The Salomon Agile SS Tee is a form-fitting running shirt made of very lightweight material with mesh panels under the arms for greater breathability. While it is similar in so many ways to the other top running shirts in this review, it scored pretty low overall, in large part due to comfort related issues: small, tight fit, abrasive seams, and not the most comfortable fabric against the skin. It is also pretty light on features and dried out slower than one would expect given the thin polyester fabric it's made out of. It isn't a bad shirt, but compared to the far more refined competition, wasn't one of the best.
Salomon Agile SS Tee Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Lightweight breathable mesh, not too expensive
Cons: Abrasive seam sewing, tight fit in shoulders, few features
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Our Analysis and Test Results
Salomon has long been one of the leaders in the trail running market, and so we typically expect nothing but the best from their running clothing. The Agile SS Tee, however, seems to have missed the mark. It is a relatively simple design, made out of 100% polyester fabric that is thin and features a square pattern with micro gaps to allow for air flow, and offset by panels of mesh in the armpits. With the exception of the Nike Dri-FIT Knit, which was designed to be form fitting, this shirt was the smallest and tightest fitting of the bunch, which led to constrictions in our shoulders and underarms, and exacerbated the rubbing and annoyance caused by not very soft seam stitching. If this shirt fits your body properly, then you may end up loving it far better than we did, but as it was, we didn't find it to be one of our top recommendations.
When grading for comfort, three factors were most important to how a shirt performed: fit, fabric, and seam sewing. We have already mentioned that this was probably the smallest fitting shirt we tested, which only caused the seams to rub and itch more than they might have if it was designed to be looser. The seams themselves, of which there are many, are sewn with a flat locking pattern, but the thread and pattern used certainly aren't silky smooth like the merrow stitch used by the Arc'teryx Motus Crew. Rather, they rub, itch, and are super noticeable, much like our least favorite seams in this review, those found on the Brooks Distance.
The fabric itself, while looking very similar to the open grid pattern of the Patagonia Windchaser, was just nowhere near as soft and smooth, and instead felt slightly rougher against the skin. Overall we awarded 5 out of 10 points for comfort, but think this shirt could use some improvements.
This shirt uses thin, breathable polyester for most of the body, accented by panels of perforated mesh under the arms and in the armpits. While this mesh helps with direct air venting, we think these panels would help with evaporation better if they were on the shoulders and back. Regardless, it was one of the more breathable shirts, on par with the performance we found out of the Smartwool PhD Ultra Light, but still not nearly as breathable as the largely mesh The North Face Better Than Naked. 8 out of 10 points.
Despite weighing only 4.2 ounces and featuring entirely non-absorbent polyester, this shirt was tied with the New Balance Ice 2.0 as the sixth fastest drying shirt. It has a very thin inner layer, much like we found present on the Russell Athletic Dri-Power Core Performance, that aids in the wicking of sweat from the skin outward where it can dry. We gave it 7 out of 10 points for drying speed, but think that a shirt this light and airy should have done better.
This shirt works well for any style of running, although if we were shopping for a shirt for ultra running, we would likely choose one with smoother seams. That said, the tight fit also means that it is a pretty good choice for use as a base layer under warmer clothes, although we still like the Arc'teryx Motus Crew better for this purpose. Because it's made of fairly light mesh material, we wouldn't consider it an ideal choice for wearing long term with a pack.
Unfortunately, this shirt is rather devoid of value adding features. It does not include any form of odor controlling agent, nor does it offer added UPF protection. Like most of the shirts, it does have a small sweatband sewn into the back of the collar, and also has a couple of reflectors - one on an arm, and one logo on the front. There is no reflection on the other arm or on the back, however. We gave it a low score, as it offered less than the New Balance Ice 2.0 and the Smartwool PhD Ultra Light.
We think the best use for this shirt is shorter daily runs. Because of the rubbing of the seams, we didn't enjoy it for long distances. It works fine as a base layer, but also wouldn't be a top pick for wearing under a pack.
This shirt retails for $40, which is not too bad considering products made by Salomon usually aren't very cheap. That said, we can't recommend it as representing good value since it was one of the lower scorers.
The Salomon Agile SS Tee is a specialty running shirt that features lightweight polyester fabric in a very form-fitting style. While it has a lot of promise, a variety of comfort related issues prevented us from loving this shirt, including rough seam stitching and constriction around our arms and shoulders. It was one of the lower scorers in this review, and so wouldn't be our first recommendation.
— Andy Wellman