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Gear Guy

What's your pick for the best lightweight, fast-drying women's travel clothing?

I’m doing research this summer in Pana, which means hot, humid, and often wet conditions (including wading around in water and mud). Can you recommend the best lightweight, fast drying, and somewhat bug-proof women's clothing? Lot of pockets would be helpful as well. Kristy Gonyer, Portland


A good set of clothing likely would start with Ex Officio’s line of travel clothing that has its Insect Shield built-in repellent. Insect Shield uses a human-made version of the natural insect killer/repellent permethrin and bonds it into the fabric. It’s remarkably effective, and lasts for as many as 70 washings.

Ex Officio Women’s Baja Long-Sleeve Shirt

Women’s Baja Long-Sleeve Shirt

A good starter is the Women’s Baja Long-Sleeve Shirt ($85; It’s a light, loose-fitting shirt made with a comfortable and fast-drying cotton/polyester fabric blend. It has the Insect Shield barrier, plus offers excellent sun protection. There are two big chest pockets, too. And it’s quite a nice-looking shirt that would look at home during any time you’re in civilization and get out for a decent meal.

For pants, I’d start with the Air Strip Pant ($75), which has Insect Shield. Mesh inserts help keep you a little cooler, and the 100 percent nylon fabric is tough but light, and dries fairly fast. They’re not cargo-style pants, but they have adequate pockets. The Convertible Pant with Insect Shield, with zip-off legs, is $80.

Add to your ensemble an Inset Shield Hat with Cape ($30) and Wicknit Hoody for somewhat cooler evenings ($75), and you’re all set!

Currently, almost all of the items listed here are on sale (for about half off) at Ex Officio’s website:

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Filed To: Base LayerPants
Lead Photo: courtesy, Ex Officio