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Shirts. Just how do you wade into the tsunami of options to pick out the absolute best travel shirts on the market?
Do you look for brand popularity? Couldn’t hurt. What about quality materials? Most definitely. How about intended uses? Certainly.
In fact, you should look at all these points and more. But don’t worry, I’ve done the nitty-gritty research for you. And I’ve emerged with the best travel shirts for both men and women.
All you have to do is sit back and absorb everything you need to know before purchasing travel clothes for your next adventure.
The backbone of any travel clothing ensemble is undoubtedly the T-shirt. Low-key, low-maintenance and low-profile, the T-shirt is perfect for transiting busy airports, stepping out of the hotel to poke around a new city or just squeezing in a workout. The trick, however, is finding a T-shirt that can accomplish all of this, and not stink or look like a cow’s been chewing on it.
I’ve, therefore, picked out several of the best travel shirts for T-shirt lovers to cover everything from comfort to near indestructibility.
The Filium shirt treatment employed by Ably easily makes their product earn the title of one of the best travel shirts on the market. Liquid-repellent, anti-microbial and quick-drying, these shirts are absolutely perfect for wearing on back-to-back-to-back days and still looking fresh.
And, as an added bonus: Ably produces this T-shirt in both men’s (the Tourist) and women’s (the Daffodil). Just be aware that this travel T-shirt comes at a price. And it’s also susceptible to shrinkage (remember it’s still a cotton shirt!).
Instead of relying on a material’s natural anti-microbial properties, such as merino, or secondary treatments for odor control, Bluffworks adopts the unique approach of embedded gold and silver nanoparticles. Recall that Bluffworks is always pushing for the very best in durability and style, and that’s exactly what they deliver here.
These gold and silver particles keep bacterias and odors at bay with ease. And they keep the Bluffworks Threshold smelling great after traveling, sleeping and also even exercising. Add UPF 50 protection and wrinkle-resistance, and you have what can definitely be your best travel shirt. Remember, however, that these features come with a price tag, making this shirt fairly expensive, compared to an ordinary T-shirt. (Sorry, ladies, this brand is only available in menswear!)
UPF 50 protection
Gold and silver nanoparticle embedded material for odor-resistance
If sweaters, hoodies and long sleeves can all benefit from merino, then why can’t T-shirts? At least that’s what Western Rise thought when they produced the StrongCore. This company has stylish longevity at the forefront of their line as they continuously produce high-quality men’s apparel to last for the long run.
The ultra-fine combo of micron merino wool and nylon accomplishes this goal by creating excellent temperature regulation and anti-microbial properties with extreme durability. So this produces a luxuriously soft T-shirt that will smell great and also hold up in the face of every travel escapade ever. The greatest drawback for me, however, is justifying paying $96 on a T-shirt. But for this powerhouse combination, it may well be worth it for you.
The best travel shirt in T form doesn’t need to break the bank, however. Our own Incline T-shirt features a breathable and quick-drying polyester-cotton-rayon blend that will keep you comfortable hiking a trail or around a new city.
This tri-blend is also durable enough to be your sidekick for any and all of your travels, and it holds up to multiple washing cycles very well. You’ll, unfortunately, need those washings as this shirt is not inherently anti-bacterial. But you’ll nevertheless have a solid unisex T-shirt for all your adventures—and it’s one that reps TravelFreak at the same time!
For an inexpensive travel V-neck, Eddie Bauer puts forth their “favorite” T-shirt. Eddie Bauer has been equipping mountaineers and explorers for many years, and they bring that experience to all their clothes. Think: excellent quality along with a policy of standing behind everything they produce.
The cotton-polyester blend here follows this trend and makes for a comfortably soft fit, while the polishing helps prevent any annoying piling. This material, however, lacks any temperature regulation or anti-bacterial properties. So be prepared to wash it while traveling.
All this comes in at a very reasonable price that makes it an ideal addition to any informal traveling wardrobe.
Every traveler worth their salt needs a reliable and stylish long-sleeve shirt. This should be your go-to option for a day in the city or for an evening out. It can also act as a layer when the temperatures begin to drop.
Unbound puts their proven quality and merino prowess to work to provide that exact go-to shirt in their long sleeve merino crew. This shirt embodies each and every one of the benefits of coveted merino wool—cool and moisture-wicking in warm weather, and temperature-insulating on cooler days. The wool is, furthermore, naturally anti-bacterial. Therefore it’s anti-odor, so you can wear it time and time again without washing.
