Under Armour Vs Nike Dri Fit vs Hanes Cool Dri Moisture Wicking Shirts

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Not just for working out, these moisture wicking shirts are great to wear all through the summer because they keep you cool and comfortable by pulling sweat away from your body, letting air pass through and they dry very quickly. There are a number different options to choose from including Under Armour Tech Short Sleeve T-Shirt, Nike Legend Dri-Fit and Hanes NANO-T Cool Dri T-Shirt. In this post I'll compare some of the differences.


As far as keeping you cool and comfortable, I haven't been able to tell a difference between between any of these technical fabrics. They all perform as intended and I've been happy wearing all of them for years and they've held up to multiple hand and machine washings. See my tips on washing moisture wicking shirts.

All the shirts are tagless so there's no scratching on the back of your neck.

The only major difference is in fit and style which I'll cover in detail.

Remember, if you're looking for shirts that don't show sweat get them in black. All other colors I've tried get noticeably darker when they get wet except for black. Since the fabric is very lightweight, white is a little transparent, very transparent once it gets wet. I like the white shirts for lounging around in the heat but not for anything where I'll be getting very sweaty.


Sizes vary slightly between the three different shirts. Below you can see some of the key measurements of Under Armour HeatGear, Nike Legend Dri-Fit and Hanes NANO-T Cool Dri shirts all in size large. 

The photo above shows measurements for length, bottom width, chest width, neck width, neck drop, sleeve opening, sleeve length and sleeve bottom length. 

The Hanes Cool Dri and Nike Legend have traditional sleeves where the Under Armour shirt has ragland sleeves. The seam doesn't run on top of the shoulder but there are two seams in front and behind the shoulder. For the sleeve measurements I estimated where the shoulder is and I also included the sleeve bottom length. The UA shirt has slightly shorter sleeves. 

If you prefer the ragland sleeves Nike also has their Nike Miler Dri-Fit UV Short Sleeve T-Shirt which features a ragland sleeve. The Nike Miler shirt has a more tapered design and the UV fabric shields your torso from the sun's UV rays which makes it a great shirt for running outdoors.

The Hanes Cool Dri winds up feeling longer than the other shirts, even though it's the same length as the Under Armour shirt. Otherwise the fit is very similar to the Nike Dri Fit Legend.

The UA shirt is just a little bit tighter than the others but the neck opening is where you really notice a difference. If you wear glasses, remember to take them off before putting the shirt on or taking it off.


Nike's Dri Fit and Hane's Cool Dri shirts have a bit of  a sheen to them with Hanes having slightly more gloss. If you want a shirt that looks more like a regular cotton shirt all my Under Armour shirts have very little sheen to them.

The Under Armour shirts start to pill after a while. (They look a little more fuzzy.) The Under Armour's moisture whicking fabric has a sort of texture to them that makes it look very much like a cotton/poly blended shirt. Not sure but I think that's what contributes to the piling in the fabric. It makes the shirts look old but still wearable. The Nike and Hanes shirts still look like new.


Under Armour and Nike Dri Fit shirts are a little more expensive going for around $22 or more. The Hanes Cool Dri shirts are a great bargain. I got all of mine for around $7-$8 including free shipping. The seams aren't reinforced like they are on the Dri Fit shirt but one nice thing about the Hanes Cool Dri shirts is that there are no visible logos on the shirt. The UA shirt has the UA logo on the front left chest and some other writing at the back of the neck. The Dri Fit Legend shirt has the Nike Swoosh logo on the left chest and the words Dri-Fit around the bottom hem.

All three shirts are great choices and in the end which one you choose will come down to taste. I use each for cycling, hiking, running and working out in general but I prefer the Nike Legend and Hanes Cool Dri for just wearing as a T-Shirt to stay comfortable when I'm not working out.


  1. Is it seems, or seams ? It seems as though you don't really know.

    1. Ooops, thanks for pointing that out. It seems my typing and proofreading skills are lacking.

    2. Your comment is rude and uncalled for. If you understood what the author was trying to say, why make an obnoxious comment like that?

  2. It's not pile, it's pill. Shirts pill after a while. A pile is a mound of stuff.

  3. Raglan, not ragland.

  4. Wow, someone takes the time to research, review and report and people just want to complain about spelling and grammer? Lame.
    Thanks for your time and helpful info!

  5. Thank you for taking the time to leave your feedbag... err... I mean feedback. :)

  6. every one is a critic thanks for the info

  7. every one is a critic thanks for the info

  8. Thank you, this is very useful. I don´t have a store close to where i live where i could go an see the shirts, so i will order online. This article is a great reference.

  9. Very helpful, exactly what I wanted to know.

  10. Thanks so much - I am dying in the Texas sun and was looking for difference between x temp and cool dry from hanes and found this article. It's helpful to know Hanes is performing as well as the others. Thanks again.

  11. Excellent article! As more and more of us shop online, I find this article extremely helpful when trying to decide what/which to buy whilst not being in-store. Very informative, Thanks.
    Plz continue the good work and pay no mind to the asinine naysayers.



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