Review: Gramicci shorts and t-shirts


Live free, love nature, never the norm.

This is what Gramicci, the outdoor apparel brand, says on its website.

What they should say is: We make no-fuss, natural fiber clothes you’ll want to wear all day.

The company started in 1982 with climbing apparel and has branched out to general, everyday outdoor clothes.

Last summer, we tested and loved Gramicci’s hemp Corawood Performance top. This summer they sent another box, and these clothes have found their way so quickly into regular rotation that we forgot to put up a timely review.

So, before summer is too far in the rearview, here it is.


I tested out the Logo Galena shirt and the Freestride shorts.

The Logo Galena long sleeve shirt is from Gramicci’s NPT line of “pesticide/herbicide-free, certified organic and hemp blended endurance knit.”

The 67% organic cotton, 28% hemp and 5% Spandex shirt feels like a favorite T-shirt but maintains its shape better than your old cotton standby. The fit is long and lean, which means I get a shirt that hits my hip bones instead of uncomfortably skimming the waist band of most of my pants. The sleeves are plenty long and have the always-popular-to-me monkey thumb holes. I find myself grabbing this shirt when I want to wear something warm and comfy.

Goodbye Gramicci logo. This came off after two washings.

The scoop neck collar is wide, so it will oddly show anything you wear underneath, and the giant logo is a bit off-putting to the branding-phobic. Luckily, the brand letters on my shirt came nearly off after two washings. Bad news for Gramicci, good news for me. The only other downside is the price is well on the steep side. I’d snag more if they go on sale.

I wouldn’t wear this for running or cross training, but this is a great shirt to wear to yoga, on errands or just around the house.

Get it here; $48

I hate wearing non-running shorts, but Gramicci’s 100% quick dry Nylon Taslan Freestride shorts have won me over. They aren’t the most attractive shorts I own, and not the most flattering, but they sure are the most comfortable.

I took these on a weeklong trip and wore them each day to the beach, on the bike or out hiking.

With a 6″ inseam and diamond gusseting, these shorts give you plenty of coverage and a relaxed fit that make them great for all day, or all week, wear. I loved that the back pockets zipped closed, meaning I wasn’t leaving my keys, phone and money all over the bike path or trail.

These look a little silly, but I was willing to overlook that because they were so comfortable. The Flex Fit drawcord waistband is reminiscent of shorts I used to wear when I was 3, and it seems like Gramicci has gone a bit overboard on the closures. A zipper, a snap and a draw cord are probably one closure too many; I rarely tied the drawcord and probably will just cut it out.

Despite my asthetic gripes, I’ll keep wearing these whenever I need to be out in the woods all day. They’re great for hiking, camping or volunteering at an ultra.

Get them here, on sale; $28.80



Former Marine and fellow ultrarunner Rob Colenso spent the summer wearing the men’s McKay shirt and Highpoint Short. Here’s how they fared:

The Organic McCay Performance Crew shirt, a blend of 44% organic cotton, 53% hemp and 3% Spandex, was a pleasant surprise.

To the touch, the material felt like it might be rough and scratchy, so when I pulled it on for the first time (without having washed it first), I was happy to find that it was a lot softer than I expected. It’s a thicker material than I’d normally wear during a run or a cross-training workout, but it did get a good amount of wear both post-run and while working in the yard.

I found that it held some moisture, but not enough for the shirt to become uncomfortably soggy, despite the close, athletic-cut fit. Plus, the nuclear-waste green color (Gramicci calls it “Oasis Green”) was a definite attention-getter. The retail price is a bit steep when compared with a regular old cotton T-shirt, but the hemp/cotton/Spandex blend is worth the extra dollars if you’re looking for something that’s comfortable and moves with you during light activity.

Get it here; $56

While I loved the fit of the McCay Performance Crew shirt, the Highpoint Short wasn’t quite as dialed in.

With an elastic waist and drawstrings, the fit can be tailored as needed, but be sure to order based on your true waist size — I’m a 30-inch waist and the 31- to 33-inch range of the medium left me with a fair amount of extra material.

Apart from the sizing misfire (entirely my fault), the shorts performed as advertised — the 100% Nylon material dried quickly, but felt softer and more comfortable than all-Nylon shorts often do. I also appreciated the cleaner cut of the Highpoint Short as compared with other Nylon multi-sport shorts, which can often be on the baggy side.

Again, these aren’t shorts built for endurance sports, but they’re great for post-run lounging, cross-training or a day of lazy tubing on a river somewhere. They retail for $38, but you may find them on sale on the Gramicci site or other online stores.

Get ‘em on sale here; $22.80

Sara Davidson is an ultrarunner and our resident women’s gear destroyer. Rob Colenso is a former Marine and an ultramarathoner. His preferred destination for punishing gear is Virginia’s Massanutten Mountains.

Sara Davidson

Sara Davidson is an ultrarunner and contributor to PT365. She's run 7 marathons and 32 ultramarathons -- including her first 100-miler. This fall she is training for the Marine Corps Marathon using our PT365 Run Plan. Reach her at sdavidson@gannett.com .