Hey everybody! It’s that time again. I know it’s been a while since I wrote my last undershirt review (damn, it has been a while hasn’t it?), but it’s time to put another undershirt through Tug’s patent-pending fit, feel, function and affordability undershirt review process.
In mid-July I was contacted by the owner of CoolClothingUSA who ran across the reviews I posted on their compression shirts a couple of months ago and he asked if I’d be willing to take their Coolmax® moisture-wicking v-neck undershirt for a spin.
If you’re not already aware, Coolmax® is a moisture-wicking product from INVISTA, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of integrated fabrics. To my surprise, I discovered that they are also the creators of other popular fabrics such as Lycra®, Stainmaster®, and Thermolite®. Coolmax is offered in three different “performance” levels – Everyday fabric, Active fabric, and Extreme fabric. The undershirt from CoolClothingUSA is made from their Coolmax Extreme fabric, which offers the highest level of moisture management, specifically targeted for use in athletic apparel. Considering this is an undershirt, I’m not exactly sure why they [CoolClothing] opted to use the Extreme fabric over the Everday or Active fabrics, considering both of those would seem to be completely suitable for that type of application — I guess we’ll have to ask them.
Now, on to the review.
Fit – This undershirt falls in the standard fit category. The cut and shape is similar to what you’d get in buying a Hanes, Fruit-of-the-Loom, or a 2xist undershirt. The overall dimensions (pre-wash) are pretty typical for a large undershirt: 6″ shoulder strap length, 1″ wide flat collar, 7.5″ sleeve length, shirt bottom falls about 9″ below my waist line, and laying flat the overall length is 28.5″ and overall width is 23″. The large provides plenty of room in the shoulders, torso and waist and will fit a wide variety of body shapes and styles. Since I’m a bit on the thinner side (btw 170-175), I could probably fit into a medium. There’s a couple of things that I thought were worth mentioning. First, the v-neck is cut a little deeper than other undershirts. Measuring from the top of the back collar to the tip of the “v”, the opening measures 8″. To compare, that’s about 2″ deeper/lower than other v-neck undershirts I’ve reviewed recently such as the Jockey 3-D and the 2xist. The good thing about deeper v-necks like this is that you don’t typically see it when wearing open collared shirts. On the flip side, they don’t do a good job in covering up your chest hair. So depending on your needs, this deep v may or may not work for you. The second item is not something specifically good or bad about this particular undershirt but it’s an observation that I wanted to share. The overall length is about average and comparable to other undershirts in the same class. But, I’m finding that undershirts like this are a little too short for people with longer torsos and tend to come untucked more easily. So if you’re on the taller side and have a longer torso, this shirt won’t likely stay tucked in any better than other undershirts. Wash Test Results – No shrinkage whatsoever! Looks, feels and fits the same as when it came out of the package.
Feel – I’m not too surprised to find that this undershirt, priced at $13.95 per undershirt, is pretty comfortable right out of the package. Generally, undershirts in this price range are more comfortable than the ones under $5 — and they should be considering their price. As mentioned above, this shirt is made from the Coolmax Extreme fabric, which is a moisture-wicking 100% polyester blend. It’s a little thicker/heavier than this 2xist undershirt, but comparable in weight to the 100% cotton undershirt from Campbellsville Apparel, the 5.11 Tactical from LA Police Gear, or the Hanes Lay Flat Collar cotton undershirt. Comparing this moisture-wicking undershirt to the one from Vdri, I’d have to say the fabric on the Vdri is a slightly softer on the skin than this one, but from an overall fit and design point of view, I prefer this v-neck over Vdri.
Function – It’s hard for me to honestly address function of this undershirt because it’s main selling point is it’s moisture wicking capabilities. Since I really don’t sweat very much in general, it’s hard for me to tell whether or not this shirt keeps me any cooler than other, non moisture-wicking undershirts. I’ll wear it during my next workout and see how it performs. Other than that, I don’t see this undershirt addressing any other functional areas such as staying tucked in.
Affordability – If you include the flat shipping charge of $6.99, one of these shirts would cost you about $20.94. Of course, as you order more, your per shirt cost goes down. It’s comparable in price to other moisture wicking undershirts like Vdri, Under Armour, and Duluth Trading Company’s Crewneck “Better” undershirt. If you’d ask me if I’d throw down $20+ for a moisture-wicking undershirt — no, probably not. But if you’re someone who suffers from excessive sweating or are specifically looking for a moisture-wicking undershirt to address some other issue, I’d say this undershirt is fairly priced.
Overall, if you’re looking for a reasonably priced performance moisture-wicking undershirt, I’d say it’d be worth trying this one out.
Sites That Link to this Post
- Ask Tug: Undershirts for Tall Men (Long Undershirts) Part 2 - Looking for the perfect undershirt for my husband | The Undershirt Guy Blog | December 20, 2008
- Ask Tug: Is there an alternative to Hanes ComfortSoft? | The Undershirt Guy Blog | November 14, 2008
- The Undershirt Sweat Challenge: 100% Coolmax Moisture Wicking Undershirt | The Undershirt Guy Blog | October 25, 2008
- Moisture Wicking Undershirts - Which one to choose, and why. | The Undershirt Guy Blog | August 16, 2008