Sherpa Adventure Gear is a unique company with unique products and a unique mission. They’re a small company by all accounts, but their products are used by some of the best athletes in the world and you’ll regularly see their signature Endless Knot emblazoned on summit pictures from the world’s most sought-after mountains. Their business model, “One step at a time, helping each other up on the climb, and never losing sight of the destination.” This inimitable company sent us a few samples for the upcoming seasons and we’re going to get started with their Kanchan Tee.
SAG Kanchan Tee Features:
- IceFil Xylitol-treated fabric
- Pullover style with crossover detail at chest
- UPF 30+ Protection
- Stretch Mesh back
- Total Weight: 4.90z
Field Testing Results
The Kanchan is really your classic performance tee, jazzed up by the crossover stitching on the chest. Sherpa chose a delightfully light, stretchy nylon/spandex weave which moves and flexes like a champ once it’s on. The athletic fit is trim and stays close to your body, but it’s not a skin-tight layer.
The biggest feature of the Kanchan tee is its unique Icefil fabric, which Sherpa Adventure Gear treated with Xylitol, a chemical that reacts with the skin to cause a cooling sensation. We’ve seen similar technologies from Columbia and Mountain Hardwear in the Chiller L/S and the Freeze Degree Tee. Sherpa’s solution started off very well, and I certainly noticed an uptick in evaporative cooling. That being said, by the time I washed it for the fifth time I can’t say that I noticed much of the effect, if any. This finding is consistent with what we’ve observed in other cooling fabrics, though: performance is often stellar until the piece is washed a few times. I’m excited to see where this technology goes in the coming seasons, though, since 2013 is the first time these fabrics have been widely distributed to the outdoor community.
Beyond the Icefil fabric, the Kanchan gets a boost from its pleasantly springy weave and polyester/spandex mesh back panel. The entire back of the shirt is mesh and that provides a ton of airflow and is a welcome relief in the Nevada sun. I thoroughly enjoyed the shirt for both mountain biking and jogging, and there’s no doubt that the UPF 30+ rating was invaluable in the high desert. Sherpa’s reflective accents tie off the deal for nighttime excursions.
- Lightweight, stretchy Icefil fabric starts off strong
- Full-mesh back provides tons of cooling
- Features a UPF 30+ rating
- Icefil treatment doesn’t persist well through multiple washings
The Bottom Line
Sherpa’s Kanchan tee is a delightfully stretchy, cool-wearing shirt for sweating it out in the hot summer sun. I really enjoyed the shirt’s simple design and function, and the athletic fit moved well during jogging and cycling. The Icefil cooling technology was great at the start, but like most treatments its effectiveness wears off. If you can manage to find a Kanchan in stores, you’ll definitely be happy with the purchase.
More info: Sherpa Adventure Gear