REI Co-op Active Pursuits T-Shirt Review
Cons: Heavy, slow to dry
Manufacturer: REI Co-op
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REI Co-op Active Pursuits T-Shirt
$24.95 at REI
|$75 List||Check Price at REI||$24.73 at REI|
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$19.99 at Amazon
|Pros||Durable, versatile, comfortable||Exceptional temperature regulation, highly breathable, quick-drying, natural odor control||Versatile, recycled materials, wide range of colors, great price||Extremely comfortable, versatile, affordable, soft material, odor resistant||Inexpensive, comfortable stretch, durable, 360º reflective banding|
|Cons||Heavy, slow to dry||Droops when wet, warm in extremely hot conditions, expensive||High water absorption, longer drying time||Heavy when wet||Heavy, not very breathable|
|Bottom Line||A do-it-all adventure shirt that is casual when you're relaxing but can ramp up the octane when you're on the move||Superior temperature regulation makes this the most versatile shirt we tested, perfect for trail running||Provides great comfort and versatility for a great price with plenty of great colors to choose from||A great running shirt that is as soft as silk but far more affordable||A comfortable running shirt with a full feature set for a fraction of the price|
|Rating Categories||REI Co-op Active Pu...||Black Diamond Rhyth...||Patagonia Capilene...||Brooks Distance||Baleaf Quick Dry|
|Drying Speed (20%)|
|Features & Versatility (20%)|
|Specs||REI Co-op Active Pu...||Black Diamond Rhyth...||Patagonia Capilene...||Brooks Distance||Baleaf Quick Dry|
|Weight (size medium)||4.9 oz||3.3 oz||4.13 oz||5.2 oz||4.8 oz|
|Material||Polyester||57% nylon, 43% merino wool||100% polyester||88% polyester, 12% lyocell||90% polyester, 10% spandex|
|Reflective Areas?||Yes - 1||Yes - 2||No||Yes - 2||Yes - 4|
|Seam Type||Flatlock||Flatlock||Overlock||Flatlock||Flatlock and Overlock|
|UPF?||Not Stated||Not Stated||Not Stated||Not Stated||Not Stated|
|Odor Control?||No||Yes - Wool Natural Properties||Yes - HeiQ Pure||Yes - DriLayer Burst fabric||No|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The REI Active Pursuits is a standout shirt with high value. Were this review about general activewear, this shirt might take the cake, but alas, we are focusing on running shirts, and there are better running specific shirts at a comparable price. Still, the Active Pursuits is durable, versatile, and comfortable. What else could you want?
Did we mention comfortable? The fit of the Active Pursuits is relaxing yet suitable for high output exercise, permitting a range of motion without ever feeling sloppy. Flatlock stitched seams connect a uniform polyester weave, and large paneled underarm gussets prevent the restriction of movement. These wide gussets are especially nice for natural arm swings while wearing a hydration vest.
Some comfort forward features of this shirt include an integrated sweatband and tagless collar, two simple design choices that reduce points of discomfort. Additionally, REI removed the tag from the side of the shirt along the torso. These small details only add to the comfortable cut of the shirt, which fits wonderfully.
Some shirts take the approach of having a loose weave or integrated mesh to promote airflow. Other shirts have a tighter weave designed to wick moisture away from the body and help cool the back through evaporative cooling. The Active Pursuits falls into the latter category, and while it doesn't permit airflow, it is highly effective at thermoregulating and keeping the body cool and dry.
A tighter weave on a shirt has other benefits, too, including durability, comfort, and wicking properties. It also means the shirt is likely heavier, doesn't feel airy, and stays wet longer when saturated.
This is among the few shirts that didn't perform well in our kitchen science experiment but never disappointed out on the trail. In our drying tests, the weight and tight polyester weave of the Active Pursuits didn't do it any favors, taking a full 30 minutes in the dryer to return to its dry weight. On the trails, however, we occasionally felt dampness on the back of the shirt, often related to wicking and shedding heat, but we never felt like we were notably sweaty or weighed down with moisture.
Features & Versatility
One of our favorite parts about this category is asking ourselves, could we wear this to the office? What about a girlfriend's parent's house for dinner? The Active Pursuits scores well in this framing of versatility as well as the variety of activities it's good for, including running. We prefer tighter woven, cotton-feeling shirts to the really plastic slippery tech-forward shirts for every activity wear. This shirt is comfortable against the skin, comfortable to layer, and relaxing enough to hang out in after summiting a 14er.
There are some drawbacks to the "feature set" on this tee. We would love to see a UPF rating for added sun protection and perhaps an odor control agent, as polyester is destined to get stinky. A simple reflective band on the back is the extent of visibility, which also could be improved upon.
Yes. Value value value! We are confident that you will end up wearing this shirt for all sorts of activities and certainly when you head out the door for a run. There must be some analogy with comfort and affordability where one is the king and the other is the crown, but don't strain your brain thinking about it. This shirt is comfortable, affordable, and will likely last you a long time.
The REI Active Pursuits is a shirt we want in our shirt drawer because we feel great wearing it to work and jetting out the door for a run after we wrap up meetings for the day. Its versatility makes it a great value, considering it is one of the more affordable shirts in our review. Don't worry too much about the breathability or drying speed unless you are specifically shopping for a shirt to race in. While we still think this is a great bet, there are better options for really high output activity.
— Jeff Colt
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