Summer is here, maybe? I’m writing this review from Summit County, Colorado…where we got inches of snow each day in the week leading up to Memorial Day weekend, so I’m not quite convinced summer is here but I am fully prepared to pretend until it shows up! Luckily we have plenty of sunshine even when there is snow on the ground so the tanks mentioned below still got plenty of time out on the trails.
This review is all about tank tops — the first layer we throw on when headed out the door during the sunnier months. As a standard part of a runners’ attire the tank top doesn’t usually come with a lot of bells and whistles. Instead of fancy features we found that tank tops have some very basic “must do” features — fit comfortably with cut/material, stay in place on the move, be long enough to avoid bunching. Some tank tops come with extra features (check out Skirt Sports and Ultimate Direction for hydration options!), but at the end of the day the most important part is the overall fit of the tank.
Below you’ll find details on the three areas we deemed most essential for a go-to tank top for our favorite ten tank tops. There is also a quick reference chart for the basic features and a brief description of a few other tanks we took for a spin out on the trails this spring.
We included measurements for the length of the tank — this was taken from the top of the shoulder strap to the bottom of the tank top while the tank was laying flat. This will be most useful to you when you measure a tank you already have and love, then compare the numbers.
The Skirt Sports Super Girl tank has a bit of everything and does an excellent job hitting the nail on the head with each added feature. The tank is created with a comfort compression material that, wen combined with a fitted cut, offers up support throughout the tank. The Super Girl tank has a built-in shelf bra that fits snuggly without restricting and also has a Cleavage Alley Pocket. But that’s not the only pocket! This tank top also has two pockets on the back designed for hydration or nutrition storage — like the pockets you see on the back of cycling jerseys. The snug fit of the compression material allows you to use these pockets without too much bouncing.
What We Loved: The innovation of the extra pockets, especially the Cleavage Alley Pocket.
- Best For: A runner who wants a bit of everything in a tank, from pockets to bra to second skin fit.
- What We Would Change: A little more length would allow for the back pockets to rest a bit more comfortably on the hips and prevent any exposure between your tank and bottoms.
- Fit + Feel: Measured into a small and the small fits snuggly, which is necessary in a tank that offers a built-in shelf bra and pockets. The tank measures at 22 inches.
The Under Armour Qualifier HexDelta tank top has been designed with an ultralight fabric that moves and breathes with you. Even better…the material also uses an anti-odor technology to keep the fragrance of your adventures at bay. The cut of the tank top is advertised as “next-to-skin” but it fits a bit more relaxed than expected, especially below the chest. Personally, this is a good thing when paired with the high neckline.
What We Loved: The lightweight fit and feel of the tank is refreshing.
- Best For: Someone looking to add a comfy tank with a colorful selection to their collection.
- Fit + Feel: Measured into small and it is a good fit — fitted through the chest and more relaxed beyond. The tank measures at 24.5 inches.
- What We Would Change: The high neckline took a bit of getting used to, in both feel and look.
The TNF Better Than Naked tank top is a lightweight, ultra-breathable top that boosts a flash-dry feature that will help keep you cool without the post-workout chill that comes with a sweaty tank top. The tank top is cut to fit snugly across the chest, which has potential if it fits your chest appropriately. We found the cut to be a bit too aggressive, making the top offer us a chest where we didn’t have one [this may have been fixed with a smaller size]. The tank top straps are thin and cut into a unique racerback design which is a new take on the standard tank.
What We Loved: The bright colors and lightweight fabric.
- Best For: A runner looking for a tank with a unique cut.
- Fit + Feel: Measured into a medium, which is a bit too loose, a sizing down may be a good idea. The tank measures at 25 inches.
- What We Would Change: The cut of the chest just doesn’t hit the mark.
The Icebreaker Cool-Lite Amplify Racerback tank top is made with the Cool-Lite fabric, designed for a faster moisture wick while you’re out in the summer sunshine. The best part of this fabric is its feel — it doesn’t feel technical, it feels soft. The tank also has a “drop tail hem” in the back for a bit more coverage and the material across the back is an eyelet mesh for even more breathability where we need it most. It is a soft, comfortable tank top that hangs with a casual fit, something that will quickly become a go-to in your closet.
