My buddy Jay lives in Japan, and he’s on the search for an undershirt that will prevent sweat-through.
What an excellent site you have. I live in Japan and here it is absolute hell in the summer.
The heat is not so bad but the humidity is the killer. I purchased Kleinerts and Sutran and will be testing them in a workout to see which one stops sweat more.
Just getting the Sutran was an experience. A massively heavy shirt. I’m interested to see how it holds up to preventing sweat-through.
Thought it was water proof but now realize its water resistant, which is really preferable due to breathability issues.
Keep up the good work.
And here are his initial results.
Kleinerts vs. Sutran
Sorry for the delay, I completed the test of the Kleinerts vs the Sutran.
The testing procedure was as follows:
I wore the test undershirt (Sutran Deep V neck and Kleinerts V neck with underarm pads) tucked in with a light grey t-shirt over it and a zip up fleece sweat top over it all with it zipped up to my neck.
The size of the undershirts was a little larger than skin tight, which meant there was some space between the shirt and the skin. The activity consisted of 2 km jogging on a stationary machine at 10km/h and uphill inclination setting of 2 followed by a 7 minute break and 3km on a X-country ski apparatus which works the arms and legs simultaneously at max resistance followed by another 7 minute break and an additional 1 km run under the same conditions as the first run.
The same conditions and times were maintained each time the test was conducted. I repeated the test 3 times for each shirt as there was inconsistent results with the Kleinerts, which I will get into below.
Both the Sutran and Kleinerts are water resistant shirts, meaning that water can go through if the pressure is high enough. This is probably better than a water proof layer, as if there was such a layer, breathability would be severely limited.
Both shirts have sweat protection all over and also have additional underarm protection, likely because the underarm areas see high friction compared to other areas of the shirt and may risk sweating though as a result.
The Sutran uses a water resistant or water proof layer of fabric while the Kleinerts uses a thick pad to soak up excess sweat. Both do a good job of preventing sweat through in this area.
Comfort on initial wear: I would have to score the Sutran and Kleinerts as equal here.
Kleinerts feels softer and is thinner, as it is a single layer, however, as one reviewer on Amazon put it best, it feels like wearing diapers under your arms due to the pads. And the shirt material is still heavy. However, these pads do keep the sweat from soaking through, although they retain sweat and I imagine would not dry out for half a day.
The Sutran does have a nice cool silky feeling to it. One thing that struck me as soon as I received the Sutran was its weight. Its heavy and thick. It’s a double layer. Water repellency of the outer fabric is higher compared to the Kleinerts, which, although repelling water, still retains some small drops when water is poured on it.
Sweat through prevention
I will give this one to Sutran. There was no sweat through in all 3 tests.
Curiously, Kleinerts had mixed results. The first time I used it, there were a couple of small wet spots in the front and one in the back. This seemed strange so I tried it again. The second time, there were no wet spots in the same place. This time the wet spots appeared in a line around the shoulder area. This may indicate leakage through the shoulder seams, although I cant confirm this. The third time gave similar results.
This was a draw. Both shirts started sticking to the skin after the X-country workout, which was an uncomfortable feeling, especially when going outside after the workout, when the shirts became cold from the wind.
I included this measure because I consider it part of what makes a good undershirt — how easy is it to remove the undershirt when its soaking with sweat.
Here the Kleinerts was better. Although it was still difficult to remove, it was easy compared to the Sutran. Getting the Sutran off was more difficult than the workout itself!
There wasn’t as much stretchiness as the Kleinerts.
Again a draw. Both shirts after use were hung to dry at room temperature in a room with no wind or breeze.
After 2-4 hours the shirts were still very wet. Wearing either of these shirts under another shirt would likely mean feeling wet the whole day.
Both shirts do a good job of preventing sweat-through. Overall, however, the Sutran wins.
Simply due to the fact that no sweat soaked through on any of the tests, which is the main purpose of a sweat resistant undershirt, while the Kleinerts gave inconsistent results and therefore, instilled doubts about whether there would be sweat marks or not.
I did not test more than 1 Kleinerts shirt however, so it is possible I got one that was not treated for water resistance uniformly. A true scientific test would test 3 random shirts each 3 times each. But I don’t have the money for that.
Other Sweat-through resistant undershirts
By the way, some new undershirts went on sale in Japan at Aeon mall recently. These have an underarm pad sewn in, but it looks like really cheap quality (also cheap price at 2 for about $9).
They may do well to prevent some underarm sweating from showing through light sweaters, but the material does not appear to be anything more than a cotton pad so I question its effectiveness. Ill take a closer look later.