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Wool Wardrobe for a Weekend Getaway: Huckberry ‘Proof’ 72-Hour Travel Kit Review

Lightweight, packable, and stink- and wrinkle-proof, merino wool has long been the ideal choice for traveling. Is this '72-hour' kit all you need?
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As the lead travel pant reviewer, I usually travel with a stack of clothes from multiple brands, putting them through their paces, and collecting feedback for the men’s flannel and travel pant roundups. But not this time.

I was heading to Japan, traveling like I’d prefer, with a minimal kit, mostly merino wool. Two merino pants, a small stack of merino shirts, nylon shorts and trunks, rounded out with merino briefs. My entire kit took up less than half my carry-on. Minimal, flexible, and comfortable — just the way I like it.

Wool has fantastic properties that naturally lend themselves to travel. Wool from merino sheep is soft to the touch, has natural antimicrobial and ultraviolet protection properties that reduce natural odors, and blocks UV rays. Warm when wet and quick to dry, material woven from merino can be washed out in the sink and hung out to dry overnight. It bounces back with minimal wrinkles, ready to tackle another day. 

I was invited to Japan to pedal across Shikoku Island, the smallest of the four main islands. While my daily kit was Lycra, I spent each night at a different hotel — requiring some elevated formality over T-shirts and shorts. I partnered with Huckberry to test the brand’s 72-hour line of clothing. Developed specifically for travelers crushing long weekends, the kit is almost entirely made of merino.

So I gave it a go in Japan, and then turned around and hopped on a plane to L.A., putting it through a full 2 weeks on the road. The kit was folded, packed, and repeatedly worn for 9 days.

Editor’s note: To offset flight costs to Japan, Huckberry contributed funds in return for an honest review. What follows is a rundown of Huckberry’s Proof 72-hour line, blemishes and all.

Huckberry Proof 72-Hour Collection Review

(Photo/Steve Graepel)

Proof 72-Hour Merino T-Shirt


  • Fabric 87% 16.5 micron merino wool, 13% nylon
  • Fabric weight 150 gsm
  • Fit Available in classic and slim fit


  • Wrinkle-proof
  • Odor-resistant
  • Soft to the touch
  • Great fit (we tested the Classic fit)
  • Durable for merino


  • Expensive for a T-shirt
  • Too classy for most T-shirt chores
  • Shorter sleeves may not suit all

Hands down, my top choice for a travel shirt is merino wool. Merino repels funky odors and resists wrinkling. 

If you are like me, you have a drawer full of T-shirts. Most have sentimental meaning, many have holes, but they all lack the fit, function, and comfort trifecta. Those second-tier shirts sift down to the bottom of the drawer, and only occasionally resurface on laundry day or weekend tasks. They work, but they are at the bottom for a reason.

I have a drawer full of merino tees, and most of them have rotated to the bottom along with my old shirts from college. The classic fit 72-Hour Merino T-Shirt from Huckberry ($78) has a better fit, and in my experience, remains softer and pill-free after repeated washes. The resilience comes from a proper balance of merino and nylon. The 16.5-micron merino wool is woven with 13% nylon blend, giving the lightweight 150 gsm fabric a better shelf life.

(Photo/Steve Graepel collection)

To sharpen up for dinner, I complemented the kit with Proof’s polo-style collar shirt ($88). Made from the same merino blend, the shirt is classed up with a collar and black snaps. It wears just as comfortable as the tee, tapers at the waist, and grazes the belt as it should. It greets the room with respect without having to give it much thought. A master of flexibility, polos also wear well at the office.

Huckberry keeps a muted, earth-tone color palette with hues skewing gray and dark. If I were to make a recommendation for travel, I’d suggest considering a heather. The subtle texture camouflages any slurping ramen stains you might collect on the road. 

Now, $80 for a T-shirt is a lot of cash to fork over. But that’s the going rate for merino these days. Finer than cotton, merino can be delicate, cutting into its lifespan. I’ve owned a set of Huckberry merino tees for 4 years now, and the fabric has yet to get a hole, pull a thread, or develop any “roping” at the seams.

Proof 72-Hour Merino UPF Hoodie


  • Fabric 84% 18.5-micron merino wool, 12% nylon, 4% spandex
  • Fabric weight 180 gsm
  • Fit Athletic fit, intended to be worn directly against the skin or over a T-shirt


  • More oomph than Proof's T-shirt-weight merino
  • High UPF 50+ sun protection rating
  • Stealth thumb loops hidden the the cuff
  • Loose scuba-style hood allows ventilation without being too restrictive


  • Only available in dark colors, which hold heat in more than lighter colors
  • Athletic fit doesn’t allow air to flow between the shirt and arms. Could run hot in hot climates
(Photo/Steve Graepel)

Rounding out the tops, I brought a merino long-sleeve tee ($98) and a UPF merino hoodie ($138). If I were to choose just one, I’d reach for the hoodie. I love its versatility and always pack one. It serves as a warm base for chilly days, and it blocks the sun while keeping you cooler on hotter days.

