Let’s talk about wool. I think it’s safe to assume that we all know wool comes from sheep, but have you thought about what that means? Sheep’s fleece keeps them cool when it’s hot and warm when it’s cold—even when it’s precipitating. It protects them from the sun by absorbing UV rays. It also contains a substance called lanolin, which is both anti-microbial and anti-bacterial.
Basically, sheep fleece is perfectly evolved to protect the animal from the elements. Wool apparel does more or less the same thing for humans. This is why wool is my go-to for athletic performance in the outdoors. I’ve worn merino wool by SmartWool and Icebreaker for years, but never by Tracksmith. I was excited to try something new with the Tracksmith Women’s Harrier Collection.
For this review, I tested both a tank top and a long-sleeve shirt. Here’s the shakedown.
Tracksmith Women’s Harrier Collection At-a-Glance
The Harrier Collection also includes a short-sleeve tee. Photo via
Fit: Very slim
Materials: 89% merino wool, 11% nylon
Intended Use: Running, hiking, all-around recreation
Circumstance of Review
I tested both pieces in the Wasatch and Uinta mountains of Utah during late spring and summer. I also tested them during the summer in the Wind River Range of Wyoming. Conditions were mostly dry, warm, and sunny (with some cooler temperatures at elevation). Finally, I’ve worn the tank a little bit since moving to North Carolina a week ago, where conditions include rain and oppressive humidity.
Odor-resistant: Unlike the wretched stench that semi-permanently occupies my synthetic tops after only one or two long runs, these pieces are doing just fine. The stink factor is very low for both.
Moisture-wicking: Moisture coming from your own body is efficiently transferred. You can really tell the difference from synthetics that claim do the same thing but often stick to you nevertheless. I kept cool in the long sleeve, even while chugging up and over big passes in the midafternoon, high alpine sun.
Quick-drying: I don’t sweat that much (and especially not in arid Utah), but I always notice this element of shirt performance when I take off my backpack. I dried off extremely quickly wearing the long-sleeve shirt, and I imagine the same would be true for the tank if I were capable of sweating more while running. I also got caught in a couple of big storms in the Winds, and one time did get pretty well soaked. I was dry in no time wearing the long sleeve. Again, I imagine the same would be true for the tank.
Tracksmith Women’s Harrier Tank
Photo courtesy of doing absolutely everything alone + pandemic.
At first, I was pretty skeptical about this tank. The cut of the neck hits quite high, and the arm opening comes in farther than your typical tank. My thoughts were:
- I don’t have any sports bras in a style compatible with this cut.
- This is going to make my tan lines even weirder.
My following thoughts were:
- Who cares?
- Who cares?
As it turns out, I kind of love the high neck precisely because of the sun issue. Too much sun on your chest yesterday? No problem. Rotating styles for the win. And it turns out several of my relatively standard sports bras actually don’t show.
By far my favorite thing about the Harrier Tank is the overall fit. I’ve whined previously about companies neglecting to make clothing sufficiently small for petite women–not Tracksmith! I am wearing an extra small and it fits perfectly. One caveat: I can imagine this might not be the case if I had a larger bust. Another caveat: It’s really slim. You might actually want to size up if your go-to size normally fits you well.
Tracksmith Women’s Harrier Long Sleeve
I was relieved that I got to test both the tank and the long sleeve because I much prefer long sleeves for multiday trips. Sleeves are far more efficient than sunscreen. I also appreciate the versatility brought about by small design features like the cuffs and the small detail on the back. Some day when we can go places again I think I will probably also wear this shirt casually.
On the flip side, those features add some weight. An XS Harrier weighs slightly more than 5 ounces, while an XS SmartWool 150 base layer weighs slightly less than 5 ounces. Admittedly, this is small beans in terms of ounce counting, but it’s there. If you instead compare a 250 base layer to the Harrier there’s very little difference. Like the tank, the fit is also very slim. I especially appreciate that the sleeves aren’t too long/baggy.
I’m 5 feet, 2 inches and the shoulder seam hit me perfectly on my shoulder, with only a small amount of extra length (which I actually like).
I found both pieces from the Tracksmith Women’s Harrier collection to be welcome additions to both my performance and casual wardrobes. I love the slim fit and stylish features, and the benefits of merino wool during physical exertion far outweigh the drawback of a higher price point. I think both pieces are worthwhile investments.
- SmartWool Women’s 150 Base Layer Tank
- Icebreaker Women’s Cool-Lite Seamless Tank
- SmartWool Women’s 150 Merino Wool Base Layer Long Sleeve
- Icebreaker Women’s 175 Everyday Long Sleeve
- Ibex Women’s 24 Hour Long Sleeve
Stay tuned for our review of the Tracksmith Men’s Harrier Tee, coming soon!
These items were donated for the purpose of review.