Does UA Charged Cotton T-Shirt Really Dry 5 Times Faster Than Regular Cotton?

While it was fresh in my mind, I decided to give my new Under Armour Charged Cotton t-shirt a test drive to see if it really did dry 5x faster than regular cotton.

Taking one step back though, after I tried on the medium I originally picked up, I found it to be a little too big for what I wanted it for. After all, if I was going to wear it during my work out, why on earth would I want to wear a loose-fitting t-shirt?

The key to absorbing sweat and testing performance fabric is to have all of the fabric of the tee shirt in contact with the body. If it’s loose, then you really can’t determine whether or not it performs well. So, Mrs. Tug and I paid another visit to the store, and I exchanged my black medium with a heather-charcol colored size small. Perfect fit for the gym.

Quick Side Note

Just so it’s clear, the UA Charged Cotton is NOT an undershirt. It’s a definitely a performance tee shirt designed to be worn during athletic activities like working out. Although you might be able to wear it as a base layer under some shirts, the following things keep it from being a really suitable and properly fitting undershirt:

  1. The short sleeves are pretty long – the medium sized tee has a sleeve length of 10″ (small is 9.5″ long).  I like the sleeve length of my undershirts to be around 6.5″ – 7″ long max so they don’t peak out of my short sleeve shirts.
  2. The tee is a little thicker than your average undershirt – thickness adds bulk (sometimes warmth too) and you definitely don’t want to add bulk under your clothes.
  3. There is that wonderful (and very visible) Under Armour logo on the left front – right over your heart. Call me finicky, but undershirts shouldn’t have ANY markings on them. I know the undershirt manufacturers want to show off their fancy logos and brand names, but lets face it – it’s an undershirt and you don’t want logos showing through your outerwear.

The Test

I wore my compression tank from Ardyss as my base layer, then the UA Charged Cotton, then my custom dyed black 100% cotton 5.11 Tactical (size large).  Hit the elliptical on the hill climb program for 45 minutes, worked legs, abs (trying to get rid of my gut/love handles), then another 15 minutes on the treadmill at 4.5 on a 4 incline. Ok, good work-out.

Headed out and leisurely walked about 4 blocks to my car in the pouring rain so I could get the shirts extra wet.  Got home, changed and hung up both shirts and left them to air dry for the remainder of the day.


Rules to wearing undershirts

What you’ll see below is a series of photos I took of both shirts over a 5 hour period post work-out. The first photos are from right after I got home, then 1 hour after, 3 hours after, and finally 5 hours after. If you click on any thumbnail, you’ll be able to see the full image with a description.

The Results

Although it’s a little tough to see, the UA Charged Cotton tee shirt does seem to dry considerably faster than the 100% cotton 5.11 Tactical. Also, the Charged Cotton tee seems to dry a bit more evenly. Lastly, to the touch, the UA Charged Cotton t-shirt felt less wet in the saturated areas – so even though it was wet, it didn’t seem to feel as heavy or soaked as an equally wet 100% cotton undershirt.

The most notable areas that you see the UA Charged tee out-dry the Tactical, are around the collar line and in the underarm area.

Overall, I’m a pretty big fan of this tee shirt. It’s really comfortable, fits great, and performs better than a comparable 95/5 t-shirt.  The big question is would I grab this Charged Cotton tee over other shirts I normally wear to the gym and favor it over others. On that, I’m still undecided.

Click images to enlarge

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How to wear undershirts

2 thoughts on “Does UA Charged Cotton T-Shirt Really Dry 5 Times Faster Than Regular Cotton?”

  1. Thanks for the test results. How is the feel of the cotton? I’m not a fan of the feel of other UA shirts and their stitching. They are itchy to me. Although most of their other shirts are poly-armour.

    • my pleasure gil. that’s what i’m here for!

      the shirt’s cotton feel really nice on the skin. it feels like a light-weight slightly thicker/fluffy cotton. i really like the way the fabric feels on the skin. if it was not evident, “charged cotton” is just a marketing term. technically, under armour is using cotton treated with a product called transdry and blending it with lycra/spandex to give it that stretch.

      here’s a little excerpt from the cotton inc’s transdry product page:

      Fabrics made with TransDRY™ technology have the ability to keep the wearer dry during varying levels of exercise intensity. Fabrics made from chemical synthetic fibers claim to wick moisture, however many fall short of true one-way movement of moisture. Only TransDRY™ technology for cotton goes beyond simple absorption of moisture by moving it away from the body to the outside of the fabric and spreading it over a wider surface area where it can dry faster, keeping the wearer dry and comfortable.


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