North Face GTD Crew Shirt - Women's Review
Cons: shrinks in wash, feels a bit restrictive
Manufacturer: The North Face
Our Analysis and Test Results
Firstly, I have to admit that the active base layer tops that scored second through fifth are all rated extremely closely. With a category like base layers, unless something is glaringly disappointing, or outstandingly superior, we tend to split hairs. Do you want a UPF rating, or no? Do you want a shirttail hem, or straight? Tighter sleeves, or a bit looser? These four tops are all great in their own respects, and really, it comes down to personal preference more than anything.
That being said, the North Face GTD narrowly missed out on a higher place finish, but not for lack of greatness. This top is definitely basic, providing good warmth, good breathability, and good versatility. In fact, it is more versatile than the Patagonia Capilene 1 because of its warmer fabric and superior style. For while they are both basic active tops, the North Face has a slightly slimmer fit, more interesting seam placement, and an overall better appearance. It also holds its fit throughout the day, instead of stretching out like the Patagonia. I reached for this top when it was cold or raining, and even on faster trail runs, I never felt overheated.
Where this top falls slightly short is in the durability and the ease of movement categories. While it is a strong performer in the wild, I was disappointed to find that the sleeves shortened up a bit after being washed a huge pet peeve of mine, and something that I weigh in the durability category (not the only factor, but in there nonetheless). The slightly heavier fabric also felt restrictive at times, and it was definitely not as sleek as the Asics Favorite, the Nike Miler, or the Patagonia Capilene 1.
This GTD top actually straddles the categories of active base layer and long underwear base layer. It is a great option for cold weather layering, in the cases of snow sports, or rainy day runs. It is also durable and tough enough to get dirty, or to scrape against a rock face, without feeling like you are ruining the fabric.
I really believe that most North Face clothing is worth its cost, and that is certainly the case here. It was a consistent performer, and one that I believe will stand the test of time.
— Emily Zell