Summer is just getting under way. Futbol matches on TV. Holiday weekend. Shouldn't we be smoking pork via burnouts with our Volvo in the company parking lot*? Not so here at BS HQ. For the past few weeks, we've donned our lab coats and worked into the wee hours in an effort to bring you the best tee-wear possible. Our test are complete and the results are in. We've got some awesome news!
* Actually, we don't recommend doing this. Use a real smoker to cook meat or you might get sick. Also, our C303 can't do burnouts... and we don't have a company parking lot either.
Heavy Duty Tees are here to stay!
We get it, some of you guys are Miata fans, and some of you are muscle car owners. Different strokes for different folks, and the same applies to tees! You've thankfully voiced your wants for a heavier duty short sleeve tee option (Men's only), and we were more than happy to appease the masses!
We will be offering our HD tee as an option for every design hence-forth! Our HD tees will be Hanes Beefy-Ts and share the same exact measurements as the Hanes Beefy-T long sleeve shirts, uh, minus the long sleeve part. The cut is less ‘fitted’ and more traditionally boxy compared to the lightweight tees, but the durability and shape holding through years of washes will be unmatched! Judging by the trial run for the past month, a good 40% of you prefer a HD tee. If that makes you guys 40% more happy and shaves 0.4 of your lap times, we’re all ‘bout it!
Lightweight fitted throw down: Anvil v. Next Level
What about those of you who like a fitted tee? Could we improve on that too? We wondered as well.
Test time! In the constant search of utmost comfort and style both on and off track, we arranged a blipshift fitted tee review of a number of available tee blanks that also met our criteria for quality and value. We phased out most of the blank options via the simple (Pontiac) Aztek rule: If it’s ugly before the wash, it won’t be any better after. With the remaining group, we wore ‘em. Enter the Next Level 3600 and Anvil 980. We didn’t choose the Anvil 980 as our initial offering by accident. It was tested in similar fashion, and we thoroughly enjoyed its fit and finish. However, even the fastest lap time on The Ring will one day be eclipsed. So we devised a series of tests to pit the Next Level 3600 head-to-head with the Anvil 980. Now let's see how this battle went!
No, we haven't built in extra ball-grabbing ability in our shirts like Dennis Rodman, and they're also not being shipped to North Korea. What we're talking about is your fine torsowear's innate ability to "recover" after it's been beat on by your stinky body. Maybe you've got a friendly Kuato in your belly, or it could be that you're always causing a ruckus at the local watering hole and someone ends up grabbing you by your shirt collar at the end of the night. Better yet, you've just got massive pythons on both arms (and license to carry). No matter how it happens, your shirt is gonna get stretched in different directions. Usually a nice wash n' dry will help your good buddy get back into shape but how well it makes a comeback also depends on the shirt.
Here's what we tested...
Quart of oil collar hang test
We hung a quart of the most synthetic oil we could find off the collars of a size L Anvil and Next Level tees.
Test duration: 5 minutes. Zip ties used for test setup: 5. Here are the before and after collar width measurements.
Winner: Next Level**
4 pt zip tie stretch test
Like any proper(torso) vehicle review, a single test isn't going to cut it. We need an all-around star player. So let's see how these tees perform when the whole shirt is put under pressure by stretching them both in all directions. Here is how we ran this test.
Step 1: "Chalk" outline the original shirt with white duct tape
Step 2: Zip tie TUG OF WAR!
Step 3: After a bit of light tugging we did a before and after body outline test.
Both tee blanks exhibited some level of mangledness, but according to our precise measurements, the Next Level deformed less.
Test duration: 10 minutes. Zip ties used for test setup: 22.
Winner: Next Level**
** Tested under controlled conditions by an un-certified t-shirt tester. Your results may vary.
We're not sure why addlightnessability isn't a real word yet, but it should be. We took a trip out to the local highway truck scales to weigh each shirt, but they weren't so keen on the importance of this test. So we settled and put the Anvil and Next Level under the most extremely accurate bench weighting test that we could afford... on our high performance digital postal scale. And yeah, Next Level says the 3600 is a 4.3 oz shirt and Anvil claims the 980 is a 4.5 oz***, but is it really true? Let's see...
Next Level 3600
So what does this mean? Well, let's say you’re in the woods with your buddy and you happen to come across a free-ranging lion. With the lighter weight Next Level, you may have a slightly better chance at making the nearby tree just a step ahead of your good buddy... Sorry ol buddy, we'll make sure to wear all your BS tees in your honor! Now lighter weight doesn't necessarily mean weaker (see Reboundability). And unlike your favorite supercar manufacturer, our superleggera option won't cost you more for less weight.
Winner: Next Level.
*** Weight denotes 1 square yard of fabric the tee shirt is made out of.
So, what are we saying here? Our rigorous testing has told us that we've got an improved lightweight fitted tee option. We've already been printing and shipping these for the past few weeks and as of today, the Next Level 3600 is officially our primary tee blank (Men's lightweight fitted only, availability dependent). And if you happen to be looking for a thicker option for those times when you're planning to nap in a meat locker, HD tees are now choices within our collection.
Which should you pick? Well, that's really a matter of personal preference. In general, we'd say that if you like something more form fitting that shows off all the reps you've been doing, go with the lightweight. Are the only six-packs around you empties on the floor, or you find yourself wrestling bears often? You might enjoy the HD tee more. Then again, who doesn't enjoy a light and airy shirt on a hot day, regardless of your size. No matter what you choose, you can be confident that your torso will be covered in exquisite comfort and style.
What about pricing?
The awesome news is that you're getting the Next Level upgrade without any change in cost. The fitted lightweight shirts are still just 15 bucks (plus a lil more for 2XL and up sizes)! As a new permanent part of our offerings, HD tees will have a pricing update to $17 (more for 2XL and up) starting on July 7. Why? Well, heavy duty means more material. More material means a lil more cost to make and transport. We're not saying that the HDs are better, just different... 2 bucks different.
So there you have it. All your July BS news in one post. That is, until we start getting ready for the 2014 edition of the BS 24...