Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
Xterra Men’s Switchback ¼ zip long sleeve
Material: Nylon/polyester blend
Best Features: Super comfortable, dries fast, fits perfectly and stays in place.
Room for Improvement: No comments on improvement.
The Xterra switch might be the most comfortable longsleeve base layer that I’ve ever worn. Made from a proprietary nylon/polyester blend, this shirt fits snug but not super tight. The stretchy, moisture-wicking fabric contours the upper body. Additionally, a narrow silicon band at the hem of the shirt keeps it in place while you run, so the shirt stays in place and doesn’t bunch up if you’re wearing a running vest. There’s also some reflective material on the brand logo so the shirt is more easily seen at night and thumb holes if it’s really cold. Perhaps the nicest feature of the shirt is the lack of any seams which eliminates chafing, even on long runs.
I tested it out on a long run recently on a day that started off cold and snowy but ended with sunny skies and warmer temperatures. The shirt was just as comfortable at a windy 30 degrees as it was for sunny and 50. Retailing at $70 this shirt is worth it for something that fits and performs as well as it does. The only drawback to this product that I could possibly come up with was the color. Going for long trail runs in the woods during hunting season might call for something a little more visible. Keep in mind, like any garment made of synthetic, wicking material, it’s important to wash it in cold water, inside out and dry it on low heat or hang it up. Overall, this is an excellent long sleeve base layer.
—Will Fisher, age 47, chooses training runs and races for their scenic value. He’s a relatively large runner who cross trains a lot and is excited to have just been accepted into the Western States 100 Endurance Run.