But the time for washing will eventually come and, when it does, you may find merino wool to be a little more particular than your average T-shirt. While it can be machine washed, line drying is highly recommended to prevent shrinkage and premature wear. Unbound provides several very handy, but potentially headache-inducing, guidelines to keep this wool shirt in peak health.
While all the benefits of Merino make this shirt functionally perfect for nearly every traveling situation, the uncomplicated but stylish design by Unbound is the icing on the cake. Available in solid navy blue or black, this shirt will look perfectly comfortable as a layer on a skiing trip or as a standalone in a cafe or restaurant.
I, therefore, wholeheartedly recommend the merino crew from Unbound as the best travel shirt for men (with long sleeves). Stay warm when needed, cool when needed and classy always.
Finding a reliable long-sleeve that can function as a layer, a standalone top for around town and an exercise shirt is no small task. Especially when you need to find the absolute best travel shirt to last for as long as possible. The Bodyfitzone 150 by Icebreaker, however, perfectly fills this niche. And it can easily become your favorite traveling top for any situation.
This incredibly comfortable merino top will keep smelling great through every aspect of your trip, while the nylon blend seriously increases the durability for absolute longevity. And the added thumbholes and inherent temperature regulation further add to the comfort. Plus, the straight-black coloring and sleek design offer near limitless versatility. Wear it for a run, a day out, during airplane travel or as a warm base, and look good in every situation.
Recall, however, that merino abhors dryers, and so line drying is the way to go. Furthermore, several users report that the shirt may feel itchy upon purchase. But a single wash usually clears this up without any further issues.
Icebreaker has been cranking out high-quality merino products for several years now. And this long-sleeve top for women certainly lives up to their reputation. All the benefits of merino, the durability of nylon, a sleek design and, of course, thumbholes all come together to make this long-sleeve the best travel shirt for women travelers.
Looking to make an impression while on the road? Perhaps you’re headed to a high-stakes business meeting. Or maybe it’s a romantic evening out in a new city. It certainly pays to look your best while traveling. And the Meridian Dress Shirt 2.0 easily accomplishes this goal to the point that others will be thinking: “I wonder if his tailor travels with him.”
Bluffworks has invested an enormous amount of time and energy into developing a unique clothing line that lasts. And also a line that looks great. This shirt promises just that.
The Meridian Dress Shirt 2.0 is entirely wrinkle-free. For example, pull it from your suitcase after a flight, and you’ll be good to go.
Plus, there’s no sense in smelling like a rumpled and rugged traveler. The Meridian, again, hurdles this obstacle with an anti-microbial treatment that keeps you smelling fresh for days. And the polyester material is perfect for keeping you cool in all conditions. But remember that it doesn’t offer much insulation.
That all said, when it’s time for a wash, the Meridian is also refreshingly straightforward. This shirt is 100 percent machine washable, and you can simply tumble dry it or throw it up on a line.
However, for all its benefits, I’ve found that the Meridian does have one chink in its armor. The button spacing seems to be ever-so-slightly large. Meaning that, when sitting down, the gaps between the buttons can open up to reveal your undershirt (or lack thereof).
The Henley adds a few degrees of style to the standard long-sleeve shirt with the addition of a three-button collarless placket. But now consider the travel Henley, Oliver’s 100 percent merino wool variant that is anti-odor, water-repellent, lightweight and always ready for the road.
Olivers provides a refreshingly large color selection, so you can pick what matches your vibe. And the straightforward solid color also creates a subtly pleasing style that is just as versatile as your travels. Airports, dinners, beach trips, workouts and everything in between—your Convoy Henley won’t even break a sweat, literally.
The 100 percent merino wool construction will remain cool in warm conditions, and while wicking moisture away from your body. But, when the thermometer takes a dive, the wool will also provide excellent insulation. Add its natural odor protection and Olivers’ added water-resistance, and you have a shirt that will keep up on all of your travel escapades.
The fit, however, can be a bit of an acquired taste. Olivers has opted for a very athletic fit. Meaning you casual wearers out there can expect a much tighter fit and significantly narrower sleeves. So, if this worries you, be sure to pick one size larger than usual.
What merino gives us travelers in temperature and odor protection, however, it takes back in maintenance. Be sure to read up on how to best protect your wool shirt, and do your best to make it last. Additionally, this shirt must always dry on the line or lying flat, which can be a bit of a drag to you quick-moving travelers.
