Living out of a duffel has a way of changing your wardrobe priorities. There’s no room for specialists, like the dry-clean-only dress shirt or the workout tee that’s too stinky for anything but running. Adaptability is key: You need clothes that transition between cars, trails, camps, and restaurants. These tops fill the bill.
Stio Women’s Divide Shirt ($89)
Sweat-mopping, odor-squelching fabric makes this collared button-down wearable for multiple days. The polyester knit (with 15 percent cotton) feels soft as sleepwear—so it’s ideal for overnight flights—and maintains its smart-looking shape through paddleboarding sessions and bar-stool marathons. Just limit its exposure to abrasive pack straps, which cause it to pill.
Paskho Integrity Tee ($55)
Proving that baggy basics don’t have to look sloppy, this crewneck can sub in for your favorite sweatshirt or look classy at white-tablecloth dinners. The piqué knit disguises sweat, and the lightweight cotton/poly blend feels breezy. Also cool: It’s made from fabric remnants that would’ve otherwise been wasted.
Ibex Essential Dress Shirt ($120)
The collar makes this V-neck spiffier than a basic tee, but it’s just as comfy. Merino wool blended with 20 percent silk keeps odors at bay—this shirt smelled fresh after a week of wear—and wicks sweat while biking or hurrying to catch a flight.
Duckworth Women’s Vapor Sleeveless Hoodie ($90)
Duckworth geeks figured out a way to make wool better at handling tropical weather. By blending its silky Rambouillet wool with a bit of recycled polyester and modal, the company concocted a “cool wool” that dries faster than 100 percent merino. It’s just as good at foiling stink and adapting to hot or cold climates. Wear this sleeveless hoodie by itself in Belize or under a flannel in Montana.
Flylow Hawkins Shirt ($60)
This is the technical tee gone grunge. The slouchy neckline and football stripes give it a relaxed, backyard-barbeque look, but the fabric (polyester blended with 6 percent spandex) handles far sweatier pursuits. You’ll wear it while backpacking or mountain biking, but you’ll keep it on during après because the buttery material feels like cotton—with none of the plasticky feel typical of some synthetics. All that’s missing is an odor-fighting treatment, which would make this a candidate for world’s best tee.
Mountain Hardwear Breeze AC Short-Sleeve Shirt ($55)
Ideal for oppressively hot and humid climates, this tee maximizes ventilation with an open back and perforated, sweat-gulping fabric. It’s a running shirt, swim cover-up, and cragging top all in one. And, yes, it does get stinky after a couple days, but the featherweight fabric is easy to hand wash in any sink and dries fast.