The North Face Better Than Naked Short Sleeve
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The North Face Women’s Better Than Naked Short Sleeve is the best running shirt I’ve tested in the past 2 years. Wow, that seems like a pretty bold statement, but I will tell you why this top is so stellar in the review below.
Better Than Naked Fabric and Features
For starters, The North Face Women’s Better Than Naked Short Sleeve is incredibly light-weight and wicks better than other polypro fabrics I’ve tested. The Better Than Naked Short Sleeve features TNF’s very own FlashDry fabric. FlashDry is 100% polyester fabric that is designed to allow evaporation of moisture, aka sweat, at a quicker rate than other wicking fibers in the industry. Pair the FlashDry fabric with the placement of jacquard mesh in areas that heat up the most, and you have a highly breathable top that helps to keep you dry after many hours on the trail.
For the Women’s Better Than Naked Short Sleeve, TNF has also included shoulder cut outs to also dump heat/sweat. I was a little hesitant about the cut outs because I was worried about a running vest rubbing my shoulders or getting sunburned back there. While wearing both my Mountain Hardwear Fluid Race Vest and Ultimate Direction AK Race Vest 2.0, I didn’t experience any discomfort and found the shoulder cut outs to be functional and add a bit of style to the top. In the photo above, I am also wearing TNF Bounce B Gone Sports Bra; the straps peak out of the top slightly on the sides.
You may be asking, if there are shoulder cut outs, why not wear a tank top instead? Running in a tank with a pack and sports bra can offer up some chaffing challenges, but also puts your shoulders out in a the sun a bit more than a cap sleeve t-shirt. If you prefer a tank, check out the Better Than Naked Tank (review coming soon).
The Better Than Naked Short Sleeve features welded and seam taped seams over the front shoulder area, which eliminates any rubbing when wearing a pack. Under the arm there is no seam whatsoever, which is awesome, no chaffing! Instead, TNF has a series of flat lock seams that that encircle the underarm and hip region, without running along your side in one straight line. The front hem of the shirt also features seam taping to keep the shirt flowy and easy to pull up to wipe sweat.
Better Than Naked Short Sleeve Style and Fit
The Better Than Naked Short Sleeve features a 24.5″ center back length, which is perfect with the back a touch longer than the front. I mentioned the shoulder cut outs above, the sleeves are capped and the top features a scoop neck. As for visibilty, TNF has three points of reflectivity: the left chest has a reflective TNF logo, while the rear right hip has a reflective FlashDry logo, and at the nape of the neck there is a reflective Flight Series.
TNF now has an interactive size guide that lets you put in more than simply your measurements. The size calculator asks for your height, weight, age (as they say it can affect your proportions!), bra size with cup, and then asks you to describe your belly shape as flatter, average, or curvier. And lastly, you are asked to select your hip shape as either straight, average, or wider. According to the calculator, I should have selected a size small. I actually reviewed a size medium and felt that the fit was absolutely perfect in all the right places. Therefore, I believe that it may run a bit small for my tastes. As I always say, it doesn’t hurt to try it on at your local running store before making the purchase.
The North Face Better Than Naked Short Sleeve is available in 4 fun colors right now: Rocket Red, Vitamin C (0range), Mint Blue with White, and Lavendula Purple with White. I tested out Rocket Red and loved the color. I would have to say it is more of a hot pink with a red/orange undertone. The color makes me easy to pick out on the trail, that’s for sure.
The North Face Better Than Naked Short Sleeve retails for $50 and has quickly been the only top I consider for my long summer trail runs of 3-6 hours. For more information, please visit www.thenorthface.com