Monday, March 26, 2012

NBx Prism Short Sleeve Review

As some of you know, I visited New Balance Lincoln Square in Chicago to meet Jeff Mach and some of his team. You can read the whole story here. It was a good time and I was genuinely impressed by their passion for the New Balance brand and for helping their customers find the right gear. When I was there, Jeff was kind enough to give me a shirt to "try-out" and I feel like I owe him a review. I have shared some opinions on shoes in past posts but this will be the first time I officially review something. I never guessed it would be apparel but here goes.


The item Jeff gave me was the NBx Prism Short Sleeve in Tendershoots/Black (a sort of greenish yellow). Here are my honest thoughts:

Color / Design
I'm not a fan of luminous colors but the color of the Prism is growing on me. It also comes in a Black/Cherry Tomato (which looks dark gray) and Surf the Web/Black (a deep blue). I'm not a fan of the blue but the dark gray is very much my style for daytime running. Both the gray and the blue have a lime green vertical line down the back. This may help these darker shirts with visibility. I'm not a fan of that design element. The thicker diagonal lines on the back actually serve a purpose based on the way the shirt is constructed. More on that when I talk about material.



Reflection / Visibility
The NB logo on the chest and the NBx lockup on the hip are reflective. The diagonal lines on the back each have a reflective strip. The Tendershoots/Black color is a very high visibility color during day or night. I have done many runs in the dark on the streets of Chicago and visibility is key at those times.

Fit
I got a size medium and it feels pretty fitted but comfortable. I think they say the Prism is semi-fitted. The arms are a little shorter than many of my shirts and it is just over halfway down my bicep. I actually prefer a shorter arm like this.

Weight
New Balance says that the seems on the Prism are welded to help reduce weight. This is a super lightweight shirt. It is probably the lightest shirt I own. Shop New Balance says "Ultra-lightweight apparel gives you a distinct advantage in the great outdoors." I have no idea what that means but I shall look for this advantage they speak of.

Material / Feel
This shirt is an N1 Base Layer in New Balance's Layering System. It also has Lightning Dry wicking material and Crepe Knit with Polygiene® finish: 100% Nylon. I am going to be honest with you. The day sports companies stop using these trademark names and scientific mumbo jumbo for material, I will be a very happy man. Here's the skinny... The main fabric found around the front, arms and lower back is a very soft wicking material. When I was out for a run in cool weather the other day, a little wind was enough to keep it bone dry. Even in warmer weather when it retains more sweat, it is still much lighter than my other shirts. The shoulder and upper back area (above the diagonal lines) has a double layer with a honeycomb type material. I assume this is for venting and increasing the surface area to work harder at wicking moisture away from an area that typically gets saturated with sweat. This material may not be quite as soft as the main material but it does it's job. I was very impressed with this shirt's wicking ability.

Odor Resistence
I am very skeptical about products that claim odor resistence. Often shoes talk about it and I end up stinking them up every time. This shirt has Polygiene® silver-ion technology. I have to admit, after a few runs, I may be a believer. After the last run, I aggressively sniffed the shirt and could barely pick up my sweat odor. When the shirt is washed, it doesn't retain any odor at all. I am sure that the washing will reduce it's effectiveness over time but until then, it's stink free for me.

Wash / Dry
Many technical shirts require you to wash and then line dry. I often ignore this because it's just not practical for the way we do laundry. Who has a line these days? Most of my technical shirts dry wrinkle free, even when they are machine dried. This shirt wrinkles like crazy if it cools down in the drier and isn't folded when still warm. I had to wet it and re-dry it. Just something to be aware of. In reality, the creases would probably fall out with body heat but I can be really vain when it comes to things like this.

The Final Word
Probably the best running shirt I have from a wicking and weight perspective. It is up there with being one of the most comfortable too. I love shirts like this in the summer because they feel like you are wearing nothing. Obviously it could work as  winter base layer too. My two nitpicks... I think the design element of the line down the back is heavy handed and I wish it was a little more wrinkle resistant. If you are in the Chicago area, you can grab them at the four Chicago New Balance stores. If not, you can get them at the New Balance Online Store among other places.

POST UPDATE 03/28/2012
So, my first review got it's first criticism from a reader. Ouch. I am really not a chauvinist. I just wasn't thinking. I know I have women readers. I'm sorry. I won't make the same mistake again if I ever get to review any other products.

There is indeed an NBx short sleeve shirt for women. It comes in Tendershoots (the same greenish yellow as the men's), Virtual Pink and Dewberry (purple).



The women's shirt is obviously more fitted than the men's and has a shorter arm. It also has an additional design element on the right arm. The venting panel on the back is black rather than the same color as the rest of the shirt which looks really heavy in my opinion. What I do like about the women's is that the venting panel comes tighter under the arm.

1 comment:

  1. I like the way of presentation, thanks a lot for sharing this nice post with us.
    Enjoy summer and spring seasons with short sleeve shirts, these shirts are cool and comfortable. Makes you feel great on hot seasons.

    ReplyDelete

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