Long Term Testing: Athletic T-Shirts

Note: These shirts were originally provided for review purposes, please see the original reviews for more information.

We’ve been testing and reviewing here on Everyday Wear for about two years now, so it’s about time we take a look at how some of our long term favorites are holding up.

Something that I wear almost every day is an athletic t-shirt. I wear these for working out and often as a shirt for around the house. The two that have stuck as my favorites are the Pistol Lake Minimalist Tee (called the Minimalist Performance Tee at the time of our review) and the Y Athletics SilverAir Merino T-Shirt (our review). I’ve had the Pistol Lake tee for a year and a half now and the Y Athletics for one year.

Pistol Lake Minimalist Tee

As a refresher, this shirt is made from a custom fabric blend Pistol Lake calls Eudae (76% polyester, 19% Tencel, and 5% spandex). It looks and drapes like a cotton t-shirt with stretch, but performs almost like merino.

As it’s not dependent on any odor treatment (like some synthetic fabrics), I can still get about 4 workouts from the shirt before it starts to smell. Unfortunately, the shirt seems to get small pills all over pretty quickly.

I own the shirt in both black and heather grey, and while both are pilled, it seems that the black is either pilled more, or the pills are just more noticeable. I’m not too concerned about this, as these are workout shirts for me, but this would come into consideration if I were buying these as everyday shirts. I’d also expect that a backpack could accelerate the pilling.

For summer wear I find the fabric very comfortable. It dries very fast and wicks well, however it does retain enough moisture during a hot and sweaty workout that it does get weighed down somewhat (I’d put it between merino and a traditional full synthetic workout tee).

Y Athletics SilverAir Merino T-Shirt

This shirt is is 17.5 micron merino wool with pure silver threads running throughout on the inside, while the outside is plated with nylon.

The merino interior of the shirt continues to give me the same odor resistant performance and moisture wicking of a 100% merino shirt. The thinness of the merino layer helps keep it from getting too weighed down from the sweatiest of workouts (although it still can’t beat a traditional full synthetic workout tee).

As far as the durability of the nylon plating goes, the only pilling I’ve seen is from a sweaty week of hiking with a GORUCK bag. It certainly is much more pill resistant than the Pistol Lake shirt.

One other item of note: The black color of this shirt seems to be showing more of the silver thread through the plating as it ages, while it remains invisible (except for some “indentations” where the thread is) on the blue color.

Overall

I am very satisfied with these shirts as my athletic tees of choice. If I was forced to pick just one with versatility in mind, it’d be the Pistol Lake, as it looks completely normal and could fit into more situations. For pure performance, I’d go with the Y Athletics.

Long Term Testing: Athletic T-Shirts