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Are Under Armour knockoffs any good? (Wal-Mart, Target, etc.)

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I've recently started wearing Under Armour stuff for warm-weather activities, and I really like the wicking/cooling properties it has. It occurs to me that UA stuff might work well as a base layer for skiing.

UA stuff can be a bit pricey, though. Wal-Mart and Target, and perhaps other places, have stuff that looks very similar for a LOT less money (~1/3 the price, I believe).

Does anyone know if the knockoffs work as well as real UA stuff?

(In particular, I'm thinking about their compression and loose fitting shirts, and the compression shorts.)
post #2 of 23
As someone who's spent a ton on UA products, and have long sought a cheaper substitute, I've come to the conclusion that the knock-offs do not come close to the performance of the UA goods. I quit trying to find substitutes.

The good news is that the UA products last forever, and in the case of a flaw the company has fantastic customer service for returns/replacements.
post #3 of 23
I use UA Cold Gear leggings for skiing as well as for bike riding in winter over my bike shorts. I only have one pair, and after 2 years, including bike commuting 17 miles each way all winter (rode about 2-3 days/week), they are still in perfect condition. I wouldn't think that a cheap knock-off would be able to handle that kind of wear and washing.
post #4 of 23
I bought some wicking material T's from Dicks that are great along with some that I ordered (and am still waiting for) from SAC.
post #5 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by skidiver
I've recently started wearing Under Armour stuff for warm-weather activities, and I really like the wicking/cooling properties it has. It occurs to me that UA stuff might work well as a base layer for skiing.
Don't know about the knock-off stuff, but UA IS excellent as a base layer. A UA compression top, ultra thin Mountain Hardware Winstopper shirt and a thin vest or uninsulated shell is all I wear until temps drop into single digits. Great stuff.
post #6 of 23
Find out the composition of the UA line you like and look for a cheaper brand with the same material composition. A lot of the really cheap ones aren't even the same materials and instead use god awful polyester or, even worse, stretch cotton.
post #7 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Takecontrol618
Find out the composition of the UA line you like and look for a cheaper brand with the same material composition. A lot of the really cheap ones aren't even the same materials and instead use god awful polyester or, even worse, stretch cotton.
The problem with this is that the material might be thinner (lower thread count) and wear out or tear easier, and that the seams will not be done as well, and the quality control won't be there, so you have a much better chance of getting defective stuff that was just put together poorly and falls apart.

but like anything else, you get what you pay for, and UA isn't cheap, so you may be better off buying something cheaper that doesn't last as long and replacing it every year.
post #8 of 23
Ski clothing is one thing I don't get. I had been skiing forever with just a tshirt as a base layer but i just got that Hot chilly stuff. I got a long sleeve shirt and the bottoms. Is that considered cheap or lower quality stuff?

It was at least a huge improvement over a shirt during the one time I used it.
post #9 of 23
I love UA cold gear stuff for skiing and winter summiting. Hot chilly's stuff is not bad either. It is actually not all that cheap unless you find it on sale somewheres. But good stuff none the less.
post #10 of 23
Agree with Connor... I wear Hot C's on the bottom almost all the time. It works for me and has for a long time. The wool blend works well when it really gets cold -5/-10 and the micro-lite works for me the rest of the time. Both are very thin and light and wear well. When it isn't cold and windy, I swap out a thin windstopper mountain hardware mock-zip for a super light HC mock-zip (with a compression UA metal underneath). I find the UA cold gear to be uncomfortably hot.

I think you'll like your HC stuff. You have a few choices of fabric weight to match conditions. Now if it will only start snowing!
post #11 of 23
Hot Chilly's has different weights to take care of all temperatures. Don't put on a heavy weight set on a normal ski day, it works too well.
post #12 of 23
I wear the WallMart ones for my workout gear.They work good and are inexpensive.If they wear out its cheap and easy to replace them.They get the job done.
post #13 of 23
i wear hot C's pants and the nike UA rip offs. I love them, its an improvment over the cotton sweat shirt, and i get so hot skiing i often find myself venting, rather than layering up. I was going to get UA's top last season, but the medium was too tight and the large was too loose. Ill try again when i go to Dicks since im bigger this year. Growls and hulks out of his polo at work
post #14 of 23
For skiing, it's worth spending a lot on a good base layer. It last a long time and makes your day so much more comfortable.

For mtbing, I buy the cheap stuff. It gets caked with mud and ripped by branches or worse, the ground.

