Historic Range: $75.99
The women's Lana and men's Pelion Comp Shirts LS offer up a durable, breathable shirt that lives up to its Arc'teryx branding. At 5 ounces, the crewneck shirt packs a wide range of uses into a light shirt.
The wool blend—a wool yarn outer-layer mated with a nylon core—tolerates a wide range of temperature like wool will do, but it is coupled with lightweight nylon rip-stop style sleeves (which breathe), that I found let in the cold during winter wear. This shirt is marketed as a summer weight wool however, and comes in a short sleeved version as well.
Two dings: I am not a big fan of the mixed fabric, and while it's true that you get what you pay for, the $115 price tag is pretty good sticker shock for the average consumer.
- Good in a wide range of temps
- Wicks sweat well
- 4-way stretch on shirt body
- No stink
- Nylon sleeves are somewhat breathable
- No stink
- Sleeves are nylon
- Sleeves have snap cuffs
- Cannot pull sleeves up or down
- Minor nitpick; sleeves and body don’t *quite* match in color
Overall, the Lana Comp Shirt LS is very comfortable to wear. Its great four-way stretch, wool body, and roomy nylon sleeves never bind. I liked how the shirt worked alone or as a layering piece under other tech shirts, down jacket, flannel shirt, fleece, etc. It never caught or rode up inside other clothing.
I put this shirt through its paces wearing it while snowshoeing to biking to chainsawing a tree with subsequent cleanup. The shirt rides really well as a layering piece. It was great to wear as the base, because as I heated up, it worked well not only alone, but its thin, lightweight design lent itself perfectly to layering.
While on a crisp 25 degree day snowshoeing on Mt. Baker, I decided to pair the Lana with just a light down jacket and a second tech shirt. I was pleased as even though the layers were fairly light, the Lana handled how I heated up and cooled off. I was also pleased that even though I worked up a sweat, the shirt wicked the sweat, but also did not create a moisture buildup inside the down jacket.
I also paired the Lana shirt with a flannel shirt and a fleece jacket while working hard out in the yard in about 45 degree weather. I wanted to see how the shirt handled the intensity of some serious hard work with the heating up and cooling off of running a chainsaw and work involved. I worked a pretty serious sweat that day, and I was really pleased at the performance of the shirt.
While I personally am not a big scoop neck fan, I did like how I didn't have fabric bunch up around my neck and under my chin, which I really hate. I also like how the layering dealt with the heating/cooling cycle subject to yard work.
I intentionally did not remove layers that day since I wanted to see how the shirt responded to the heat load. I was very impressed that after I had worked up a sweat, that I then didn't get to the point where I over-cooled because of the fabrics being damp. I was really wondering if I would do the whole cold-thing—but because of how the wool/nylon blend behaves, I never did get cold. I even worked well after dark, in high humidity, but my upper body never got cold, even when my feet did.
Another day, I had a chance to wear the Lana on another snowshoeing outing. The weather was quite mild at about 33 degrees F or so. I wore the Lana under a lightweight fleece. Again, I was very pleased at how the wool portion of the shirt handled the heating/cooling. But, because the sleeves are nylon, my arms did feel the cold. It was mild enough that day, and I was working hard enough that I was able to snowshoe in just the Lana and be comfortable. As it got to late afternoon and the temps dropped, I just popped the fleece back on, and I was very comfortable again.
The Lana was my base layer on a 45 degree day for a late winter bike ride. That was a real test of how the shirt would behave layered. It was obvious that the shirt just did not want to ride up, even while I was biking. I was pleased at how I could adjust the zipper of my jacket, and the shirt did a great job of adjusting to my exertion. Again, my outer jacket never got clammy or tacky from sweat as the shirt wicked, doing its job.
I wore the Lana Comp shirt on several long walks and normal outdoor workout routines, and I really liked how the shirt never rode up or felt grabby under outer layers.
Fit and Durability
The shirt was true to size, and it fit without being clingy. Arc'teryx calls this its Athletic or Standard Fit. I really liked how the shirt tail was a little longer, and the sleeves also were long enough to never skooch back up in the other layers, although they did kind of gather at the wrist under the layers. But because the sleeve fabric is light, it never felt bulky.
I want to address the sleeves specifically. It's important to keep mentioning the dual fabric used.
I tested the shirt during the winter, but it is marketed as a summer-weight shirt for hiking and trekking. I would tend to agree with marketing. I found the nylon sleeves to be quite cold for winter wear.
As I tested the garment, the wool part adjusted to me, but my upper arms were often cold.
The fit, however, was quite comfortable. I am not slightly built, and I was pleased to see that the upper arms had plenty of room to move and flex. While the nylon does not have lots of give, Arc'teryx designers left plenty of room to move.
There were several things I liked about the sleeves: the underarms are gusseted and the arms articulated, so the fabric never got bound up inside other layers. Arc'teryx also uses Alatorre nylon fabric reinforcements on the shoulders and sleeves, which adds to the durability mentioned.
The item I disliked the most was the cuff closures. The wrists had snaps, so the wrists had no give. I couldn’t pull the sleeves up to wash my hands, or even tuck inside outer layers. The only way to deal with getting the sleeves out of the way was to roll them up.
Outside of the sleeve design being bothersome to me, I found the garment to not gape, bind, grab. In fact I often forgot that I had it on as a base layer because of how the wool portion had four-way stretch, and the sleeves did not hinder movement.
Note that outside of the cuff snaps, the garment has no adjustability.
I want to speak specifically to the fabrics used on the shirt. Breathability, moisture control, and temperature adjustment are the hallmarks of the specialty fabric Arc'teryx uses for the body of this shirt, "Nucliex 150 Nylon Core Spun Merino." The company wrapped Merino wool around a nylon core to keep wool next to the body and provide durability from the nylon. This design of the fiber and weave make for a trifecta of design functionality.
I found, even using the shirt during the winter, as I heated up and cooled down, the shirt stayed comfortable with the fabric’s thinness being essential to the design. Again, note that the nylon did have breathability.
Because I wore this during the winter as a base layer, the shirt was subjected to lots of rubbing from outer layers. After using it all winter, the shirt looks brand new. In fact, the closeup pictures were just taken at the end of the testing cycle.
One praise I have is how amazingly well this shirt cleaned up. I accidentally got chain grease on the sleeve when I was working a chainsaw all day on felling and cleaning up a tree. I was very upset, thinking that I had permanently stained the cuff. That night, I rubbed “Goop” on the sleeve, and even as I was working it into the fabric, the grease was already working out of the fabric. Woolite took the rest of the grease right out.
The shirt hand washed well, and dried quickly. It passed the classic wool "no stink" test. The fabric did not sag or droop when wet or washed. It maintained its shape, and did not shrink or stretch after washing and drying.
The tech wool is very effective; it does exactly what it is made to do. The nylon sleeves will make a better summer fabric than winter, as it was designed, but I would argue that the shirt makes a solid addition to year-round use.
The stitching and design are top rate for this garment. The craftsmanship and design are apparent from the moment you see or touch the garment.
If I wanted a really versatile garment that I could use year round, and that I could also wear as a travel garment, I would recommend looking into the Arc'teryx Lana Comp Shirt LS.
The shirt is plenty attractive enough to wear as a stand alone, and obviously layers exceptionally well. If you are looking for a solid go-to piece, I would ask you to consider the Lana Comp Shirt LS, Lana Comp Shirt SS, or the men's counterpart, the Pelion Comp Shirt LS.
Source: received for testing via the Trailspace Review Corps
(Sample provided by Arc'teryx for testing and review)