Soar UTR Top

Reviewed by Stuart “tighter than a duck’s ass” Leaney

Value for money is not about achieving the lowest price. It is about achieving the optimum combination of cost and quality.

I own 17 running tops, 16 of them were free, the other purchased by my wife for my birthday. My favourite running shorts cost £10, I’ve had my running backpack for 7 years and I only ever buy trainers in the sale.  I don’t like spending money or, more accurately, I don’t like to spend money when I don’t need to, and I absolutely hate feeling like I’ve been ripped off.

When RunUltra asked me to test and review the Soar UTR top I was somewhat excited but also worried that I had nothing to compare it to.  Cheap one sized polyester compared to a tailored multi fabric ultra-top.

Like comparing scrambled eggs to caviar.

The UTR top is Soars venture into Ultra running, specifically trail ultras, and they have certainly put a lot of thought into what us runners want/need; 2 years in the making. This, from their website, sums it up and gives a good insight into what Soar are trying to achieve.

“By utilizing our highly technical, smooth-surfaced French woven fabric on the upper torso and shoulders, compatibility and durability under a trail pack are guaranteed – this is anti-pilling and anti-abrasion, redefined.

Tailored for the trails, hours of movement come with ease thanks to its considered cut; note the minimal seams and taped hems to eliminate chafing, flyweight full-length zip for flexibility across temperatures and exertion levels, and built-in sun protection that’s augmented by the fitted sleeves.

Breathability is maximised through the use of our superlative 3D woven French fabric on the abdomen, back, and sleeves, which is proven to wick moisture, fast, when the heat is on and the trail goes up.”

There is a cool little video from the designer listed below.

Promptly delivered I opened the packaging excited like a kid at Christmas and the first thing I noticed was the full-length zip. What a blooming fantastic idea.

The fit, tailored to hug the body, the upper part has minimal seams to help with reducing friction and abrasion resistant fabric to protect the top. It’s also ridiculously light.

I don’t like the colour but that’s personal preference, but it does look better on. There’s a rather hansom chap modelling it on the website.

So, what’s it like Stu?

In short, it’s rather good.

Scenarios I’ve tested it in:

In the rain, well there’s been plenty of that during the most British of summers. Due to the materials used its not like a standard cotton or polyester top that absorbs rain and becomes heavy and can cause friction, the functionality of the top really doesn’t change.

In the heat, zip it down and let the fresh air cool you, it’s light and doesn’t hold on to sweat.

Long runs, zero chaffing, in fact due to it being so light and well fitted you completely forget you’re wearing it.

Photos courtesy of SOAR

The only negative I have with this top is that when the top is part unzipped the top of the zip seems to rub under my chin; maybe there’s a need for the upper part of the zip to be built into the fabric a bit more.

Pockets; it has one small inner pocket big enough for a key and card, but your phone will need to go elsewhere, fortunately I only buy shorts that have pockets big enough for my phone.

The UTR top does what it says on the tin, it stays in place it doesn’t ride up and wrinkle under your hydration vest.  I’ve tested it with varying weights with big heavy objects bouncing around with differing tightness of pack, and it always stays in place.

Picture this; you’re running up a long hill, the sun is beating down on you, you’re hot, the road seems never ending, unsure where the hill ends you unzip your Soar UTR top showing the world your Heart rate monitor chest strap (you’re wearing a chest strap because the wrist ones are absolutely rubbish) you pretend you’re in the Tour de France on the final steep climb to Ventoux, for this imagery alone the top is worth it.

Or, if unlike me you don’t have the daydreaming mind of an 8 year old, then buy it because it’s one less thing to worry about in a sport where pretty much anything can go wrong. It costs about the same as an entry to a single 100mile race and per mile will be far better value than some (most) running trainers.

SOAR Running Website

About the author: Stuart Leaney is the current course record holder at Centurion Wendover Woods 50 and 100 mile races and a regular winner at Centurion Running events.

Have you tried the Soar UTR? Don’t agree with this review? What’s your opinion? Add your own comment to this review and share your experience and passion for running with others.

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We are a professional review site and our reviewers receive free products for testing from the companies whose products we review. We test each product thoroughly and give high marks to only the very best. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are by the reviewer’s name shown

Designer video

DESIGN: 9/10
FEATURES: 9/10
PERFORMANCE: 9/10
VALUE: 7/10
OUR RATING:
4/5
YOUR RATING:
0.0/5

"Value for money is not about achieving the lowest price. It is about achieving the optimum combination of cost and quality."

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REVIEW Soar UTR Top

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Global - Virtual

Elevation

A virtual race which can be run at any time shown on the dates shown, on any type of terrain in any country.

Suitable for

For runners from beginners to experienced as you choose your own course and challenge based on the guidelines and options set by the virtual race organiser.

Endurance - Multi-activity

Elevation

An ultra distance race including at least two of the following activities such as running, swimming, cycling, kayaking, skiing and climbing. It may also include different climatic conditions (eg ice, snow, humidity, cold water, mud or heat).

Suitable for

Experienced multi-skilled athletes who have trained for the different activities included in this event. Admission to these races may be subject to receipt of a recent medical examination certificate. Check with the race organiser regarding entry requirements and any specialist equipment required such as a wetsuit, skis or a mountain bike.

Brutal

Elevation

Increase of up to 2000 metres with very challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity, heat or at high altitude)

Suitable for

Very experienced long distance ultra runners (min 3 years’ experience) or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races is often subject to receipt of a recent medical examination certificate. Purchase of specialist kit is often recommended for these races.

Expert

Elevation

Increase of up to 2000 metres with some challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity or heat)

Suitable for

Experienced runners who have completed at least 4 ultras in last 12 months, or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races may be subject to receipt of a recent medical examination certificate. Check with the race organiser regarding entry requirements.

Advanced

Elevation

Increase of up to 1500 metres

Suitable for

Runners who have completed several ultra distances or similar events, or are doing long distance running regularly, with elevation shown.

Intermediate

Elevation

Increase of up to 1000 metres

Suitable for

Runners who have completed at least one ultra in last 6 months or are doing long distance running (>26 miles) regularly, with elevation shown.

Beginner

Elevation

Very little change < 500 metres

Suitable for

First ultra event. Runners completing a marathon or doing regular long distance running (>26 miles) in the last 6 months.