Long and short of long sleeved tops
The mountains are a cool place to be – quite literally. Ireland’s perennial cold, wet, and windy conditions mean that most days I have to wrap up well against the elements. As a result, I’m normally wearing a long sleeved top out on my training runs…
I’ve been through a fair share of long sleeved brands. The easiest one to get in most stores is the classic Helly Hansen. Made of Lifa SportVersa fabric, it definitely does the job of keeping me nice and warm. And it has the bonus of coming in cool girly pink, blue and white colours.
However, I find that if I stop at all on my run, the wind can cut through the fabric quite easily and chill any sweat lying inside. That’s great in warm climates for that crucial cooling effect, but not so great in the wet and windy Irish wilds. Also it does have a tendency to retain the “eau de mountain running” smell, so it’s definitely something to be strictly worn only outdoors.
Recently, I’ve been running around wearing the Salomon Trail Runner Tech Tee. Thankfully this top is equipped with anti-bacterial panels to combat those same distinctive running odours. It also challenges the Helly Hansen fashion ensemble with its striking melange of pink, blue and white all in one garment. And thanks to its Actilite X-Static Mesh, it definitely is one of the lightest long sleeved tops I’ve worn at a mere 150 grams.
However, even Salomon’s long armed efforts fail to rival Craft’s Pro Zero Crew Top. This top can be trusted to be ultra warm in cold and wet conditions, yet cool enough to wear if the sun does kicks in. As one friend described it, “Putting it on is like wearing a big hug” so soft, snug, and comforting it feels on the skin.
As Craft put it themselves:
An added plus to pro zero extreme is that along with keeping athletes dry it also provides them with climate control. Say a runner overheats on a hot day, pro zero extreme’s fabric cools them down. Conversely, if a cross-country skier gets too cold, the pro zero extreme fabric will keep them warm. OK, so what´s the secret? Pro zero extreme combines two high-tech fibres from AdvanSA.
Next to the skin are hexa-channelled fibres to pull moisture off skin. This fibre is made with Coolmax Fresh FX technology to prevent the garments from smelling. On the fabric´s outer layer are Thermolite hollow fibres that ventilate at the same time as they use a capillary action to pull moisture further away from the skin. The active athlete´s new climate control system has arrived with pro zero extreme underwear.
It’s good to have a range of tops for different types of training. After much trial and error, Helly Hansen are now my reliable shirts for biking expeditions. Salomon I find perfect for forest and park training runs. And Craft remains my top of choice for mountain runs and races.