When doing any sort of exertion, wearing a normal t-shirt can leave us first feeling hot and sticky with sweat, and then, once our bodies have cooled off, feeling cold and clammy, with the sweat making the shirt stick to our skin. Adding to the discomfort is the concern for anyone’s nostrils that may be standing downwind.
Optimally, we’d like our shirts to stay dry while moving that heat and moisture from our sweat away from our bodies so we can stay cool while exerting ourselves and comfortable while standing still.
In an effort to create this perfect shirt, Sport Science steps in with their Smarter Basics line of T-shirts. The Smarter Basics t-shirt use an engineered 85% Polyester / 15% cotton moisture wicking fabric that promises to deliver the comfort of a cotton shirt with the quick-drying features of artificial fabrics. In addition, the shirt is treated a “Freshguard” in order to keep the shirt smelling fresher for longer.
We were able to spend some time testing a smarter basics T-shirt. Here’s what we found:
The Smarter Basics T-shirt has a very straightforward and simplistic look to it. Compared with other dri-fit shirts, this one really does look like a ‘normal’ T-shirt, making it suitable for casual wear and exercise wear. It comes in quite a few colors so there’s probably a color there that you will like. I don’t like many logos on my shirts, and was happy to see that the only logo on these shirts was a discreet yellow ‘Smarter Science’ tag on the sleeve. It is form fitting and a flattering cut without showing off every curve of my muscles (sorry ladies, I’m married). Tight enough to move with me, but not too tight so I felt vacuum-packed.
I have a lighter frame, so when looking at the sizing chart small was the size that suited me best. It is a very comfortable and a good fit. The shirt initially felt a little tight around the neck, but within an hour and every other time I’ve worn it I haven’t noticed it at all.
In my opinion, as nice as the shirt looks and fits, it only lives up to its promises if it stays comfortable in a variety of situations. While sitting down at the computer in a fairly cool house (65F), the fabric of the shirt was very comfortable against the skin and I felt reasonably comfortable sitting down with only the T-shirt on (and pants). After wearing it for a whole day with walking, lifting and sitting all involved, the shirt continued to be comfortable and smelled pretty nice too.
It was then time to try to put the shirt to the best test I could (on a cold and wet wintery day in the North West). I went over to a gym and put myself through the most rigorous 20 minute upper body workout that I could. I quickly worked up a sweat through push-ups, sit-ups weights and jumping jacks in order to see if the shirt lived up to its promise. At the end of this exercise (that would make me very sore the next day) I was pleasantly rewarded. The shirt continued to stay mostly dry, and I found that I was definitely more comfortable when compared to a basic regular T-shirt. What’s more is that once I got home from this workout, my wife thought I smelled pretty nice too.
My first impression of this shirt is very positive. Having put this shirt through a fairly rigorous test both in the daily tasks as well as a hard workout, the Smarter Basics T-shirt maintained a good level of comfort throughout and demonstrates its all-purpose active wear use. As we get into the season of hiking, and once I start wearing only a T-shirt on my bike rides, I will definitely be using this shirt and hope to provide more update of how it wears over time.
Oh… and one last thing. active wear, dri fit shirts, moisture wicking fabric. w00t!
The Outdoor Adventure Team