Our Gear Man's 5 Favourite Working Tees

As an extremely hot person, I spent six years looking for the perfect, short-sleeved, lightweight running top. I've tested dozens during that time, over ten this year alone, and recently picked my five favorites to put on a head-to-head test over the past four months.

The test

I've run at least 60 miles in each of these shirts. While many of those miles have been completed jogging with the stroller With my daughter, I wore all of these tops for the following challenges: a 90-minute run that got more than 1,200 feet of elevation gain, a run that took place in temperatures above 90 degrees, and one on a day in weather was in her seventies Years.

I slept in each shirt for at least one night to take notes on comfort.

I weighed all the shirts individually on my kitchen scale. I soaked each of them completely in a kiddy pool for 30 seconds, dripped them for 30 seconds, and weighed them again. After that, I hung them on my clothesline in the back yard and weighed them every ten minutes for an hour to see how quickly they dried.

Columbia Men's Titan Ultra II ($ 55)

(Photo: Sarah Jackson)

Weight: 3.6 ounces
Moisture Movement: 5
Athletic performance: 5
Comfort: 5

I hesitate to get perfect results on my tests, however In this case, it's a fair assessment. The Titan Ultra II was my favorite in large part because it was by far the easiest of the lineup. It weighs a full ounce less than its closest competitor, which I could have guessed without the help of my scale. It was softer against my skin than any other shirt here, and offered remarkable comfort and performance every run. It breathed most efficiently thanks to its wicking effect polyester The body material and its large mesh panels in the back and under the armpits cooled me down significantly on runs when temperatures fluctuated in the high eighties (and up). In addition, in my backyard test, it gave off moisture the fastest and lost almost 25 percent of its water weight in the first ten minutes. On the hottest runs, it was so amazing that during one particularly brutal week in August I realized, "I don't want to run in anything else!" The antimicrobial treatment Columbia used worked well enough to get four sweaty late summer runs between washes, and the silky ease made this a winner in the comfort category. With its disguise and color, this shirt looks extremely sporty – I wouldn't wear it with jeans – but that wasn't a style test. To be comfortable on trails, this was a clear winner.

Tracksmith Strata ($ 88)

Tracksmith-Mens-Running-Shirt_h.jpg(Photo: Sarah Jackson)

Weight: 4.6 ounces
Moisture Movement: 4.5
Athletic performance: 4.5
Comfort: 4.5

Although the Tracksmith Strata was a full ounce heavier than the Columbia shirt, it felt exceptionally light to put on. It also breathed almost as well as the Titan Ultra II, a result of the thousands of pinholes that covered the entire top. Although these holes were large enough for me to appreciate a ten mph breeze on a hot evening run and see through them transparently when held up to a light, they weren't wide enough to see my skin underneath. This shirt kept me cool during the hottest test run (it was 99 degrees when I started and only cooled down to 96), and I was so excited by the time I finished that I put an exclamation mark at the end of each sentence on Notes. It also took second place on my backyard drying test: it was almost bone dry by the end of the class.

Saxx crew neck aerator ($ 45)

saxx-aerator-t-shirt_h.jpg(Photo: Sarah Jackson)

Weight: 5.2 ounces
Moisture Movement: 4th
Athletic performance: 4.5
Comfort: 4th

The Aerator took third place with the two jerseys below. I tortured myself about this three-way tie; While they got the same score (12.5 out of 15), each has different benefits. The aerator offered the best fit: it felt tailored but was still loose enough not to feel constricted during the race. It's not as light and airy as the Columbia, but with its polyester and almost as many pores as the Strata, it breathed well. The flatlock seams made it as comfortable in bed as any other top. All in all, it didn't handle moisture as well as the first two shirts in this test: my nipples rubbed against runs that lasted more than two hours.

Lululemon Metal Vent Tech 2.0 ($ 78)

lululemon-metal-vent-tee_h.jpg(Photo: Sarah Jackson)

Weight: 4.6 ounces
Moisture Movement: 4th
Athletic performance: 4.5
Comfort: 4th

If this test had a style component, the Metal Vent Tech 2.0 would have won it. It was the only shirt I regularly wore with jeans thanks to its matte exterior and slim fit. During my four-month trial period, I received no fewer than three unsolicited compliments from my wife. Thanks to the brilliant construction of polyester, spandex, and nylon, it not only moved dashing but also like a champion. In addition to running, this was my favorite garage kettlebell swing top. It wasn't as light or as efficient as the two best picks, so it wasn't the best for a sweaty runner like me, but I would still call it a fantastic all-around training shirt.

OR Almost none ($ 39)

or-next-to-none-tee_h.jpg(Photo: Sarah Jackson)

Weight: 5.3 ounces
Moisture Movement: 3.5
Athletic performance: 4.5
Comfort: 4.5

The fact that Next to None ranks third on this list and is still guaranteed to be a staple in my already overcrowded t-shirt drawer is testament to how good all five of these tops are. Although it was a little heavy compared to the others and wasn't made from fancy see-through fabric, I fell in love with the simplicity of this polyester-spandex garment. The seams are not locked flat, but they are intelligently positioned to avoid chafing. Aside from the moisture that the shirt retained while I ran, it was so comfortable that I forgot to wear it. And it was great to sleep in. I wore it for four days during the wildfire mayhem in my town of Ashland, Oregon, barely realizing that I hadn't changed, which speaks volumes.

Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. For the past several years, Outside Online has reported groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improvements in mental and physical health, and we've kept you updated on the unprecedented threats to America's public lands. Our rigorous reporting helps spark important debates about wellness, travel, and adventure, and provides readers with an accessible gateway to new passions in the outdoors. Time outside is important – and we can help you get the most of it. Providing a financial contribution to Outside Online takes just minutes, and it ensures we can continue to deliver the breakthrough, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you will support us. Thank you very much.

Post outside

Main photo: Sarah Jackson

If you buy something through the retail links in our stories, we may earn a small commission. Outside does not accept money for editorial reviews. Read more about our guidelines.

You are now subscribed to Gear Fix

We will not share your email with anyone for any reason.

You can find more newsletters on our newsletter registration page.

Related Articles