Getting that “just right” trail running shirt can often be elusive. Comfort, breathability, wicking properties, antimicrobial capabilities, style and fit are all factors to be considered. As I’ve used the Rab Sonic Ultra Tee for the past few months, it’s been an easy one to depend on.
Rab Sonic Ultra Tee Features:
- Motiv™ Aero single jersey fabric with subtle mesh structure (85gsm) with odor control treatment
- Lightweight fast wicking fabric with bulk yarn technology
- Microactive seams are strong and soft inside for comfort
- Set in sleeves
- Laser cut vent holes in back of the neck and underarm panels
- Seam free outer sleeve edge
- Split hem detailing with reflective bar tack
- 100% polyester
- Centre back length (Size M): 72cm / 28.3inch
- MSRP: $50
Light and comfortable trail running tee
Mountain-worthy gear is all that Rab Equipment makes, so the Sonic Ultra Tee is built for “mountain running.” While yes, we do run on mountains, we’ll just call it trail running. So, the Sonic Ultra Tee is built for the trail, but could certainly be used for regular old running or hiking in warm weather. Unlike many running t-shirts, this one fits a little generously, but I wouldn’t call it baggy. It definitely has more length than is typical and drapes well without ever feeling restrictive. The result is a lightweight, comfortable running shirt that invites you to wear it long after your run has ended.
The knit Motiv Aero fabric has a subtle mesh that feels ultra-soft next to your skin. Aiding that comfort are the unique, miniature Microactive seam stitching throughout. It’s not flat, but instead results in micro-bumps that allow the fabric to stretch and move uninhibited. It’s as close as a shirt can feel to being seamless.
Upon further inspection, the fabric does offer 4-way stretch, but it stretches considerably more laterally across the front/back and width-wise across your biceps. It’s worth noting that this subtle difference in stretch helps maintain proper structure of the garment — particularly when saturated after a long run. Nothing is worse than a shirt that sags when wet and that mechanical stretch (or reduced stretch) works perfectly to support natural body movements throughout any activity without any chafing or discomfort.
Moisture does wick away very confidently and the laser-cut vent holes help aid in that process. After the end of any trail run, I’ve been able to comfortably wear the Sonic Ultra Tee well beyond what I typically do with other running shirts because it dries so fast, remains comfortable and resists body odors. If you’re keen on multiple uses between washes, this shirt performs better than almost any other shirt I’ve tested. I can wear it for several solid days. Yes, it does smell a little, but it’s minimal. As an aside, this was my shirt of choice for daily exercise during a 5-day Caribbean cruise. I never felt the need to wash it throughout the trip.
The hem is cut longer than other shirts and the tail does drop a little further. The added coverage is nice, and the split hem ensures that the already-stretchy fabric never gets in the way of your movements. The minimalist edging on the collar allows it to stretch and return to its proper shape, which is just the right diameter.
I’ve worn the Sonic Ultra alone and underneath a light outer layer, like the Patagonia Airshed Pro Pullover. It plays nicely with layers, so feel free to find something that extends the utility during cool or inclement weather.
Fit: I’m 5’11” and 175 lbs. wearing the size medium.
- Micro seams disappear
- Soft, comfortable fabric
- Breathes well and dries in a jiffy
- Good collar diameter that hasn’t stretched out
- Extra length for coverage
- Excellent odor control for multiple uses
- Doesn’t stick to you when saturated
- I wouldn’t call this “slim fit”
The Bottom Line: Rab Sonic Ultra Tee
There’s little to complain about here, unless you don’t like the colors or can’t find the right size that fits you. Rab’s Motiv Aero fabric is stellar in all the right ways. You’ll enjoy excellent breathability and quick moisture transfer in a comfortable trail running tee.
Buy Now: Available on Amazon