Joe: Having gotten a chance to wear test two jackets from Montane , and really liking both, I was excited to try out a long-sleeved tech running shirt from the same English outdoor apparel company. The Sonic Long Sleeve T-Shirt didn’t disappoint. While free of gimmicks and special features, the Sonic shirt is a very good, straightforward, and highly functional garment.
The fabric is lightweight, flexible, and soft, and the fit is excellent. The Sonic shirt is also very breathable, and keeps you dry. Though it’s not a thick shirt, it does keep you reasonably warm, but it’s probably best in moderate temperatures or under a light running jacket in cooler conditions. The raglan sleeves and tailored stitching account for the nice fit. Though the design is relatively low key, a couple small features shine through: The stitching is a contrasting color, and small “racing stripe” reflective accents appear on the bottom seam and the back of the collar. The Montane logo is on the chest. (In a sad update, the logo on one of my Montane jackets has started to peel off. I hope they have since perfected the application process!)
While it doesn’t leap out of my shirt drawer and beg for attention, the Montane Sonic Long Sleeve T-Shirt is a nice addition to my long-sleeved tech shirt collection, and will get a lot of use!
More about Montane:
Montane has become synonymous with lightweight and breathable clothing and equipment. The first to truly push the limits of single layer mountain clothing with the Extreme Smock and then, later realising the true value of windproof clothing, creating the first super packable, windproof and breathable windshirt; The Featherlite Smock. The Featherlite was probably the most functional and innovative piece of windproof garment design since Fridtjof Nansen, whilst planning the first crossing of Greenland over 100 years ago, realised that the windproof-ness of garments was the secret to moving quickly and comfortably in the mountains.
The importance of functionality in garments and packs does not stop at product design alone. Fabric technology is critical to producing the best products, Montane works with the world’s leading fabric suppliers to engineer new cutting edge materials that push the boundaries of what is possible with clothing, equipment and accessories in order to create the lightest, toughest and most functional products available on the market.
For over 21 years Montane has worked closely with serious mountain professionals working in hostile conditions across the globe as a proving ground for garment design. From the British Antarctic Survey to British Mountain Rescue Teams. Professionals who demand the toughest credentials from their clothing and equipment choose Montane.
Drew: In the world of running apparel, there are certain brands that are very well known and others that are, well, not so well known. From the perspective of this trail runner who lives, trains and races on the west coast, a 3 year old apparel company based in Massachusetts was simply not on my radar. Until now.
Since their inception in 2014, Tracksmith has been crafting high quality running clothes that hint at a vintage look, while providing the latest in material benefits. I was asked to review the Van Cortlandt long sleeve top (as shown). Typically, I don’t wear a lot of long sleeve tech shirts and only owned one prior to receiving the VC top. Despite any concerns I might have had before running in it the first time, those concerns disappeared somewhere around mile 2 of that first run. From the unique styling of the stripe, to the little rabbit patch (like an Izod polo), to the nice way the sleeves are cuffed at the wrist and to the way the entire shirt both breathes and maintains body temp, I have very quickly moved this top up to one of my top 5 running shirts. For days when a 2nd layer is too much but a short sleeve is not enough, it’s nice to have a quality long sleeve running shirt to turn to.
- Van Cortlandt ($72)
More about Tracksmith:
Tracksmith is an independent running brand and champion for the Running Class. We deliver products and experiences that embrace the legacy of the sport and foster the personal pursuit of excellence. Guided by the belief that race day is sacred, we favor a straightforward, understated and authentic approach.
“TRACK” is a symbol of commitment to training and racing, while “SMITH” represents dedication to a specialized craft – an obsession with quality and function.
Our logo, the hare, is an animal that relies upon its speed. Not as a predator, but as a survivor. The hare is a runner’s runner. The timeless object of the chase. In folklore and mythology the hare is often portrayed as the trickster: quick-witted, outsmarting his opponents at every opportunity.
Likewise, Tracksmith is a challenger. Without the size or scale most running brands enjoy, we rely on our ingenuity. We are small, so we need to be more nimble, quickier and craftier.
When we started Tracksmith, we commissioned legendary British illustrator Gary Chalk to create the original hand-drawn illustration of our hare. We affectionately named him, “Eliot,” as a tribute to the legendary Eliot Lounge in Boston.
Tracksmith was founded in New England. We live here, we work here and we race here. We relish everything New England means to running and to us. This place, and its historical significance to our sport, are at the core of our identity.
When we launched in 2014, we set up shop in Wellesley, MA at the halfway point of the Boston Marathon. In 2017, we moved 13.1 miles down the course to 285 Newbury Street. Our first permanent retail store, the Trackhouse is a community hub for runners.
We believe in competition and the meritocracy of racing. Not because winning and losing are particularly important, but because competition sends us on an innately human journey. The profound physical and mental demands of training and racing lead to a richer and more sensitive and thrilling life. They make us better human beings.
Thank you to Montane and Tracksmith for providing us with samples. Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.