc shirt during the Field Reporting phase was the weekend I spent outside of Cleveland. I wore the shirt all weekend (including sleeping), because I didn't do a lot of strenuous exercise. For most of the weekend, I wore the tasc shirt, a heavyweight fleece, and my Red Ledge Phantom soft shell jacket. I wanted to see if that was enough insulation to keep me warm in the snowy temperatures. Although my feet and nose got cold, my core was plenty warm with just the 3 layers, despite temperatures that ranged around the freezing mark. When I was inside the cabin, I took off my soft shell and fleece and just wore a cotton t-shirt over the tasc.

eating breakfast in cabin

I never felt too hot while wearing the shirt, even when tucked up in my sleeping bag at night.

Aside from providing good temperature control, I was impressed with how comfortable the shirt feels. As noted in my IR, the fabric is very soft and smooth. There are no seams to be felt on the inside. The fabric is stretchy, but it didn't feel constricting.

By the end of the weekend, the shirt had a small odor, but it wasn't bad for 3 days/2 nights of wearing, particularly considering how much I was out and about.

While wearing the shirt around town, I had similar experiences. I was comfortable and never felt cold when wearing the tasc shirt, and I always arrived home after walks with the shirt feeling very dry. Despite walking a few miles, I could wear in a couple of times before it needing washing.


WEAR AND TEAR

I have washed the shirt twice so far. Actually my wife has done it (because she's so good to me). She typically washes all our camping gear in cold, but she hasn't taken any special concern with the shirt, and it has done just fine.


FIELD IMPRESSIONS

To date, the tasc long-sleeved t-shirt has functioned very well. It provides an excellent wicking baselayer, and is quite comfortable to wear in the cool temperatures. It is not as warm as a long-underwear layer, but I wasn't expecting it would be. As the weather starts to get a little warmer, I'm hoping to go out in the tasc with no overlayer, and that will help me assess its wind resistance for wear on its own.

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LONG-TERM REPORT
May 7, 2012



FIELD CONDITIONS AND EXPERIENCEs

Over the past 2 months, I have worn the tasc shirt during the following activities:
  1. An overnight trip to Springfield, OH in February, where the daytime high temperature reached 40 F/4 C and the overnight low was 26F/-3 C. At least it was dry. We stayed in a rustic cabin, by which I mean four unsealed wooden walls and a roof. There was a wood-burning stove in the center of the structure, but I got the short straw and slept near the outside of the cabin. Backpacking distance: 1 mi/1.6 km each way.
  2. An overnight trip to Loveland, OH in March, where daytime high was 66 F/19 C and overnight low was 35 F/2 C. It rained like crazy starting early afternoon and lasted the rest of the day. Backpacking distance: 0.7 mi/1 km each way. I did another 3 mi/5 km without my pack.
  3. A daytrip to the Hocking Hills in Logan, OH. High temperature for the day was 66F/ 19 C and low was 42 F/ 5 C. I estimated the temperature to be in the mid-upper 50’s (13-16 C) while we were hiking. We hit about a 45 minute thunderstorm on the trail. Backpacking distance: 11 mi/17.5 km on the Grandma Gatewood and Ash Cave trails.
  4. A 20 mile/32 km bike trip on the Alum Creek Trail in Columbus, OH. Temperature estimated at 55 F/13 C.

For each of the overnight trips, I wore the tasc the entire time I was out. It remains very comfortable for wearing and for sleeping. On the trip to Springfield, the weather ended up being much colder than expected, and I slept with the tasc and heavyweight fleece, and was still chilly during the night. This was due in large part to the fact that I had packed my lighter sleeping bag, since I didn't anticipate either the cold or the fact that the cabin would provide such minimal shelter and warmth. However, I do not attribute this to a problem with the tasc, which is a wicking baselayer. It is not designed nor does it function as a thermal baselayer.

The other feature that was noticeable to me during the long-term report phase of the test is the fact that the shirt does a nice job of blocking the wind. This was obvious when I wore the tasc riding in the moderately cool weather. I was plenty warm without the need for a wind jacket. On my trip to Old Man's Cave, I was wearing the tasc by itself when we got caught in a thunderstorm. I put my softshell over the tasc and was both plenty warm (without overheating) and dry. The photo below shows me at Cedar Falls, about 4 mi/6.4 km down the Grandma Gatewood Trail. I don't look too different from the model at the top, do I?

at Cedar Falls

In terms of wear and tear, I have washed the shirt 5 or 6 times now. I do not see any fraying of the fabric or the seams. There has been a little stretch to the fabric, but it still hugs my body nicely.


SUMMARY

Overall, I found the tasc performance long-sleeved T-shirt to be a comfortable baselayer for spring, winter, and fall. It is not designed for "serious" cold weather camping, but anything freezing and above is fine for the tasc. It kept me warm without overheating in a wide variety of conditions, and is great for sleeping. I expect that this t-shirt will be my go-to baselayer when temperatures are anywhere between freezing and hot, which is about ¾ of the year here in Ohio.

Things I liked about the tasc Performance Fitted Hybrid Long Sleeve T Shirt:
  • Very comfortable fabric.
  • Good wicking , warmth, and breathability
  • Lightweight and packs very small
Things I disliked about the tasc LST:
  • Sleeves seems just a bit long for me

Thanks to tasc Performance (and its parent company thriv NP) for providing this item for testing, and to BackpackGearTest.org for giving me the chance to participate in the evaluation process.


-larry kirschner

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