The lightest weight wicking tee ever. Venting and cooling technologies built right into the fabric make this the ultimate technical running top
- Micro Climate Zoning Engineered Venting Jersey
- Main Body Fabric – 100% Polyester
- Cooltouch Ultralite on Arms and Sides – 100% Nylon
- Permanent cooling finish on side/back panel
- Wicking, fast drying fabric
- Antimicrobial finish controls odor
- Reflective trim for visibility
- Flat-lock seam construction eliminates chafe
- Tested size Medium
- Weight – 102 g (3.6 oz)
- Center Back – 67.7 cm (26.7 in)
- Pit to Pit – 50.8 cm (20 in)
- Retail – $58
Mountain Hardwear has been a favorite brand of mine for years. They have been making technical gear for the mountain for years now and recently started to dive in the running scene. I recently tested the Fluid 6 Hydration Vest and was pleasantly surprised. I did this review at the same time I did the Elmoro review as they are both running shirts for hot weather. I wanted to be able to compare them and see what I liked better.
Just like with the Elmoro T I tested this shirt primarily running. Here in Bend it is hot and dry during the summer so most of my runs were between 75 and 95 degrees. I also tested this shirt underneath a hydration pack and on a couple multisport adventures.
The Mountain Hardwear Way2Cool Shirt is made for running and other activities in hot weather. The shirt is very lightweight and engineered with Micro Climate Zoning. This means that certain features and fabrics are strategically placed around the body to make the shirt have ideal characteristics for each location on the body. Essentially they have placed strategic mesh zones in locations on the front and sides to help let heat out more efficiently. The other technology is explained in the materials used. The main fabric is a Knit Jersey polyester fabric that will breathe well and move moisture away from the skin. The other fabric is the Cooltouch Ultralight fabric that is 100% nylon and is made with a yarn that will feel cool to the touch even on the hottest days.
The shirt has been treated with an anti-microbial finish to prevent bacteria growth and therefore, reduce odors. This is an important feature if you are using the shirt for a long run or for multiple days. All the seams on the shirt have been flat locked for comfort and to reduce the opportunity for chafing. The Way2Cool also has many reflective elements built into the shirt. They are located on both the logos in the front and upper back, on each sleeve and one on the lower back. Between all these you should be visible from 360 degrees in low-light conditions.
The Mountain Hardwear Way2Cool is unfortunately not made of any sustainable fabrics. However, Mountain Hardwear does have a Code at the heart of their Social Responsibility program. That code is their standard of Manufacturing Practices and it outlines standards supporting their values of ethical, fair treatment of people and sustainable manufacturing practices in the following areas: forced labor, child labor, harassment or abuse, nondiscrimination, freedom of association, wages and benefits, hours of work, health and safety, environment, and ethical conduct. I think it is great that they have addressed all these issues. For these reasons, I gave the shirt a 2.5 rating in sustainability.
Arm Length (15%)
Ease of Movement (25%)
Torso Sizing (25%)
Unlike the Elmoro’s Active Fit which I tested for the site, the Way2Cool is more fitted. I am normally a size medium in Mountain Hardwear, and that is what I tested in the Way2cool. Even though it was fitted, I did not find it tight on me. Rather it did sit closer to the body but not so much as it was right against the skin. The shirt does feel so thin and light I am not even sure you would know it if it did fit that close. While the Way2cool is only a little lighter than the Elmoro it feels much lighter. Especially the Nylon material which is very thin and light to the touch. That being said the shirt fit me well in a medium. The torso and sleeves are similar to the Elmoro in that they are a great length, and the shirt never felt too big or too small. Once again, the Way2Cool fits according to its proper size but do expect it to fit a little closer to the body. I personally really like this fit, others obviously may not.
I really like the fabric used in the Way2Cool Tee. The main fabric is comfortable and soft but nothing out of the ordinary. On the other hand, the Cooltouch fabric is very light and airy. It felt really soft and comfortable against the skin and truly did feel cool to the touch. This fabric is what set this shirt apart from the Elmoro. While these fabrics do not have any spandex or elastane built in, the shirt still has some mechanical stretch and had not issues moving with me as I ran. It also never gave me any problems with chafing or discomfort which I appreciated especially on long runs.
Drying Speed (20%)
Moisture Transport (20%)
I did not find that this shirt moved moisture as well as the Elmoro I just reviewed. I mean do not get me wrong as it performed well but was not a huge standout like the fabric on the Elmoro was. Where the Way2Cool did stand out was in the cool feeling of the back fabric. It truly did feel light and cool to the touch so on hot days I really appreciated it. I must say that the feeling would dissipate slightly over the course of a long run or entirely when I wore a hydration pack. The Way2Cool still does keep you dry and does pull moisture away from the skin well, and I really liked how light it felt on. The mesh areas did seem to help with breathability as I wore this shirt on plenty of runs over 90 degrees and for the most part, was comfortable. The anti-microbial finish on the Way2Cool seems to work a little better than it did on the Elmoro. I think this may be due to the polypropylene on the Elmoro as that fabric seems to hold smells more. Furthermore, more surface area to wick away moisture is more places for bacteria to grow. After the same amount of uses, the Way2Cool just smells a little fresher.
The Way2Cool has a good amount of Reflective elements built into it. With both the chest logo and upper back logo being reflective as well as one on each sleeve and another on the lower back, the Way2Cool keeps you visible in all directions. This is what they should have done with the Elmoro as well. The drawback I have noticed on the shirt has to do with the same fabric that I like so much. Since it is lighter and thinner it does seem to be showing signs of wear much faster than the polyester fabric. On the upper and lower back there are locations where the fabric is beginning to pile from wear. I think this is mainly due to wearing hydration packs and belts, but I am surprised to see this much wear this soon. The nylon fabric does not seem to be able to stand up to the use as well as the polyester has.
Overall, I ended up giving the Way2 Cool and Elmoro the same score even though I got there in different ways. I felt like the Elmoro was a better performance shirt where I really liked the fit and feel of the Way2Cool much better. The Way2Cool is very soft, and it really felt light when wearing. I also really liked how the back fabric felt slightly cooler to the skin. Unfortunately, the lighter fabric does not seem to hold up, as well as I have a couple of worn spots already on my shirt. Like the Elmoro the Way2Cool has a great fit and fits true to size. It is slightly tighter of a cut which I prefer. The Way2Cool retails for $58, which is a bit expensive for a performance shirt. At least, the Way2Cool has lots of technology built in. As always, your mileage may vary.
Pros [field name=iFrame]
- Very Lightweight
- Soft Feeling Against the Skin
- Micro Climate Zoned for Best Performance
- Cooltouch Fabric Feels Cool Against the Skin
- Does Not Seem as Durable
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