Tested in the Cairngorms

As with all Sherpa clothing, the quality of the Rinchen Zip Tee is apparent immediately. Rinchen, the Tibetan word for precious, is certainly applicable. Made from 91% polyester and 9% spandex with Polygiene microbial technology, the fabric claims to remain odour free over multiple days of use while being fast wicking and remaining comfortable.

The lightweight fabric is indeed pleasant to wear, and the relatively loose fit along with the lack of seam in the under-arm area, means that mobility in a number of situations is accomplished easily and comfortably. Very importantly for us, fabric doesn’t get bunched up under the arms whilst carrying a rucksack, and the reversed flat seams and Anesoft thread contribute nicely to the overall softness and comfort of the material, meaning that the Rinchen Zip Tee is ideal for multi-day trekking use.

In regards to the Polygiene technology, compared to Merino it doesn’t perform quite as well over multi-day use, although there is still a good amount of odour control. The main benefit to this fabric is its ability to dry quickly as well as feel lighter and pack down smaller than Merino clothing. Also, it feels nicer and cooler when wet, so that sweaty, clammy feeling often experienced with other fabrics is absent.

Design wise, Sherpa have it spot on. The Kharani grey colour is inoffensive and neutral while emphasising the subtle addition of colour on the sturdy zip and running along the inside of the collar. The logo on the nape is also a nice feature.

Our Verdict

After wearing the Rinchen Zip Tee over numerous trekking days in both warm and cool conditions, it is clear that the Polygiene fabric is an excellent addition to any base layer. Notably, its ability to wick away moisture quickly while remaining comfortable makes this item of clothing a good substitute for Merino particularly if you’re expecting wet or humid conditions.

Cairngorm Treks is a small family business based in the picturesque village of Tomintoul in the North East region of the Cairngorms National Park. They provide bespoke Mountain Guiding for Single Day Walks and Lightweight Multiday Trekking experiences, including wild camping, in the stunning Cairngorms wilderness and surrounding areas. Whether in the high mountains or lower valleys, their Multiday Treks are equipped with high quality, lightweight camping and trekking gear. They only work with small groups and, whatever your ability, pride themselves on designing your outdoor experience completely to your needs and with professional guidance and expertise. Adventure is waiting...