Nevertheless, the mountain of benefits of merino wool far outweighs the additional maintenance. It’s, therefore, easily the best travel shirt for Henley lovers.
Whether it’s salsa night in your new city or you’re simply a polo aficionado, the Icebreaker Tech Lite Polo is the best travel shirt for those looking for a classy collar. Combining all the benefits of merino wool with a stretchy nylon results in a stylish platform that hides a plethora of travel-friendly perks.
So let’s start with the style. First, Icebreaker presents a simple solid color pattern in three darker colors that look good in almost every circumstance. So from your travel day at the airport to an evening out with new friends, this polo shirt easily projects tastefulness without straying into the realm of preppy.
But, also, within this fashionable shirt hides merino wool superpowers. So enjoy the benefits of your shirt being naturally odor-resistant, temperature-regulating and moisture-wicking, all of which are pivotal for the best travel shirt. Remember, however, that merino requires extra Tender Loving Care (TLC), and it cannot be tossed in a dryer.
In fact, while we’re discussing the downsides, beware that many consumers have reported that the chest region of this polo often fits snugly, bordering on tight. Apart from the tight feeling, this also leads to a lot of chest for all to see if you leave it unbuttoned. Consider sizing up if you prefer a more casual fit.
For combining fancy and function, gentlemen, you can’t go wrong with this polo from Icebreaker. The design and style will keep you looking good for every aspect of your trip. And the merino material will constantly fend off smells and uncomfortable temperatures. So that’s definitely a win-win that makes this the best travel shirt for men who love a good polo.
Enter: all the benefits of merino, with the added durability of nylon, spun into an incredibly soft hoodie that will keep you comfortable wherever your travels take you. I believe Smartwool has definitely hit a bullseye with this product. And it easily earns the title of one of the best travel shirts.
Smartwool has targeted extreme adventurers for years with their line of comfortable yet durable merino wool products. And this particular hoodie embodies everything I love about their line.
The 87 percent merino wool will keep nasty odors at bay, even after days and days of wear. And, meanwhile, it will regulate your temperature in both warm and cool situations. But as we’ve discussed, merino tends to be a little less durable in the long run. So Smartwool threw in 13 percent nylon. This seriously ups the durability of this garment, and it makes it ready to tackle everything from the trails to the trams.
Plus, Smartwool has also added UPF 20+ and offset shoulder and side seams to limit backpack chaffing, both of which work in tandem to further make this hoodie absolutely perfect for backpack-toting travelers. As always, keep in mind that merino needs a little extra love where maintenance is concerned. This is, furthermore, a very thin and light shirt that, while perfect for traveling, may be prone to snags or tears.
Travelers looking for the perfect blend of comfort and durability, therefore, can’t go wrong with the Merino 150. Moreover, Smartwool produces both a men’s and women’s version so everyone can experience what I believe to be the best travel shirt for hoodie lovers.
Offset shoulder and side seams to limit backpack chaff
When it comes to finding the best travel shirt and traveling style in one fell swoop, Stitch Fix is your one and only stop. Stitch Fix provides you with an avenue to connect with your own personal stylist, tell them about your upcoming trip and receive a clothing package that will perfectly compliment your travels. Amongst your hand-selected items, you’ll often find the 01.Algo performance sweater, which easily finds its niche as the best travel sweater on the market for both style and function.
The performance aspect of this item relies on synthetic materials, which provide excellent moisture-wicking and cooling qualities, but lack merino’s natural odor-resistance and insulation. This means that the sweater will likely have to be washed after one or two uses. But for keeping cool and classy while traveling, it may well be worth it.
The largest downside I found for this item is just acquiring it. You can’t simply walk into a store or order off just any online retailer. Stitch Fix is the one and only provider out there, which means to get this shirt, you’ll need to sign up for their service, fill out your entry quiz and connect with your stylist.
Working with Stitch Fix, however, which expertly crafts, fine-tunes and equips your perfect traveling style, is an incredible opportunity. And it certainly rewards you. They open up one of the newest, and one of the most unique, avenues to your best traveling shirt, or shirts. And I highly recommend you take the turn down that avenue. Every item, including the 01.algo performance sweater, will be picked out just for you, your trip and your personal panache.
