Antimicrobial Clothing

So I tried out a hiking shirt with antimicrobial treatment and found that it works quite well in terms of odor control. I am just wondering whether long term use with multiple washes would diminish its non-stinking abilities…
I am looking to get some new clothing soon. Before I do that I want to ask and see if anybody knows whether antimicrobial clothing performs over the long term?
I know that Merino wool works well in this regard but it has its own drawbacks too. Durability, price etc.

If anyone has some insight, please do share :slight_smile:

Hi Julian,

I am unfortunately someone who gets cold very easily, but once I start moving I warm up fast. And with the heat, comes the smell :frowning:

I have a merino wool fleece, but found that it picks up odor very easily. I was quite disappointed as it cost about R2000… yeah.

So, I was skeptical when I came across Core Merino. They are mostly online, but also have a shop in PE, and Moove in Claremont CT also stocks their stuff.

Anyway, I paid them a visit in PE. Monica was super helpful and answered all my questions, and I tried on a variety of their shirts.

The fit is really good, and they are comfy.
Now, price. They start at R380 and go up from there. The more expensive options use blended technology which is less prone to wear and tear.

To me, spending more than R200 on a shirt is crazy. But I decided to give them a go and bought a R380 t-shirt.

It received a baptism of fire: a motorbike trip in 40 degree heat. I have also been hiking, running, walking, cycling, and gym-ing with it. To really put it to the test I did 3 intense runs with it, with no washes inbetween (eeeew right).

It didn’t pick up any unpleasant odors.

It has had about 4 washes - regular machine wash with regular automatic powder - so I can’t comment on the durability yet.

But, I will be buying a few more and phasing out my R100 Mr. Price shirts (that being said, those last me 3 years, so really not bad!)


Hi Heather,

Thank you for the info! I was browsing the Core Merino site just the other day, their stuff looks great! Although it seems their cheaper options are currently out of stock on their online store. I’ll have to check when they become available again.

I like the synthetic technical shirts for their UPF rating and their durability for hiking through areas where clothing can be torn. Which is why I was wondering how well the ones with “antimicrobial treatment” work.
I wonder if the best way to find out isn’t just to try different products as you go…
The Core Merino stuff is still on my radar though, so your tested review is very helpful. Thanks! :slight_smile:

Can confirm that Merino clothing works. I use mine mostly when sleeping (long top and bottom) and can confirm that they don’t smell, even when it gets really stuffy in the sleeping bag. Had mine now for about 5 years and washes then with regular washing powder after every hike, no issues. Wouldn’t hike with it though as it would simply be way too hot.

Regarding hiking shirts, I noticed that some of my T-shirts smell, and others don’t. Check the material used for the T-Shirt, this would be a cheaper alternative than buying treated shirts. That being said, I have 2 Colombia T-Shirts that are treated with some sort of stuff that wicks water tremendously well, and I definitely don’t smell in these. They were quite expensive though.

You can also just wash your T-shirts every day when you arrive at camp. Carry a small amount of bio degradable soap and all should be fine for the next day. If you hike in a group then everyone will be a bit smelly by the end of the day anyway, but always nice to start the day clean and fresh :slight_smile:

That’s helpful info, thanks Riaan!

So it seems the performance of the treated stuff would vary greatly depending on the product…I’m probably better off buying the cheaper non treated stuff and attempting regular washes… or i’ll just embrace the stink :slight_smile:

You can try take a look at the material blends as well with the sporting tops. Technically polyester will wick the best as it is absorbs the least moisture, which means it gets transferred to the surface of the material quickest. Nylon absorbs more moisture than polyester overall but is a stronger material.

As far as I understand polyester then does a strange thing where it retains your oils on the surface, and as your body heats up they are released somehow. Which results in the fabrics ending up smelling fairly easily if they are not treated in some way to resist this. But this is all hearsay from reading around :sweat_smile:

So maybe for longer term low odor gear it would be in finding something with a higher ratio of nylon, with the lose then being in wicking potential. I honestly don’t have a foot to stand on here in terms of experience, but any chemical treatment I would assume wears out? Or that is definitely true for things like DWR coatings.

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I see that Outdoor Warehouse are currently running a special on their bamboo base layer long underwear. Top and bottom retails for R400, which is quite good value for money. Reckon I should go to the shops today before you people buy up all the stock :wink:

If its R400 for the set then that’s very good! I’ve tried similar bamboo clothing before and found that it stays fresh for about 3 days, which is not bad.

Nope, it’s R400 each. Sorry, my wording wasn’t clear enough. R400 for one item, R800 for both.

In that case, I saw trappers selling them for R229 each - If there is still stock that is.

A good read…