Salomon XA Trail Review
Cons: Not very durable, restrictive fit, slow to dry
Compare to Similar Products
Salomon XA Trail
|Price||$55 List||$75 List||$52 List||Check Price at REI||$25 List|
$24.95 at REI
|Pros||Lightweight, breathable, comfortable stitching||Exceptional temperature regulation, highly breathable, quick-drying, natural odor control||Ultra lightweight, insanely breathable, super fast drying||Versatile, recycled materials, wide range of colors, great price||Durable, versatile, comfortable|
|Cons||Not very durable, restrictive fit, slow to dry||Droops when wet, warm in extremely hot conditions, expensive||Less durable, minimal thermal regulation||High water absorption, longer drying time||Heavy, slow to dry|
|Bottom Line||For a performance running shirt, we expect some compromise in durability for weight, but we were disappointed with how quickly this shirt broke down||Superior temperature regulation makes this the most versatile shirt we tested, perfect for trail running||If you often find yourself in extremely hot conditions this is the shirt for you due to its insane breathability and fast drying time||Provides great comfort and versatility for a great price with plenty of great colors to choose from||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|
|Rating Categories||Salomon XA Trail||Black Diamond Rhyth...||HOKA Glide||Patagonia Capilene...||REI Co-op Active Pu...|
|Drying Speed (20%)|
|Features & Versatility (20%)|
|Specs||Salomon XA Trail||Black Diamond Rhyth...||HOKA Glide||Patagonia Capilene...||REI Co-op Active Pu...|
|Weight (size medium)||3.2 oz||3.3 oz||2.72 oz||4.13 oz||4.9 oz|
|Material||100% polyester||57% nylon, 43% merino wool||100% polyester||100% polyester||Polyester|
|Reflective Areas?||Yes - 2||Yes - 2||Yes - 2||No||Yes - 1|
|UPF?||Not Stated||Not Stated||Not Stated||Not Stated||Not Stated|
|Odor Control?||Yes||Yes - Wool Natural Properties||Yes - anti-bacterial grid texture||Yes - HeiQ Pure||No|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Salomon has decades of experience making excellent running apparel if at times critiqued as "Euro" or "techy." The XA Trail has a performance fit but a more casual appearance. We search for the feeling of nothingness from a running shirt that proves there are no points of discomfort and the XA Trail delivers, as it is among the lightest shirts we reviewed. What it lacks in drying speed it makes up for in breathability.
A gridded polyester weave makes for a soft, though slippery, hand feel. Once we pulled on the XA Trail, the fabric felt nice against the skin, and the fit was comfortable if on the slender side.
Some of the magic of this shirt comes from the featherweight construction. When we run, we don't want to feel much from the shirt we are wearing. If we don't notice it, that likely means that the shirt is great, and we can trust that by wearing it, we are both decent in public and receiving some protection from the sun and the elements. At 3.2 ounces, the XA Trail is the second lightest shirt we tested. Despite being so light, we didn't experience the shirt bouncing or riding up at all. The length and design are excellent.
Merrow stitching is our favorite stitch in a running shirt because it has a minimal feel against the skin and places some of the thread and overlap of the fabric on the outside of the shirt. It is also quite durable. However, despite an effective seam design across the shoulder and back, we still found the sleeves of the XA Trail to be tight, putting some pressure on the back of the armpits.
We have only great things to say about the breathability of the XA Trail. The gridded polyester weave is loose enough to promote airflow through both the shirt's front and vent excess heat out the back. Salomon decided to use a uniform stitch and fabric throughout the shirt, and if the fabric breathes well, why switch it up? Based on how breathable this shirt is, we confidently recommend it for high output activities, from races to gym workouts.
The lightweight shirts in our testing field were among the quickest to fully dry, so we were a little perplexed when the XA Trail was still damp 20 minutes into testing. In our laundry experiment, it didn't fully return to its dry weight until 30 minutes in the dryer, landing squarely in the center of the pack. The upside is that we rarely found ourselves sweating in this shirt while running, thanks to the excellent breathability.
Features & Versatility
With integrated odor control and two reflective logos for increased visibility, the XA Trail strikes a nice balance of performance features for a casual workout shirt. While we look for 360 degrees of reflective accents, many shirts opt for simple, more minimal reflectivity and there is an argument that this design adds to the "socially acceptable" versatility of the shirt.
There is no added UPF treatment to the XA Trail, which we would like to see as it makes a big difference in sun protection and thermoregulation on long days of exposure. The other miss for this shirt is the durability. Durability is a big part of versatility, as a shirt needs to hold up to use with a hydration pack or backpack. With just one use of this shirt with a conventional hydration pack for running, the shirt pilled and contorted where the sternum straps connected to the pack.
The durability issue is a big one for us, as the versatility of a shirt means it spends less time in our shirt drawer and more time on adventures. For runners looking for a shirt just for running, the XA Trail is a great option. For athletes who want a good shirt to run in, workout in, backpack in, and take on longer adventures, this shirt will likely wear down faster than others making that higher price a little harder to swallow.
The Salomon XA Trail performed on the trail and in the gym. We held this shirt in high regard, but when we took it out while wearing a hydration pack, we were disappointed to see that the shirt showed notable wear and pilling after just one 6 mile run with a vest. This is our one major reservation with the XA Trail. In most categories, it performed quite well, justifying a high total score. But those good marks in comfort and breathability come with a grain of salt, as durability is an important consideration.
— Jeff Colt
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