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Salomon Agile SS Tee Review

A promising running shirt that simply isn’t very comfortable
Salomon Agile SS Tee
Photo: Salomon
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Price:  $45 List | $45.00 at Amazon
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
Manufacturer:   Salomon
By Jeff Colt and Andy Wellman  ⋅  Jun 2, 2020
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65
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#5 of 10
  • Comfort - 30% 4
  • Breathability - 30% 9
  • Drying Speed - 20% 8
  • Features & Versatility - 20% 5

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 lower 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 shows significant wear and tear, putting its durability in question. It isn't a bad shirt, but compared to the far more refined competition, it isn't one of the best.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Salomon Agile SS Tee
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award  
Price $45.00 at Amazon$49 List$74.95 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$69.00 at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
$69.00 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros LightweightLightweight breathable mesh, dries quickly, not too expensive mesh, not too expensiveHighly breathable, comfortable, lightweight, quick dryingGreat mobility, durable, soft and comfortable, good odor-protectionBreathes well, comfortable fabric with stretch, stitching is smooth and non-abrasive, UPF 50+Comfortable flat-locked merrow stitching, durable polyester fabric, lots of reflectors, UPF protection
Cons Abrasive seam sewing, tight fit in shoulders, few features, poor durabilityTaped seams on shoulders less durable than sewn seamsMinimal reflective banding, pricyPricey, poor odor-controlDoesn’t allow direct air flow as easily as mesh shirts, holds lots of moisture, pricy
Bottom Line Issues with fit, abrasive seams, and a lack of features relegated this shirt to the middle of the packWe love this shirt in large part due to its unrivaled comfort and breathabilityThis shirt offers superior comfort, breathability, and stretch, all while stay odor-freeAn excellent protection shirt as it provides all day comfort with a durable construction and UPF 50+ ratingA great durable running shirt, well-suited for any endeavor
Rating Categories Salomon Agile SS Tee Patagonia Airchaser Black Diamond Rhythm Tee Cormac Crew Short Sleeve Arc'teryx Motus Crew
Comfort (30%)
4
9
9
9
7
Breathability (30%)
9
9
9
8
8
Drying Speed (20%)
8
9
7
7
9
Features & Versatility (20%)
5
8
8
9
8
Specs Salomon Agile SS Tee Patagonia Airchaser Black Diamond... Cormac Crew Short... Arc'teryx Motus Crew
Weight (size medium) 3.9 oz 2.6 oz 3.3 oz 3.6 oz 3.5 oz
Material AdvancedSkin ActiveDry (polyester), mesh underarms Recycled polyester 57% nylon, 43% merino wool Ostria (100% polyester) Phasic FL (100% polyester)
Reflective Areas? Yes - 2 Yes - 2 Yes - 2 Yes - 3 Yes - 5
Seam Type Merrow and Flatlock Flatlock and Taped Flatlock Merrow Merrow
UPF? Not Stated Not Stated Not Stated 50+ 25
Odor Control? No Yes - HeiQ Fresh durable odor control Yes - Wool Natural Properties No No

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.

Performance Comparison


On hot days, few shirts offered the breathability that we found in...
On hot days, few shirts offered the breathability that we found in the 100% polyester Salomon Agile SS.
Photo: Jeff Colt

Comfort


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.

Fit is important, not too long, too short, too loose, or too tight...
Fit is important, not too long, too short, too loose, or too tight, but just right. The Salomon Agille SS fit too tightly around the neck, shoulders, and underarms.
Photo: Jeff Colt

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.

Breathability


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.

Among the most breathable shirts we tested, the loose square grid...
Among the most breathable shirts we tested, the loose square grid polyester fabric allows for significant airflow.
Photo: Jeff Colt

Drying Speed


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.

The Agile SS Tee is best used for running, and we liked it best when...
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.

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.

Micro pilling and abrasion caused from wearing a hydration pack...
Micro pilling and abrasion caused from wearing a hydration pack leads us to doubt the durability of this shirt.
Photo: Jeff Colt

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.

While the reflective banding on the Salomon Agille SS is brilliantly...
While the reflective banding on the Salomon Agille SS is brilliantly incorporated into the stitching, it is only present on one sleeve.
Photo: Jeff Colt

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.

Value


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.

Free running (google it!) on the dirt hills created long ago in...
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 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