Part of the Stitch Fix personalized clothing package
I spent a great deal of time searching around for the very best travel shirt in each category, and Icebreaker simply kept appearing. They once again make my list, therefore, with their Amplify Racerback Tank that, again, ushers in an unbeatable merino-Tencel blend.
The merino easily handles the odor and comfort aspect to this travel tank, while the Tencel, in turn, shores up the durability and moisture-wicking/quick-drying aspects. Together, they make this stylish tank top ready to take on the world, from running a marathon abroad to exploring an outdoor market to completing the best hike of your life.
With your choice of blue, red or black, you can pick the color that best suits your needs and style. And the relaxed draping fit will also be comfortable for any and all parts of your adventure. But take note here that the draping fit may not be for everyone. Those of you who prefer a more sporty athletic fit may want to consider moving one size lower. But this is seriously small potatoes for such an awesome shirt.
For serious traveling in hot climates, this tank is certainly one of the best travel shirts you can invest in. Smell fresh wear after wear, look great wherever you go, enjoy merino’s endless comfort and get a traveling tank that will last your entire trip. In short, you can’t get any better than that.
Merino-Tencel blend for excellent durability
Cannot tumble dry
Drapes for a loose and relaxed fit, drop down a size for tight athletic fit
You may look at your closet and see plenty of shirts that you could pack, but would they really stand up to the rigors of travel and earn the title of travel shirt? Probably not. Travel shirts are a special breed that are specifically designed for all the hardship, odors and harsh weather conditions on your radar.
These special design points generally focus on materials, additional treatments and simply high-quality craftsmanship that all work together to make the best travel shirt last as long as your travels do. And always look good while doing it.
So you know exactly what to look for, these three points are key.
Arguably the most important aspect of the best travel shirt is its material. Cheap or weak material is much more likely to prematurely fray and fail mid-trip. So this leads to an unscheduled and unanticipated shopping stop to replenish your wardrobe.
I, therefore, cannot overstate the importance of finding travel clothes that will complement, and not hinder, your travels. My best advice is to look for merino wool or an alternative.
Merino: Merino is incredibly soft and feels great. And, more practically, it’s naturally anti-bacterial, which means that it’s anti-odor. It’s also temperature regulating. That said, it does need some more care, as it cannot be tossed in the dryer. And there are also certain chemical deodorants that some manufacturers say to steer clear of.
Synthetic Alternatives: Polyester, a manufactured synthetic material, is breathable and moisture wicking, but lacks insulation. Tencel is also employed as a more durable and quick-drying option to merino wool, and is often blended with wool to get the best of both worlds. Lastly, lyocell is a natural man-made fiber that is often deployed for its excellent moisture management and anti-microbial properties.
As an extra layer of awesomeness, you will often see many manufacturers adding their own material treatments to further bolster a travel shirt’s robustness.
Treatment for Travel
The raw materials that make up the best travel shirt typically benefit from an additional chemical treatment in the form of water-repellency, anti-microbial shields or UPF protection. For most travelers, these can be absolute gold.
Fend off the rain or drink spill, both of which are unfortunate inevitabilities. Or keep those smelly bacteria at bay for more uses between washes. Some companies even have their own special formulations to boost their shirts to the heavyweight level, as Ably’s Filium accomplishes.
Filium launches what would simply be an average cotton shirt to the traveling level with a three-part combination knockout. It’s stain-resistant thanks to liquid repellency, odor-resistant thanks to anti-microbial properties, and quick drying. These three items are just what I love in a good travel shirt, and that’s why you’ll see Ably amongst my top T-shirt picks.
Therefore, run an eye over a potential shirt’s specifications, and pay special attention to any treatments that may be the thin line between a throwaway gym rag and the best travel shirt of your life.
Excellence for Every Escapade
The last item to consider when purchasing the best travel shirt is quality. Poorly constructed shirts will simply not hold up to the rigors of travel.
Look for products from established and reputable manufacturers. Preferably those in the outdoor adventure or sport fields. They will know how to make shirts that last. This quality will, unfortunately, come with a price tag. But investing in a shirt that will last, look good for most occasions and resist stains and odors is well worth spending a little extra on in my opinion.
Off to trek the Salkantay trail or headed to the cold Bolivian salt flats? Whatever the case, these travel shirts will make sure of no wardrobe malfunctions. From long to short, hooded to collared, buttoned to casual, this list has you covered.
You have everything you need to know about purchasing your best travel shirt ever at your fingertips. So go forth, get your shirt, and keep on exploring the world.