This shirt was provided by Pistol Lake for the purpose of review.
The Minimalist Performance Tee is Pistol Lake’s core product and is made out of their unique Lightweight Eudae fabric. The fabric is custom knit and the shirts are assembled in the US. Since developing this fabric, Pistol Lake has also developed a Midweight Eudae and an Eclon (their heaviest synthetic fabric). Their focus is on performance apparel that is at home on the road or in the woods as it is in the gym.
The Eudae fabric is 76% polyester, 19% Tencel, and 5% spandex. If you aren’t familiar with Tencel, it is a brand of lyocell fiber. This means it is derived from wood pulp. The Tencel brand is also know for its ecofriendly production process.
While the care instructions allow for machine drying, I’ve only machine washed and air dried the shirt. I have not seen any pilling or fading. This could be a nice benefit over merino for those who like to use a dryer.
This tee performs very well. From my experience, it is on par with merino in every category but odor resistance. While I can get 5+ workouts with merino, I can only get about 4 out of the Eudae. Keep in mind, however, I choose to wash my shirts when they start to get a little smell rather than let them get as bad as a standard polyester shirt is after one wear.
Fit and Finish
The fabric has great drape, looks like cotton, and doesn’t get staticky like many other synthetic fabrics. It is great to have a workout shirt that is very thin (but not sheer or see-thru) and breathable, yet still looks like a standard T-shirt. The fabric is completely matte and doesn’t have that “polyester sheen”, or even the slight sheen that some merino has.
I also find the fit to be perfectly athletic and slim while not tight or constricting of any movement. Unlike many of my other workout shirts, the length is perfect (I usually end up with shirts that feel a little short).
The Minimalist Performance Tee has taken the top spot in my workout wardrobe. Once the warm weather comes around, I expect it to become part of my non-workout rotation on the warmest days. If you are in the market for something that can hold its own against merino, Eudae is up to that challenge.
I’ve been very impressed with the hand feel of this fabric. You’d not be alone in thinking that this was a standard cotton shirt, perhaps with some stretch in it. I really like it, it’s been a little too cold to wear it for me right now, but it’s going to be fantastic when the weather warms up. This is one of my favorite shirts yet, and it’s hard to believe it performs as well as it does.
Minimalist Performance Tee Long Term Update
Four years later these are still in my workout line-up. While they aren’t my top choice, they have held up pretty well. There is some pilling throughout that developed relatively quickly, but it hasn’t gotten worse.
While I though these might become part of my everyday t-shirt rotation in the warmest weather, that never happened. The pilling makes them look less presentable, and I have plenty of other t-shirts that look sharper. Over time, I also came to feel that this fabric is more of a “workout first” fabric — meaning that it looks better for everyday wear than something like a Patagonia Capilene, its not the same as a good merino blend or natural fiber tee.
If you want a “do-everything” tee, I think this shirt is still worth a look. I’ve also found the Pistol Lake cut to be one of the longest, so this makes them interestng if you are tall and have an issue with shirts being too short. However, I’m not likely to purchase more as I favor having my workout tees (pushing a bit more performance) and my everyday tees (pushing a bit more style).
Still recommended if you want tees that can cover casual and athletic wear.