Merino-blend shirts tend to be my favorites for everyday use. I have a couple of old I/O Bio Merino shirts that have holes in them after 12 years of use, but I still wear them because they are so darn comfortable. Patagonia is no stranger to using Merino wool in its base layers and other items, and the new Capilene Cool Merino Shirt represents one of the best examples of Merino done right for trail running.
Patagonia Capilene Cool Merino Shirt Features:
- Naturally odor-resistant
- 65% Merino wool
- 35% recycled polyester
- Wool certified by Responsible Wool Standard
- MSRP: $59
A woolly good running shirt
Sorry… that was b-a-a-a-a-a-a-d. Oops, there I go again with all those sheep jokes. All joking aside, Merino-blend shirts are always an outstanding choice in my book. I would wear them every day, all day if I had my druthers. And, that’s what I tend to do after a trail run in the Patagonia Capilene Cool Merino Shirt — wear it all day. The beauty of it is Patagonia intends for you to keep it on and the natural odor-absorbing qualities make that a reality.
To be clear, Merino wool on its own isn’t ideal for athletic use. It’s heavy, sags when saturated and doesn’t feel awesome next-to-skin. Now, blend that wool with some polyester yarn and it’s a recipe for perfection. With it, the natural characteristics of the wool fibers are amplified for a lightweight, soft, breathable and stink-resistant blend.
The muted plume grey color looks great on the trail, around the house or at the office (yup, we’re going back to them). That said, any of the available colors will be right at home for all-around duty. My primary use has been trail running or long dog walks. But, almost every time I’m done, I just keep it on and continue on with the day (endless Zoom calls, lunch-wrangling and carpool duty). It only begins to smell after 4-5 uses and just feels so darn comfy that it’s hard to take it off.
Again, the Merino-blend it lightweight and soft next-to-skin. I’ve worn it under running jackets, alone and with the Patagonia Slope Runner Endurance Vest. Under all conditions, I haven’t experienced any chafing whatsoever. The fabric remains soft and smooth and no seams are noticeable, thanks to flat lock stitching on the shoulders. Mechanical stretch is built-in, but it’s not an equal 4-way stretch. No, it has structure vertically to prevent it from sagging, yet stretches quite a bit horizontally.
Regarding wearing this with a hydration vest. Unfortunately, the fabric will pill due to the friction of the vest. Just be aware of that and either use a handheld hydration option or prepare for pilling.
Fit: I’m 5’11” and 170 lbs. The size medium fits nicely in the body, sleeves and length.
- Super lightweight
- Breathes like a champ
- Feels comfortable next-to-skin
- Great for trail running or around town (office too)
- Vertical structure and horizontal stretch yields an excellent fit and function
- Hang loop for the win!
- Some pilling if you wear it with a hydration vest
- Always difficult to follow care instructions in our household
The Bottom Line: Patagonia Capilene Cool Merino Shirt
The Capilene Cool Merino Shirt is comfy and cool to wear year-round. Yes, Merino can be worn on the hottest days without worry. I have loved the extended wear of this shirt due to the anti-stink properties and it’s versatile enough to wear around all day after a trail run. Just watch out for pilling should you wear a hydration pack.
Buy Now: Visit Patagonia.com