Check out his shirt.
Check out his shirt. (Benfulton/Flickr)
Gear Guy

What are the Best Performance Plaid Shirts?

I’m trying to find a long-sleeve shirt that feels good while mountaineering but also looks good on a date. What have you got for me?

Check out his shirt.
Bob Parks

Our dads dismissed them as “lumberjack” shirts and deemed them unworthy for special family occasions. Now these long-sleeve, plaid performers are back in style, gracing the pages of the latest fashion magazines.

Fashion benefits aside, they work double-duty as a technical midlayer, hiding features like moisture-wicking, breathable fabrics, wrinkle-free care, and built-in stretch for climbing or scrambling. That means you can complete a multi-day trek on the mountain—accumulate sweat, dirt, and strong aromas—and appear (at least from a safe distance) appropriately attired for dinner Sunday night.

The Best Performance Plaid Shirts: Arcteryx Borderline Revised Shirt

Arcteryx Borderline Revised Shirt
Arcteryx Borderline Revised Shirt (Courtesy Arcteryx)

The Borderline uses a 78 percent cotton, 22 percent poly blend for a shirt that dries quickly. Its mesh yoke also increases airflow in hot weather. All told, it’s lightest-weight shirt among our favorites.

Weight: 7.1 ounces
Price: $89

The Best Performance Plaid Shirts: Outdoor Research Tempo Shirt

Outdoor Research Tempo Shirt
Outdoor Research Tempo Shirt (Courtesy Outdoor Research)

A shirt that expects to get a little grubby, the Tempo is made from drirelease cotton (a 85 percent polyester, 15 percent cotton mix) that wicks sweat fast, dries in a hurry, and has built-in odor control. A UPF shield on this lightweight layer has you ready for a range of conditions.

Weight: 8.9 ounces
Price: $75

The Best Performance Plaid Shirts: The North Face Gallito Flannel

The North Face Gallito Flannel
The North Face Gallito Flannel (Courtesy The North Face)

No special powers for the outdoors here, but North Face washes its 100-percent cotton Gallito with enzymes so it feels soft from the start. It’s a great shirt for breaking camp in the cool evening.

Weight: 13 ounces
Price: $80

The Best Performance Plaid Shirts: Patagonia Kiragg Shirt

Patagonia Kiragg Shirt
Patagonia Kiragg Shirt (Courtesy Patagonia )

Patagonia’s Kiragg blends 60 percent organic cotton and 40 percent recycled polyester to resist wrinkles and keep you feeling cool.

Weight: 11.7 ounces
Price: $89

The Best Performance Plaid Shirts: Burton Fletcher Woven Shirt

Burton Fletcher Woven Shirt
Burton Fletcher Woven Shirt (Courtesy Burton)

The Fletcher is just straight-up 100-percent cotton twill from Burton. Two colors—red and even more red.

Price: $65

From Outside Magazine, April/May 2021 Lead Photo: Benfulton/Flickr
sms