A few months back, Mission Workshop sent us their “Sector Tee” for testing. On the surface, like most other bits of Mission Workshop apparel, it looks like a simple, no frills clothing item. It has no garish graphics or logos, and won’t make you look like a Power Ranger while riding in the woods, or hanging out at a coffee shop, post-ride. The shirt actually pairs quite nicely with their Traverse short – arguably the best MTB shorts that money can buy. Anyhow, mountain bikers have loads of choices for racy looking gear, but MW is one of the few refreshing brands catering to those looking for a clean aesthetic that doesn’t come up short on tech.
The other half of the story is that most pieces of apparel from the San Francisco based brand are actually extremely well thought out in terms of materials used, as well as function. In the case of the Sector tee, its fabric is Australian Merino Wool that’s spun around a core of nylon fabric. If you haven’t worn anything made from Merino, it truly is a fantastic material. Some key attributes are that it ventilates well and doesn’t tend to pick up and retain odor. Best of all, it dries extremely fast.
- Black, Grey, Blue, Olive, Coffee
- $74 USD
- Made in California
- 18.9 micron 190g/sm Australian Merino Wool spun around a core of nylon
The stitching is rugged and there is a fairly innocuous patch in lieu of an itchy tag. Most, if not all Mission Workshop products are made in either the US or Canada.
Merino wool is a pricey material, but it does an incredible job at wicking sweat and managing temperature – as a base layer, it does so substantially better than most synthetic materials.
The Sector: MC sports a crew neck and a “relaxed fit”. The sizing is pretty spot on – a Large fit our 6′ tall, 185 pound test rider nicely. Keep in mind that if dried with heat, Merino will shrink a fair bit as it is wool, so it’s best to avoid that. Anyhow, the length at the midriff and sleeves was just right, and nothing seemed too bulky or too snug. Overall, the shirt was true to size and “just right”.
On the trail
The duration of the testing on the Sector: MC took place during the warmer spring and summer months. It might seem odd to wear a “wool” tee during that time, but it was leagues and fathoms better than a cotton shirt, and as mentioned before – if you’re looking for an unassuming aesthetic, the Sector ticks that box. The material used is seriously impressive…You can be quite sweaty and find that most moisture just evaporates out of the shirt after a 5-10 minute snack break, mid ride. As far as durability is concerned, Mission Workshop has an excellent backing on their products’ craftsmanship. There were no issues with loose seams or material degradation after a few months of repeated use on long rides followed by frequent washing. Lastly, the fabric itself proved to be quite tough as the shirt remained unscathed even after a few shoulder checks to poorly placed trees.
Certainly $74 sounds like a lot of money for what, on the surface, looks like a simple tee shirt, but it’s the cost of the materials and craftsmanship you’re paying for. We’ve worn plenty of similarly priced synthetic jerseys from big brands that got drenched much more easily and took way longer to dry.
This shirt is squarely aimed at riders who are trying to avoid loud, crazy looking apparel. For riders who prefer the unrestricted fit / feel of a cotton tee shirt, but with a better thought out material for exercise, the Sector: MC is a great option. It’s comfortable on trail during even the longest rides, but you won’t look like an idiot if you step out in public for a bite and a beer, post ride.