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Ably Apparel: Anyone tried it?

I came across an ad for Ably Apparel. They say it repels liquids, stains, and odors and is fast-drying. Their web site has a video that shows them pouring beer, wine, and chocolate syrup on the fabric and it doesn't leave a trace behind. Seems almost too good to be true.

https://ablyapparel.com/

Has anyone purchased and traveled with any of their clothes? I'd be interested in any first-hand reports before I buy anything from them.

Posted by
61 posts

I just looked at their website and I agree, sounds great for travel! Imagine not having to do laundry:). I hope to hear feedback on these products offered, I might just order a T shirt for myself to give them a try. Thanks to you Lane for bringing Ably to our attention!

Posted by
149 posts

If it repels liquids, why does it need any time to dry (fast drying)?
Actually, what I really wonder about apparel like this is how well it breathes if it's liquid-repellant? That usually means some type of synthetic material is involved and they don't usually provide the airiness I prefer during warm (hot), humid weather that accompanies summertime travel.

Posted by
1462 posts

According to the web site, if you dunk it in water, it will get wet.

They use something called Filium, which has its own web site (http://filium.com/). Neither the Ably site nor the Filium site say much about what exactly Filium is, except this:

The Filium process is safe for you and the planet. We don’t use any nanoparticles or harmful chemicals that can break down and leach into your skin or the environment.

But I had the same concern as you, ribaholic, which is why I was hoping to find someone who's traveled with these clothes and can vouch for them (or not).

Posted by
6478 posts

That review is a paid advertisement sponsored by Ably. I would not call it a 'review', certainly not an unbiased one and I certainly would not let it drive my purchase. There are plenty of long standing travel clothes companies with tons of unbiased reviews that offer the same thing, sometimes for quite a bit less $$ too.

Posted by
2526 posts

Ah, technology marches on and sometimes not (see also New Coke). OK, Lane, you're the designated tester. Please include cost effectiveness in your review.

Posted by
1068 posts

I really like the idea of kickstarter to get a business off the ground and the shirts look pretty cool. So, after reading your post Lane I purchased two long sleeved henley shirts. I'll let you know what I think.

Posted by
1068 posts

I received two Ably Apparel shirts. I purchased a mens style due to the review that the womens style was short and I prefer a longer shirt. Sizing was as expected. The material is soft and comfortable and resists liquid just like the videos show. I am not likely to test the wearing it for 10 days in a row any time soon. So far, I am happy with my purchase.

Posted by
1462 posts

I bought a t-shirt. It arrived exactly one day after I place the order. (It must have helped that I live in Seattle, where the company is located.) It fits perfectly. I've worn it twice, and it smells like new, but this is winter time, so I wasn't sweating profusely and I wasn't on the go all day. I doubt I will be able to put it to the true test any time soon.

With tax and shipping it came to over $60, and that feels very expensive to me for a t-shirt, but I might come to love the idea of only packing three shirts on a month-long trip and not having to wash them at all. Still, the need for layers probably means three shirts isn't enough unless I'm going someplace where it never gets chilly.

I'm going on a month-long trip to South America in November, and I'm definitely considering buying a few more shirts from Ably for that trip.

Posted by
1462 posts

I haven't traveled with my Ably shirt yet, but I wore it about 4 or 5 times without washing it. It does shed liquids like magic, but although it didn't have any BO smell, it no longer smelled fresh, and this was not hot summer weather. I washed it and it came out with no or minimal shrinkage, which is nice.

I am not convinced I could wear 2 or 3 of these shirts every day for several weeks of travel without washing them. So I don't think I'll be buying any more.

Posted by
225 posts

Lane,
I would be interested to know if the stain repellent and odor resistant features stand up after a few washings. I have a friend in the apparel business and she says that the odor resistant feature actually washes out after only a wash or two. I'd be interested to hear that happened with your tshirt.
Thanks,
Lori

Posted by
2526 posts

I love my merino wool products and especially for travel purposes. The "stink factor" is much less than with other fabrics. A male relative bought some very soft, lightweight merino wool t-shirts that are quite nice. Even my limited fashion sense appreciates the design and construction. Somewhat stretchy, with 95% wool and 5% Lycra. Machine washable. Expensive, but less than what I paid for a more utilitarian version which I use in colder weather. Discount with first order. Limited availability. See Taylor Stitch.

Posted by
1 posts

I thought this was too good to be true so I decided to buy one t-shirt. It is incredible. It is basically a cotton shirt. It breaths well. I gave it the smell test and wore it everyday for a week through all kinds of activities and it repelled any stains and didn't smell after a week. Confirmed by others in my family. I love these shirts now own 2 short and 2 long sleeved shirts. Have worn the long sleeved ones this summer and they are quite comfortable. Have reduced my shirt wardrobe for traveling. So much easier packing.

Posted by
21041 posts

Thanks for the report. Definitely sounds like something to try.

Posted by
2 posts

I have not purchased but if you feel like those statements don't seem to be true, you need to look up lots of reviews. not few reviews. Your belief is the most important thing when you purchase.

Posted by
1 posts

I've had one for a long time now (got it at the kickstarter campaign). It is the basic T-shirt model (Bradley).

It fits great, nice and light and repels liquids like magic. It is a very nice shirt to wear in temperate whether or when I am not active (explained why below).

I did try to wear it for a week without washing (during the autumn) and it had no foul smells according to my wife, though it did develop that 'yucky' feeling that any other shirt develops without washing.

The main thing that bothers me with the shirt, and the reason I don't wear it often, is actually related to how well it repels liquids. I am a very sweaty guy. I sweat easily and a lot. What I noticed was that wearing this shirt feels very 'yucky' on my back. Usually when I sweat, a regular shirt absorbs the sweat and then gets dried by the wind, which is why I have lots of quick-dry, moisture-wicking shirts. With the Ably shirt it didn't absorb any of my sweat and I could feel my back really wet. Basically, think of the videos you see of this shirt: when you pour water over it, it just rolls off. It really does work this way. But when the water comes from inside the shirt (in the form of sweat) and it rolls off, it really just means that your back feels drops of water over it. It is even worse when I tried hiking with a light backpack.

It is a great buy if you either don't sweat a lot, or if you don't intend on using it in active settings. I would definitely buy some of the newer designs like the dress-shirts as I am unlikely to wear them in situations I would sweat too much. The T-shirt I have, and which I wear as a daily shirt, I am only wearing when the weather is cool and when I am not exercising/hiking.

As for washing: I have had it for a while now and I only washed it by hand in cool water with tiny amounts of soap, air dried. So far no significant stretching and no change in the water-repelling qualities. Still feels great to wear.

If you are in the market for a moisture-repelling shirt, I do recommend trying it with the caveat I mentioned regarding sweat.

Hope it helps.

Posted by
930 posts

I tried the Ably T-shirt and polo shirt and found that they do stay stain free and odor free after wearing for 5 days. I will use them on a up coming trip to Paris in September and report back on how they do. I'm not affiliated with Ably.