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Product Review: Born Tough Air Pro Regular-Fit T-Shirt



The folks at Born Tough were kind enough to send me some gear for review. In this post, I will specifically be reviewing the Born Tough Air Pro™ Regular-Fit T-Shirt which can be found here:



Disclaimers:

  1. I am not getting paid for this review, nor will I receive any affiliate commission or any other monetary compensation should you decide to purchase this product from the link above.

  2. This product, however, was sent to me free-of-charge in exchange for this product review.

  3. Any views and opinions expressed are my own and are not affiliated with Born Tough or USA Powerlifting.


TESTING METHODOLOGY


To test this product, I put the shirt through 4 wash/dry cycles and 4 training sessions over the course of two months. This review will compare the product description or claims against what I experienced during the workouts. I will also review against other criteria that will help you decide if this product, or similar offerings from Born Tough, are appropriate for you. The specific workouts used for evaluation are outlined below.


Session 1 - Strength

  • High Bar Pin Squat with Belt

  • Close Grip Bench

  • Conventional Deadlift with Belt

Session 2 - Strength

  • Pause High Bar Squat with Belt

  • Board Press

  • Reverse Nordic / Razor Curl Supersets

Session 3 - Cardiovascular

  • 45 minutes of Zone 2 steady state cardio

Session 4 - Strength

  • Repeat of Session 2 above


PRODUCT DESCRIPTION


Below is a description of the product straight from the website. I will evaluate the product against the five (5) claims enumerated below.


An awfully lightweight full sleeve t-shirt is constructed from our Air pro™ fabric (comfortable and soft performance fabric) (1). The tee is designed in a way to become highly stretchable, breathable, and with an extended scallop hem to alleviate shirt pull when stretching, jumping, and squatting (2). The full sleeve shirt features a reflective logo at the left bottom (on the front side) and a visible design on the back(close to the neck) (3).


Made from our moisture-wicking and highly breathable Air pro™ fabric, this full-sleeve tee is perfect for sweat-inducing workouts, especially during Summer/Spring seasons (4). With curved extended hem and ergonomic design, the tee looks great without ever becoming an obstacle to working out (5).


- AirPro-Fabric

- Regular-Fit

- Extended Drop Hem

- 4-Way Stretch

- Fabric: 86% Polyester 14% Spandex


Below is the sizing guide from the product page. For reference, I went with the size Large (because I'm in charge).



PRODUCT REVIEW


The first thing I want to know when considering a purchase is whether or not the product will actually do what they say it will do. Below are the product claims made by Born Tough followed by my personal evaluation. I did not consult any other reviews of this product in creating this review.


Claim 1: An awfully lightweight full sleeve t-shirt is constructed from our Air pro™ fabric (comfortable and soft performance fabric).

Evaluation: This product IS extremely lightweight. It was actually the first thing I noticed before I even read the product description. If you are used to wearing cotton tees at the gym, prepare to get your mind blown. It's like you are wearing a light film rather than a shirt.


Claim 2: The tee is designed in a way to become highly stretchable, breathable, and with an extended scallop hem to alleviate shirt pull when stretching, jumping, and squatting.

Evaluation: This product did not disappoint here. I had no issues with shirt pull while squatting and deadlifting with a robust powerlifting belt. I did not test it during jumping or stretching.


Claim 3: The full sleeve shirt features a reflective logo at the left bottom (on the front side) and a visible design on the back (close to the neck).

Evaluation: The product I received did have reflective logos on both sides near the bottom, on the front near the chest, but no reflective logo on the back. Looking at the website, the product I received is slightly different from the images shown. However, I actually prefer the one I received. For this style of shirt, I personally would prefer less verbiage on the shirt, as shown below. I also prefer the front logo on the product I received as opposed to the one from the website.


Website Product Photos

Actual Product Photos


Claim 4: Made from our moisture-wicking and highly breathable Air pro™ fabric, this full-sleeve tee is perfect for sweat-inducing workouts, especially during Summer/Spring seasons.

Evaluation: Since the product is predominantly made of polyester, a popular moisture-wicking material, my sweat during training did not soak into the materials. I did not feel like I was wearing a sweat soaked shirt.


Claim 5: With curved extended hem and ergonomic design, the tee looks great without ever becoming an obstacle to working out.

Evaluation: This seems to be a repeat of Claim 2 above. Again, the product did not disappoint here. In fact, it makes a good pump cover, or dump cover in my case.


Ok, so I've established that the Air Pro Regular-Fit T-Shirt meets all of Born Tough's product claims. Here are a few other things you should consider before purchasing this product.


Price Point

For $29.99, the price is reasonable. When compared to long sleeve moisture-wicking shirts from the big name brands, you are looking at anywhere from $35 to $75 or more.


Susceptible to Pilling

Pilling is not necessarily an issue with the product itself, however, synthetic or man-made fibers tend to pill more than natural fibers. Pilling is a surface defect of textiles caused by wear, and is generally considered an undesirable trait. It happens when washing and wearing of fabrics causes loose fibers to begin to push out from the surface of the cloth, and, over time, abrasion causes the fibers to develop into small spherical bundles, anchored to the surface of the fabric by protruding fibers that have not broken. [1]


Since I have only had this shirt for a few months, the pilling I experienced was due to the nature of my training. In training I use wrist wraps with Velcro predominantly for bench pressing and squatting. When I unwrap my wrists, the hook portion of the Velcro fasteners often times come into contact with my shirt. This unfortunately does not work well with polyester shirts.


Furthermore, when squatting with a well knurled barbell, you will likely experience pilling in the upper back portion of the shirt. I've squatted in this shirt with a Texas Power Bar twice and a commercial gym barbell once. Below are pictures of the pilling that occurred over the 3 barbell training sessions.


Pilling from Incidental Velcro Contact

Pilling from Barbell Knurl Contact

Slippery When Dry

Again, this is not necessarily an issue with the product itself, however, polyester fabrics are inherently slippery or silky to the touch. While comfortable and practical for many types of training, polyester is not the best material for heavy squatting or bench pressing, especially if you have a slippery bench.


FINAL THOUGHTS


Overall, the Born Tough Air Pro Regular-Fit T-Shirt is a good product at a good price point. While I would not recommend the shirt for heavy squatting or benching, it is a comfortable shirt that will not get in your way during training.


REFERENCES

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