What We Loved: The mix of technical ability and comfortable fit.
- Best For: Someone who wants to love their runner tank they’ll layer it with every day outfits.
- Fit + Feel: Measured into a small, it is true to size. The tank measures at 24.5 inches.
- What We Would Change: Not much, maybe a bit more length or a slightly tighter fit across the chest.
The Salomon Agile Tank is the epitome of lightweight and breathable. It is created with the AdvancedSkin ActiveDry technology which means the material feels barely there while you’re wearing it and it is very quick to dry, even on the sweatiest days. The cut of the shirt is quite relaxed, almost getting boxy near the waist with a lot of room for the tank to flow along the trails with you. There is a panel of even lighter, more breathable material across the upper back, exactly where our hydration packs rest and hold in the most sweaty heat.
What We Loved: This tank top is crazy lightweight, you almost feel like you forgot your top when you head outside!
- Best For: A runner who is gearing up for an intense, hot run and needs light breathability.
- Fit + Feel: Measured into a small, which seems true to size although a bit loose all around. The tank measures at 24.5 inches.
- What We Would Change: The cut of the tank is quite loose/relaxed below the chest, meaning it does not layer well with long sleeves for those mornings when you hit the trail before the sun warms it up.
The Title Nine Henerala Racerback tank top is made with brightly colored Matahari material, their version of a fast-wick material infused with the StinkStopper technology. This fabric technology, combined with the flattering cut of the tank top means it can become your go-to for those trail runs that end in town…no one will be any the wiser you were just out adventuring. The tank top has a fitted cut, but doesn’t restrict any movement or ride up while you’re on the move.
What We Loved: The bright colors and the full coverage fabric…plus the StinkStopper is awesome!
- Best For: Someone looking for a top to hit the trails with as well as grab post-run refreshments with.
- Fit + Feel: Measured into a small, but would size down as the small was too loose across the chest. The tank measures at 24 inches.
- What We Would Change: The fit seems a bit too loose for the sizing, making the tank hang a bit boxy.
The Patagonia Slope Runner tank top is a high performance tank top with a seamless design…this means it can’t chafe you even if it wants to! The material is light and stretchy with three strips of breathable material [under each arm, down the back] to give you airflow and temperature control when and where you need it most. The tank fits comfortably without restricting your movement, although it does tend to creep up your hips a bit when on the trails.
What We Loved: It is refreshing to have a tank that feels comfortable while also being wicking and breathable.
- Best For: A runner looking for a tank that has the traditional fit while still offering up technical material.
- Fit + Feel: Measured into a small and it fits, but a medium would be a bit more forgiving [and probably not ride up while running]. The tank measures at 25 inches.
- What We Would Change: A bit more wiggle room in the hips would help keep the tank from riding up while you run [although, sizing up may also help].
The Ultimate Direction Hydro tank is designed with hydration in mind, which makes perfect sense as we all know Ultimate Direction as the creator of a wide variety of hydration vests, handhelds, belts, and more. The tank top puts all of the knowledge they’ve gained on creating a vest that doesn’t bounce, into a top that holds your water [or snacks, we don’t judge!] without moving much at all. The tank is made of an ultralight spandex and a two-way stretch mesh. It actually has two layers. One tight layer that fits throughout, similar to a compression layer and where the hydration pockets are located. The second layer is just across the front and is much looser, giving the tank the look of a flowing, yoga-eske top.
What We Loved: The overall concept of having pockets on the tank is great, plus the looser front layer lets your move freely without having bouncing pouches in the back.
- Best For: A runner who wants room to carry along some water and nutrients without a pack or handheld.
- Fit + Feel: Measured into a small and it fits, but the inner tank is definitely tight — if you’re unsure size up. The tank measures at 24 inches [although the inner tank is only 21 inches].
- What We Would Change: The inner tank top is quite short — possibly to keep it snug above your hips, but does ride high when you’re running.
