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Reviews > Clothing > Shirts > tasc Performance V Long Sleeve Tee > Test Report by Jamie DeBenedetto
Performance V Long Sleeve Tee
Reviewed by Jamie
Product Information Back to contents
Product Description Back to contents
The tasc Women's Performance V Long Sleeve Tee Shirt is, as the name indicates, a long sleeve shirt sporting a modestly cut V-neck. The fabric is called "160 GSM Performance Fabric" and is a combination of Organic Cotton, Viscose from Bamboo, and Elastane, which gives the tee just a bit of stretch without clinging to the skin. The manufacturer claims this fabric gives the shirt the following properties: a flexible and soft feel, maximum air-flow and temperature control while still being lightweight, UV protection of 50+ and natural odor resistance. Other features include flat athletic seams, slightly tapered sleeves, a flat-cut bottom hem and the tag is located along the side seam near the shirt bottom instead of at the back of the neck. Finally, it is machine washable and dryable.
Arrival Condition and Informational Material Back to contents
The tasc Performance V LST arrived in excellent condition. I found no blemishes on the fabric or on the seams. Fit was also perfect for my torso length and arm length and I love the color!
Informational material was abundant. In addition to the standard garment sales tag Thriv NP included a several page booklet outlining their brand and values as a company, which I found atypical but refreshing. They sound like a company that is very dedicated to their products and one that has a sincere pride in being part of the business community in New Orleans, Louisiana. They also included two colorful flyers with further details and comparison charts on their signature bamboo performance technology. I found all the info interesting, although none of it was strictly necessary in order to use the garment properly. It was more helpful for us nerdy types who like to know a bit more about the properties of our clothing and what we might expect from them in the field.
Expectations and First Impressions Back to contents
Well, in reading the manufacturer's website I noticed the name, tasc, is an acronym for "technical all season comfort", this peaked my interest and I have to say, that is where my expectations reside. I am anticipating a shirt that will keep me comfortable in all seasons during various activities and by the looks of the shirt, do it with some measure of style.
Thus far, I like what I see. I think this tee has a ton of potential on and off the trail. The fabric is incredibly soft allowing the tee to drape comfortably and lightly on my skin. I think the V-neck gives the shirt a bit more style without being overly revealing, which I appreciate given I'm more interested in skin protection from this type of garment than sex appeal. I don't yet know of course whether the V-neck will be a problem with pack straps or how the soft fabric will hold up to use but I soon will and I'll report what I find in next two reports.
Field Tests - January thru March Back to contents
Since receiving the tasc Performance V LST in late December, I've worn it a total of eighteen times in the field and four times for "in-town" activities.
The majority of these hikes are day or night hikes through desert preserves near Phoenix, Arizona ranging between 1.5 and 3.5 hrs in length at elevations ranging from 1,300 ft (400 m) up to 2,100 ft (640 m). Winter temperatures fall somewhere between 40 and 75 F (4.5 and 24 C) with either nice, sunny weather or stormy and windy with light sprinkles. I also wore the tasc shirt on two longer outings. One was a six hour kayaking/hiking trip at Lake Pleasant Regional Park in Peoria, AZ. The weather was very windy with overcast skies and temperatures in the upper 50's F (14 C); the other was a 6.5 mile (10.5 km) trek on the Maricopa Trail near Lake Pleasant Regional Park. Weather was beautifully sunny and calm with a high of 68 F (20 C).
The tasc Performance Tee jumped out quickly as one of my favorite shirts. For the first month or so I was wearing it twice a week, sometimes three times. Not always with launderings in between I might add. The super soft and lightweight drape of the fabric was wonderfully nonrestrictive. I liked the look and feel of it so much I wore it with a casual pair of slacks to a New Year's party. It fit well too! For me, that elevated it to near miracle status considering the difficulty I generally have with finding a long sleeve shirt that actually has long enough sleeves to accommodate my tall frame. Unfortunately, by about February my affections for the shirt began to fade slightly. The wicked reality of shrinkage took hold of the Organic Cotton component of the fabric and I started to notice the sleeves riding up over my watch with regularity. After that, because I need a shirt that covers my whole arm for sun protection, I found I was using the tee less. I was so bummed! I had hoped the other elements of the 160 GSM Performance Fabric would keep it from shrinking, which is often the case with cotton blends, but that was not to be.
Beyond the shrinking issue, the Performance Tee has indeed performed. My usual morning hike set-up is to wear a polyester style tank top as my next to skin layer then the tasc Tee as my outer layer. Our winters are mild so while actively moving I rarely needed anything more unless we were having weather. The tee does allow air flow as the manufacturer claims and although I still sweated enough to wet the fabric under my arms and at the contact points with my pack, it does dry rather quickly. Since I live in a mostly warm to hot climate having a wet shirt where my pack rides isn't usually a big deal, however, in the winter on windy, cool mornings this is noticeable and causes me to feel a bit chilled. I've also worn it as my only layer without the tank top and it's performed exactly the same way.
