Patagonia Speed Waffle Crew Review

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A midweight long sleeve moisture wicking performance shirt with waffle texture to improve airflow and breathability. The Speed Waffle Crew is thick enough to keep you insulated by itself on cold days, but the slim fit makes it easy to use as a baselayer. The shirt includes Polygiene permanent odor control, providing you with multiple uses before needing a wash.

MSRP:  $79

Features:

  • Weight: 240g (8.5 oz)
  • Fabric: 6.3-oz (213-g) 100% polyester waffle knit 4-way stretch
  • Polygiene permanent odor control
  • Slim fit
  • Set-in sleeves with underarm gussets
  • Locker loop to hang dry
  • Tagless neck
  • Stretch nylon/spandex cuffs at sleeves and hemline
  • Four color options

Deep dive:

“Is that really a running shirt?”

3-D woven waffle fabric

3-D woven waffle fabric

Your training partners could be forgiven for their first question upon seeing the Speed Waffle Crew; the intent of this shirt was to design a high performance cold-weather top that is also stylish enough for casual use. On those terms, it’s mission accomplished.

Patagonia’s Speed Waffle Crew uses relatively thick fabric construction to provide solid insulation in cold conditions; in our testing, we comfortably wore it as a solo layer for temps into the high 30s. However, the 100% polyester fabric is woven into a three-dimensional waffle pattern, so the contact points against your skin are minimized, and airflow channels are created to improve breathability.  The fabric wicks moisture well and dries quickly after saturation.

The cut through the torso is relatively slim, making the Speed Waffle easy to wear as a baselayer under a shell when necessary. The polyester fabric has four-way stretch properties to provide full freedom of movement even with the slim fit, and the sleeves are roomy enough to accommodate muscular arms. The sleeve and hem cuffs are also made of stretch fabric, and hold their shape well; the sleeves retain their grip well even when pushed up to the forearms.

One of the coolest features about the Speed Waffle is the use of Polygiene odor control, a fabric treatment that stops the growth of odor-causing bacteria left behind by evaporated sweat. The treatment is only active on the fabric’s surface, so it does not interfere with perspiration or have any negative interaction with the skin. We’ve worn this shirt for multiple back to back runs, only washing it when the fabric gets a bit stiff from salt buildup. It’s an eco-friendly garment that you can wear more and wash less.

Tagless neck line and locker loop

Tagless neck line and locker loop

Nice detail accents on the Waffle Speed Crew include a tagless neck line and a thin locker loop fabric collar for easy hanging. One tradeoff for the tagless neck line is a rather large tag on the interior of the left torso; it irritated us during initial testing and we eventually took a scissors to it. Another suggestion we’d like to see in the future is longer sleeves with thumb holes, because the fabric is cozy enough to curl your fingers inside if you happen to forget your gloves.

Conclusion

Patagonia’s Speed Waffle Crew is a stylish long sleeve performance shirt that rides comfortably, wicks effectively, and prevents getting funky with day to day use. It’s ideal for a standalone layer on cool fall days, or as a thermal baselayer during the winter.

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About Author

Donald is a physical therapist, California native, barefoot aficionado, and father of three with more than 25 years of experience in endurance sports. He was a collegiate rower at UCLA, then dabbled in marathons and Ironman-distance triathlons before falling in love with ultras in the early 2000s. His favorite locations to run include Marin County, CA, and the Sierra Nevada mountains, and he loves exploring America's National Parks. When he's not training for ultramarathons, he enjoys hiking or slacklining with his family in Monterey County, CA.

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