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Nathan Rise Short Sleeve Review

Designed for performance, but many of the features miss the mark resulting in a heavy shirt with overbuilt seams
Nathan Rise Short Sleeve
Photo: Nathan
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Price:  $49 List
Pros:  Soft to the touch, breathable
Cons:  Heavy, overbuilt, slow drying speed
Manufacturer:   Nathan
By Jeff Colt ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jun 28, 2021
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52
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#12 of 12
  • Comfort - 30% 5
  • Breathability - 30% 7
  • Drying Speed - 20% 3
  • Features & Versatility - 20% 5

Our Verdict

For their first apparel launch, Nathan tried to deliver on several different fronts. A long mesh panel on the back of the Rise provides a chimney effect of ventilation, but the seams that connect the mesh to the body of the shirt cause friction. While the fabric is soft, it is also quite heavy and retains moisture, making it hard to keep cool on hot days. We wanted to love this shirt as the fit is great and the fabric is soft, but it dried very slowly and the seams were abrasive.

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Pros Soft to the touch, breathableHighly breathable, comfortable, lightweight, quick dryingComfortable, fast-drying, breathableIncredibly soft, great fit, very comfortable, UPF ratingDurable, versatile, comfortable
Cons Heavy, overbuilt, slow drying speedTaped seams on shoulders less durable than sewn seamsUnnecessary flap of fabric across the backSlow drying speed, no reflective accentsHeavy, slow to dry
Bottom Line Designed for performance, but many of the features miss the mark resulting in a heavy shirt with overbuilt seamsExceedingly comfortable and fast drying are the two top attributes for the best running shirt you can buyThis shirt outperforms many of the best in terms of comfort and breathability without being cost-prohibitiveThe most comfortable shirt we've worn and it has specific features for runningA do-it-all adventure shirt that is casual when you're relaxing but can ramp up the octane when you're on the move
Rating Categories Nathan Rise Short S... Patagonia Airchaser Under Armour UA Str... Vuori Strato Tech REI Co-op Active Pu...
Comfort (30%)
5.0
8.0
8.0
10.0
8.0
Breathability (30%)
7.0
9.0
9.0
6.0
6.0
Drying Speed (20%)
3.0
10.0
8.0
4.0
5.0
Features & Versatility (20%)
5.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
8.0
Specs Nathan Rise Short S... Patagonia Airchaser Under Armour UA Str... Vuori Strato Tech REI Co-op Active Pu...
Weight (size medium) 5.5 oz 2.6 oz 4.4 oz 4.3 oz 4.9 oz
Material 89% polyester, 11% elastane Recycled polyester 93% polyester, 7% elastarell 96% polyester, 4% elastane Polyester
Reflective Areas? Yes - 3 Yes - 2 Yes - 3 No Yes - 1
Seam Type Flatlock Flatlock and Taped Flatlock Flatlock and Overlock Flatlock
UPF? Not Stated Not Stated Not Stated 30+ Not Stated
Odor Control? No Yes - HeiQ Fresh durable odor control Yes - Active biocide zinc microbes Yes - undeclared No

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Nathan Rise did not perform at the same level as the majority of those we tested. Thick abrasive seams across the shoulders made for an uneasy ride, amplified by other layers or a hydration pack. Reflective accents on the sleeve brushed roughly on our arms and the vertical panel of ventilation felt overbuilt, with more seams rubbing right over the top of the shoulder blades.

Performance Comparison


On easy morning runs, the soft dense fabric provided welcome warmth...
On easy morning runs, the soft dense fabric provided welcome warmth, but we could feel the seams with every arm swing.
Photo: Jeff colt

Comfort


The Rise is built of two types of fabric: an 89% polyester 11% elastane square gridded weave that is soft against the skin but quite dense, and an 80% polyester 20% Tencel fabric used in the back panel that promotes airflow. We don't have any qualms with the ventilation panel, but the integration is anything but seamless.

