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July 20, 2010

GoLite Manitou and Wildwood Shirt Reviews

Summer comes a bit late to the Monterey Peninsula, and even later to runners like me who do the majority of their workouts in the early morning. So it took a little longer than I expected to try a couple of warm-weather tech shirts, but I can happily say that GoLite’s stuff was worth the wait.

Speaking of weight (I know that’s a different word, but homophones count), one of the shirts I got to test was most remarkable for its weight – or rather, its lack thereof. The other shirt is just a great all-around trail runner, and since it’s the one I’ve got the most mileage out of, that’s the one I’m starting with.

If you’re a mountain running aficionado, the name Manitou conjures one thing: the town of Manitou Springs at the base of Pikes Peak, and the start line of the infamous Pikes Peak Marathon. Having fallen in love with Pikes Peak several years ago, GoLite’s Manitou shirt not only triggered a nice memory, but declared itself a hardcore trail accessory.

Thankfully, its performance lived up to the name. It has a semi-fitted silhouette that slightly contours to the body without feeling tight, and has strategically placed seams to avoid any underarm or trunk chafing. The shirt is listed under GoLite’s hiking category, and the seam placement is ideal for backpack wearers as well as runners. Long sleeve and ¼ zip versions are also available from the GoLite website.

The Manitou is constructed of GoLite’s fast-wicking Cocona Minerale fabric, which utilizes microporous particles from coconut fibers that provide moisture transfer and odor resistance. It feels very comfortable against your skin, even on several hour runs ...

Cooling my feet in the Stanislaus River about 30 minutes after breaking my toe. Oh, yeah ... I'm also wearing a GoLite shirt

... and especially in comparison to breaking your toe, which I did while wearing the Manitou. Despite this, I really like the shirt and have no reason to believe it’s cursed.

GoLite’s Manitou comes in five different colors, and weighs 5.0 oz (136g). I’d consider it a midweight short sleeve tech shirt, especially in comparison to the next shirt I tested.

GoLite Wildwood

Keeping the “let’s name our clothes after cool trail running locations” theme going, the GoLite Wildwood – a shout out to the famous Pacific Northwest trail - is a super-lightweight, super-comfortable shirt that’s ideal for hot temperatures when you don’t feel like going sleeveless. Since I really don’t like running in tank tops (too many reasons to explain here, but trust me), I love shirts like this when the weather heats up.

The Wildwood weighs a mere 3 oz (80g), and has the same breathable and moisture-wicking fabric construction as the Manitou. It has a fitted cut, meaning it is closer to the body than the Manitou, but not skin tight. Side seams are traditionally aligned, but they’re not noticeable on long runs – except for the interior tag at mid-torso level on one side, which can sometimes be a minor annoyance. As with the Manitou, the Wildwood is also available in five different colors.

My personal preference between these two is the Manitou, because 1) I like my shirts slightly loose, 2) midweight shirts are better for me on our relatively cool summer mornings, and 3) the huge GoLite logo on the Wildwood makes me feel like a billboard. However, the Wildwood would be preferred for consistently hot climates, and it also has a cool little stash pocket on its hemline that's lacking on the Manitou. Either of these tech shirts would make a great high-performance addition to your summer trail running wardrobe.

GoLite’s Manitou and Wildwood are both available from Amazon.com, which has nice discounts on some sizes and colors, and retail for $45 each from the company website – links are here:

GoLite Manitou (Amazon.com)
GoLite Manitou (company website)

GoLite Wildwood (Amazon.com)
GoLite Wildwood (company website)

*Products provided by GoLite
**See other product reviews on sidebar at right. If you have a product you’d like reviewed, contact me at info@runningandrambling.com.


zbsports 7/28/10, 6:17 AM  

Nice review about golite t-shirt...It seems that the shirt is good and cool...love it...

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