Hands-on Gear Review

The North Face Better Than Naked Short Sleeve - Women's Review

Editors' Choice Award
Price:   $50 List | $29.99 at Amazon
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Ultra breathable, lightweight, quick to dry, cute design, affordable
Cons:  No pockets or additional features
Editors' Rating:   
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Manufacturer:   The North Face

Our Verdict

If you love the feeling of running naked…or you just want to see what it's like…you've got to give The North Face Better than Naked Short Sleeve a try! This simple and high-performing running shirt scored top marks in almost all our metrics, earning the 2015 Editors' Choice Award! It was the lightest, most breathable, and quickest to dry of all tops tested. If you're looking for an ultra versatile top that makes you feel like you're wearing nothing at all, check out this award winner!

Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results

Review by:
Amber King

Last Updated:
Sunday
July 19, 2015

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The North Face Better than Naked Short Sleeve is our Editors' Choice for 2015. Earning high marks in all but two metrics, this is great all around techy running t-shirt.

Performance Comparison


The North Face Better than Naked earned our Editors' Choice Award for its all-around great breathability  versatility  lightweight design  and quick drying speed. All it's missing are a couple of built in pockets.
The North Face Better than Naked earned our Editors' Choice Award for its all-around great breathability, versatility, lightweight design, and quick drying speed. All it's missing are a couple of built in pockets.

Comfort & Fit


This shirt is incredibly comfortable, has a great fit, and earned the highest rating of all tops tested in this category! Its 100% polyester fabric weave with FlashDry technology is the lightest of all shirts tested (only 2.45 oz!) so you feel like you're pretty much naked! The cut isn't as long as the Adidas Supernova Tee - Women's, nor is the fabric as soft, but all the stitching is either flat or welded. We didn't experience any chafing, even on long runs.

The welded seams and breathable fabrics provided fantastic comfort. The fit wasn't too boxy and the sleeves were long enough for functional coverage and style.
The welded seams and breathable fabrics provided fantastic comfort. The fit wasn't too boxy and the sleeves were long enough for functional coverage and style.

Breathability


The breathability offered by The North Face model was impeccable. The fabric weave isn't too tight which allows ample air flow. The ventilation and mesh strips extend the entire length of the back, making it perfect to wear with a hydration pack. Take it out the hottest days and stay cool.

Mesh panneling + a lightweight widely woven Polartec Power Dry Fabric = awesome breathability!
Mesh panneling + a lightweight widely woven Polartec Power Dry Fabric = awesome breathability!

Drying Speed


Again surpassing the competition, this top was the fastest to dry due to its lightweight FlashDry fabric weave. If you're a woman that runs through the monsoon season and needs something super quick to dry, you've found it here!

Versatility


Excellent breathability + lightweight + quick to dry + simple design = extremely versatile! Like most of our lightweight and simple tops, you can wear it on hot days or layer it during cooler months. One of our testers even found it to be a perfect shirt to wear while working hard in the heat with her gardening business.

Jennifer loved the versatility of our Editors' Choice winner! She ran and worked in it with comfort.
Jennifer loved the versatility of our Editors' Choice winner! She ran and worked in it with comfort.

Features


Due to its lack of features, this was one category where the Better than Naked shirt fell short. It sports no additional pockets, zip-neck design, or UPF rating. However, it does sport reflective strips if you prefer to run at night. If you want a top with more pockets and a zip-up collar, check out the Salomon Fast Wing Tee - Women's.

Style


Of all the shirts tested, we thought that the Better than Naked shirt and the Salomon Fast Wing Tee were the most "running chic." It has a performance running look with a deep v-neck and flattering stitching lining the torso. It also comes in several attractive color combinations. Since it has a more athletic look we wouldn't choose to wear it around town and would reserve it for athletic endeavors instead.

Best Applications


With great versatility, the applications for this top are limitless. We would recommend our Editors' Choice winner for both trail and road running in hot or warm weather as a stand-alone top. When it gets cold outside, put it underneath or over top of a long sleeve for additional warmth. Don't be afraid to wear it for other sports too! Hiking, biking, running, and walking are all perfectly acceptable applications!

Value


At only $50 this is a steal! It's not as expensive as the Salomon top, but it performs at a higher level (minus the features). So do we think this is a good value? No! We think it's an AMAZING value.

Conclusion


The North Face Better than Naked Short Sleeve is our 2015 Editors' Choice Award winner. We loved its simple and cute design, high level of breathability, and low weight. Wear this highly versatile top on any athletic endeavor including both road and trail running adventures!

This was selected as our 2015 Editors' Choice Award winner for its light weight and quick drying appeal. We also loved its fit and versatility. Perfect for running on the roads or the trails.
This was selected as our 2015 Editors' Choice Award winner for its light weight and quick drying appeal. We also loved its fit and versatility. Perfect for running on the roads or the trails.

Other Versions


North Face Better Than Naked Jacket
North Face Better Than Naked Jacket
  • This is less a true wind jacket than a super advanced base layer
  • Excels at running in cool temperatures
  • $129

Better than Naked Split Shorts 3.5 - Women's
The North Face Better Than Naked Short - Women's
  • Running shorts
  • 3" running split shorts with liner brief
  • $70
Amber King