Topo Ranch Topo T-Shirt

It ain’t a technical top. Some people think its prairie-dog-with-wings motif is silly or childish. But the Topo T-Shirt, an organic-cotton casual short-sleeve, has been an unlikely wear-everywhere jersey for me over the past few years.

I am on my second one. The $36 shirt just fits right, and its 100-percent organic cotton fabric stays soft and supple after many washings.

Topo T-Shirt

About the graphic: It gets a lot of attention. Plus, there’s something cute but also melancholy about the hopeful rodent that’s seemingly just met his doom and is rising to heaven. Or is he ascending in rebirth like a phoenix? (That’s what the sales copy suggests at

The singer and pianist Ben Folds was once caught on film crooning with a Topo T-Shirt on. To me, that elevated the quirky design to a cult status of some sort. Or maybe I am simply partial to rodents with wings.

—Stephen Regenold

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Stephen Regenold is Founder and Editor-In-Chief of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for nearly two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of four small kids, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.