While we’ve found some great performance pieces from Proof, I’ve resisted trying their 72-Hour Merino Polo because I wasn’t sure how I felt about the snaps instead of buttons. I’ve been wearing this polo at home for work and outside in some very hot temps, and I am impressed.
The polo is made from Proof’s 72 Hour merino fabric (89% 16.5 micron New Zealand merino, 11% nylon).
This fabric is lightweight; not so much that it is see-thru while wearing, but holding it up to the light, it appears quite sheer. This makes it a great merino option for the depths of summer heat.
There are no UPF claims here, and it’s not a fabric that I would trust to protect me from strong sun.
The lightweight fabric makes this one of my most comfortable merino pieces for the heat. Even though merino does soak up moisture, the fabric dries so quickly, you never feel damp.
This is also great when washing the polo — it was almost dry out of the washer and was dry within 15 minutes. I’d venture to guess that you could hand wash the shirt hand have it be dry within a few hours. Any wrinkles from the washer also fell out completely.
Odor resistance-wise this shirt is as expected for 89% merino — it usually needs to be washed for some other reason before it smells.
Fit & Style
The polo is described as a “trim, athletic fit”. I find it to have a straight fit, but more along the lines of a nice t-shirt rather than a polo. This, along with the length (it is most suited for untucked wear), works with the more casual style. It looks great with shorts, but could also be dressed up with a pair of chinos (probably not for business wear though). The normal XL size I get from Proof works well.
For a polo, the collar is a make or break feature — I didn’t have high expectations, but I was pleasantly surprised. The collar is described as a “free collar rests around the neck and retains shape”. This is an apt description that makes more sense once you wear the shirt. The collar doesn’t have any structure, but I don’t find it to get folded under, curled, or sloppy. It helps that the collar dries flat without any fussy positioning to dry.
On to the placket at the neck. Rather than buttons, there are two low-profile snaps in a matte black finish. After wearing the polo, they grew on me and they fit with the overall style. My only concern is the durability of the fabric from the force of undoing the snaps — that remains to be seen.
If you are looking for a casual polo to wear in the heat, the 72-Hour Merino Polo is a great option. It handles the heat, dries quickly with no wrinkles, and adds something extra over a t-shirt.
Even at the full price of $88, I think the polo is a great value. It can also often be found in Huckberry’s (Proof’s parent company) sales.