I’ll always pull one on before a flight. It can be cooler in coach, and I just like to pull the hood over my eyes while trying to catch some winks on long, overnight flights. I also appreciate the thumb holes sewn into the wrist. They tuck away hidden in the cuff but add a little extra coverage if you want it.

The hoodie boasts an extra 20 points of UPF over the long-sleeve tee, giving it an astounding 50+ rating. It’s plenty enough for a day casting drys on the Henry’s Fork.

Both the hoodie and long-sleeve have an athletic fit and are only offered in darker colors. This somewhat limits Proof’s shirts for cooler climates. Darker colors soak up solar heat and the fit, while tailored sharp, doesn’t have much room for air to flow between your body and the shirt. The combination holds heat more than a true sun shirt.

Whether backpacking or traveling by plane, you can never go wrong with a merino hoodie. Proof’s fit and cut has the edge for travelers over active adventures like hiking or fishing.


Proof 72-Hour Merino Travel Pant


  • Fabric 47% merino wool, 33% nylon, 14% polyester, 6% elastane
  • Fabric weight 247 gsm
  • Fit True to size
  • Weight 16.5 oz.
  • DWR Yes


  • Merino wool!
  • Stylish
  • Gusseted crotch
  • Good fit and stretch


  • Pricey — $200 can buy you two (or three) other pants
  • Weighs an ounce or two more than other similar pants
  • Lacks a dedicated device pocket
  • One length (32) runs long – but is a better fit for tall men
(Photo/Steve Graepel)

I previously tested and reviewed the 72-hour Merino Travel Pant ($200) and was already won over by the merino fabric. They stand among the top five GearJunkie’s 2024 travel pant buyers guide for men.

Another wonder property of merino is its ability to naturally cool. I wore these on a connecting 12-hour flights, hauling luggage to and from the hotel in humid Osaka. The pants wear noticeably cooler for a heavier-weight material (250gsm).

For buyers looking for the ultimate hot-weather pant, I recommend giving Mission Workshops Signal LT a look. The LT wears breezy even under the blazing Mexican sun.

Fit, Construction

The 72-hour fit straddles somewhere between a five-pocket denim and a chino. Casually cut, it doesn’t bind in the crotch or snug around the calves, but it manages to still look sharp and tailored. This is no surprise. Huckberry prides itself on well-tailored, fashionable men’s clothes. It wears near the top of the field, among pants made by LIVSN, Western Rise, and Bluffworks.

One thing to note is that the 72-hour Merino Travel Pant is only available in one length. This caused some other testers, who stand at 6’2″, some potential sizing concerns. While listed as a 32” inseam, they run long.

I’m 5’10” and haven’t had time to bring them to a tailor, so I roll them up and they work just fine. The taller testers found the fit to be spot on, with one sharing that the pants have become their new favorite, wearing them non-stop from wash to wash.

Lighter than denim, the material is still heavier than comparable synthetic travel pants. This could become a slight issue if space or weight is top of mind, and you are primarily wearing shorts (there are lighter travel pants).

While I typically travel with an armful of pants, I was happy to pare this down to a barebones two-pair kit. Push-come-to-space, I could have gotten by with a single pair.

(Photo/Steve Graepel)

In the Elements

The pants come with a light DWR. Traveling at the end of May, we were entering Japan’s typhoon season. And sure as rain, our last day in Japan saw the season’s first major deluge, pouring 12 cm/hour for an entire day.

Walking around the port town of Onomichi, the pants deflected rain in all but the high-wear regions around the pockets. It’s not quite the elevated DWR I’ve seen from Western Rise, which literally shed liters of beer at Oktoberfest. But it’s on par with most.

At nearly $200 a pair, I fully recognize these pants are a significant step into a single pair of pants. So it’s important to call out the negatives.

The only serious ding I may have on these pants is potential pilling. The merino is woven into a flat surface that is showing early signs of fibers lifting off the pair I’ve been testing since winter. Coming off a heavy test session in the pants, I’d still recommend these as a top choice. 

Finally, acute readers will notice I haven’t listed these as the top choice in travel pants. They are near the top for the reasons shared, but at GearJunkie testers like me typically prefer a travel pant that has a dedicated device pocket.

I have been testing Proof pants for over 8 years and while the materials have changed, the travel pant line has held to the same general design template. It is a five-pocket pant with a large coin pocket and a hidden zipped security pocket around back for your passport. They sport durable and flexible chops for travel, but we find the utility better matched for daily, around-town tasks.

