The Under Armour UA Tech 2.0 is the most affordable shirt in this review, but don't be fooled by the price tag. This award-winner earned its place in the rankings with this year's lineup of lightweight and quick-drying running shirts, securing its position as the Best Buy Award Winner. While Under Armour has billed this as a running shirt, it's also functional for hiking, climbing, and cycling. Essentially, it's at home in any environment where you'd want a comfortable, quick-drying technical layer.
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 and fit. Yes, comfort is ultimately a subjective metric, but there are some universal truths. The Tech 2.0 utilizes stretchy 100% polyester material that is a bit slippery to the touch. 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 nearly all shirts tested.
The Tech 2.0 is an upgrade from previous versions as the panels have been re-designed to avoid putting seams over points that could become irritated. This increased comfort without even improving the quality of stitching (which remains chunky and abrasive).
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 cleaver location of seams makes 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 well. The bulk of our testing was done on trails surrounding Tucson, Arizona during the summer months, and the extreme heat demanded that shirts offered decent breathability and evaporative cooling. The Tech 2.0 has a good balance of breathing but retains enough moisture to continue the evaporative cooling process. While several shirts stayed drier, the Tech 2.0 helped keep our temperature regulated.
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 high in the breathability 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 43 grams of water, and 95 percent of that water dried within the first 10-minute medium heat drier cycle. Three models attained this same rate of 95 percent within the first 10 minutes, and only one shirt was slower; the rest of the shirts dried significantly faster. The Tech 2.0 didn't attain complete desiccation until 30 minutes into the drying cycle. One other notable statistic from our standardized testing revealed the Tech 2.0 will retain 31% of its weight in water after a spin dry in a washing machine. This put it right in the middle of the pack when it came to water retention, as expressed as a percentage of total shirt weight.
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 but could certainly feel the benefit of the evaporative cooling, especially when cycling on hot Tucson days during the summer. Some shirts retained a great deal of water, and we felt like we couldn't go into a restaurant after riding our bike to the shops; this wasn't the case in the Tech 2.0. It dried adequately enough to make us feel like we weren't standing out too much in relation to the sweaty masses in Tucson, AZ.
We felt comfortable wearing this shirt in public and didn't feel like we were wearing our "workout" clothing to the shops. 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 liked 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 excels in a gym setting. Wearing this shirt just might help you blend in with the swarming herds of gym bros. Mark one in the pros column for the 2.0.
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.
The Tech 2.0 boasts the ability to repel odor-causing bacteria, which is a plus. After several weeks of testing in the boiling Tucson 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. The issues we had with this shirt in the past have been resolved, and 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 wins our Best Buy Award for offering competitive performance and a high level of comfort, all for a price that will fit any budget. In the world of technical clothing, prices can be outrageous; fortunately for you, Under Armour has kept price and performance in perspective.
— Brian Martin