Western Rise Session T-Shirt Review
A new active shirt from one of the brands trying to push fabrics forward. Does it work? And should it be considered in your travel wardrobe?
Introduction To The Western Rise Session T-Shirt
Western Rise isn't new to us - they've been on our radar for a long time. I actually reviewed one of their more recent projects and loved it. You can check that out here: Western Rise Limitless Merino review. Further, I'm working on reviewing a few of their other items, so make sure to check back on the site in the coming weeks (as of Aug 2020). You can put them in the same league as Outlier, though I'd say they aren't as techy in brand-image and are more accessible. They also might be a better value to many.
But back to the lecture at hand (Anyone? Is this thing on?) - The Session t-shirt is part of Western Rise's foray into active wear. I mean, it makes sense right? People are often pretty active when traveling. A lot of people, though they are maybe on vacation, still go out on runs, work out, etc. Or more appropriate, people that kind of travel for a living. In that case, you definitely will be working out while on the move. I think that's who they are targeting here. Those who keep their workouts while on vacation, and those on permanent travel duty.
The shirt promises to take their knowledge of high tech fabrics, with travel friendly designs and purposes, and apply it to a tee that you can multitask with.
This is my review of the Western Rise Session t-shirt. For full disclosure, Western Rise did send me this t-shirt to test and review, but this is not a sponsored article and other than reaching out, they played no part in this review. The opinions are my own.
This page does include affiliate links. When used to make a purchase, we make a small commission which helps keep this site running, but this in no way affects the results of our reviews and is at no cost to you.
Western Rise Session T-Shirt Overview
Western Rise loves its fabrics. They spend lots of time either custom developing them, or finding the best in the business to apply their designs to. They want technical, they want functional, and they want versatile. The Session t-shirt is one of those fabrics - made from what's known as Deltapeak. Dreamed up in Japan - so it must be good right?
It's a 100% polyester fabric that's basically got all the trimmings. Smooth on your skin but sewn in a way to resist snagging. Stretches in all directions. Anti-microbial which means odor resistant. It's also of course moisture wicking and quick drying. I mean come on, has to have that these days.
But the ace hidden up its (short) sleeve is how light this t-shirt is. They use the word "astonishingly" light. And frankly I'm not sure that's strong enough. More on that later. But it's an ultralight fabric that will move with you. Also listed on the site as anti-UV, though I don't know specifically if it has an UPF rating.
Sells for $68.00 on their site and comes in black and ash right now.
Western Rise Session T-Shirt Fit
Getting clothing online is always an adventure. It really is. Especially when you aren't the archetypal body type, which I'm not. I'm 5'6", but with broader shoulders. I'm not chunky, but I'm not a slim fit. I'd like to say I'm an athletic cut but with my best days behind me, lol. That said, I went with a medium and I'm glad I did. Being that in between size, smalls these days can be too tight as they are made for climber body types a lot, and mediums can be much too long. This was a good balance. Western Rise did say this is made a bit slimmer than their normal cuts, as it's meant for active use of course. So let that guide you.
I think the shoulders and the sleeves are perfect for me. Length is solid as well though if I can be picky (I can! I'm writing here!) I'd say I'd like it to be just a BIT shorter. Really, that's my problem not the Session t-shirt's. If I'm making a unicorn however, that's my one thing.
No change after a wash, as this fabric shouldn't really shrink. That said, it's a premium fabric. Wash it as such. Cold wash and air dry will be fine.
The weight of this thing! I mean, double you tee eff. (Did that work? Probably not huh. Woof.). No really, this thing is light. They describe it on their site as "astonishingly light". And as I said, I'm not sure that's strong enough of a word. Just picking it up you can tell, but when you put it on? Holy crap it's like you're not wearing a shirt at all. It's kind of amazing. Since I've been testing this out for this review, I've honestly worn it almost every day for 2 weeks. Yeah you read that right. I work from home these days, what are ya gonna do, right? I mean I washed it, of course, come on I'm not a degenerate! This year in NYC has been a particularly hot and humid summer. And while I wasn't really out running in this thing because I also just don't like running or doing activities in masks (though you should if you're out there) - there were plenty of hot and sweaty days in my apartment, as well as 20-30 minute walks which in that weather, certainly increases the sweat.
