Lululemon Run: Swiftly Tech Long Sleeve
Size Tested: 6
Reviewer Info: 5’8”, 125 lbs
Days Tested: 80+
Locations Tested: Taos Ski Valley, Santa Fe, New Mexico; Ketchum, Idaho; Northern New Hampshire and Vermont; Western Massachusetts; Northern California; Colorado; Davos and Flims, Switzerland; Cortina, Murano, Venice, Italy; Selkirk Mountains, Canada. Basically everywhere I have travelled in the last 2 years.
Several years ago, I received a pair of Lululemon running tights for Christmas, and was happy to see that Lululemon lived up to their reputation for producing quality athletic clothing in flattering styles. So I was quite pleased to find the Lululemon Run: Swiftly Tech Long Sleeve under the tree Christmas morning two years ago.
Prior to receiving the Run: Swiftly Tech Long Sleeve, I had mostly been wearing Icebreaker’s Bodyfit 200 Oasis Long Sleeve Crew as my baselayer when skiing, hiking and running. Despite my best efforts, I was growing increasingly frustrated with these shirts, since they seemed to shrink a little bit more with each washing. (And yes, I washed them in cold water, typically with a wool wash detergent, and always hung them up to dry.)
And not only was the fit getting worse (the sleeve length and torso were getting shorter and shorter), it seemed that the shirts were always full of static and were slightly itchy. Granted, after living in dry New Mexico for the last seven years, I should be used to static, but it is still something I would prefer to live without. I hoped the Run: Swiftly Tech Long Sleeve would be a comfortable, high performance baselayer without some of these issues.
Fit / Sizing
Lululemon sizes their clothes differently from most other athletic brands, and has even sizes from 4 through 12. While I typically wear a size Medium for my long sleeve baselayers, I found the size 6 to fit perfectly, which Lululemon’s size chart equates to a size Small.
The fit of the Run: Swiftly Tech Long Sleeve is really great. Lululemon correctly describes the fit of the shirt as body-skimming, and it certainly has a tighter fit. The sleeves are slim, but since the material is stretchy and my arms are on the smaller side, I’ve never had a problem with the shirt feeling too tight. I generally struggle to find long sleeve shirts that are long enough in the arms and torso without looking too boxy. The Run: Swiftly Tech Long Sleeve is the first shirt I’ve owned that doesn’t require constant vigilance to keep the sleeves down and the torso tucked into my ski pants.
Given the Run: Swiftly Tech Long Sleeve’s body-skimming fit, it can be difficult to add layers under the shirt. Although I wear the shirt as my bottom layer 90 percent of the time, in warmer weather, the Run: Swiftly Tech in the short sleeve and racerback styles can fit perfectly underneath.
On a typical ski day, I wear the shirt under an Arc’teryx mid-layer fleece or a Patagonia R1 hoody and Patagonia’s Powder Bowl Jacket. This combination keeps me at the perfect body temperature, whether hiking up Taos Ski Valley’s Kachina Peak, ripping corduroy in Cortina, Italy, or lapping freshies in the Selkirk Mountains.
The Run: Swiftly Tech Long Sleeve has built in thumbholes, and unlike many shirts with this feature, they are actually really comfortable. The longer sleeves extend to my knuckles when using the thumbholes, and when I’m not using them, I just scrunch up the extra lightweight material around my wrists. I find myself using the thumbholes quite often, whether it’s to keep the sleeves down when adding or removing a layer, running without gloves on a cool day, or keeping my wrists warm and draft free while skiing.
Fabric / Performance
While Lululemon designed the Run: Swiftly Tech Long Sleeve for running, it is certainly more versatile than its name implies. The shirt is made from a seamless synthetic fabric that incorporates Lululemon’s trademark Silverescent technology with X-STATIC, which they explain inhibits the growth of odor-causing bacteria. Many companies claim to have odor-inhibiting fabric, but this one seems to actually work well, especially for a synthetic base layer.
Although it was difficult to find a detailed description on Lululemon’s website about the properties of Silverescent fabric, Silverescent materials contain silver yarn that is woven into the underside of the fabric. The silver yarn inhibits odors because the silver ions bind with proteins inside and outside of the bacterial cell membranes, which curbs cell reproduction even under ideal conditions (heat and moisture).
Silver also gives the fabric thermodynamic properties—keeping the wearer cooler in warm temperatures and warmer in cold weather. And unlike some tech clothing where the anti-odor technology can be removed after several washes, the silver yarn is bound permanently to the fabric. Additionally, the silver yarn in the fabric reduces static electricity.
I am able to wear the Run: Swiftly Tech Long Sleeve multiple times between washings without a hint of body odor. Because the shirt is so lightweight (comparable to Icebreaker’s Bodyfit 150), it can be worn throughout the year for a variety of activities.
Last season, I wore this shirt for five consecutive days of cross-country skiing, running, alpine skiing, and long days in the car before washing it, and even then I only washed it because I wasn’t sure when I would have another opportunity to do so.
The shirt also dries very quickly, which is helpful when trying to dry clothes in a humid hotel bathroom.
Around the shirt’s neck, under the arms and chest, and down the spine, the fabric has subtle, but larger diameter pores, which I actually hadn’t even noticed until I started examining the shirt more closely for this review. The mesh-like material in these key areas helps regulate body temperature.
The majority of the Run: Swiftly Tech Long Sleeve is seamless, and where there are seams, they are flat and unnoticeable. As with all of the Lululemon clothes I own, the tags are easily removable, another detail that makes this shirt exceptionally comfortable.
The one downside to the Run: Swiftly Tech Long Sleeve’s fabric is that it is extremely delicate, and as a result, can snag quite easily if you aren’t careful. In general, I tend to be very gentle with my clothes and pay attention to what items I wash with this shirt (no Velcro) and when and where I wear it.
If I am going for a trail run or mountain bike ride where I know there will be potential snags, I will choose a more durable baselayer. I wash the shirt with like colors using regular detergent and hang to dry. After two years of heavy use, I only have one small, unnoticeable snag in the fabric and personally have liked the quality and durability of the Run: Swiftly Tech Long Sleeve enough to purchase two more.
I love the Lululemon Run: Swiftly Tech Long Sleeve and would recommend it to anyone looking for a lightweight, comfortable, and breathable baselayer.
I have worn this shirt as a baselayer when skiing in temperatures down to -10° F, as my outer layer for running or hiking in temperatures up to 70° F, and in pretty much everything in between.
The Run: Swiftly Tech Long Sleeve has been my go-to shirt for running, skiing, hiking and biking, and it is usually the first item packed when preparing for my next adventure.