What It Is: A running-tech tee that’s been treated with Polygiene’s anti-odor technology, to stay remarkably fresh-smelling, even after multiple wearings.
Why We Like It: Runners know that along with summer heat comes stinky tech shirts. We’ve tried a slew of solutions in recent years to combat the stench, but there have always been compromises — merino wool, for example, just can’t wick away moisture like polyester. La Sportiva has found success with Polygiene, a Swedish manufacturer that fuses low concentrations of silver salt to the material during production to prevent bacteria growth; the treatment won’t wash out over the life of the garment. You’ll find Polygiene used in a wide range of outdoor gear by companies such as Patagonia and Arc’teryx, but La Sportiva has experienced such great success using it that the brand is putting the treatment on all of its synthetic running pieces in 2016.
For two weeks, we abused the Kuma 2.0 shirt, to see just how well it performed. We ran in the shirt five times a week, at least an hour long each. We broke the tee in on a dry, dusty trail run in Utah, on which we tumbled on the singletrack, coating it in dirt and blood. Fresh off that trail run, we dumped it in a plastic baggie and stashed it in a suitcase for 24 hours during our trip back east. Amazingly, it didn’t reek when we peeled back the lid of the suitcase. So we kept wearing it, on some of the muggiest, hottest days of summer in the Northeast. Each time, we hung it from a door knob to drip dry. Those same conditions render a generic tech tee too funky to stomach after just one or two runs, at most. But the Kuma 2.0 never faltered — we didn’t have to hold our breath when pulling it over our head, and could wear it around other people without worry of offending them.
Nitpick: Advanced materials don’t come cheap. You’ll pay a premium for a treated shirt like the Kuma 2.0, but we think it’s worth it. In addition to the anti-stink properties, the pricier shirts usually have a more athletic cut than run-of-the-mill running shirts.