2XU Elite Compression LS Top

 

The 2XU Elite Compression long sleeved top is no ordinary bit of kit, it is a compression top that promises better circulation, faster recovery and improved performance – in a world of marginal gains this is a top to be taken seriously.

 

2XU Elite Compression LS Top

 

Time is the one thing we are all short of these days, so anything that helps you train smarter and recover quicker has to be a good thing and if you doubted the claims, a quick look at the teams and federations that use 2XU, speak volumes about its functionality.  The three who are most obviously cycling related are the Australian Institute of Sport, Orica GreenEDGE and Omega Pharma QS, but there are many more besides these.

 

We have put together a buyer guide to compression wear here, including a bit about the science behind the claims and the garments that are available which work to prevent loss of motion in joints, decrease perceived soreness, reduce swelling and promote muscle recovery.

 

In our experience 2XU are the super-premium brand in the compression wear market and we say that because of the quality of the materials they use and the way they place different weights of fabric to maximise the return for the wearer.

 

Let’s start with the basics.  In the Elite Compression long sleeved top in common with other garments in their range, 2XU have incorporated graduated compression on the arms to help circulation.  What that means is they use a circular knit to provide a compression which is greater at the wrist and then gets gradually less as it moves up the arm to help blood move towards the heart and this assists the body in delivering oxygen to the muscles, which in turn helps the wearer to warm up and recover faster – yes, you need one to work out in and another to wear afterwards!

 

In addition to that, 2XU have made it something of a trademark of theirs to use different fabrics in the various panels to optimise the compression and support, but cleverly done in a design that allows for complete freedom of movement.  In the Elite Compression long sleeved top you find the most powerful PWX Weight fabric, which is also the highest denier, used in the arm panels to support the forearm – we reckon the compression delivered has to be experienced to be believed, you really feel the squeeze.  The remainder of the top (which covers biceps, triceps, deltoids, pecs and core body muscles) is made from PWX Flex fabric – also relatively high denier for compression purposes but it is slightly more stretchy to allow the wearer the full range of movement with no restrictions.  We found the combination worked really well for us.

 

Traditionally compression wear has been thought of as an aid to recovery but that would under-sell this top, because worn during exercise it gives support to the muscles which results in less fatigue and potentially greater power output too.  We have enjoyed wearing this top in the gym, lifting some increasingly heavy weights and during the odd run that we have been forced to resort to when the weather is too foul to cycle and we are fascinated by the possibility that targeted compression could also help heighten proprioception – that is our sense of position and movement which is vital to strength, coordination, muscular balance and muscle-reaction times. 

 

Of course, all the fabrics used by 2UX in the Elite Compression top are great at wicking away sweat and they are antibacterial as well, features we have tested to the absolute max with no complaints at all.  In truth we have been seriously impressed by the way this top smells fresh day after day.  As if that is not enough it offers UPF 50+ sun protection too – sadly not something we have been able to test!

 

The quality of the material and the flat lock seams throughout are excellent.  Given how many times we have pulled this top on and off, it is worth noting that there are no signs of wear but then as with so many things in life, you get what you pay for with compression wear. 

 

We have been advised that if you follow the care instructions, this 2XU Elite Compression top will continue to deliver compression benefits for a couple of years or more, which makes the price tag seem pretty reasonable to us.

 

If you want to try compression wear get the best that you can afford and for us, the 2XU Elite range is it.  High quality Italian Lycra is used to give targeted compression and support, to help you perform and then recover better.

 

Sizes: XS to XL

Colours: Black with steel logos

Price: £80.00 (we’ve seen it for £63.75)

Website: 2xu.co.uk Elite Compression LS Top

 

Performance:  9/10

Value: 9/10

 

Tested by Jan Birkmyre

 

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