Apparel / Gear / April 23, 2021

Super.Natural: The Next Evolution in Performance Materials?

by Billy Brown

We’re big fans of merino wool: the temperature regulation, the quick-drying properties, and the odor-resistance are all huge pluses in the Book of Trek Tech. But wool has some issues, namely how fragile it is (we’ve eventually shredded every wool shirt we’ve tested), how scratchy the material can be, and that wet dog smell that wool gets when it gets wet. Well, it looks like the folks at Super.Natural have cracked the code, because their wool/polyester/lycra blends manage to combine all of our favorite aspects of wool with the durability and feel of our favorite synthetics.

I took the SS Tee 140 out for a week’s worth of workouts that included 5 runs of 5+miles, three crossfit WODs and an MMA session without so much as rinsing it off. It dried quickly and wicked sweat like a champ, but that’s the bare minimum for any tech tee. Here’s what I learned:

  1. This material is tough. Merino wears down pretty quickly, especially finer threads, so running with a vest usually leads to wear after a run or two. At the end of the week, there was no trace of wear or piling, despite hours of running with a pack on. Looks like the synthetic material takes the brunt of the impact here.
  2. It feels great and doesn’t lose shape. Even high-end merino has a tough of scratchiness to it, but the synthetic came through again here. The shirt felt softer than some of my favorite cotton tees, and it didn’t sgtretch out and lose its shape after a few wears.
  3. It absorbs zero odor. This blew me away. I had a few very brave people smelling my shirt after the week of pain, and it didn’t smell at all. It didn’t even get that wet dog smell when it was wet. Win.

Bottom line: this is the best tech tee I’ve ever used.

And here’s more good news: their lifestyle pieces are perfect for travel. I’ve been wearing the Relax Polo shirt for the last few weeks as well. It’s got the same anti-stink properties, and I’ve noticed that I can crumple it into a ball and leave it in a corner overnight without the shirt wrinkling at all.

I won’t tell you how long I’ve gone without washing the boxers.

Keep an eye out for Super.Natural gear this Fall.

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Billy Brown
has a hard time standing still. A few years ago he combined his passion for the active lifestyle with his love of toys and somehow made a job out of it as a journalist specializing in outdoor sports and adventure travel. An avid runner, climber, crossfitter and snowboarder, he has tested gear around the world, from canyon running in Jordan to ice climbing in Chamonix. He writes for Outside Magazine, Men’s Health, Men’s Journal, Wired, and Backpacker, as well as on websites like Gear Institute and ActiveJunky.com. Contact him at [email protected]




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