We wore them through a variety of climates from warm to well below freezing, worked up a sweat, and got them wet and then dry again. More than just in the outdoors, these models were constantly worn while running errands and in social venues around town, too. Throughout all this, we took extensive notes on the performance of each top in these varying environments and activities. In the end we were able to determine which shirts worked better for particular purposes, and we've tried our best to communicate that in the individual product reviews and the Best in Class article.
All outdoor apparel companies like to advertise that their clothing is "quick to dry" or some similarly meaning phrase. With our air dry test we were able to objectively measure these claims, which contributed to the majority of each product's score in our drying speed metric. We also repeated the same workout eleven times with each top in a controlled, indoor temperature to work up a sweat, then timed how long it took for our torsos to completely dry. For layering ability, we used the same t-shirts, base and mid-layers, and jackets to test how well each model functions when layered. We also did series of calisthenics to check the mobility of each product. All these tests gave us some raw data and insight to assist in scoring these products, combined with our experiences with them in the backcountry.