Quick Drying Undershirts For Travel

After nearly five years of blogging about undershirts, I’ve covered a whole lot of topics. As such, I’m a little surprised that I haven’t written about quick drying undershirts yet!

Ben’s Quick Dry Conundrum

Here’s a great question from a reader wondering what kind of quick drying undershirt he could easily travel with:

Hi Tug,

I have been looking for a quick drying white t shirt to travel with for a while and found the Ex Officio Give N Go line.

The whole idea is to wear the shirts, then wash them in the sink or shower while traveling, and have them drip dry quickly.

Give N Go shirts fit horribly, having very long sleeves and being very short as well.

It is too bad because they fit my purpose well, drying in 2-4 hours.

Do you have any ideas for an alternative?

A previous post was an inspiration for this question:

Part of the search was also dedicated to a quick drying white tank top (not really an undershirt though). Accordingly, I may try one of those listed in that post.

That said, what I am looking for is something that can be washed in a sink, wrung out, and then will dry very quickly.

Under Armour charged cotton is one of the options, although I don’t think they would dry as fast as a technical fabric like polyester or nylon.

My other considerations included the Patagonia Capilene 1 shirts as I have heard they dry quickly.

It looks like Rohan makes a shirt called Ultra Silver, but they are expensive and I do not think I would be able to try them on for fit before I buy.

Anyway, I’d really appreciate it if you had any more ideas!

Thanks a lot man,


Quick Dry Undershirts – My Response

Heya, Ben,

Good to hear from you buddy!

Thanks for stopping by my site and sending in your question!

You’re right in saying that a charged cotton or an undershirt made with cotton’s transdry technology would not dry as fast synthetic shirts.

I did a test a while back comparing the drying time of my under armour charged cotton shirt to a regular t-shirt, and although it did dry faster, it did not dry super fast.

My recommendation in finding a quick drying undershirt for travel is to go with a synthetic shirt, but one with a softer-hand (meaning they feel more natural on the skin).

Travel Undershirt/T-shirt Products: My Top 10 List

  • Anything with a similar mesh or cellular fabric construction
  • Moisture-wicking undershirt from Campbellsville apparel (link)
  • Any undershirts made with dri-release fabrics, like the Terramar t-shirt (link) from Sierra Trading Post, which comes in different colors including white (a 85/15 polyester/cotton blend)
  • Men’s buck naked crew diamond-knit crew neck t-shirts (link) from Duluth trading
  • Tilley unisex travel undershirt (link)
  • Undershirts made with coolmax polyester – like the ones on CoolClothingUsa (link)
  • As you said, the products from Rohan look pretty nice as well, including the “element t” and the “ultra silver t”, but they are pretty pricey at $40+

That’s a good top-10 list to get you started, right?

Let me know what products you decide to try out and what you think of them.

If you try out more than one from the above list, be sure to write me back and let me know which one tops your list for easiest to travel with.

Synthetic, Non-Absorbent Undershirts

While those are the quick-dry undershirts that came to mind, there are plenty of others.

The key to finding something quick drying is to find an undershirt or t-shirt is made from a mostly synthetic (non-absorbing) material.

Plus, based on your own personal preference, you may want something either more natural feeling on the skin, more synthetic/clingy, or somewhere in between like the Ministry of Supply Core Undershirt (*plug*).

Ministry of Supply Core: Quick Drying Undershirt
Ministry of Supply Core Undershirt

Update on New Purchases

Ben got back to me with the following update:

Hey Tug,

Thanks for writing me back, I really appreciate it!

Got some Adidas Clima Ultimate t shirts (link), just because I could try them on before buying.

Fit is pretty important to me since my patience to keep returning online orders is running out.

They are an 85/15 poly/cotton blend, feel softer than most polyester shirts, and seem to dry quickly.

Unfortunately, they also seem to pick up odor pretty easily, also similar to polyester shirts I’ve had in the past.

I tried the Under Armour Charged Cotton shirts on in the store but they were quite heavy.

As a result, I am going to bring the Adidas shirts with me on my trip. However, the hunt for the perfect t shirt without smell that can drip dry in a few hours doesn’t stop there.

If only Ex Officios shirts didn’t fit so strangely!

Thanks again

Other Quick Dry Recommendations

Do you have any other quick-dry undershirt recommendations?

If so, tell me about it in the comments section below.

12/2014 Update: Here are some other ideas

  • Uniqlo Airism or Dry Undershirts.
  • Cotton/Poly Blend Undershirts like the 50/50 or Tri-Blend lightweight t-shirts from American Apparel, Urban Outfitters, H&M, RibbedTee, etc.
  • Maybe a partially synthetic semi-sheer undershirt. If it’s super light, and partially synthetic, it’ll dry fast.
  • Compression Shirts/Undershirts (not the slimming ones, the athletic ones).

4 thoughts on “Quick Drying Undershirts For Travel”

  1. Is there a light quick drying cotton t-shirt? I just don’t like synthetic I spend a lot of time in hot amd humid place. I have Columbia omni freeze with a flat cotton fiber. I cant find cotton anymore.
    Thanks bill

    • heya bill, thanks for stopping by and posting your question about quick drying cotton undershirts!

      the only brands that i know of off hand that have carried quick-drying cotton t-shirt/undershirts are under armour (charged cotton) and polarmax (transdry, xtradry). at the core of the technology is a moisture wicking cotton called transdry from cotton inc. note, the one from under armour was a bit too heavy to wear as an undershirt.

      in looking at the offerings out there, it looks as though there aren’t a whole lot of available transdry undershirts. my guess is that is because consumers must not be demanding them from the brands, so the brands are clearing out any remaining inventory. under armour is still offering the charged cotton t-shirt, but as i mentioned above, it’s a bit too thick to wear as an undershirt, in my own personal opinion. you can search my site for both products and read more about them.

      as for a suitable alternative, my recommendation would be to find a product that has a cotton/polyester blend. the cotton provides the natural feeling softness and the polyester will help with allowing the undershirt to dry faster.

      there are quite a few options available in this type of blend, such as:
      1. american apparel 50/50
      2. uniqlo dry short sleeve t-shirt 77/23
      3. urban outfitters 50/50
      4. hanes comfortblend 50/50
      5. ribbedtee retro fit 50/50
      6. any undershirt made with dri-release fabric, since they’ll have a performance blend
      7. stafford blended cotton undershirts 60/40
      8. next level apparel 60/40
      9. dockers performance tee (cotton / polyester / spandex)

      check out this article about cool wicking undershirts for a bit more information and hit me back if you have any other questions!


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