My original review of the Patagonia Capilene Lightweight t-shirt is here. [I’m going to abbreviate this shirt as “PCL” going forward so I don’t have to type out that mouthful each time.] I bought my first one in the summer of 2017, so I’ve been wearing this shirt model regularly for a year and a half now, and I thought it deserved an update.
It is still an excellent shirt and has held up well over time. I use the PCL exclusively as a travel shirt. It’s a bit suboptimal as a running shirt because the material can get a little rough on the skin if you repeatedly use the sleeve to wipe your brow sweat like I do, so I still use my old Columbia Titanium tees for my weekend trail runs.
But for lightweight travel purposes, the PCL can’t be beaten. They dry so much quicker than anything else I’ve ever used and have held up really well over the last year and a half from a durability standpoint. If I’m spending 40+ dollars on a single shirt, I want it to last. This is the main reason why I don’t use merino wool; paying big dollars on a shirt that will break down in 2 years is not something I am willing to accept.
The Patagonias have shown no defects, stretching, scalloping of the collars, pilling, or any other typical problems seen with some of the cheaper made travel shirts.
I typically travel with 3 of these t-shirts and wash the one I was wearing during any given day that same evening. In most climates, the shirt is completely dry in around 3 hours, sometimes less. If I need a fancier shirt for the evenings, I still carry around a Lacoste Sport Polo but those take longer to dry.
So the PCL still gets my absolute top rating, and if you’re in the hunt for a great travel shirt, I’d definitely give these a look. As always, I advise you to visit your local outdoor store and try it on first to make sure the shirt fits your body well. The greatest shirt in the world for me may be a dud for you if you look goofy wearing it due to differences in body shape, so definitely test it out first before plunking down $40.