Hands-on Gear Review

Salomon Agile SS Tee Review

Price:  $40 List | $28.50 at Amazon
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Lightweight breathable mesh, not too expensive
Cons:  Abrasive seam sewing, tight fit in shoulders, few features
Bottom line:  A promising running shirt that simply isn’t very comfortable.
Editors' Rating:   
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Material:  AdvancedSkin ActiveDry (polyester), mesh underarms
Weight (oz.):  4.2 oz.
Reflective material?:  Yes - 2
Manufacturer:   Salomon

Our Verdict

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.



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Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Andy Wellman

Last Updated:
Friday
April 13, 2018

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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.

Performance Comparison


The Agile SS Tee is a close fitting  highly breathable running shirt that is relatively affordable. Here we are testing it in Death Valley National Park.
The Agile SS Tee is a close fitting, highly breathable running shirt that is relatively affordable. Here we are testing it in Death Valley National Park.

Comfort


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 fit of this shirt is on the slim side  and even for our skinny frame  a size large was tight  especially in the chest  shoulders  and under arms. This only exacerbated the rubbing of the seams on the inside.
The fit of this shirt is on the slim side, and even for our skinny frame, a size large was tight, especially in the chest, shoulders, and under arms. This only exacerbated the rubbing of the seams on the inside.

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.

While the different styles of fabric and mesh are clearly visible in this photo  you can also see the stitching of the flat locked seams that we found to be pretty abrasive and not all that comfortable.
While the different styles of fabric and mesh are clearly visible in this photo, you can also see the stitching of the flat locked seams that we found to be pretty abrasive and not all that comfortable.

Breathability


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.

This shot of the armpit of the Agile SS Tee shows the thin main fabric in red  offset with the black mesh for aiding in air flow under the arms.
This shot of the armpit of the Agile SS Tee shows the thin main fabric in red, offset with the black mesh for aiding in air flow under the arms.

Drying Speed


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.

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. 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.

Features


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.

This shirt has relatively few features. Despite claiming to have 360 degree reflectivity  the logo and this band of white sewn into this sleeve are the only two reflectors it has.
This shirt has relatively few features. Despite claiming to have 360 degree reflectivity, the logo and this band of white sewn into this sleeve are the only two reflectors it has.

Best Applications


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.

The Agile SS Tee is best used for running  and we liked it best when we weren't wearing a vest. Trying to find the way out of the maze of dirt hills in Death Valley.
The Agile SS Tee is best used for running, and we liked it best when we weren't wearing a vest. Trying to find the way out of the maze of dirt hills in Death Valley.

Value


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.

Free running (google it!) on the dirt hills created long ago in Death Valley National Park  while wearing the Agile SS Tee.
Free running (google it!) on the dirt hills created long ago in Death Valley National Park, while wearing the Agile SS Tee.

Conclusion


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

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Most recent review: April 13, 2018
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
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Rating Distribution
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5 star: 0%  (0)
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3 star: 100%  (1)
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