Between myself and two boys, we go through quite a bit of the cheap stuff. We have been pretty happy with the Burton gear, purchased from Sierra Trading Post.
post #15 of 23
I have been using UA Cold Gear for 3 seasons. I have one pair of leggings and two shirts. I have two different fleece's that I wear depending on how cold it is, then my jacket. It is all you ever need. The stuff is incredible. The person that started the business, Kevin Plank, is a graduate of my alma mater, Maryland. He used to be on the football team and actually came up with the UA idea while still in college, playing on the team. He wanted something so he didn't have to constantly change the cotton base layer under his pads. The Terps football team was the first team to sign a jersey contract with them.

Even though it costs a few more sheckells then the rest, it's well worth it. Nothing close comes close IMO. Look forward to another season in my UA.
post #16 of 23
I'm a long time UA supporter, and have worn their Heat Gear line for skiing, working out, running and all kinds of sports - switching to Cold Gear on really frosty skiing / running days.

However recently I tried out some Nike Pro Vent Tight (compression) sleeveless shirts and found the fabric to be fantastic. Very good wicking properties with excellent construction quality - yet with more of a soft cotton-like feel, not plasticky like UA Heat Gear can sometimes feel. Am looking forward to trying the long-sleeve version as a skiing baselayer. Not saying it's totally supplanted my UA gear (since I have tons of the stuff) but it is definitely worthy of serious consideration, IMO...
post #17 of 23
The compression stuff feels odd at first, but it really moves moisture the best. Loose fitting can allow moisture to collect on the skin and not wick it away until the fabric contacts the skin.
post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Takecontrol618
Find out the composition of the UA line you like and look for a cheaper brand with the same material composition. A lot of the really cheap ones aren't even the same materials and instead use god awful polyester or, even worse, stretch cotton.
Well I haven't worn UA, but I have various different makes (Terramar, Wickers, Montana Mountaineering, & White Alpine) of base layers which work very well and are made primarily of polyester (including what's called Polartec Powerdry), so I find the suggestion that polyester is "god awful" to be an unhelpful exaggeration of whatever shortcomings it has compared to the UA products. I expect that the weave and various ways the fabric is treated make a big difference in the end result (I majored in fiber arts in college), but the fact is that polyester does not hold onto moisture like cotton does, it allows it to evaporate readily. If this were not so, then there wouldn't be so many companies (including Hot Chillys, Mountain Hardware, Lowe Alpine, Terramar etc.) using it. I'm not saying it is the best, but that it is quite functional in allowing evaporation of moisture.
post #19 of 23
I can't believe no one has suggested Capilene (by Patagonia). It is the best base layer out there, bar none. Its pricey, but no worse than UA. But seriously, if you're just looking for a base layer to use a few times a season, just get anything made out of 100% polyester. If the wal-mart knock-offs are made of that, then go for it. I'm sure it will fall apart, but it will do the job. Just don't wear a shred of cotton, that's the important part.
post #20 of 23
Pilazzo, that's because they're not compression-fit, not at least to any significant muscle-supporting standard.

Craft, Hind, Descente, Diadora, Reebok, Nike and more than a few others make compression-fit summer garments. For prices, if not matching UA, in the ballpark.

I read the original question as particularly directed to compression-fit winter cut (without Lycra's clamminess) that will also fit a Target/OldNavy budget.
post #21 of 23
Anyone have winter experience with:

Nike Pro/DriFit Pro
adidas Clima
Warrior VaporTek
Naturexx, other Darlington Fabrics generically labeled warp-knits
Columbia Performance Compression
post #22 of 23

Under Armour is sooo not worth the money and think it is outrageous that they charge the outrageous prices for a "cotton-poly blend!!!!" OOPS...I'm sorry..."cotton is the enemy" right??? wasn't that one of their corny taglines...that they had to remove and deny it's existence of ever using that as a marketing tagline??? yeah, that's right...as a former employee who has seen the "behind the scenes" with the company...it's a joke and these guys are really pulling a fast one with these consumers. when will people realize that if you compare a UA tech tee with any other similar brand shirt - starter, champion, reebok, adidas, nike...look at the material ingredients...it's all the same and it all comes from the same factory in china! they are beyond deceitful and brainwashing the world...a great company if you want to climb up the corporate ladder...sounds terrific right...the only requirement is, is that you have to sleep around!"..I've never seen so much backstabbing at a company before...it's unbelievable they are still in business! Kevin Plank is the biggest liar and jerk of them all. trust me...save a buck or 50 and put your money towards something worthwhile!!!!

post #23 of 23

I have been wearing Nike Dry Fit products for years, excellent wicking properties.  They have a Nike outlet store local to me so the prices are reasonable.  I have tried other brands over the years (never UA though even though my wife owns their whole product line lol)  and have always been disappointed it seems.  For foot wear I love my Smart Wool socks, my feet seem to freeze with anything else.

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