The V neck has worked fine with the two different day packs I've carried. It's not overly wide so the shoulder straps don't have a chance to rub skin. The body of the shirt is holding up nicely to the contact points of the backpacks with one exception. At my waistline where my hipbelt buckle rides I've noticed little "lines" on the fabric that are slightly discolored. This appears after wear and then disappears with washing, at least so far. Since I noticed this I've been extra mindful about not clipping any fabric into the buckle thinking maybe I was doing that without realizing and that was the cause. Despite those efforts the discoloring continues.
In the last two months of this test series the temperatures where I live will be doing nothing but going up. I'm planning to wear the tasc shirt as far into the summer as I can. I'm sure this will really push the odor capacity of the fabric and the UV protection qualities. I will post about those elements in my Long Term Report.
Pros and Cons Thus Far Back to contents
Aspects I'm pleased with…
Aspects I'm under whelmed with…
Collective Use and Field Conditions Back to contents
Regrettably, in the last two months of testing, I didn't get quite as much use out of the tasc Performance V LST as I did in the first half of this test series. I managed one overnight camping trip and four more day hikes for a grand total of twenty-three outings. Part of this was due to a rise in temperatures here in Phoenix, the other some family health issues.
Our two-day camping trip was to Lake Pleasant in Peoria, Arizona. I wore the tasc Tee for the whole first day and then overnight as my PJ's. Temperatures ranged from 80 F to 45 F (27 C to 7 C). Weather was windy with a mix of sun and overcast skies. No precipitation. The rest of my treks were day or night hikes (1.5 to 3 hrs) in the desert mountain parks in Phoenix, AZ. All outings had clear weather with a variety of temperatures. On the night hikes I experienced low 60's (16 C) and on the day hikes low to mid-90's (34 C).
Long Term Conclusions Back to contents
I still like the shirt! The beautiful purple color is fading and the collar has rippled a little but the fabric and all seams remain in good order, even in that spot at my waist where my hipbelt buckle sits. Most importantly, it continues to have a "flexible and soft" feel on my skin. Perhaps because of the stretch quality of the Elastane the shirt has not lost its shape, however, I did noticed once the sleeves are pushed up, they stay a bit wrinkled causing the sleeve to ride slightly higher on my arm. This, I'm afraid, is why I mistakenly thought the shirt had shrunk at the sleeves. I was accustomed to putting the shirt on in the morning, pushing my sleeves up while getting ready for my day, then pulling them down a few hours later when I reached the sunny trailhead. Apparently, this length of time with the sleeves pushed up, affected the overall length of the sleeves for the rest of the day, unless I were to get the sleeves wet. I'm glad I discovered this because the notion of permanent fabric shrinkage was a sad one.
One of the first aspects of the tasc Performance Tee I had hoped to evaluate was the "technical all season comfort" claim. It is not uncommon for Phoenix to experience 108 F (42 C) degree days in April and May. Lucky me, I was in the field for work on one of these days. My experience while hiking was only in the mid-90's (36 C), however, because I generally get off the trail before noon. This still gave me a good test of how well the tee handled heat. My standard procedure when hiking on hot days is to wear a lightweight tank top under a completely wet outer layer, in this case the tasc Tee. I set the timer on my watch as soon as I put the shirt on so I could record how long it took to dry. I stopped it at 46 minutes at which point the shirt had dried everywhere except under my day pack contact points and my arm pits. This is about ten minutes faster than the fully cotton shirts I usually where. Once dry, I felt slightly hotter than I usually do in the cotton tees. To the tasc Performance T's credit, however, it is so darn comfortable and given the UV protection claim I don't think it's fair to put it in the same category as a plain cotton T-shirt. Bottom line is it's done a nice job in all the seasons I've experienced.
I am super happy with the Performance LST's odor resistance. Even in the sweatier conditions I've encountered recently, there is not a whiff of body odor lingering in the cells of this fabric. While on my person, the only area where I have experienced a slight scent is directly at the arm pits. Even so, some property of the "160 GSM Performance Fabric" works to mitigate that smell so it doesn't saturate the shirt or emanate out from the pit area. After each laundering it is back to new.
Final Thoughts Back to contents
From day one I've loved the lightweight comfort of this shirt. Having a bit of stretch is truly a brilliant feature making the tasc Performance Tee perfect for all sorts of physical activities. Whether kayaking, hiking, performing camp duties, sleeping, even pot-luck perusing this shirt protected me and I felt great in it! I was most impressed by its odor fighting ability, which I've found rare in a synthetic garment. Since I personally had some difficulty with the sleeve length, I would love to see Thriv Natural consider adding thumb holes to the shirt. I think this would solve the sleeve ride-up problem especially given the stretch properties the Performance Tee already has.
My thanks to Thriv Natural and Backpackgeartest.org for the opportunity to take part in this test series.
- Jamie J. DeBenedetto 2012
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