Merrell consistently positions itself at the intersection of fashion and performance for outdoor activity, and that philosophy is well represented with the Rambler, a polyester/cotton blend that helps you keep your cool on or off trail.

Merrell Rambler Shirt Features:

  • Fabric: 32% polyester / 23% Elasterell polyester / 45% cotton
  • Merrell SelectWick technology for moisture transfer
  • 20+ UPF
  • 31” center back length
  • Flap and button chest pocket
  • Four plaid color options
  • MSRP $65
merrell rambler shirt hiking

Hot days in Carmel Valley

The “Go Anywhere” Rambler Plaid Shirt

Merrell’s Rambler is a comfortable blend of moisture-wicking polyester with lightweight cotton that feels soft against the skin.  The trunk is cut with a regular fit, with a long center back length that is easy to keep tucked in as a base layer, or extended beyond a backpack as a single layer.  A layer of mesh across the shoulder blades provides increased breathability above your day pack as well.

merrell rambler shirt mesh back

Mesh layer across shoulder area

I wore the Rambler for several hot hikes in California as well as an extended 7-day trek through cool temps in Wyoming, always under a 24L hydration pack (to be reviewed separately).  The shirt stayed comfortable as a bottom layer under a jacket, without chafing or irritation, and had nice breathability in warm temperatures as a standalone top.

Odors will accumulate in the Rambler with multi-day use, but a freshwater rinse can keep the funkiness at a low grade until you’re able to throw it in the washer.  The fabric dries quickly after getting doused in mountain streams or just going through the spin cycle at home – and air drying is recommended, as machine drying can cause some wrinkles.

merrell rambler

Break time in the Tetons

The Rambler is only available in plaid styles, which may be limiting for those looking for more understated style.  In my opinion, the plaids have a nice mountain vibe to them, whether you’re actually hiking through the high country or just have the hills on your mind.

The Good:

  • Nice combination of cottony feel plus moisture wicking properties
  • Lightweight feel to keep cool in the heat
  • Comfortable for long trail days

The Bad:

  • Odor retention with back-to-back use

The Bottom Line

Merrell’s Ramber is a lightweight, comfortable top that’s well-suited for traveling, warm day hikes, or just lounging around on lazy summer days.

Buy Now: Available at

About Author

Donald is a physical therapist, ultrarunner, barefoot aficionado, and father of three with more than 20 years of experience in endurance sports. When he's not training for ultramarathons, he enjoys hiking or slacklining with his family in Monterey County, CA.

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