Running tops are often much of a muchness. They’re usually a bit too tight, too loose, not long enough or seriously chafe where you don’t want them to. Usually this isn’t something that becomes apparent until you start running some more serious distances, or just up the weekly mileage so that there’s little time to recover. So I wasn’t going to expect miracles from this lightweight trail running top from The North Face.
The North Face Light Long Sleeve Crew Neck Trail Running Top is a lightweight baselayer specifically designed for summer use. The HyActive™ technology in the fabric offers warmth and moisture transport in warmer conditions, which seems effective as the top never seemed to be soaked in sweat after a workout like some other base layers I use.
The seams are flatlocked and the top is extremely comfortable to run in. The fit is generous without being baggy, and doesn’t have that skin-tight lycra look that many active tops have. Certainly no MAMILs here. Of course, we could leave it at that, but we wanted to give this bit of kit a proper workout. Three runs of 20-24km, as well as a multitude of shorter runs, a few hill walks as well as a serious three day backpack across the Rhinogydd meant that we could see if this top was as comfortable after sweating for a three hour trail run as it was when first put on. Obviously, it was a bit skankier than when first put on, but just did the job expected over that time. There was no chafage, but extra precautions were taken to prevent that as well.
On the hill, it might be insubstantial but was surprisingly windproof. The colour did, unfortunately, absorb heat as expected and it certainly did make me feel overwarm at times. It performed well on the multiday trip as well, where I was able to use it twice without any problems.
The top isn’t cheap at £40 – but that’s comparable to other top-end brands as you’d expect from a premium brand like The North Face and certainly not the most expensive out there. Ultimately it’s down to personal choice whether a cheap £10 top will suffice or you really want to shell out £40 for a top notch bit of kit like this.
What the manufacturer says: The North Face Men’s Light Long Sleeved Crew Neck is a baselayer with HyActive technology, offering warmth and moisture transport in warmer conditions.