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Prana Hardesty Review

An attractive shirt that doesn't have quite the right fit for active use
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Price:  $39 List | $25.32 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Recycled polyester, effective gussets, sharp appearance, tag-less
Cons:  Restrictive fit, coarse seems
Manufacturer:   Prana
By Jeff Colt ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jun 2, 2020
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54
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#9 of 10
  • Comfort - 30% 5
  • Breathability - 30% 5
  • Drying Speed - 20% 7
  • Features & Versatility - 20% 5

Our Verdict

When we stumbled upon the Prana Hardesty, we were excited for a comfortable performance tee from Prana that didn't completely break the bank. Upon testing the shirt and returning to look over reviews, it's quite clear that this a fashionable shirt that is not being used for high aerobic activities such as running. For athleisure wear, the thread and stitching used in the flatlock seams is abrasive. We didn't enjoy wearing this shirt casually or actively. This is an adequate shirt for light activity, but lacks the mobility and stretch to comfortably do a sun salutation, let alone run a 10K.

Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

Prana is seemingly synonymous with comfort but missed the ball on the Hardesty. Restrictive sleeves and shoulders made a natural arm swing or bending over uncomfortable. If you have thinner arms and this shirt fits your body properly, you may really like it, but as it was, we didn't find it to be one of our top recommendations.

Performance Comparison


Fabric and fit define comfort. While the Hardesty is comfortable around the house  it feels stiff and restrictive when running.
Fabric and fit define comfort. While the Hardesty is comfortable around the house, it feels stiff and restrictive when running.

Comfort


When grading for comfort, three factors were most important to how a shirt performed: fit, fabric, and seam sewing. While we love that the fabric of the Hardesty is 100% recycled polyester and is bluesign certified, we don't love how it feels on our skin. The slippery polyester feel meets coarse threaded stitching, and the result is general discomfort.


Our tester is a true medium, standing 5'10" and weighing 155 pounds. He tested a medium and acknowledged the nice length of the shirt and relaxed fit. However, the coarse stitching on the collar and sleeves proved to be too distracting to find many positives in the fit. Many shirts utilize the same flatlock seam, a stitch we associate with quality, but the Hardesty used a coarse thread that made the seems more noticeable and irritating. When paired with a hydration pack during long mountain adventures, the stitching along the full-length underarm gussets chaffed the ribcage. On a more casual hike, however, the shirt carried a backpack without too much discomfort. Overall though, his shirt does not perform well during high movement activities, such as running.

We initially had high hopes  but didn't enjoy the stitching on this shirt.
We initially had high hopes, but didn't enjoy the stitching on this shirt.

Breathability


The uniformly dense polyester weave on this layer does not breathe as well as shirts that incorporate strategically placed mesh panels under the arm and across the back. While the Hardesty has underarm gussets, they are made of the same material and are intended to add mobility, not dump excess body heat.

While the tight polyester weave lets some light through  there are no other technologies supporting breathability.
While the tight polyester weave lets some light through, there are no other technologies supporting breathability.

Drying Speed


Weighing 5.0 ounces, this shirt is among the heaviest we tested, yet only absorbed 52% of its dry weight when wet. After the initial spin cycle, it only retained 18% of its weight in water. It took 15 minutes for the shirt to fully dry, but it notably was 93% of the way there after 5 minutes in the dryer. This is a very decent performance and the metric that the Hardesty scored the highest in.

Features & Versatility


Prana incorporated HeiQ fresh anti-odor properties into the Hardesty, but that is the extent of its features. Like most of the shirts, it does have a small sweatband sewn into the back of the collar, but it offers no reflective banding, an essential feature for performance activewear, especially for urban use.

Effective for low-intensity activities  the Prana Hardesty is made of 100% recycled polyester and has a sweatband incorporated into the collar.
Effective for low-intensity activities, the Prana Hardesty is made of 100% recycled polyester and has a sweatband incorporated into the collar.

With few other features to call out, we do want to tip our hat to Prana. Not only does the Hardesty have a tag-free collar, but they omitted the inside care-for instructions, reducing the overall footprint of the shirt and adding a little glitter of comfort. Additionally, Prana was one of only two brands to forgo plastic altogether in their packaging, opting instead for a compostable organic string.

Most of the shirts arrived in plastic packaging  but we love to see that some shirts are using alternative wrapping methods and compostable plastics.
The Prana Hardesty came with a simple compostable string instead of plastic.

Value


While this shirt is a great price point within the Prana line, we can't recommend it as a high-value choice for a running shirt, as it struggles to perform across terrain and climate. The wicking properties proved to be sound, but the lack of comfort makes it a poor choice for any activity with intensity or lots of movement.

Conclusion


The Prana Hardesty was a disappointment in terms of comfort and mobility. We may have had high hopes, having appreciated Prana's attention to comfort details in other garments, but the coarse stitching and poor ergonomic design made doing even a sun salutation unpleasant. For folks looking for a shirt that looks like a performance stretch shirt but more fashionable, this shirt may be for you, but we suggest avoiding running with a hydration pack.

Jeff Colt