Here at OutdoorGearLab, sometimes we love products, sometimes we hate them, and sometimes we just don't quite know what to say about them. The Marmot All-Around T-Shirt wasn't the lowest or the highest scorer in this review, and its comfort and breathability were just about average. The only standout feature of this shirt was its UPF 30 sun protection rating. Only two shirts in our review had this trait, and it definitely helped boost the All-Around's total score out of the depths. After months of testing, however, the UPF rating wasn't enough to make us fall in love with this shirt, which is why, despite a decent score, this product failed to win one of our esteemed awards.
Marmot All-Around Tee Review
Cons: Less breathable, awkward fit and seams
Our Analysis and Test Results
While there was nothing that we hated about the Marmot All-Around, there wasn't much we loved either. Though it was one of only two shirts in this review to feature a UPF sun protection rating, it just wasn't enough to beat out the awkward fit and lack of breathability that we found.
When we talk about comfort, we're talking about a lot of different things. Materials, stretch, fit, seams, our testers wanted to look at each little detail that affects how a shirt feels. While we recognize the subjectivity in the reviewing of this category, we did our best to give each shirt to our friends, fellow runners, and colleagues in hopes that we could reach a consensus.
The All-Around T-Shirt is constructed with a synthetic blend of 93% polyester and 7% Elastane jersey. The jersey material makes for a very soft finish, but our testers found that the high percentage of polyester simultaneously created a clingy finish that was easy to catch and tear. While we thought the coziest shirts we tested had a partially cotton construction, like the Nike Tailwind or a silkier finish like the Patagonia Windchaser, this contender was considerably more comfortable than the Arc'teryx Taema, the lowest scorer in this metric.
The seams on the All-Around, however, were one of the main reasons this shirt's comfort score lagged behind some of its competitors. The sleeve seams sit directly on top of the shoulder which can be problematic when wearing a pack or running vest for hours on end. Nearly every other shirt in this review had the seams located further down the shoulders to prevent these sore spots.
Additionally, the fit on this top was not one of our favorites. We found the heavy material to hang, rather than hug, and we generally preferred a more form-fitting design like that of the North Face Reaxion Amp. We wish the sleeves were a bit longer, as well.
There are two factors that work together to keep us dry when we're out on a run: breathability and drying time. While the former tells us how dry a shirt will stay based on how well air flows through it, the latter tells us how quickly moisture evaporates once it's been collected on the garment. To test breathability, we wore each shirt in a range of temperatures and climates, often changing shirts mid-run to see how different products worked in the same atmospheres.
It's difficult to write about products that are average, and the All-Around is just that. We found the breathability to be significantly above your average cotton shirt but also significantly below our top-scoring Windchaser. Our testers found weight to be closely linked to breathability, and as one of the heavier shirts we reviewed, we weren't completely surprised at our findings.
As we discussed above, drying time is the second part of staying fresh and dry. When the temperatures and humidity are up, you're bound to work up a sweat, and this sweat accumulates at different rates. To critique this rate of buildup, we test breathability. But we also want to know how quickly we'll dry out again once the accumulation has happened, and that's what we call drying time. In order to measure this, we did a controlled experiment in which we soaked every shirt in water and hung them out to dry.
In our test, we found the All-Around to be among the slowest to dry. Taking nearly twice as long as our Editors' Choice Award winner, the Windchaser, this shirt made us concerned about using it for our sweatiest of activities. Once again, weight is closely linked to drying time, so this did not come as a big surprise to us.
Features & Versatility
We know that the three scoring metrics we've already discussed are the most important, but we had a few more things we wanted to discuss about each shirt. For this metric, we looked first to the special features a shirt might include that serve runners best. We wanted to know about sun protection, odor prevention, reflectivity, and anything else the manufacturers might have included to make their product stand out. We also wanted to know how versatile each shirt was and how well it would perform in other activities besides running.
One of the great features of the All-Around is the sun protection. With a UPF rating of 30, this is one of two products in this review with this quality. The other is the Taema, which we found to be very uncomfortable. In that sense, the All-Around is the clear choice if sun protection is a must-have for you.
Other than sun protection, we didn't find anything noteworthy in this product. Our review team did find this shirt to be fairly versatile. With a stretchy fit that provides tons of mobility, this shirt can handle any activity.
As one of only two shirts in this review with a UPF rating, and the most comfortable one of those two, the All-Around is best for runners who are adamant about sun protection. Other than that, this shirt's average comfort, average breathability, and great price point make it a decent choice for your next running shirt or baselayer.
With a price point of $28, the All-Around is tied for one of the least expensive shirts in this review. If sun protection is more important to you than breathability, this could be an excellent choice. If comfort and drying time are more important, however, we'd suggest looking to The North Face Reaxion Amp, our Best Buy Award winner.
The Marmot All-Around was all-around average. With decent but not remarkable scores across the board, our review team found little to critique or rave about with this product. For a decently comfortable shirt with great stretch and solid sun protection, all at a very reasonable cost, the All-Around is a decent choice.
— Lauren DeLaunay