It's always been comfortable. Supremely so. I also felt the odor performance was very good, which I'l talk about below.
Beyond that, if you're looking at this from a travel perspective, which I am, the packability is incredible. You could add this to your kit for those active days, and honestly barely notice it in your pack. If you sink wash, it's gonna dry in a couple hours and certainly over night. High marks on that front. And really - I would actually say that for areas like SE Asia, forget active wear. Just wear this while out and around town, why the hell not. I remember being in Myanmar in near 100F heat, in cotton t-shirts. My god if I had this thing I'd be walking on air, I think.
Nothing. I have no complaints. But if you make me say something here, maybe the price. I think it's a fair price - but I'm trying to think in terms of the wider audience. If you're just looking for the cheapest cost possible, that's respectable. And Old Navy will have active shirts and stuff you can pick up cheap. But it won't be this material and they won't be this nice. They won't handle odor as well either so you'll get less wears out of it.
One more thing to note, and this is purely subjective - you might not like the "arrows" cut into the sides. I think it makes it more of a sport shirt, and it's also kind of a hallmark of Western Rise on a few of their shirts. It's cool with me, but it might mean you only view it as a gym shirt.
The Performance of the Western Rise Session T-shirt
How did this shirt perform? Well to be quite honest the North East US summer was really no match for this. I wore it nearly every day for 2 weeks, sometimes from 9am til I went to bed to make sure I really put it through its paces in daily wear. On avg it was taking 4 days to pick up some stink. Now I'm going to be fair here - I wasn't running triathlons in this or replicating the Tour De France in the hills of New York State. So if you're using this as your workout shirt, I think it's completely reasonable to expect less than 4 days. But you'll for sure be able to get multiple wears out of it if you let it air out after use. Which is what I'd do each night, exactly what I'd do if traveling.
In a travel context - that's valuable. Wearing this around town, getting sweaty, you're still going to be able to wear it for 2-3 days. Get a wash in on a longer trip, hey you'll get the same again. A quick refresh in the sink and dry over night, you'd also be good to go for another day. So really, unless you have people to meet and a reason to look sharper (which could very well be), this is going to be a fantastic shirt to come with you, especially for how it performs from a weight perspective.
Would I say it's as good as merino in the smell regard? Probably not, naturally speaking. But I don't think the Session t-shirt is trying to compete with merino. Frankly, I'm not working out in merino shirts and this is just plain more comfortable over all. You'd be smart to combine them in your packing, though.
I will put the ol' Always Wander stink-test caveat here. Like anything, your mileage may very but you should be able to make some directional choices from my results. Your personal chemistry will affect this, as will your choice in deodorant or antiperspirant since that can attach its smell to the shirt. For the record, I've been rolling with by Humankind and love it. The coconut scented one doesn't get too heavy on fabrics. The eucalyptus one does, so do with that what you will. The one with rosemary in it is quite good, too.
The Improvement Requests
Not a lot - maybe shorten the medium up a bit for all us short, athletically built guys out there. I know we're a smaller (get it?) niche, but a boy can dream can't he?
I'd also request something in the blue spectrum. Navy or light, doesn't matter. But for those that want a little color.
Final Thoughts On My Western Rise Session T-Shirt Review
After trying this out and wearing it for two weeks (as well as a couple times on a weekend trip) this shirt really performed for me. It's got good odor prevention by simply the nature of the fabric being antimicrobial (it's not treated with anything as far as I have found). I found it also resists wrinkles a bit, too. As long as you're not throwing it in a ball into your pack. In that case, come on nothing will be wrinkle free.
As a companion shirt for travel, I think this can absolutely hold a place in your bag. If you're an active traveler, or traveling long term, or really if you're just going somewhere wicked hot and humid. This is astoundingly lightweight and not at all translucent. You'll feel like it's barely even there, and because of that the humidity is much easier to bear and much more comfortable. I'm also imagining carrying a camera around all day and moving about for shots, etc. Again, this would be perfect to wear for that.
This is one of those shirts that can replace 2-3 in your bag of non-technical fabric or lesser quality polyester. So for me? That's a success. I really liked this shirt and it's going to be a part of my warm weather travel kit for a long time to come (until something comes along to dethrone it that is!). I'd very much recommend you checking it out for consideration as well.
They sell directly from their website, so hop on over and consider giving these guys your business:
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