bike tour, black friday, camino, camping gear, icebreaker, lake huron, merino wool, smartwool, travel clothes
Last month I wrote about my favourite travel shirt. Now let me introduce you to my favourite lightweight travel shirt: the Icebreaker Meridian, shown here in Jungle, a lovely mossy green. (Let me confess that I also own this top in Mystic, a bold shade of cobalt I adore, and Fiesta, a true bright pink. I just bought the latter on a Black Friday online shopping spree. Yay!)
I originally wanted to buy this T-shirt for a family camping trip to Algonquin in early July, but couldn’t commit to the hefty $70 price tag. I could justify spending 60 euros on my beloved SmartWool tee because it was versatile – a heavier weight with long sleeves and a zipper – and, heck, I bought it in Spain when desperate for an extra layer of warmth at night in the uninsulated pilgrims’ hostels on the Camino. But $70 for a short-sleeve shirt seemed ridiculous. Yet still newly in love with merino wool and all its benefits, I scored the Meridian for a midsummer cycling trip along Ontario’s Lake Huron. Again, in case you missed the head: Best. Purchase. Ever. No. 2.
The Meridian is surprisingly perfect for summer’s humidity, as merino wool is breathable and has natural wicking properties. Though lightweight (Superfine 150), it’s also quite warm in cool conditions, ideal for chilly summer nights. Believe me, I wore it under my SmartWool every night, and it kept me warm as a base layer. And being merino, it didn’t smell from continuous use, and it dried in an hour when I did wash it. With a feminine cut, deep V neck and short raglan sleeves, the Meridian is flattering on a petite gal with curves, as the hem sits just under the hip bones and is slightly longer in back.
One caveat: The fit of my first Meridian T-shirt is better than my more recent purchases. Rumour has it that Icebreaker switched manufacturers, so this year’s Meridians fit looser than the 2010 ones. That would explain why my Jungle tee is shorter and more fitted than my Mystic and Fiesta ones, though they’re all supposedly the same size. Keep that in mind if you’re it ordering online. I can’t wait to see what juicy new colours Icebreaker rolls out next year!
And in the meantime, check out my Best Purchase Ever No. 1, a shirt I’ve worn through spring, summer, fall and now winter.
Another advantage of merino is that it packs small. The Way of the Lightweight Backpacker reveals how, thanks to merino, I’ve narrowed down my packing list to 18 things.