under armour heat gear tee

If you’re not familiar with the Under Armour clothing line, the real core of their offerings is the compression-fit clothing. This compression fit is supposed to maximize performance since it bolsters muscle support and accelerates moisture transfer.

The brand may resonate a bit more with football players, but that doesn’t mean cyclists can’t get in on the action. I was looking for a good base layer for running and biking, so I decided to get a short sleeve t-shirt from Under Armour’s Heat Gear lineup.

The shirt in question is from mid-2008, and it has the same compression fit as the original, but was “updated with a new ergonomic fit and Anti-Odor HeatGearĀ® fabric.”

I was actually looking at Under Armour shirts for years, but they were so expensive ($35 for a t-shirt,) I never bought one. When I finally went to get one in the store, my size was out of stock!

So I go to UnderArmour.com to find more info, and you can shop online, so I just went into the catalog. There’s my shirt for $24.99 – good thing I found this!

Worried about shipping charges? Have no fear! If you check retailmenot.com, you can probably find a coupon for free shipping. And once you’re a customer, they’ll send you current coupon codes, so you never have to pay for shipping and handling! šŸ™‚

Let’s look at the shirt now…

Price

As mentioned, these aren’t cheap. But at $25 at their website, it’s not outrageous – most other performance base layers are the same price or more.

For someone that works out in the gym a few times per week, an old cotton t-shirt would be fine. But when you spend hours each day out in the hot sun, a $25 performance shirt is a good value.

Comfort

My first impression was that this shirt was awesome and worth every penny. It was nice and tight, and the compression felt great on my muscles. Size small seemed just about right for me, although it does take some effort to slip it on. (I wear size small bike jerseys and they fit fine.)

I have one complaint though – the seams. They don’t bother me on the sides, but the seam that goes under my armpit digs in. It’s not too uncomfortable for short time periods, and it’s fine for cycling since your arms don’t move much, but I wouldn’t want to run in it. I bet it would chafe me pretty bad.

Actually, I went running in it once to see. That seam was awful! It cuts into my skin, then scrapes back and forth, leaving my armpits sore for days!

Doing it over again, I’d get a size Medium to see if that helped. (But a loose fit Under Armour shirt in size small fits me fine.)

Durability

I’ve used this shirt for about a year and used it mainly as a cycling undershirt, but I’ve also worn it for some workouts. It still looks good as new, with no snags or any serious damage. However, across the back ( the shoulder blade area that supports the bar when I do squats,) it’s getting fuzzy from the abrasion of weight bars.

So durability should be good when not exposed to rough surfaces. If you’re just wearing it and washing it, it seems to be durable enough for years of use.

Style/Fashion

This is one of those shirts that looks good if you are big with chiseled muscles. If you’re a cyclist like me, you probably don’t want to be seen in this without something over top of it!

(But you can see me wearing it while demonstrating exercises such as the bird dog.)

Performance

The only reason to spend money on one of these shirts is for performance, so it better deliver! It does.

It does a very good job keeping me cool and wicking sweat away. It’s great for hot weather, but I also found it to be the perfect shirt to wear while indoor training on a trainer or rollers. It’s possibly cooler than going shirtless.

Also, the shirt boasts a UPF 30+ rating (stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor,) which means it blocks 97% of the sun’s UV radiation.

My final verdict is…

Under Armour makes a very cool product; I like the compression fit. However, make sure you get the right size. (In this case, the right size is the one that doesn’t chafe due to rough seams!)

After the problem with the seams I would recommend you look at Zensah and SteelStretch compression shirts instead. I haven’t tried a Zensah yet, but I think the SteelStretch shirt is 100 times better than an UnderArmour compression shirt!

However, since I bought this one, I’ll still be wearing it as a base layer for bike rides and races on hot days.

Official website: www.UnderArmour.com

Product Review Details
Company: Under Armour
Product: Under Armour HeatGear Compression Tee
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: 3.0 out of 5
Date last updated: 2009-06-20
Obtained Product: Purchased at retailer.
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: No.

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4 Comments
  1. hey I am a huge under armour fan. I have bought almost every kind of clothing type that you guys have to offer. The guys at school call me the under armour boy because i wear some kind of the under armour clothing or shoes everyday. I like how the heat gear keeps you just warm enough to not be too cold or too hot. The durability of the fabrics could and have lasted a long time so far. Good products.

  2. Are they supposed to be tight

  3. @Stefan

    Yes, that’s the main point of compression gear – it’s tight.

  4. I tried under armour compression shirts but they were a little tight on me, I felt claustrophobic almost. It was too much like full-body pantyhose.

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