Skip to main content

Artilect Sprint Tee review: longer than your average running top

Long, stretchy and warm, the Artilect Sprint Tee is a merino-wool-and-nylon blend T-shirt that’s designed for summer but performs better in cooler weather

Artilect Sprint Tee
(Image: © Artilect)

Our Verdict

A very well made, stretchy, sheep-friendly merino-wool-and-nylon blend t-shirt that’s long in the body and dries quickly. 

For

  • Light
  • Stretchy
  • Long in the body
  • Soft, comfy feel next to skin
  • Reflective tape at side seams
  • Merino wool for natural anti-odor properties
  • Non-mulesed wool (sheep-welfare-friendly)

Against

  • Hotter to run in than a fully synthetic T-shirt
  • Long body length increases heat retention on hot days
  • Half nylon, so did still smell after a run in hot weather
  • Merino wool is more fragile than synthetic yarn

Artilect Sprint Tee: first impressions

The Artilect Sprint Tee is made from a very comfortable half-merino wool / half-nylon blend known as Nuyarn Speed-Lite, combining the natural anti-odor properties of the former with the stretch and quick-drying features of the second. 

Specifications

• RRP: £65 (UK) / $65 (USA)
• Weight (Women’s size M): 83g / 3.5oz
• Colors: Men’s: Red / Yellow / Blue / Black; Women’s: Red / Yellow / Pink / Khaki / Black
• Material: 58% merino wool, 42% Nylon
• Compatibility: Cool weather running all distances all terrains

Available in versions for both men and women, the fit was relaxed and quite generous for a size M women’s we tested It’s not tight-fitting but not loose either, and it’s long in the body for both sexes, so will suit taller people or those who like to tuck their t-shirts into their running leggings for warmth. 

The material is very smooth next to the skin thanks to the superfine 18 micron non-mulesed Australian merino wool, hurrah! (Mulesing is a painful practice for lambs which involves cutting lambs around the tail area to create stretched scar tissue without folds and wrinkles that can otherwise attract blowflies, which cause potentially fatal flystrike. The RSPC considers it unacceptable to breed sheep susceptible to flystrike and urges everyone to use non-mulesed wool.)

The stretch element means you have full freedom of movement whatever you use this T-shirt for, but be careful – merino wool is a more delicate fabric than a fully synthetic weave. On the other hand, it dries very quickly after use or washing too. 

The reflective tape sewn into the flat-locked side seams is a final ingenious touch for use in the dark.

But does all that mean we might be seeing the Artilect Sprint Tee in our best running tops buying guide in the future? Read on to find out…

Artilect Sprint Tee: on the trails

Artilect Sprint Tee

With over 50% merino wool content, the Artilect Sprint Tee feels very comfortable against the skin (Image credit: Claire Maxted)

The first thing you notice when wearing this T-shirt is that it’s very long in the body compared to most others on the market, and definitely every other tee in our possession. 

Although Artilect recommend this tee for summer use we found that the length made it feel quite warm for runs on hotter days. We reckon it would actually work better as a cold weather piece of kit, as it’s great to be able to tuck it into leggings to keep your kidneys warm. Even untucked it partly covers your bum, leaving no gaps for cold air to creep in. 

Artilect say that the Nuyarn Speed-Lite blend of merino wool and nylon dries five times faster… but they don’t finish that sentence off to reveal what it actually dries five times faster than.

Artilect Sprint Tee

Artilect claim the Sprint Tee is a summer tee, but we found it a little too hot to run in on warm days (Image credit: Claire Maxted)

Don’t worry, we did our own highly scientific research; hanging it on the line after washing, it did dry much quicker than cotton T-shirts as is to be expected, but not noticeably quicker than thin synthetic T-shirts that feel dry to the touch pretty much as soon as they come out of the washing machine in some cases. 

The reason we were washing it was because it smelled slightly (though, granted, not as bad as synthetic tees) after only one use on a very hot day. This surprised us, as one of the main reasons we usually like merino wool in garments is because you can wear it all week without washing it. So either we’ve got smellier, it was too hot a day, or the 42% nylon is letting the side down. 

Claire Maxted
Claire Maxted

The co-founder and former editor of Trail Running magazine, Claire now runs the YouTube channel Wild Ginger Running, creating films packed with trail- and ultra-running content. An award-winning journalist, writing for outdoor and adventure sports magazines and websites, her first book The Ultimate Guide to Trail Running 5k to 50k is out in January 2021. Claire also speaks and presents at events and races.