Synthetic clothes and cost.

Posted by: 12Step

Synthetic clothes and cost. - 03/04/08 09:36 PM

As I have been advised, it is not a good idea to wear clothes of cotton for understandable and obvious reasons. Like most backpacking gear the "backpacking clothes" (shirts, shorts, socks, underwear etc.) are all pricey.

At Target they have the Champion C-9 clothing line of synthetic wicking material. They appear to have a pretty decent selection of clothes, some even claiming to be meant for hiking. These clothes cost half and often less than price of the name brands you find at outfitter stores. Now I understand you get what you pay for when it comes to gear, however my life doesn't revolve around gear and having the best of the best. I care less to make a fashion statement on the trail, and would rather have function, especially at a more reasonable price.

Has anyone tried the C-9 clothes?

Posted by: Trailrunner

Re: Synthetic close and cost. - 03/04/08 09:51 PM

Two years ago I bought a synthetic Champion shirt at Target (don't know if it was a C-9) and a Patagonia Capilene shirt at about the same time. Can't remember exactly what I paid but the Champion was considerably less than even the sale price of the "Patagucci". Both were short sleeve "T" shirts. Both went with me for 10 sweaty days in the Sierra that summer.

Functionally I saw little difference between the two. Both did their job well and wicked away the sweat. The Champion was not quite as durable and it developed a few loose threads but that was no biggie. The Capilene had a higher stink factor.

Both shirts are still going strong and I run in them all the time.

Some of my best workout clothes come from Target or Walmart.
Posted by: billk

Re: Synthetic close and cost. - 03/04/08 10:43 PM

I was at Target the other day and noticed that that they have a line of T-shirts that they advertise as "wicking", but they're made of cotton. These probably aren't the C-9 ones you're referring to, but something to be aware of.
Posted by: jaiden

Re: Synthetic clothes and cost. - 03/05/08 07:31 AM

Just read the labels. I have a lot of gear from target/walmart. You don't have to spend a lot. I have some great wind pants from walmart I got for $14 and a wind shirt too. My underwear comes from there too, and you can get dress socks which aren't cotton. I prefer wool when I can get it, but anything other than cotton is fine. Other than a sleeping bag and tarp/tent (for which you want something high quality and light) you can do most of your outfitting at walmart. don't forget to check the hunting section.
Posted by: finallyME

Re: Synthetic clothes and cost. - 03/05/08 12:29 PM

Buy it! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> It is probably fine. Wear it a lot at home and see how durable it is.

If you have an Academy around, try there as well as Wally-world and Target. They have a brand called Magellan that has some nylon fishing shirts and pants that are 1/3 the price of name brand stuff.

Also, look at thrift stores. A dress shirt made with nylon or polyester is just as good as a fancy "outdoor" shirt from a big outdoor store. They also usually have a bunch of cheap fleece.
<img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
Posted by: StepChld

Re: Synthetic clothes and cost. - 03/05/08 12:49 PM

I have three shirts that are the C9 brand and have had them for over a year. Just as durable as higher end shirts and very comfortable. I wear them almost year round. On cold days, I've found them to insulate very well and on hot summer Texas days, I've found them to wick very fast so I don't look like a big ol' sweatball.
I'll be buying them for my son for Scout campouts this spring too.
Posted by: 12Step

Re: Synthetic clothes and cost. - 03/05/08 02:13 PM

I wore the C-9 shirt last night. I'm in law enforcement, so I'm always wearing a ballistic vest. I usually wore cotton undershirts or long johns under the vest, and I always had issues with acne on my back and chest. I noticed when I took off the vest this morning, (I'm night shift), I didn't have that sticky sweaty wet feeling. It may be the cure for that acne problem.

Wow was that TMI??? LOL.
Posted by: phat

Re: Synthetic close and cost. - 03/07/08 04:02 PM

I've found stuff in wal mart, and also in old navy. I bought a couple of synthetic runners style tops
there a few years ago for something like 6 or 8 bucks each. they're holding up fine. If you look in my
pics I often wear the green one, which is in better shape than the grey one, the grey one having survived several truly horrible bushwhacks and a stupid fall on a scree slope that has left it looking somewhat "damaged" but still quite serviceable.. (I was more damaged than the shirt)

I scored a *merino wool* long sleeve top for *15 dollars* at costco a few years back too. it's just as nice as my MEC ones, but well, a lot cheaper. My only regret is I didn't buy two.

Thrift stores are also an execllent source for things like cashemere and merino sweaters, fleece, synthetic pants, etc.
Posted by: tchiker

Re: Synthetic close and cost. - 03/07/08 07:27 PM

I've bought some really cheap shirts through Sierra Outpost online and they aren't exceptional, but they've certainly been worth what I paid for them and kept me warm on occasion. People overdo the science of outdoors clothing....I agree that "cotton kills" (and sucks in general), but you don't need to go overboard with finding the perfect synthetic for outdoors use. I overthink it myself, but I probably shouldn't.
Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: Synthetic clothes and cost. - 03/07/08 09:47 PM

Two things I would be concerned about when buying at "cheap" stores or thrift shops:
(1) Read the fabric content tag (to avoid cotton or rayon) and don't buy if there is no tag.
(2) Hold fleece up to the light. If you can see through it, you don't want it.

Subject to these two tests, you are probably better off than patronizing the high priced gear shops with their "name" (think $$$) brands. Certainly your budget will go a lot farther! You may pay a slight weight penalty on some things.

Check out military surplus stores, too. I'm still wearing a pair of Air Force tropical weight dress pants I bought in 1987 for $5. The fabric is wool and polyester, but it wears like cast iron.
Posted by: 12Step

Re: Synthetic close and cost. - 03/08/08 03:53 AM

TJ Maxx can have killer deals on Columbia, North Face, Marmot, etc..

My fiancee found her a decent Marmot rain jacket for $15.00. She got me a few pairs of Columbia synthetic long sleeve shirts, and long John pants. There was a pair of North Face snow pants for $60.00, but it was size XXL and obviously wouldn't fit.

TJ Maxx can have killer deals on the high end gear IF you go at the right time and you don't mind searching a few stores to find them. But you gotta be "Johnny on the spot". The "high end" stuff usually are sizes really big and really small but every once in a while you can come across a "normal" size.
Posted by: patrickmatte

Re: Synthetic close and cost. - 03/09/08 04:34 AM

I recently picked up a t-shirt from wally world,one of the wicking -workout type.It is very light weight,much more breathable than the old stand by I had been using, from REI btw.I have been using it for the last two weeks at the gym (and on the trails around home).After a work out,I find that I'm not nearly as sweaty as with other shirts.The shirt is also tag-less.
Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: Synthetic close and cost. - 03/09/08 09:31 PM

See also the similar thread running parallel to this one, "Clothing Options."