Outdoor Research (OR) makes a number of zip-up tops and I’ve been giving the Sequence L/S Zip Top a workout recently. OR uses some very interesting fabric in this top, with some surprising odor resistant properties. With a slim fit and a light fabric, this shirt works great as a next to skin layer, whether that’s as a base layer or a shirt.
The Sequence top is made with drirelease polyester (88%) and merino blend (12%) with FreshGuard technology. The drireelease fibers claim to have unique moisture wicking and evaporating properties. OR even claims that this fabric dries four times faster than 100% wool while being even warmer. FreshGuard is proprietary, but the fabric manufacturer claims that it prevents odors from growing rather than attacking bacteria.
When I first purchased this shirt, I was skeptical of how well the odor resistance would actually work (due to the low merino content). After wearing the shirt while traveling, I can say I am thoroughly impressed. Even after three wears, I could detect no odors. I ended up wearing the shirt five times before deciding to give it a wash. The real test will be to see if the odor-resistant nature will reduce with wear/washing. If the “FreshGuard” is some kind of treatment, it probably will.
Fit, Comfort, and Finish
The shirt is slim cut and very thin, as it is designed as a next to body piece. I find it to be very comfortable as a shirt (with an undershirt) or a base layer. Worn as a shirt, the Sequence is very warm while not being too hot. This is typically a property I’ve only found in shirts with much higher merino content.
I’ve gone from wearing this shirt through the airport with a backpack to cool weather and never once felt damp or too cool. Yet on the warm plane or in the afternoon sun, I was never too warm.
The seams on the shirt are great and don’t cause any hot spots, even with a backpack. The OR branding isn’t too obvious, and the zipper is the perfect scale and has a nice lockdown tab (to prevent that annoying jingle).
The only issue I’ve had with this shirt is pilling. After taking my first trip with a backpack, the shirt has developed some pilling on the back where the bottom of the backpack was resting, as well as in the underarms where straps could have rubbed. For me, this isn’t a dealbreaker, but definitely something to consider before making the purchase.
The Outdoor Research Sequence L/S Zip Top was certainly a surprise with its excellent odor-resistant properties. It has become my go-to shirt for cool fall weather and I see it becoming a staple for the winter, whether as a shirt or base layer.