HH Merino Light SS review: Women’s T-shirt for summer activities

Aug 23, 2018 BY Sarah Hannibal

Looking for a technical women’s t-shirt for summer activities? Then read this  HH Merino Light SS review by adventurer Sarah Hannibal. It has been tested hiking, mountaineering and climbing in the Alps and mountains of Kyrgyzstan.

Summer alpine hiking brings with it a range of temperatures, not only on a day to day basis, but also within one hike. Whilst you may start with a second layer due to a slight chill in the morning, you may soon be roasting through a combination of physical exertion and beaming sunrays. Not to mention the instant freeze-chill when you reach an exposed area at a higher altitude and that wind you were convinced didn’t exist today, is there after all.

HH Merino Light SS review Women's T-shirt for summer activities

HH Merino Light SS reviewI haven’t invested in good hiking T-shirts since, eerrmmm, like ever? In my hiking top assortment there are cotton T-shirts that have always had zero wicking ability and are now less than desirable, especially under the armpits. There are t-shirts that claim to be made for activities, but the material is so itchy and uncomfortable on my skin, they were relegated to the bottom of the pile after one outing.

I also have sleeveless tops that inevitably leave me with sunburn on my shoulders, regardless of how much sunscreen I use, and rucksacks are uncomfortable with them too. My shoulders aren’t the only thing that burn, it is not uncommon that after a day hiking in the sun, I end up with a thin band of burnt skin on my hips where my top has ridden up with movement from the rucksack.

HH Merino Light SS review: Fit

So having mentioned how susceptible I am to burning, like a true Brit, I put on the Merino Light SS T-shirt with its high neckline and my first thought was “what about my tan?”. In fact the neckline is not high, but at the level of a normal T-shirt, which is in fact a bonus, since my chest is another part of me that always ends up with too much sun.

HH Merino Light SS review Women's T-shirt for summer activities

During this HH Merino Light SS review I found the body of the T-shirt is long enough that it sits comfortably over the waistband of my shorts or trousers. Thanks to the length, the T-shirt has never once ridden up my back, even when wearing a rucksack.

This was one of the highlights of the T-shirt for me, I am finally able to hike without regularly having to do a little jig to shift the rucksack up and away from my back and pull my top back down at the same time. All that energy saved on hikes, thanks to the design of the t-shirt really having been thought about.

Finally, the fit is flattering – so perfect as a women’s T-shirt for summer activities. Afterall, who doesn’t want to look good for their summit Instagram selfie?

HH Merino Light SS review Women's T-shirt for summer activities

I have been climbing in this T-shirt too, for this the fit was also great, even with full arm movements, it stayed put, and there was no restriction in my movement at all.

Breathable women’s T-shirt for summer activities

As previously mentioned, a cool wind on a hot day at a peak can be a real killer. The good old cotton t-shirt is a prime example of how you can feel hot and clammy and then a few seconds later be shivering with cold. That age old dilemma of whether to put a warmer layer on over the wet t-shirt or get cold and let it dry a bit.

Helly Hansen Merino Lights SS T-shirt? Not an issue. As everyone has noticed, this summer has been hot, even in the mountains. I have really soaked this t-shirt with sweat on hikes, yet not once have I taken off my rucksack when I have had the Merino Light SS T-shirt on and overly cooled down.

HH Merino Light SS review aqua blue

During this HH Merino Light SS review I found they are super-fast drying, and in the wind they are dry before you have a chance to get cold. Gentle reminder: it has been hot this summer, do not hold me to this on a day where the wind is cold and not cool.

These T-shirts wick the moisture away from your body so efficiently, that I don’t always notice my back is wet, yet my soaking rucksack tells a very different story. The breathability of the material is evident both whilst sweating your way up a mountain and sitting still taking a break or enjoying the view from the peak.

HH Merino Light SS review: Unnoticed

I often believe that when things are good you don’t notice them, it is only when they are bad that they stand out. I would go as far as saying that you don’t notice you’re wearing this women’s T-shirt for summer activities.

HH Merino Light SS review Women's T-shirt for summer activities

I mean this in the sense that the material feels so good against the skin that you never ‘notice’ it due to itchiness or it otherwise being uncomfortable. The aforementioned fantastic wicking properties and fit add to the performance of the T-shirt being so great that nothing about it stands out.

There is a gentle smell of wet wool that comes when the Merino Light SS T-shirt is wet. But I feel we have to forgive those friendly New Zealand Merino sheep for this, since their wool offers so many other fantastic properties.

Odour free women’s T-shirt for summer activities

Doing sport without deodorant, albeit a slightly unorthodox method, is a great way to see how clothing deals with odor. Not once, with or without deodorant, have I finished a sweaty hike and felt embarrassed to have a well-earned beer in a public place.

HH Merino Light SS review plum

I even let the T-shirt air and wore it again without washing. Amazingly, after the second hike, whilst it no longer smelt of washing liquid, the smell was not representative of the amount of exertion that I had undertaken.

Most recently, towards end of a mountaineering day, I went for a swim in an alpine mountain lake. As the thunder rolled ever closer and the pressure mounted to get off the mountain, I realized that I hadn’t thought as far as drying myself.

No problem! The Helly Hansen Merino Light SS T-shirt will do the job. Thanks to the speed with which it dries, I was able to put it straight back on after drying myself. It then took no time at all until you would never have known that not that long ago it had served as a towel.

HH Merino Light SS review Womens T-shirt for summer activities

HH Merino Light SS review: Conclusion

I have tested the Merino Light SS T-shirt on multiple hikes and not once has it disappointed me. This Helly Hansen top is an excellent Women’s T-shirt for summer activities – and it’s become my go to summer activity top.

As someone who is a bit of a kit hoarder (I might need it one day…). This T-shirt has brought me as far as clearing out my hiking and climbing tops and placing them in a charity bag. I am not emotionally ready to throw them “out” yet. But one step at a time…

We hope you enjoyed this HH Merino Light SS review. If you are looking for a technical women’s T-shirt for summer activities then it would be a great choice. The RRP is £60 and it comes in both aqua blue or plum. Pick one up here: www.hellyhansen.com/w-hh-merino-light-ss


Hiking, Mountaineering, Multi Activity, Rock Climbing, Trekking, Walking
Merino Wool, T-Shirt

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