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So what exactly is moisture wicking?

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    • So what exactly is moisture wicking?

      Hiking gear is often sold as moisture wicking being a desirable feature. As we all know, cotton kills and we love to ridicule people who hike in blue jeans. Synthetics like nylon don't absorb water and are quick drying and are marketed as moisture wicking for this reason. However I got a bamboo shirt for Christmas. It is a very nice tee shirt. Very comfy, good fitting. I see that bamboo is also marketed a moisture wicking, but curiiusly for the exact opposite reason, because it is good at absorbing water so it pulls the water away. The difference between the bamboo and cotton is pretty striking. I did a load of laundry today with an ordinary cotton tee shirt with my new bamboo shirt . These shirts feel very similar (weight, softness). When taking clothes out of the , I was sorting the clothes that had dried from those that needed more time. The cotton shirt was completely dry but the bamboo shirt was still very wet. I'm not sure what to make of this. Is this the best hiking shirt ever or if I wear will you find my molding body among the pile of blue jean wearing corpses?

      The post was edited 1 time, last by odd man out ().

    • No real clue about your specific shirt.....or dryer.

      Wicking usually just means that the fabric has some quality that allows moisture to move along it. Like away from the source of the moisture. Cotton does! However the one's usually marketed as wicking, just DRY FAST. So it moves the moisture AND drys (cotton takes forever).

      Now, you need to notify the shirt manufacturer! They will take TONS of credit!
      "OUR shirt is SO high tech and fantastic, YOU DON'T NEED A DRYER! That's RIGHT! Just toss all your wet clothes in with one of our shirts and OUR SHIRT will ABSORB all the moisture from your other clothes!" :D
      Pirating – Corporate Takeover without the paperwork
    • odd man out wrote:

      Hiking gear is often sold as moisture wicking being a desirable feature. As we all know, cotton kills and we love to ridicule people who hike in blue jeans. Synthetics like nylon don't absorb water and are quick drying and are marketed as moisture wicking for this reason. However I got a bamboo shirt for Christmas. It is a very nice tee shirt. Very comfy, good fitting. I see that bamboo is also marketed a moisture wicking, but curiiusly for the exact opposite reason, because it is good at absorbing water so it pulls the water away. The difference between the bamboo and cotton is pretty striking. I did a load of laundry today with an ordinary cotton tee shirt with my new bamboo shirt . These shirts feel very similar (weight, softness). When taking clothes out of the , I was sorting the clothes that had dried from those that needed more time. The cotton shirt was completely dry but the bamboo shirt was still very wet. I'm not sure what to make of this. Is this the best hiking shirt ever or if I wear will you find my molding body among the pile of blue jean wearing corpses?
      What is the fabric content as stated on the label of the bamboo shirt? The last bamboo shirt I looked at had a label stating 55% bamboo and 45% rayon.

      Lest we forget.....



      SSgt Ray Rangel - USAF
      SrA Elizabeth Loncki - USAF
      PFC Adam Harris - USA
      MSgt Eden Pearl - USMC
    • mine is 75/25 bamboo/cotton

      Being a scientist, I was wondering why the hiking community has not come up with an objective measurment for these parameters, if, in fact they are significant. Afterall, we have standardized ways of measuring sleeping bag warmth, pad insulation, fabric waterproodness, fabric breathability, etc... From my experience yesterday, two numbers which might be relevant should be pretty easy to come by. One is water ansorbance. How many grams water is absorbed per gram of fabric. For this you could simply compare the mass before and after washing. The other would be drying rate. Simply take the fabric out of the dryer and weight at time intervals. Of course you would have to analyze each garment separately and with the same conditions. I wonder if these two parameters are related or independent; significant or irrelevant.
    • odd man out wrote:

      mine is 75/25 bamboo/cotton

      Being a scientist, I was wondering why the hiking community has not come up with an objective measurment for these parameters, if, in fact they are significant. Afterall, we have standardized ways of measuring sleeping bag warmth, pad insulation, fabric waterproodness, fabric breathability, etc... From my experience yesterday, two numbers which might be relevant should be pretty easy to come by. One is water ansorbance. How many grams water is absorbed per gram of fabric. For this you could simply compare the mass before and after washing. The other would be drying rate. Simply take the fabric out of the dryer and weight at time intervals. Of course you would have to analyze each garment separately and with the same conditions. I wonder if these two parameters are related or independent; significant or irrelevant.
      Probably because most of the "hiking community" are not scientist.
      Look at it as an opportunity. :)
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • odd man out wrote:

      mine is 75/25 bamboo/cotton

      Being a scientist, I was wondering why the hiking community has not come up with an objective measurment for these parameters, if, in fact they are significant. Afterall, we have standardized ways of measuring sleeping bag warmth, pad insulation, fabric waterproodness, fabric breathability, etc... From my experience yesterday, two numbers which might be relevant should be pretty easy to come by. One is water ansorbance. How many grams water is absorbed per gram of fabric. For this you could simply compare the mass before and after washing. The other would be drying rate. Simply take the fabric out of the dryer and weight at time intervals. Of course you would have to analyze each garment separately and with the same conditions. I wonder if these two parameters are related or independent; significant or irrelevant.
      Good questions and metric...I guess, which is prolly why I’m not a scientist.
    • Natural fibers - Bamboo, nothing special - Bamboo is easy to work into a shirt and has similar properties to cotton.


      Silk, Cotton, LINEN and my personal favorite, Wool. Are clearly natural, and some of them stink. Silk Shirts has a natural odd smell don't you agree? Linen is an odd favorite... southern comfort. It takes 3-4 acres of this grass to make one shirt and in the past only children could weed it, harvest and process it. (ask the old Amish) Today the super-rich still are in love with linen often observed at "white Linen" weddings. (Don't judge- just an observation.) It is clearly Heat resistant. On humid god awful hot days linen suits are damn comfortable - and better then cotton.

      Here is a linen wedding group (this is common practice among-st the ultra rich)


      I love wool, I grew up with English and Scottish wool, shirts and sweaters. My dad's hand me down's lasted for years until someone unmentioned shrank them in one wash. My Grandmother Knitted them and I was thankful for years.



      Natural fibers provide excellent strength, warmth, touch, and absorbency. There lies the issue, absorbency... the soaking or swelling of sweat, moisture and smell.

      Fleece - is wicking. it is micro fiber (smaller than human hair) and traps body heat due to the weave and prevents most absorption... unfortunately does hang on to body oil so it needs a wash occasionally. But is warmer to most clothing except one... Down.

      There was an Old Man with a owl,
      Who continued to bother and howl;
      He sat on a rail, And imbibed bitter ale,
      Which refreshed that Old Man and his owl.WOO