Sweat Challenge: 100% Cotton Undershirt

The undershirt sweat challenge (moisture wicking vs. cotton) continued last night.

Basically, we’re trying to find out if, while wearing an undershirt, sweat will reach an outer layer of clothing faster if you’re wearing a moisture wicking undershirt or non moisture wicking undershirt.

The Test Subject: Alfani

The 100% combed cotton v-neck undershirt from Alfani that I reviewed a few months back.

The Test

Same 10K cardiovascular work out on the elliptical while wearing two layers of shirts. First layer is the Alfani v-neck undershirt, size large. It’s not as big on me as the v-neck from Duluth.

To be sure it wasn’t subjective, I took a quick measurement to compare the two undershirts and sure enough I was right! The Duluth undershirt measured 1″ wider in the torso area (underarm to underarm), about a 1/2″ longer in overall length, the sleeve openings are 5/8″ wider, the neck opening is 2 1/4″ wider, and the v-neck is about 3/4″ deeper than the Alfani.

So, the Alfani undershirt will most certainly ride closer to my body overall since it will have a tighter fit. Second layer, typical oversized t-shirt (same shirt to keep the test consistent).

Initial Results

Again, I pulled off both shirts to take a look. Here’s a picture of the undershirt that I took

the sweat challenge - alfani v-neck undershirt after working out
the sweat challenge – alfani v-neck undershirt after working out

with my camera phone (sorry its a sucky picture). My digital camera broke, so I have to get a new one.

Similar to when I was wearing the partial moisture-wicking undershirt from Duluth, the outer t-shirt was not notably wet with exception to the front collar area, which was considerably soaked through with sweat.

Since the Alfani was a v-neck undershirt, the sweat from my chest easily made its way through to the outer t-shirt and created a rather large sweat ring round the crewneck collar of the t-shirt. I did notice that the sweat ring was about the same size as it was with the Duluth undershirt, which is interesting considering the v-neck on the Duluth undershirt was 3/4″ deeper.

The undershirt itself showed noticeable sweat marks on the outer side of the undershirt around the front of the collar and the entire back side of the shirt. The rest of the undershirt had light sweat stains on the outer side in a few areas. The inner side of the undershirt had a pretty even layer of moisture all around it.

The one area of difference was in the underarm area. There was less moisture around the armpit area of the Alfani undershirt than the Duluth undershirt. Hard to say exactly why, but I noticed that right away.

I didn’t noticeably feel any cooler or warmer than I did when I worked out yesterday. So I can’t honestly say that I felt cooler with a moisture wicking undershirt (which is what all the marketing hype talks about). Although, subjectively, I did feel a little wetter when wearing the cotton undershirt.

Again, it’s hard to say if I felt that way because the Alfani undershirt was tighter fitting or if there was more moisture on the inner side of the undershirt. But, this test isn’t really about feeling wet, it’s about whether or not your outer shirts will get wetter when wearing a moisture wicking undershirt.

In this case, the cotton undershirt seemed to perform slightly better than the blend cotton/coolmax undershirt from Duluth in the underarm/armpit area. Everywhere else, it seemed about the same.

I’ll try another test tonight with another undershirt — the 100% Coolmax undershirt from CoolClothingUSA.

Leave a Comment


Notify me of follow-up comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.