Salomon Agile SS Tee Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: LightweightLightweight breathable mesh, dries quickly, not too expensive mesh, not too expensive
Cons: Abrasive seam sewing, tight fit in shoulders, few features, poor durability
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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 gridded pattern with micro gaps to allow for airflow, offset by panels of mesh in the armpits. 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 we assess for comfort, we pay attention to three key factors: seam sewing, fit, and fabric type. We have already mentioned that the Agile 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 are abrasive. Our main tester, 5'10" and 155 pounds, is typically smack dab in the center of medium. This medium was restrictive around the neck and in the shoulders, as well as along the excessive stitching in the sleeves. We feel like a size large may not have solved the problem, though, as much of the discomfort stemmed from the coarse thread used in the seams.
The fabric on this shirt is not that soft and smooth, instead feeling rougher against the skin. Additionally, the smaller underarm gussets, while effective for cooling, felt like they made the shirt more restrictive and uncomfortable by introducing more seams. While comfort and fit really missed the mark, some improvements here could make it an overall contender as the square grid fabric set a high bar for breathability and drying speed.
The Agile SS uses thin, breathable square gridded 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, the design of the gussets paired with the coarse thread and seams added to our general discomfort. While this shirt is among the most breathable we tested, with better fit and comfort, it could be excellent.
Weighing only 3.9 ounces and featuring entirely non-absorbent polyester, the Agile SS absorbed 52% of its dry weight when wet. After our initial spin cycle, it held onto 22% of its weight in water. Once put in the dryer and exposed to heat, this shirt dried impressively quickly, making us wonder how well it would cool through evaporation on a very hot day. To get fully dry took 15 minutes, but it's notable that the Agile was 93% dry after a mere 5 minutes in the dryer.
Features & Versatility
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. Because it's made of fairly light mesh material, we wouldn't consider it an ideal choice for wearing long term with a pack. In fact, after just two missions with a hydration pack, the shirt showed significant wear and abrasion.
Unfortunately, the Agile 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 in our review, 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. While we love the integration of the reflective banding into the stitching on the sleeve, there is no banding on the other arm, or on the back.
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. We were impressed with its breathability and drying speed, but the fit and comfort make this shirt somewhat of a non-starter for us.
The Agile retails for a moderate price point, not too expensive considering Salomon is a marquee running brand. The wicking properties and ventilation are excellent, but even so, we can't recommend it as representing good value since it is blatantly uncomfortable.
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 and performed great in breathability and drying tests, a variety of comfort-related issues prevented us from loving this shirt, including rough seam stitching and constriction around our arms and shoulders. It is one of the lower scorers in this review, and so wouldn't be our first recommendation, though if it fits your body better than it did ours, you may really enjoy it.
— Jeff Colt and Andy Wellman