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Photo credit: Columbia.com

Columbia Titan Ultra shirts review

31-Aug-17

Last updated: 08-Jan-18

By Fiona Outdoors

Columbia has created a collection of clothing specifically for strenuous and extreme activities, such as training for ultra running. Included in the range is a long-sleeve half-zip shirt and a short-sleeved top. Both come in male and female fit.

Features

The main feature of the tops is a “sweat-activated cooling technology” called “Omni-Freeze ZERO sweat-activated cooling” to keep skin dry and comfortable. Here are the other features:

  • Omni-WICK
  • Antimicrobial treatment
  • Thumb holes
  • Drop tail hem
  • Reflective details
  • Weight: Women’s medium: 97g (54g short sleeve); men’s medium 120g (77g SS)
  • Price: £55
  • Columbia

RUNULTRA_Columbia-Titan-Ultra-Shirt

Photo credit: Fiona Outdoors.

Pros: What’s good about Columbia Titan Ultra shirts

The tops are made of a lovely, lightweight and airy fabric that feels so silky smooth on the skin. I have sensitive skin and I am very picky about what I wear as baselayer but I am immediately smitten with these tops.

I have not been irritated by the seams or the edges of the fabric either.

The fit, at least for the women’s I tried, is also great. The small is not super tight nor is it too baggy. For my UK10 frame they fit really well. The arms are long enough to use the thumb-loops.

I have worn the tops as separates and also as a good combination of layers.

The Omni-Freeze ZERO is interesting. I have not seen this technology before. The tiny blue rings, which are spread throughout the inside of the fabric, are said to react with sweat to lower the temperature of the fabric so you feel cooler.

RUNULTRA_Columbia-Titan-Ultra-Shirt_omni-freeze

Photo credit: Columbia.com.

I have no idea if this does actually happen but the fabric of the shirts does feel amazingly fresh and cool, even when working hard, or after a long run.

After exercise, and when feeling sweaty, the fabric dries out really quickly. I would love to see more tops made of this super light and silky-feel fabric.

Cons: What’s not so good about Columbia Titan Ultra shirts

While the men’s colour choice is lovely, the women’s is a bit boring. I am not a fan of pale green and the grey is a bit dull as well. How about some brighter colours for the ladies, Columbia?

I have a white short-sleeved top and it’s see-through! This is fine if you have a nice sports bra on and a fit physique but if you prefer to have more cover, the white fabric is a bad choice.

Columbia claim to have added an antimicrobial treatment. This may well be true but I am yet to find a polyester fabric that does not get smelly after a run. The same is true of these Titan Ultra tops. The smell is not awful but it’s still there. In my experience, only Merino and yak wool fabrics stay whiff free after several runs.

The reflective detail is small. On the t-shirt it’s at the top of the back, which ends up covered by my ponytail, rendering it useless. More details would be good, or they could be relocated.

RUNULTRA_Columbia-Titan-Ultra-Shirt_thumb-loop

Photo credit: Fiona Outdoors.

Although the arms are long enough for the thumb-loops to fit I find the fabric and seams dig into the skin. I rarely bother with this feature. I think it is difficult to find thumb-loops that are really comfortable.

The price is quite high for a simple running shirt. However, the fabric does feel long-lasting so it could be argued it’s good value for money in the long-run (excuse the pun!).

Score  
Design 9/10
Features 9/10
Performance 9/10
Value 8/10
Total 8.75/10



Other tops you may want to consider:

Inov-8 AT/C Base t-shirt
New Balance (NB) NB Ice t-shirt
Salomon Fast Wing t-shirt
Rab Interval Long Sleeve Tee

About the writer: Fiona is a keen runner, preferring off-road and hilly to flat and road. She lives in Scotland where the weather is fickle so needs to be prepared for all conditions.

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