Trunks and Shorts

(Photo/Steve Graepel)

As the GearJunkie travel pant guy, it’s no surprise that pants are my North Star. Still, I supplemented my kit with a pair of trunks from Huckberry’s sister line, Wellen.

The Performance Lined Swim Trunks ($78) are offered in 5- and 7-inch lengths, and have have a full, 5-inch synthetic liner that allows them to work double time as pair of running shorts.

With three pockets and a key loop, perhaps the coolest feature is the stealth slide pocket that hides under the trunks and in the liner. It holsters a phone down the right thigh.

Think of them as an upgrade to Patagonia’s venerable Baggies. The board short-style shell dries out very fast, but we found the liner takes longer to dry out than a mesh liner. 

(Photo/Steve Graepel collection)

Proof Equator Hybrid Short


  • Fabric 100% polyester
  • Fabric weight 158 gsm (4.7 oz.)
  • Fit Available in 5, 7, and 9 inches, the listed waist size fits spot on
  • DWR Yes


  • Chameleon of shorts can be worn casually or for athletic pursuits
  • Drawstring ensures your trunks stay up if you decide to go for a swim
  • Belt loops for more snazzy occasions
  • Offered in three different lengths
  • Security pockets allow you to carry securely and comfortably


  • None

I also brought a pair of Proof’s Equator Hybrid short ($100). Available in 5-, 7-, and 9-inch inseams, these unlined nylon shorts have two mesh hand pockets and a pair of back pockets. One back pocket zips shut, and a fifth zipper pocket is concealed down the right-hand pocket, which secures the device or tucks EDC items hidden away.

The shorts come with belt loops and a backup drawstring. Because belts are a pain when traveling through TSA, we were happy to see the drawstring.

If I were to bring just one pair of shorts, I would pack the Equator Hybrids. They pull duty in the city without a second glance and can be used as trunks in a pinch.

My co-testers extended their stay in Japan with 9 days of bikepacking across the Kii Peninsula. Leaving the Wellens behind, they packed the Equators instead. No liner, they wear like a true short, but have a drawstring to meet your midline where you are. They also dried out faster after spontaneous swim-hole plunges.

One of GearJunkie’s favorite shorts are the Ecotrek Trail Shorts from LIVSIN. The Equator Hybrids are a bit lighter weight and, available in different lengths at $10 less, give the LIVSN shorts a run for their money.

Merino Briefs

Proof 72-Hour Merino Boxer Briefs


  • Fabric 77% 17.5-micron merino wool, 16% nylon, 7% spandex
  • Fabric weight Unknown – feels like 160 gsm
  • Fit Comfortably snug and supportive


  • Breathes great
  • Incredibly comfortable
  • Fat elastic band holds the briefs appropriately around the waist
  • Vertical fly


  • Not our first choice for athletic pursuits
  • Wool traps sweat longer than synthetic

Son of a nutcracker, if merino wool isn’t the best pick for boxer briefs on the road, primarily because merino reduces that sweaty feeling you get in other materials that leave your netherlands feeling cool and dry. Fit-wise, the 72-hour Merino Boxer Briefs ($45) are better than most briefs we’ve tried. 

Best on the market? Well, SAXX have set a very high bar for comfort. SAXX’s synthetic boxer briefs would our top choice for active outdoor activities, like backpacking or running.

Parting Thoughts

(Photo/Steve Graepel collection)

There is a saying about Japanese manufacturing. The Japanese aren’t particularly known for launching products from zero to one. But damned if they don’t take it 1 to 100, fine-tuning an existing product to near perfection. Take cars (Lexus), watches (Grand Seiko), and infrastructure (their roads are dreamy on a bike). Heck, even the toilets are next-level. The Japanese tune a product with superb execution and refined usability.

Similarly, merino isn’t new to clothing. And Huckberry isn’t the first to introduce merino to travel clothing. But the quality is among the very best you can buy.

The sticker price for shirts and pants may cause you to take pause before clicking the “buy” button. As a parent about to send a child to college, that isn’t lost on me. But keep in mind that these garments are merino. A wool shirt and pants you can throw in the drier without cringing about potential shrinkage.

The 72-hour merino is sold for prices that stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the likes of Patagonia, Voormi, and even less than the titan of merino wool, Icebreaker. But there is an extra nod to cut. It wears less mountain town and more everyday. In the end, this allows you to rotate the garments into more formal settings, like the office.

Proof’s 72-hour lineup allows you to show up looking sharp without having to try hard. And moving on the go, that’s a purchase I can get behind. 

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Steve Graepel

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