The Brooks Pick-Up tank is a great tank top that provides the traditional fit of a stand-alone tank top you’ll love taking out onto the trails. It is created with DriLayer fabric which is designed to wick sweat away while you’re on the move. The cut of the tank is feminine, but not forcefully so and when combined with the soft, stretchy material it provides a flattering fit. The tank is great alone on hot days, or as a layer on those days you can’t quite decide how to dress before you hit the trail.
What We Loved: The tried and true fit of this tank top is great, plus it is the longest we reviewed so you can jump, leap, and flail down a rugged trail without exposing your stomach.
- Best For: Someone looking for a great all around tank for any and every day on the trail.
- Fit + Feel: Measured into a small and it is true to size. The tank measures at 26 inches.
- What We Would Change: Honestly, nothing. This is an amazing tank top for the basic needs of any runner.
The Arc’teryx Tolu tank is designed with summer trail running in mind, which you can immediately tell by how light and airy the tank feels. The tank is made with a stretch jersey that feels lightweight and wicks away any moisture. The cut of the top provides a higher neckline with a cutout in the back for a new take on a go-to running top. It is worth noting that the chest of the tank top is quite defined — even in a true-to-size top where everything else fits, the bust may be too defined to feel comfortable for women with smaller chests [especially in sports bras!].
What We Loved: The lightweight, almost airy, feel of the material and the bright colors.
- Best For: A runner who’s headed out to run in the heat and wants a go-to layer, with the added perk of a cut designed for bustier women.
- Fit + Feel: Measured into a small and it was true to size, although the bust cut was too defined for my chest [wear small to medium in basic sports bras]. The tank measures at 25 inches.
- What We Would Change: The defined bust of the tank, although that may be a much loved part of the top for some women!
Also check out these…More Tanks! 🙂
rabbit freedom tank — This rabbit tank top is the epitome of breathable as it is created with a soft, perforated fabric that has you feeling the breeze as soon as you start moving. The higher neckline and wider straps give it a muscle tank look, making you feel ready to take on any trail!
Saucony Gait Tank — This Saucony tank is designed to have a relaxed fit and a longer waist which makes it great top to go with tights or compression shorts when you want a little extra coverage. The lightweight, breathable material also has an anti-microbial treatment so you can easily take this tank from trail to town.
Falke Top Cool Tank — This Falke tank fits snug to the body with a stretchy material designed to have a cooling effect while it wicks away sweat. It is a bit shorter in the waist, but the v-neck and dual straps offer a new look and feel for a tank top designed to be out on the trails.
|Tank Top||Length* [size]||Overall Fit||Extra Perks|
|Skirt Sports Super Girl||22” [S]||Fitted||Built-in shelf bra + pockets for hydration|
|Under Armour Qualifier HexDelta||24.5” [S]||Athletic||High neckline|
|The North Face Better Than Naked||25” [S]||Relaxed||Thin, racerback straps|
|Icebreaker Cool-Lite Amplify Racerback||24.5” [S]||Relaxed||Soft jersey feel|
|Salomon Agile Tank||24.5” [S]||Athletic||Extremely lightweight|
|Title Nine Henerala Racerback||25” [S]||Relaxed||Cut for the trails and the town|
|Patagonia Slope Runner Tank||25” [S]||Fitted||Stretchy, forgiving material|
|Ultimate Direction Hydro Tank||24” outer, 21” inner [S]||Fitted, with a relaxed layer on top||Pockets for hydration, comes with bottles|
|Brooks Pick-Up Tank||26” [S]||Relaxed||Traditional fit|
|Arc’teryx Tolu Tank||25” [S]||Relaxed||High neckline|
|rabbit freedom tank||24” [S]||Relaxed||High neckline, very breathable|
|Saucony Gait Tank||28” [M]||Relaxed||Long waist, v-neck|
|Falke Top Cool||23” [S]||Fitted||Lightweight, v-neck|
*The length is measured from the top of the sleeve to the bottom of the top, most useful to you if you measure your current go-to tank and compare the numbers.