Nau Lightbeam: Lightweight, Durable, and Stylish Men’s Travel Shirt

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:

  • Lightweight
  • Quick drying
  • Synthetic construction
  • Breathable & stays comfortable in all conditions
  • Look like a tailored/dress shirt
  • Wrinkle-resistant

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.

Nau Lightbeam Men's Travel Shirt (Caviar Stripe)

Here’s what I found …

The Skinny

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

Nau Lightbeam Men's Shirt (Zest Stripe)

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.

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