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REI Co-op Active Pursuits T-Shirt - Women's Review

This affordable and comfortable running shirt lacks some of our favorite features, but is a good bargain buy
REI Co-op Active Pursuits T-Shirt - Women's
Photo: REI Co-op
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Price:  $25 List | $24.95 at REI
Pros:  Comfortable, affordable
Cons:  Less breathable, less versatile, slower drying speed
Manufacturer:   REI Co-op
By Ally Arcuri ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 9, 2021
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56
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#13 of 13
  • Comfort - 30% 7
  • Breathability - 30% 5
  • Drying Speed - 20% 5
  • Features & Versatility - 20% 5

Our Verdict

The REI Active Pursuits is an affordable and comfortable running shirt. It lacks many of our favorite features, but we never had any discomfort or chaffing while running in it. It is on the heavier side, making it less well-suited to hot days, but we found that we loved wearing it while hiking in the Sierra Nevadas during the Fall. If you want to swap out your plain cotton t-shirts for a technical shirt that doesn't break the bank, this one would be a good choice.

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$24.95 at REI
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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87
86
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61
Star Rating
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Pros Comfortable, affordableSuper comfortable, breathable, quick drying, versatileUltralight, super breathable, packs small, smooth and stretchy fabricSoft fabric, flattering style, affordableInexpensive, comfortable fit
Cons Less breathable, less versatile, slower drying speedHeavier than some, only one small reflective decalDelicate fabric, not as versatileCould be more breathable, potential for chafing under arms, runs smallHeavy, slow to dry
Bottom Line This affordable and comfortable running shirt lacks some of our favorite features, but is a good bargain buyAn all-around lightweight winner with high performance that can withstand endless milesUnbelievably light and breathable, this is the shirt for hot summer daysThis soft shirt is best suited to shorter runs and looks cute while doing itA simple and comfortable running tee for your daily miles
Rating Categories REI Co-op Active Pu... Salomon XA Tee - Wo... Patagonia Capilene... Brooks Distance - W... Under Armour UA Tec...
Comfort (30%)
7.0
9.0
9.0
7.0
7.0
Breathability (30%)
5.0
8.0
9.0
6.0
6.0
Drying Speed (20%)
5.0
9.0
9.0
6.0
5.0
Features & Versatility (20%)
5.0
9.0
7.0
7.0
6.0
Specs REI Co-op Active Pu... Salomon XA Tee - Wo... Patagonia Capilene... Brooks Distance - W... Under Armour UA Tec...
Weight 3.95 oz (size S) 2.86 oz (size S) 1.87 oz (size S) 3.35 oz (size S) 3.81 oz (size XS)
Material Polyester 89% polyester, 11% elastane Polyester double knit DriLayer 88% recycled polyester, 12% lyocell 100% polyester
Reflective Areas? Yes, back of neck Yes No No Chest logo, logo on back
Seam Type Flatlock Flatlock Flatlock Flatlock Plain seam
UPF? No No No No No
Odor Control? No Polygiene Polygiene No Yes
Zip Neck Option? No No No No Yes

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Active Pursuits is a basic and affordable running shirt that ranks in the middle of the pack of our tested shirts. Nothing about it blew us away, but it delivers just enough features and comfort to have us running in it often.

Performance Comparison


The boxy, forgiving fit of the Active Pursuits definitely didn't...
The boxy, forgiving fit of the Active Pursuits definitely didn't slow us down.
Photo: Ally Arcuri

Comfort


The Active Pursuits tee is comfortable, but not in a way that surpasses the comfort of the many other running-specific shirts we've tested. This shirt weighs in at nearly 4 ounces for a women's size small. It is double the weight of some of the lighter shirts, and on hot days, it can feel a bit stifling and cumbersome. However, the flatlock seams are unintrusive, even beneath the weight of a fully-loaded hydration vest.

