Saturday, April 21, 2012

Review: Under Armor shirts

I came away from Tough Mudder, with a congratulatory head-band, and a celebratory t-shirt, from their sponsors, Under Armor . As I staggered around after completing it, trying to find my team, I wandered past the merchandise tent and had a look at what they had going, and saw another design that caught my interest. As it turns out it was another Under Armor shirt as well, so I came away from the event with two. Since then I've worn both, a couple of times and have been very impressed, so thought I might share my findings with you all. First of all, I should mention the fit. The general philosophy beneath Under Armor seems to be that they make close fitting garments in order to keep maximum contact between the wearers skin and the garment. This makes sense when you consider the material used is pitched as having their "Signature Moisture Transport System" which wicks sweat away from the body, keeping you cooler and drier. I did a little searching to find out what material they actually use in the shirts.

The best guess  I could find was "63% Nylon, 23% Polyester, 14% Elastane" blend, which would account for the "ultra-durable 4-way stretch woven fabric" that is reported by the manufacturer. Both the stretch and wicking are dead on the money, and whilst I happen to choose a looser fit, mostly to give me torso a bit more "body", I have really appreciated the "give" that the elastic fabric has. It is very comfortable to wear, and certainly gives the impression of being hard wearing and functional. One of my two shirts is in their "Loose" fit, the other "Regular" rather than either "Fitted" or "Compression"but both shirts are from the "HeatGear" range, which are stated as suited to temperatures between 75-100oF (which is 23-38oC). As well as being wicking, the shirts are light, and breathable, which no doubt is part of the design of this range, but is also reported to be 30+ UPF (blocking 96.0 - 97.4 of UV light), impressive for such a light, and light-permeable fabric. Being both an anti-pick and anti-pill material, I expect these to be very hard wearing shirts.

UA's website purports "anti-odor technology" which prevents the growth of odor causing microbes, keeping your gear fresher for longer. I havent yet worn one of these shirts for long enough for that to have been something I can test, yet, but I think that I'll be wearing them a lot in future adventurous endeavors, both as a base-layer, a solo-layer and I also intend to wear them as named, under armour! My regular readers can expect to see me doing my best "Operator" impersonation in upcoming costume events, and I've worn these out clubbing, where I don't mind showing off perching, striding about or dancing my tail off. They certainly saw me clear camping over Easter; cooking, chopping and tenting...

One caveat to this is a message that UA themselves put out there: "WARNING! This product will melt when exposed to extreme heat or open flames, posing a risk of serious injury where melted product comes into contact with skin!"

So, not to wear fire-twirling, volcano spelunking or dragon slaying; CHECK.


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