When I’m not working, my “uniform” of choice is a pair of jeans or shorts and a monochrome t-shirt from either Express or the Banana Republic. Those t-shirts are made largely from cotton; they’re soft and wear well but need to be washed after every wear. The Terminal Tech Tee from Olivers takes a different approach, and I’m rather pleased.
The pitch for Olivers’ Terminal Tech Tee went like this:
Can you create a technical tee with natural materials and classic styling that outperforms the most-popular synthetic performance fabrics on the market? Starting today, we’re asking people to ditch the dri-fit.
I was intrigued and requested a review sample; I’m glad I did. The review sample arrived a few days later in a simple plastic bag that is not as wasteful as we commonly see with mail order goods.
At $68 this is not an inexpensive t-shirt, but this isn’t just any old t-shirt. Unlike the other t-shirts in my wardrobe which are made from cotton, the Terminal Tech Tee is made from 54% Merino wool and 46% Polyester. The Merino wool is on the side next to your skin while the polyester is used for the outer side.
The difference is this. A cotton t-shirt is soft and comfortable. But cotton absorbs sweat. That’s why, after a run or, as I did yesterday, an afternoon taking down an old shed, a cotton T-shirt is soaked with sweat and, before long, smelly. Merino wool wicks sweat away rather than absorbing it. It is also naturally odor resistant. In fact, one review on the product page noted, “This may sound disgusting, but I have used this shirt multiple times without washing, and there is not one note of bad odor that comes from the shirt.”
Call me a prima donna I’m not a fan of the “wear it over and over again without washing” club. Still, it is nice to know you could wear this shirt multiple times without washing. It is even nicer to know that, for example, you could take a couple of these shirts on a trip and pack much lighter without the need to pay out the nose for hotel laundry service.
The Terminal Tech Tee comes in graphite and smoke. I was sent the graphite version and like the color. This is what Olivers has to say about the shirt:
A technical tee, tailored for the guy who likes to sweat in style. Our merino mesh tech tee is naturally odor resistant and wicks sweat masterfully, all in a simple silhouette that looks good at the gym and the commute home.
At $68 this t-shirt is more than double the price of the cotton shirts I usually wear. But that isn’t comparing apples to apples. Not only is the Terminal Tech Tee made of 54% merino wool but the craftsmanship far surpassed that of the simple cotton tees I wear.
The ends of the sleeves and the bottom are folded in and then sewn. There is double stitching, and it is precise.
This gives the Terminal Tech Tee a refined look that screams quality. It also has a reinforced back yoke. This is a t-shirt that will last a good long time.
It also has a reinforced back yoke. This is a t-shirt that will last a good long time.
Now it’s not all good news. If you are looking for the softest shirt around this isn’t going to be it. It is not rough but is certainly is not as soft and “cottony” as the cotton t-shirts I usually wear. Also, I’ve had this shirt for a couple of weeks, and there is already a thread pull near my left shoulder. I suspect it was the result of my being careless and, after pushing the pulled thread back into the shirt it is all but unnoticeable. Still, here at Gear Diary, we strive to give complete and honest reviews, so I did feel the need to mention it.
Details of the Terminal Tech Tee:
- 54% Merino, 46% Polyester
- Merino next to skin, polyester face
- 125 GSM. Double knit construction
- Reinforced back yoke
- Slim, athletic cut. Fits true to size
- Machine wash cold. Tumble dry low.
In all, I like this shirt. After wearing it, I don’t particularly enjoy returning to the cotton t-shirts I wear. Still, since this only comes in two colors, if I want something different from graphite or smoke I need to look to the other shirts in my closet. That noted I’m wearing my cotton t-shirts a lot less these days.
Olivers’ Terminal Tech Tee is $68, but if you buy two, you can save 5%. If you buy three or more, you can save 10%. Oh, and shipping is free on orders over $150.
I like the Terminal Tech Tee and am wearing it frequently. It is good for hanging out and even better when going for a run or taking the dog for a walk on a hot day. Check it out here.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample
What I Like: Looks good; Combination of Merino wool and Polyester; Breaths and wicks sweat away from you; Naturally odor resistant; Well-made; I LOVE the minimalist packaging
What Needs Improvement: Only available in two colors; Material can pull