The well-placed flatlock seams never chaffed or bothered us while we...
The well-placed flatlock seams never chaffed or bothered us while we were on the move.
Photo: Ally Arcuri

We never had any issues with chafing while exploring flowy trails in this shirt. The Active Pursuits is marketed as a trail running-specific shirt, and it delivers well for that purpose. It has a slouchy and boxy fit, but its thicker fabric offers protection from rogue branches that tend to reach out on the trails. This polyester running tee is far less susceptible to abrasions when compared to the more moisture-wicking and feather-light tees we've tested, making it a durable and comfortable choice.

If you are in the market for a slouchier style tee with...
If you are in the market for a slouchier style tee with longer-than-average sleeves, this would be a great pick for you.
Photo: Ally Arcuri

Breathability


The Active Pursuits shirt failed to impress us in terms of breathability, especially on steamy track days. The thicker weave of the fabric makes it harder for any natural breeze to flow through and cool your skin temperature. For alpine hiking, though, this textile served us well. Because body temperatures don't usually spike as high on hikes, the protection and coverage offered by this shirt are perfect for summer hikes at altitude.

The weight and fabric of this running shirt do not provide the best...
The weight and fabric of this running shirt do not provide the best breathability, however, it does offer more protection than some of the lighter, more breathable options.
Photo: Ally Arcuri

If you are looking for a shirt that offers supreme breathability on hot days in full sun, we absolutely recommend avoiding this running shirt. However, if you want a shirt that can be comfortably worn on hikes and shady trail runs, you'll likely enjoy the weight and breathability of this shirt.

Though not the most breathable, we appreciate the bit of extra...
Though not the most breathable, we appreciate the bit of extra weight that this shirt provides when running on semi-chilly days in the shadow of the sprawling Sierra Nevada.
Photo: Ally Arcuri

Drying Speed


Unfortunately, the Active Pursuits shirt didn't impress us in terms of drying speed either. We gave this shirt a fair shake and tested its drying speed in the same way that we tested all our shirts; however, after nearly 45 minutes, it still felt damp and kind of soggy. It is not particularly surprising to learn that this shirt doesn't dry very quickly, as it is one of the heaviest running shirts we have tested, made from a thick polyester. Though we never had any issues with chafing while running in this shirt, its propensity to maintain moisture could cause discomfort for some, depending on what gear you're carrying and where it hits your body.

During our snow test and our soak test, the REI Active Pursuits...
During our snow test and our soak test, the REI Active Pursuits shirt just didn't live up to the competition.
Photo: Ally Arcuri

Features & Versatility


As mentioned, the Active Pursuits is a great hiking shirt. However, its sub-par breathability and drying speed make it a less than versatile choice. We survey versatility through the lens of comfortably wearing your gear under various circumstances, and this shirt just doesn't deliver. While it isn't the worst running shirt on the market by any means, its inability to cross over from cool days to hot days makes it lower on our list of favorite options.

The features of this shirt are pretty basic, and frankly, we expected more. It offers a small reflective stripe on the upper back panel, but that's all in terms of features. Unlike many shirts that offer UPF or odor resistance, this shirt lacks those extra but somewhat necessary features. That said, this shirt is priced significantly lower than its higher-scoring competition, so it makes sense that it doesn't offer the high-tech features of pricier options.

This small reflective detail is the only extra feature that this...
This small reflective detail is the only extra feature that this running shirt offers.
Photo: Ally Arcuri

Value


The Active Pursuits is a great value. Though it didn't score as well across the board, it is available for a much lower price than almost every other shirt we tested. If a budget buy is what you need, this shirt offers just enough to make it well worth the money.

We do not love the less-than-flattering fit of this running shirt...
We do not love the less-than-flattering fit of this running shirt, but it is comfortable.
Photo: Ally Arcuri

Conclusion


Though the REI Active Pursuits let us down in a few metrics, it is a suitable choice for anyone looking to save money on a technical running tee. Its flatlock seams help prevent chafing, which lends itself well to long hikes. It's not the most technical running shirt, but if you want to save money and be comfy in cooler temps, this shirt fits the bill.

No matter the weather, we'll be out here testing running shirts...
No matter the weather, we'll be out here testing running shirts everyday.
Photo: Ally Arcuri

Ally Arcuri

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