Going light and compact is the name of the game when traveling. But finding a perfect travel shirt that will work for running or workouts and still look dressy enough for a museum or restaurant has been a somewhat elusive task. That just changed with Patagonia’s Long Haul Western Shirt ($89, out in early 2015 — Patagonia has changed the name of this shirt to the Bandito) – a button-up short-sleeve shirt designed for trail running, but quite ideal for all-day wear too.
I will admit that I was skeptical at first. Could I really just use one shirt for a run in the morning, wash it in the sink, and then wear it again later in the day for traipsing about the city, let alone to go out to dinner? The answer to that question is a resounding and unequivocal “yes.”
Perfect travel shirt goes running too
Running with a button-down look and collar certainly earned some interested and interesting looks from others running and biking along the popular Hangang Park along the Han River in Seoul. But the performance was all there – excellent venting, wicking, fast-drying fabric that felt great next to my skin. The back did tend to stick a bit once I really started sweating but, then again, any running shirt will do that. I loved being able to quickly unsnap several of the buttons in the shirt front to increase ventilation while still remaining covered up – important when traveling in countries that frown on bare chests even on men working out.
Made of 100-percent recycled polyester, the shirt is 25 UPF, which is an added bonus for skin protection during long outings in a blazing sun. The collar folds up easily for added neck protection too, if needed or desired. And the built-in odor control treatment certainly seemed to do its job; never once did the shirt retain that dreaded sour locker-room fragrance, even after repeated sink washings.
Wash and go with the perfect travel shirt
But the REAL proving ground for me was how easily and quickly the shirt washed and dried after a run, thus rendering it quickly ready again for wearing out and about for the day. Can I say one word: WOW!
Once washed, I used a towel to roll out excess moisture, and then hung it to dry. In a couple of short hours, the shirt was dry, odor free, and ready to style up a pair of pants and my city shoes for a night out in Seoul. Now that’s perfect travel shirt and absolutely earns the coveted HITT Seal of Approval for travel product excellence.