Tight overlock seams manage to stand out on the inside of the shirt and add tightness to certain areas, putting unwanted pressure beneath the seams. This notably impacted the comfort score of this shirt, as the fit itself is actually quite good. On one run during a 100% humidity day in New England, we tried to go for minutes without our attention returning to the seams, but as the Rise grew saturated with moisture, the seams were even more noticeable.

The poly-stretch fabric used throughout the body of the shirt is...
The poly-stretch fabric used throughout the body of the shirt is soft, but also heavy and dense. Additionally, overlock seams are noticeable and uncomfortable throughout the shirt.
Photo: Jeff Colt

Breathability


Nathan implemented a ventilation panel the full length of the Rise shirt, designed to dump heat where it builds up the most. This ventilation chimney works, but the seams that connect it to the body of the shirt are thick and bothersome. We noticed these seams every time we wore the shirt and the more intense the run, the more aggravating the seams.

Showcasing the ventilation chimney, which does promote...
Showcasing the ventilation chimney, which does promote breathability. Also shown are the highly abrasive stitching and seams that incorporate that panel.
Photo: Jeff Colt

As the ventilation system worked fairly well, the Rise scored decently for this metric, however, the stitching and points of discomfort detracted from the score elsewhere. Additionally, the square gridded weave used throughout the rest of the shirt has a heavier, denser feel to it, so despite letting air through, it feels hot.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Drying Speed


No shirt held as much water as the Rise and no shirt took as long to completely dry out. Once this material gets saturated, the weight of the water adds to an already very heavy 5.5-ounce shirt, giving it a wet cotton sweatshirt feel compared to some featherweight shirts we tested.

At 256g when saturated wet, it held far more water than any other...
At 256g when saturated wet, it held far more water than any other shirt - not surprising that it took longer to dry, both in the lab and out on the trails.
Photo: Jeff Colt

This held true out on the trails, and the warm thick weave of the polyester blend made sweating through this shirt a common occurrence, even with the ventilation chimney on the back. Along New Hampshire's gravel roads on that high humidity day, the Rise grew so heavy with moisture that it stretched, bounced, and shifted with every stride like a flamenco dress.

Features & Versatility


Some features we expect in higher quality running shirts, including a soft sweatband integrated into the collar and a printed tag to limit any scratching irritation — the Rise meets these expectations.

A soft sweatband and tag-less collar add elements of comfort. But at...
A soft sweatband and tag-less collar add elements of comfort. But at 5.5 ounces, this is the heaviest shirt we tested.
Photo: Jeff Colt

Other attempts that Nathan made were not as well-received, including the reflective accents on the sleeves, which were coarse and irritating with almost every arm swing. The warmer weave of the fabric was a welcome comfort on cooler mornings, but we didn't enjoy wearing the Rise as a baselayer as a result of the seams.

We are not sure what these triangles are for, but what they do is...
We are not sure what these triangles are for, but what they do is rub against the biceps with every arm swing.
Photo: Jeff Colt

Value


For a shirt designed with running in mind, the Nathan Rise misses the mark on a number of fronts. Certain elements like the soft fabric and ventilation chimney are appreciated, but the associated additions in weight make it less suitable for running. In our testing group, this shirt is at the more expensive end of the spectrum and for what you get, we don't see the value.

Conclusion


We are big fans of the Nathan hydration solutions and have confidence that the brand will hit a stride with apparel soon enough. Unfortunately, for this first go, the Rise running shirt is not one we would recommend. From the weight to the feel of the seams to other points of discomfort, we forced ourselves to get out and run in it, again and again, to be sure of our assessment. Sure enough, this shirt does not perform to the same level as the other shirts we tested, even those that are a margin of the cost.

Not our favorite shirt, but one that has a ton of potential for...
Not our favorite shirt, but one that has a ton of potential for future iterations.
Photo: Jeff Colt

Jeff Colt

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