On a recent trip, one Olivers Apparel Convoy Tee took the place of at least three different cotton or synthetic shirts, and it still looked and smelled fresh enough to wear for even more days! In other words, for a one-week trip, a couple of Convoy Tees could be all you need to pack.
- Comfortable fit
- Beautiful, soft merino wool fabric
- Delivers all the benefits of merino wool
- Tougher than it looks
- A few of these can replace an entire drawer of cheap t-shirts
For years, I never paid over $15 for a t-shirt. But, as the saying goes, you get what you pay for. So I started spending more on merino wool t-shirts, and I have no regrets. My newest, the Olivers Convoy Tee, may be pricey at $88, but it is actually a decent value. Let me explain why.
I’ve reviewed several different offerings from Olivers and have yet to be disappointed. Their products come with a premium price tag, but the design, fabric quality, and construction are as good as you’ll find anywhere.
Last year I reviewed their Passage Pants, and I’ve worn them at least once a week since the review. After all this time, the pants still look brand new. The same goes for the Stadium Shirt Jacket I reviewed last year. I wore it constantly when the weather was cooler, yet it seems like it just came out of the box.
I jumped at the opportunity when Olivers invited me to review some additional items.; the first to arrive was the Olivers Convoy Tee.
The Olivers Convoy Tee is a 100% merino wool t-shirt made of a 165GSM merino. The 18.5-micron merino translates to a fabric that is incredibly soft and feels fantastic on your body.
The “165GSM” means the shirt can serve as a base layer during the fall and winter. And while you might think merino wool is only appropriate for cold weather, you would be wrong.
Between the light weight of the fabric and the ability of merino wool to wick away sweat, resist odor, and help with thermoregulation, lightweight merino wool is ideal for summer. I’ll explain just how “ideal” it is in a moment, but first, I should also mention that merino wool also has anti-microbial properties.
Not only is the merino fabric in the Olivers Convoy Tee among the softest I have felt, but the construction is also about as good as I have experienced.
Flat-lock seams add to the comfort; they are straight, and there are no loose threads anywhere on the shirt. Add in the fact that this t-shirt is available in 12 colors, and there is something here for everyone to love.
It is worth noting that, as is often the case with merino wool, the fabric may be wrinkled when it first comes out of the packaging.
Those wrinkles usually come out a short time after wearing the garment for the first time. If that doesn’t happen, machine washing it on the cold setting and laying it flat to dry (which is how all merino clothing should be cleaned) usually makes the wrinkles a thing of the past. The wrinkle resistance is one of the many qualities that drew me to merino wool two years ago.
But how can an $88 shirt be considered a decent value when I can pick up four or more inexpensive cotton t-shirts for less than one of these? Let me explain by telling you about my vacation last week.
Raina and I decided to go to Sonoma, California, for a few days. It’s a fairly long flight from New Jersey to California, followed by a two-hour drive from San Francisco, so I wanted to be as comfortable as possible during travel.
I threw on the pants and t-shirt I thought might be best for the trip and only then realized that I was wearing my Olivers Passage Pants and the Convoy Tee I had recently received. The combination was great, and I was comfortable enough to sleep for part of the trip.
We landed in San Francisco and had to wait two hours to get our rental car. It was hot, and I was sweating, yet the Convoy Tee kept me surprisingly cool. Once we got the car, we drove for two hours to get to the inn.
We checked in; since I still looked and felt fresh in my clothing, I was still wearing the Passage Pants and Convoy Tee when we went to dinner.
The next day, I put on a different merino wool t-shirt that had cost more than the Convoy Tee, but it didn’t feel nearly as substantial.
The second full day we were there, we decided to go zip-lining in the Redwood Forest near our inn. I threw on the Olivers Convoy Tee, and we headed out.
Seven zip lines later, the shirt looked like it had just come out of the laundry.
We went for a little hike, getting up close and personal with some magnificent redwoods. I saw no reason to change out of the Olivers Convoy Tee, so I also wore it the rest of the day.
Before we headed out for dinner, I hung up the Convoy Tee so it could air out.
The next day was even more active than the one before. We were starting the day with a bike ride and a visit to a winery.
After lunch, we went kayaking along the Russian River for a few hours. It was hot, and we were sweating. Yet, the Olivers Convoy Tee still looked like it had just been washed at the end of the day!
Of course, the real test was whether or not it smelled.
So I hung it up overnight and then asked my wife Raina to smell it. She hates when I ask her to do that, but it is the only way I can judge whether or not a merino shirt is actually as odor-resistant as people claim!
Raina agreed to play along.
After a few big sniffs, she registered her conclusion. “It doesn’t smell ‘just out of the laundry fresh,’ but it doesn’t smell either.”
She then politely requested I wear a different t-shirt because, even though the Olivers Convoy Tee didn’t smell, she still hasn’t fully wrapped her head around the fact that merino wool rarely needs to be washed.
The company isn’t kidding when they describe the Olivers Convoy Tee as:
The everyday essential in nature’s finest performance fabric. Our 100% merino tee has a relaxed fit, and a softness you can sweat in. Our 100% merino wool is soft, light, and keeps you warm on cold days and cool in the heat.
To summarize: I wore the Convoy Tee on a transcontinental flight, while waiting in line for two hours to get a rental car, during a two-hour drive, to dinner, while zip-lining, when biking, while wine tasting, and while kayaking. After all that, despite being among the hottest days this summer, I was comfortable the entire time!
Shockingly, despite the heat and all that activity, the shirt still didn’t smell!
So that one Olivers Convoy Tee took the place of at least three different cotton or synthetic shirts last week, and it could have replaced even more t-shirts if Raina hadn’t asked me not to wear it for a fourth full day. In other words, a couple of Olivers Convoy Tees could be all you need to pack for a one-week trip. And that is why the $88 Convoy Tee is a decent value compared to an inexpensive cotton t-shirt. It’s also why I’m such a huge fan of merino wool, particularly this shirt!
The Olivers Convoy Tee sells for $88; it is available directly from the manufacturer.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample
What I Like: Comfortable fit; Beautiful, soft merino wool fabric; Delivers all the benefits of merino wool; Tougher than it looks; A few of these can replace an entire drawer of cheap t-shirts
What Needs Improvement: Nothing so far!