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PRODUCT REVIEW – NORTH FACE MEN’S GTD LONG SLEEVE T SHIRT

Posted by Chief run commuter on June 8, 2013 in Equipment, Product Reviews |


Ola!  My favourite outdoor-cum-fashion retailer, North Face, have kindly been in touch again looking for a foolhardy runner to test out one of their new products.  I say foolhardy because of the weather.

Summer looks like it might finally have arrived, but I bet my bottom dollar that when you looked out your window over the last 9 months it would’ve been a tad grey, probably a bit mizzly, and there

Check me out!

Check me out!

might’ve been a sad looking squirrel digging for all his nuts are worth. By cripes it was a hell of a winter and spring! But I kept up a punishing run to work series, for numerous reasons:  it gets my daily exercise out of the way, it means I miss the ruddy Underground in London. And, oh, I was training for the Marathon des Sables and a solid slog in the morning was a great assist in this. :)

 

So I’ve been cold, and by the time the good folk from North Face issued their latest long sleeve tee to me a couple of months ago, I was ready for some running inspiration and a good reason to post another blog :)


Hold / Cold, you decided?

Hot / Cold, you decide?!

The North Face Men’s GTD long sleeve T shirt is described as thus:-

“A lightweight running shirt, The North Face Men’s GTD Long Sleeved is moisture-wicking with body-mapped ventilation for optimum comfort and endurance.”

It’s a thin long sleeve tshirt designed not to overly heat the wearer.   But if it’s hot, run in short sleeve right?  Shouldn’t a long sleeve be needed when it’s cold?  And if so then maybe it doesn’t need to be so lightweight?
And so the story with the ‘T’ began.  My previous forays into product review of North Face has been with the excellent North Face Hayasa Trail running shoe and the Stormy Trail Jacket.  Both were excellent, offering something which I hadn’t experienced before in their fields.  The trail shoe was far less clunkier than others previously used, and the trail jacket kept me dry and warm in one of the cruddiest winters ever!

But the GTD T Shirt.  Hmm, I took delivery of this in the first few months of the year and understood it was part of their Spring range.   Is Spring warm or cold?  Dunno.

Hmmm?

Hmmm?

And that’s how I felt about the GTD.  Lovely to look at that it was, and as comfortable on the skin it felt, I’m not quite sure what its real purpose is.  If it’s cold, you wrap up with a proper long sleeve or a windproof jacket. And if it’s warm then you put a singlet or a standard t-shirt on and off you go on your merry way :-)

So I gave this the full treatment!  It accompanied me on a session of British Military Fitness on a freezing morning at -1c.  Being very lightweight it was too cold for this.  So I took it out during BMF on a mizzly spring morning and yeah it did ok.   It followed me then to the Sahara desert for the Marathon Des Sables and performed admirably in my sleeping bag, tucked up a temperatures of just below 10c.  I used it on the last day of the Marathon Des Sables which was a 5 mile charity walk, and it was too hot! Not surprisingly I suppose…


So I had to roll the sleeves up and find out the real purpose of the GTD.  During April & May of this year, it’s done about 60 km of early morning run commutes and it’s been ok on those in the sort of <10c range.  Not too warm or not too cold, but I still wasn’t convinced it was a necessary piece of equipment.


However, I loved the feel of it, the fit at ‘Large’ was right for my frame and the length meant it didn’t ride up my rear from my running backpack shuffling about the place (this gets right on my goat!).  I’m told by the designers and marketing spiel that it will wick away sweat, but if it’s that hot I’m going to be wearing a short sleeve!

Parched!

Parched!

I’m a touch confused this one unfortunately.  That might be my ignorance, because as a piece of running kit it looks stylish feels comfortable and I’m told the wicking is good.  I guess if you lived in warmer climes and were out running at dawn in a the cool air touched by early morning sunshine then this might do the job.  But running in Blighty just aint like that!  I’m either wrapped up like Michelin man or peeling off at the first hint of sunshine :)
Anyway, if you run hot on cold days or just want a bit of extra protection on cold mornings then it might be worth checking out.  Wiggle Online sell it and it’s currently at a reduced rate :)

 

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