Under Armour Tech 2.0 Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Relaxed fit, comfortable fabric, great price
Cons: Seams aren't sewn flat, odor control not super effective
Manufacturer: Under Armour
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Our Analysis and Test Results
With a heavy emphasis on running and working out, Under Armour made the Tech 2.0 stretchy, quick-drying, lightweight, and affordable. As we all know, our technical layers take a beating, and shelling out a ridiculous amount of cash for something that will wear out in a season isn't feasible. The Tech 2.0 cuts the unnecessary price tag while retaining the essential functions we look for in a running shirt.
Fit, how seams are sewn, material, and stretch are all elements that affect comfort. Yes, comfort is ultimately a subjective metric, but there are some universal truths. The Tech 2.0 is a bit slippery to the touch and not as soft as other shirts against the skin. It slips on and off easily unless it becomes saturated. Removing the 2.0 when saturated felt like what we imagine Houdini experienced when trying to escape a water chamber with a straitjacket on; although, to be honest, this was an attribute shared by many shirts we tested.
With a more relaxed, oversized fit, the Tech 2.0 has a very simple design that plays to the strengths of the stretchy 100% polyester material. With no underarm gussets, raglan sleeves that connect into the collar of the shirt, and overlock stitching used on the seams, this shirt is as cost-effective and simple as it gets. Unfortunately, that does not bode as well for comfort. Our main tester typically wears a medium, and this shirt draped a little on the long side, with less of a tailored fit and more of a block shape.
While the "overlock" stitching used for the seams is acceptable for us regular people heading out for a jog, those looking to strap on a running pack and log some serious mileage might find the seams a tad too abrasive. Think protruding seams being pressed into your side for hours with pack straps holding it in tight…
Fortunately, even with the protruding stitching, the raglan sleeve design keeps the seams off of the shoulders, making the Tech 2.0 comfortable enough for long runs and any aerobic activity that requires a lightweight synthetic layer. We felt unencumbered while rock climbing, cross fitting, and bike commuting to work.
Even without mesh paneling to aid with breathing, the Tech 2.0 performs decently. During very hot runs, it has a good balance of breathability while retaining enough moisture to encourage the evaporative cooling process. While several shirts stayed drier, the Tech 2.0 helped keep our temperature regulated, which we appreciate in the right circumstances.
That said, the fabric itself isn't highly breathable. When put up to light, it's easy to see why the Tech 2.0 didn't score exceptionally well in this department. A potential addition of underarm mesh or back paneling made of a mesh fabric could significantly boost the breathability of this shirt, though it would probably also boost the incredibly low price, too.
During our standardized testing, the Tech 2.0 was an average performer. After the spin-dry, it retained 40 grams of water, and 92% of that water dried within the first 10-minutes in the drier. Two models attained this same rate, and only one shirt was slower; the rest of the shirts dried notably faster. The Tech 2.0 didn't attain complete dryness until 15 minutes into the drying cycle.
During real-world testing, the Tech 2.0 had a pleasant balance between water retention and evaporative cooling effect. We never felt that the shirt was heavy or drenched with water and could certainly feel the benefit of the evaporative cooling, especially during all-out efforts, including high-intensity interval training and a 20km race.
Features & Versatility
While previous testers felt comfortable wearing this shirt in public, the cherry red we tested this year certainly looked and felt like we were wearing our "workout" clothing out and about. Other than running, which the Tech 2.0 is well suited for, we took it for a spin while hiking, biking, and rock climbing. The stretch fabric and relaxed fit made for pleasant outings all around. We especially like the unencumbered movement when out for a day of rock climbing, as this required hiking, carrying a backpack, sweating, and of course, climbing. This shirt also excels in a gym setting. Wearing it just might help you blend in with the swarming herds of gym bros.
Like its predecessor (and most running specific shirts), the Tech 2.0 doesn't have much to offer in the way of extra features. This is a basic gym shirt that performs well while running, jumping, climbing, dipping, ducking, and dodging. There is one reflective Under Armor logo on the chest and one on the back. In addition to these reflective markings, there is a sewn-in sweatband on the neck, which is comfortable and moves well with the shirt.
The Tech 2.0 boasts the ability to repel odor-causing bacteria, which is a plus. After several weeks of testing in the boiling sun, we found the odor repelling properties of the 2.0 to be good, not excellent. It's nowhere near as smelly as polyester shirts of a bygone age that had to be burned after a river trip, but also far from perfect.
This shirt is a bargain; it's functional, comfortable, and gets the job done. While it lacks the tapered fit and some features we look for in a running shirt, the price is incredibly wallet-friendly. It offers up adequate performance at a fraction of the price of name brand tech shirts. If you're a bargain hunter, look no further.
The Under Armour UA Tech 2.0 previously won our Best Buy Award for offering competitive performance and a high level of comfort, all for a price that will fit any budget. It is still a great deal, but other shirts with more running-specific features and a more tailored fit now compete in the same budget-friendly bracket. In the world of technical clothing, prices can be outrageous; fortunately for you, Under Armour has kept price and performance in perspective.
— Jeff Colt and Brian Martin