For two years, I’ve been on a quest for the perfect men’s travel shirt. I don’t think I’m asking for much really. It must be:
- Quick drying
- Synthetic construction
- Breathable & stays comfortable in all conditions
- Look like a tailored/dress shirt
Most travel and activewear fits the first four criteria; it’s the last two that have proven difficult. But urban/outdoor performance apparel manufacturer Nau assured me their Lightbeam men’s shirt was the bee’s knees, exactly what I was looking for. So they sent me a sample.
Here’s what I found …
First, in Nau’s words, the Lightbeam is:
… at the intersection of tailored shirt and water and wind-repellent cycling jacket, this recycled poly soft shell is a highly breathable shirt crafted from a puckered, two-way stretch knit fabric that moves with the body.
… with features including:
- Two-way stretch fabric for unrestricted movement
- DWR finish protects from the elements
- Self fabric placket with ring snaps for easy on/off
- Self fabric collar with snap tab for increased neck coverage
- One chest zip pocket and one back zip pocket with stowable reflective tape provides visibility in the saddle
- Snap sleeve plackets and cuffs
- Tailored details: Internal bound seams
The Traveler’s Take
Let’s see how it stacks up against my “perfect travel shirt requirements”:
- Lightweight: Definitely. After slipping it on, it feels less “shirt” and more “ultra-lightweight rainshell”. This is a good thing as it’s extremely comfortable – almost like wearing nothing at all.
- Quick drying: Yes – the recycled polyester construction means the Lightbeam dries very quickly.
- Synthetic construction: Check.
- Breathable & stays comfortable in all conditions: Mostly. I wouldn’t recommend it for hot climates, but it’s quite comfortable when the temperature dips below 85 F
- Look like a tailored/dress shirt: Definitely. It’s stylish, minimalist … “urban traveler chic” if you will.
- Wrinkle-resistant: After keeping it crumpled in my bag for a week, there were noticeable wrinkles. But they weren’t nearly as bad as I’d expect. Definitely not wrinkle-free, but plenty wrinkle-resistant.
Is the Lightbeam the perfect travel shirt? It’s pretty damn close. Considering everything I’m asking of it, I’m loving it. For the foreseeable future, it’s definitely going to be my go-to active/travel/dress shirt.
Pricing & Availability
Available now in three colors (Caviar, Indigo, and Zest) for around $160 (USD) directly from Nau.
Disclosure: Vagabondish received one Lightbeam shirt from Nau in advance of this post.