I travel a lot for my job, and that means a lot of packing and laundry. So when I heard about the new travel shirt from Libertad, I knew I would have no problem putting it to good use.
What Is a Travel Shirt?
So is it a dress shirt, a nice looking casual shirt, or something rugged enough to stand up to a long day of hiking on the trail? The answer is “all of the above.” If you want to be able to travel with a variety of clothing that accommodates the local weather but you also want to travel as light as possible, then this the type of shirt you need. This is where a Merino wool really shines. Wool is a natural fiber and that means it is both odor resistant, temperature regulating, and breathable all at the same time. It sounds like an impossibility that all of these features could be built-in to the same product, but after you have worn a Merino wool shirt for a while you quickly become a believer. Here is how Libertad describes their travel shirts:
“Libertad’s exclusive lightweight construction of Merino wool makes it possible. Using advanced textile technology, our fabric expands the applicable temperature range of wool. This is not a heavy, itchy flannel. Rather, it is similar in weight to most dress shirts allowing it to be worn in a wider range of temperatures.”
The Libertad site also has a quote that stuck with me… ”The little things are noticed and they matter.” So I took a Libertad Travel Shirt on the road to see just how much these details mattered.
My Libertad Travel Shirt Test Case
I was mostly interested in the Libertad Travel Shirt for use as a light-weight, breathable dress shirt for work while at home in Florida. I naturally sweat a lot, and living in a hot and humid state really makes it challenging for me to stay dry and comfortable, especially when wearing a long-sleeved dress shirt. But this is a travel shirt, so I took the Libertad Travel Shirt on one of my business trips to Denver, Colorado. Quite by accident, I ended up picking one of the coldest, snowiest weeks to test out this shirt. Denver got almost a foot of snow while I was there and temperature in the morning when I had to go scrape the snow and ice off of my rental car was 8 degrees Fahrenheit (which is bitterly cold for someone used to Florida temperatures).
I was in Denver for an engineering review, so I needed something relatively dressy but comfortable. Normally for temperatures this cold, I would have been wearing some kind of fleece or sweater, something rather thick to keep me warm. So opting to just wear the long-sleeve Libertad Travel Shirt (which is relatively light-weight) with no undershirt was a bit risky for this Florida boy, but I gave it a shot.
The first test was spending about 15-minutes in 8-degree weather scraping ice and snow off my rental car in the morning. I wore a pair of slacks, my long-sleeve Libertad Travel Shirt, and some leather boots with a heavy leather jacket and gloves. Normally, I would have been shivering before I even reached the car in this kind of weather, but the wool did a great job of trapping in my body heat and keeping me warm. No shivering for me. But the bigger surprise was when I arrived at the room for my review. Normally, I would have to either keep my coat on to stay warm or I would get hot and have to start removing layers of clothing to stay comfortable. Even with good heat, there is still just enough cold in the air to keep someone used to Florida heat a little chilly. Again the temperature regulating properties of the wool really paid off, and I was extremely comfortable all day long just wearing the light-weight Merino wool Libertad Travel Shirt. Also, I’m not sure what kind of black magic they used when crafting this shirt, but I didn’t notice any itchiness while wearing the shirt (which can happen with wool); it was very comfortable directly against the skin.
I also wanted to touch on packing and traveling with the shirt. I washed the shirt and air dried it per its care instructions and rolled the shirt up so it could be backed into my carry-on luggage (which for a 1-2 day business trip tends to either be my Tom Bihn Tri-Star or my Henty CoPilot Backpack). It’s great having everything you need on your back keeping your hands free, but it does mean that you have to pack light. The nice thing about Merino wool and this Libertad Travel Shirt, in particular, is that it is very light-weight and rolls up into a very compact space, making it ideal to pack into a small carry-on bag. Wool is also meant to be worn several times between washings. (It naturally does not trap in odors, so the material stays very fresh smelling even after heavy use and multiple wears.) So that means you don’t have to pack as many shirts for a given trip.
The Libertad Travel Shirt is touted as wrinkle-resistant, but that does not mean wrinkle-free… especially when you air dry the shirt. So you can either air dry (with no heat) the shirt in the dryer to help remove wrinkles or use a very low heat wool setting on an iron and iron the shirt. (I opted to iron the shirt at my hotel.) What I noticed was that after a day of wearing the shirt I could simply put the shirt back on a hanger and it looked just as wrinkle-free after a day of use as it did when I finished ironing it before putting it on in the morning. So the wrinkle resistance that Libertad talks about is a nice feature when you intend to wear the shirt for multiple days, as ironing is not needed between wears.
The folks at Libertad say that the little things are noticed and they matter, and they set out to create the ultimate travel shirt. In the case of the Libertad Travel Shirt, the details of comfort against the skin, wrinkle resistance, and overall looks of the shirt were aspects Libertad definitely paid attention to, as I certainly noticed all of these features. They somehow made a shirt that is formal enough for business use but also looks natural in a casual or even an outdoor excursion setting, and that makes the shirt an easy go-to as a travel shirt. I have a 4-day Las Vegas trip coming up and I plan to take the Libertad Travel Shirt along, as it will be perfect to keep me cool in the warm afternoons and warm in the chilly mornings and evenings. I also plan to pick up a couple of their short sleeve travel shirts for everyday wear in Florida, so you could say I’m sold on these Libertad shirts. If you are looking for a very comfortable and extremely versatile travel shirt, then take a look at the Libertad line of travel shirts. You won’t be disappointed.
The Libertad long-sleeve Travel Shirt starts at $139 and the short-sleeve Travel Shirt sells for $119. Both versions in various styles and colors can be purchased directly from the Libertad website.
Disclaimer: I was provided a long-sleeve Libertad Travel Shirt for the purpose of this review, but Libertad had no input into the review content.