Smartwool PHD Run Zip T Review

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If you haven’t heard of Smartwool, you just aren’t getting out enough. Get off the couch and get outside. And a tip – they don’t just make ridiculously comfortable socks, which I personally wear for days on end. They also make baselayers and tops, such as the Smartwool PDH Run Zip T.


As I said above, everything smartwool makes is not only ridiculously comfortable, but super functional, too. Knowing that going in, my first impressions of the Smartwool Run Zip T were a bit loaded. In your hands, it feels exactly like it should – smooth with just a bit of that scratchy wool feeling so you know it’s legit. I should mention here that after wearing the product for 5 minutes, that scratchy feeling just disappears into a warm cocoon of awesomeness, but if you like Smartwool you probably already know that. The initial fit was a bit loose, which is a different direction for a Smartwool baselayer. I was surprised by this, as most of the baselayers they make are skin tight. Other than that, there aren’t any surprises – they half zip is nice and in the right place, and the length of the sleeves/hem is just right.

The half zip on the Smartwool PHD Run Zip T is perfectly placed.


As the temps dropped in Colorado, I had the perfect opportunity to get a couple of early morning runs done in the Smartwool PHD Run Zip T.  The garment is warm enough for an early morning run, but light enough that as the sun comes up, I was just as comfortable with the sleeves rolled up. I wore the garment as it was intended – next to my skin, without another layer, but I could easily see myself layering this under another tech T such or any other running shirt. My runs in the Smartwool PHD Run Zip T were never longer than 8 miles, but with Smartwool’s construction (they eliminate seams in key chafing places such as the armpits) I can tell I’ll be comfortable on even my longest endeavors. This will be the top I start my upcoming marathon in, as it will match the cooler fall temps.

Vented pits make a nice touch on the Smartwool PHD Run Zip T


Overall, the Smartwool PHD Run Zip T would make a great addition to any runner’s wardrobe, especially with fall/winter approaching quickly. The wool blend makes it a perfect baselayer for going underneath either another shirt or light jacket, and the loose fit makes for a very comfortable run when worn by itself. It’s also great for temperature regulation, and doesn’t need to be shed when the day starts to heat up. Head on over to to check it out – at a price point of $110.00, it’s a bit on the high side, but you’ll find it quickly becomes a staple of your running gear toolbox.  For more information, please visit

Smartwool PHD Run Zip T – destined to be a favorite

Zachary Rodasti: Zach's been testing gear with Active Gear Review since day one of the site, and just generally loves being outside doing any outdoor activity. He and his wife race year round, prefer long distance endurance events, and have raced marathons in multiple states nationwide. Recently, Zach added triathlons to his list of endeavors, and has competed in all distances up to a half iron. He has two young boys who are full of energy and get into all sorts of trouble on a regular basis - just like him.
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