Inov-8 Graphic T-Shirt review: feels great, especially for the price

Beautifully cool and comfortable, the Inov-8 Graphic T-Shirt is a hardwearing hiking top for dry days on the trails and at the crag

Inov-8 Graphic T-Shirt
(Image: © Pat Kinsella)

Advnture Verdict

Loose fitting, non-restrictive and supremely comfortable, the Graphic Tee from Inov-8 is an excellent T-shirt for hiking in temperate conditions, for wearing while you’re climbing at the crag on dry days, or using in the gym at any time. Employing a material mix that’s half cotton and half modal, it’s not a garment we would suggest wearing in the mountains or in a damp and cold conditions, but as a hard-wearing top for trekking in good weather, it’s super comfortable.


  • +

    Very cool and comfortable

  • +

    Tough and long lasting

  • +

    Material wicks moisture

  • +

    Reasonably priced


  • -

    No collar to protect your neck from the sun

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    Heavy when wet

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    Poor thermal properties when wet

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    Slow to dry

You can trust Advnture Our expert reviewers spend days testing and comparing gear so you know how it will perform out in the real world. Find out more about how we test and compare products.

Meet the reviewer

best fleece jackets: Artilect Halfmoon Bio Pullover
Pat Kinsella

Pat has hiked all over the world, his adventures taking him to Mont Blanc, the roof of Western Europe; the Norwegian Alps; the highest peaks on Australia; and New Zealand’s Great Walks – among others. He’s an experienced tester of hiking footwear and gives each pair a thorough thrashing before reviewing.

Inov-8 Graphic T-Shirt: first impressions

With the costs of even the most basic outdoor items seemingly rising inexorably at the moment, it’s refreshing to come across a garment like this hiking T-shirt from British brand inov-8, which has a much more reasonable list price.


• List price: $30 (US) / £25 (UK)
• Sizes available: XS / M / L / XL / XXL
• Weight: 146g / 5.1oz
• Materials: Cotton (50%), Modal (50%)
• Colors: Blue / Black Graphite / Green

Best known for producing reliably excellent trail-running shoes and apparel, in recent years inov-8 has widened its offering to include hiking boots and walking shoes, and the brand has also branched out into trekking trousers and tops. 

But does cheap also leave us cheerful? I’ve been testing the Inov-8 Graphic Tee to see how it compares to the best hiking shirts on the market.

Inov-8 Graphic T-Shirt: design and construction

Inov-8 Graphic T-Shirt

The Inov-8 Graphic T-Shirt’s material mix is deliciously cool and comfortable (Image credit: Pat Kinsella)

This is an unfussy and down-to-earth T-shirt, with no collar or neck zip. It’s constructed from a material mix comprised of 50% cotton and 50% modal, with the latter fabric being made from cellulosic fiber sourced from trees, usually beech. It’s often touted as an environmentally friendly fabric because it’s biodegradable (in certain circumstances) and recyclable, but there is some debate about how ecological it really is. (It all comes down to the practices employed by the suppliers of the modal to the brand, for which we don’t have full visibility.)

There is zero debate about the next-to-skin comfort of the material, however, which is undeniably deliciously cool and comfortable. It’s also tough and robust, and will hold its shape well.

Inov-8 Graphic T-Shirt

Don’t get the Inov-8 Graphic T-Shirt wet! It doesn’t into a Gremlin but it does get heavier and takes an age to dry (Image credit: Pat Kinsella)

On the downside, both cotton and modal absorb much more moisture than synthetic fabrics like polyester, so if you get this garment wet it will weigh you down quite a bit, and will also take ages to dry. Furthermore, unlike other natural materials such as Merino wool and bamboo, cotton offers no thermal properties whatsoever when wet, and can actually make you colder.

Used in the right sort of environment, however, this makes an excellent hiking shirt, climbing T-shirt or running top.

Inov-8 Graphic T-Shirt: on the trails

Inov-8 Graphic T-Shirt

It wicks moisture away effectively making it a practical choice for short, dry runs (Image credit: Pat Kinsella)

I’ve been testing this T-shirt while hiking, climbing and running in a wide range of weather conditions and temperatures over the last 12 months, and I ’ve enjoyed using it in all four seasons. Importantly, I’ll caveat that by saying I avoided wearing it in the hills and peaks during the winter, and outdoors in wet and cold conditions generally, because cotton is far from the best material to get caught out in when the elements get grumpy.

In winter I stick to using this T-shirt for trips to the climbing gym and in spring and fall it’s best worn on short walks and trail runs when conditions are definitely dry. But in warmer weather the lovely feel of the material and the relaxed fit of the tee makes it perfect for wearing while out hiking on coastal and countryside trails, or climbing at the crag.

Inov-8 Graphic T-Shirt

A tee that won’t make a huge dent in your bank balance (Image credit: Pat Kinsella)

A relatively basic garment, the Graphic Tee doesn’t claim to revolutionize your outdoor experience, it just feels nice to wear, allows you to move completely freely, wicks moisture away from your body when you break a sweat, protects your torso from the wind and the sun, and looks good with a pair of jeans at the pub when you’re enjoying mid- or post-adventure pints.

Oh, and it won’t empty your wallet either – with many base layers (both short and long-sleeved versions) costing around 100 bucks these days, this modest but highly functional tee is available for a fraction of that.

Pat Kinsella

Author of Caving, Canyoning, Coasteering…, a recently released book about all kinds of outdoor adventures around Britain, Pat has spent 20 years pursuing stories involving boots, bikes, boats, beers and bruises. En route he’s canoed Canada’s Yukon River, climbed Mont Blanc and Kilimanjaro, skied and mountain biked through the Norwegian Alps, run an ultra across the roof of Mauritius, and set short-lived records for trail-running Australia’s highest peaks and New Zealand’s Great Walks. He’s authored walking guides to Devon and Dorset, and once wrote a whole book about Toilets for Lonely Planet. Follow Pat’s escapades on Strava here and Instagram here.