Review of Under Armour Heatgear Compression Shirt
This review is the HeatGear short sleeve compression shirt, from an established company and former brash upstart Under Armour. This brand offers athletic performance gear at a price that appeals to all-around fitness devotees. Whether you are a powerlifter, basketball player, martial artist, or just an outdoor cardio fan, the shirt will meet or exceed your expectations.
How do we know? Well, in addition to crunching both commercial and consumer reviews for research, we know the Under Armour brand. We have interacted with their customer service agents, and they are helpful and efficient. When you buy any Under Armour product, it comes with a 60-day guarantee. Should you encounter any problems under normal use, you can return the apparel for a full refund.
We also remember the days when Under Armour offered almost nothing but thin, sweat fighting thermal undershirts and pants for runners. Over the years, Under Armour has expanded into all types of athletic clothing, hats, and even sneakers. While Under Armour hasn't knocked Nike or Reebok out of the box, they clawed their way into a sizable market share by offering reliable running shoes at a decent price. That's no easy task.
Helps regulate body temperature under hot and cold conditions
Provides compression and increased blood flow to your trunk area
Price is in line with competing products, and less expensive than many
The shirt fits tight and snug, with little movement, when properly fitted
Can be used for most physical activity, including outdoor yard work--wicks sweat on hot days
Options include 6 colors, small to 5XL sizes, and a long sleeve version
Fabric allows you to move, and can be worn all day
Seams may dig in, especially during a run
A few reviewers said the material is lighter, less compressive than the UA older version of the same shirt
Shirt is durable, but repeated barbell squats may fray/wear down the back and shoulders
Compression therapy will help your body retain heat in the cold. It can also prevent sweat buildup during high heat conditions. The squeezing increases blood flow, and you can take advantage of this both during and after a strenuous workout. Your editors have been known to sleep in our compression stockings after a long urban hike. The Heatgear shirt, when worn as a base layer, can help relieve the lower back pain that comes from carrying a backpack, too. So day hikers can use this product, too.
We do need to note that the Under Armour Heatgear compression shirt is not a cure-all. It will not make you stronger or more fit on its own. It cannot treat chronic pain conditions, though it may reduce the symptoms and severity of back pain or injured trunk muscles. If you have a sedentary job, wearing the shirt under your work clothes can counteract some of the fatigue and tightness. But you still have to remember to get up and move every hour or so--perhaps with a fitness tracker and quiet reminder alert.
Why It Is Different
For one thing, it is handy for strenuous team sports. If you play flag, touch, or tackle football, you can wear the Heatgear shirt under your pads and jersey. It will allow you free movement and also help slightly with not hyperextending any joints or tendons. That is because of the snug fit and solid fabric.
The fabric is mostly polyester. Poly is known for its lightweight and breathable surface. It lets air circulate to keep you cool. But the elastane or Spandex content means the shirt will stretch to fit you, then cling tight. Polyester doesn't do that. Like cotton, an all-polyester shirt would gather sweat; sweat can grow cold and lower your body temperature. It's happened to us, the shivers when leaving an air-conditioned gym. The Heatgear shirt is a cheap and easy means of thermoregulation.
The tight fit doesn't break down under repeated washings, either. And you can wash the Heatgear shirt in the washer. Tumble dry low, or allow to air dry. Overnight will be more than enough time for drying. If you are active most days, you could get away with owning one or two of the shirts and rotating out, wearing one while the other dries. In our experience, compression gear (including sports bras) lasts longer if you wash it by hand. But Under Armour gear is durable, so hand washing is an extra precaution and not a necessity.
The other key feature Under Armour added to the Heatgear shirt is in the stitching. We did read in some reviews that the side stitching can dig in during long runs. If this happens, we suggest contacting Under Armour. Reviews are favorable enough that the achy seam is probably a fluke. Still, if long-distance running is your thing, you may want to ask around before making a purchase decision. Cyclists will be happily unaffected since cycling involves keeping the upper body still.
About the stitching. The underarms, typically a sweat factory, are lined with mesh for extra ventilation. This helps keep everything dry and cuts down on odor. UPF 30 sun protection is built-in if you wear the shirt as a top layer. All UA's compression clothing uses 4-way stretch construction. What is a 4-way stretch? We weren't able to find a definition. Looking at images and reading descriptions, we think it has to do with the fabric panels that make up the wear surface. 4-way stretch, unlike traditional t-shirts, will keep you covered while letting you move freely in 4 directions.
Who Needs It
What People Are Saying
The Amazon listing we looked at had 963 customer reviews at the time of this writing. 75% of them were five stars. Users praised the shirts' ability to prevent chafing, including during long outdoor runs. We learned that you don't want to use a clothes drier, as this will cause premature wear and possible shrinkage. Air drying is your best bet. The tightness, the most important quality of any compression garment, is reliable and lasts a long time. More than one customer used the shirt for injury recovery. It will keep heat and blood flow to a hurt shoulder or strained pec muscle, which enables you to keep going while you recover.
The Final Word
The technology used in making this compression shirt will help keep everything protected. It will help prevent excess fatigue and soreness, keep you dry and comfortable, and it will continue to perform after long periods of use and repeated washings.