As the days begin to warm, it can be difficult to remain cool on a sunbathed range range while wearing the traditional collared shirt or polo. Viktos has developed the Range Trainer Coolmax Polo that affords the wearer an ideal level of breathability and light woven fabric that will still allow one to keep a professionalized appearance.
Released in 2022, the Range Trainer Coolmax Polo uses a proprietary Coolmax fabric (polyester blend) specifically designed for its four-way stretch, moisture-wicking, and passage of heat. The fabric is permeated with Silvadur, which uses silver ions bound to the polyester to reduce unwanted odors.
At the neck, the Range Trainer has a professional collar for a comfortable fit, with hidden snap buttons to ensure a secure closure. A fabric loop provides an anchor point for clip-on microphones, lanyards, sunglasses, or other similar devices.
Both shoulders have added NyCo (a nylon-cotton ripstop blend) reinforcement for added abrasion resistance against rifle slings, gear, or other surfaces.
The left sleeve features a single pen slot that is easily accessible and provides for a place to keep writing aids, pen lights or other similar items.
At the bottom, the hem of the shirt is a split-tail design with a slight extended coverage on the back to mitigate pulling when bent over or stretching.
The Range Trainer Coolmax Polo is available in Greyman (featured), Multicam Black, and Black while comes in sizes between XSmall and 3XL.
Product Evaluation Scores:
- Cost – Average (3/5): At an MSRP of $70, the Range Trainer Coolmax Polo is one of several shirts in the Viktos product line, and one intent on giving a more professionalized appearance for the end-user on range or elsewhere. Made of a variety of lightweight materials, the design of the Range Trainer is to provide added reinforcement to high-abrasion areas, while providing the breathability over typical 100% cotton polos. Alternatives for the Range Trainer Coolmax Polo include 5.11’s Performance Polo ($48.00), the Coldblack Short Sleeve Polo ($55.99) from Vertx, or the Caliber Polo ($75.00) from Triple Aught Design. The market price for range collard shirts is driven by design and (predominantly) material, thus the Range Trainer Coolmax Polo provides a light and effective shirt that gives the wearer comfort and breathability on the range at an appropriate (or average) cost.
- Comfort – Good (4/5): The Range Trainer had a great deal of breathability in the fabric due to its light and open weave pattern. This allowed for easy airflow across the shoulders and upper back that notably assisted in heat mitigation. The difference in comparison to a regular cotton shirt or collared polo was apparent as the Range Trainer’s lightweight polyester material felt more flexible, and offered improved moisture wicking. This made it ideal for wear in the summer when ventilation is key, but less so in obviously winter due to heat loss. The reinforced shoulder panels also added a fair degree of abrasion prevention to the neck and shoulders from rifle slings or other associated gear. Multiple wash cycles did yield in a slight curl of the collar (likely due to tightening of the fabric in the dryer), but nothing that was easily remedied with light ironing.
- Durability – Average (3/5): While the Range Trainer was made from a polyester blend of material that remained light and breathable, it had the same level of durability as other range shirts. The fabric was still susceptible to some stains or other resins common to carbon and other elements (and although color fade from UV exposure was not noted with the Greyman version—it could be something experienced with darker colored versions of the polo). While the polyester would provide some level of durability when worn with other gear, during movement it was observed when the polo was pressed against (female) hook-and-loop, the fabric did snag/pull slightly at the threading. It’s likely that over time and with enough heavy wear/abrasion the Range Trainer will likely need to be replaced, but this is common among most shirts for range use.
- Functionality – Good (4/5): While the Range Trainer was intended as a base layer polo that provided a professional appearance, maintained good breathability, and an appropriate abrasion resistance, the Silvadur material did provide some minor level of day-long odor control provided the shirt was given a typical level of body oil associated to sweat (which in turn is associated to the bacteria that exists naturally). Naturally, when not cleaned, then the Silvadur material was over-whelmed by the standing odor of unwashed clothing. So take the hint, and wash your clothes guys after wearing it. Otherwise the reinforced shoulder panels served as the main useful purpose for the Range Trainer and helped defray the abrasion or a rifle sling well. The concealed snap buttons also helped to maintain a lowered exterior appearance so as not to appear overly-formal, but functional to keep the collar secured for the duration of time on the range. Other design elements like the pen pocket and radio loop were good accents for those needing those aspects. One recommendation would be the length of the polo’s rear material could have been slightly longer than currently to prevent slippage, as over time and with more dynamic movements that necessitated bending at the waist often cause the back of the polo to ride up, (thus necessitating to be tucked back in afterwards). A longer rear length would ensure even at max bend, the polo remains tucked in under the belt line.
- Weight – Average (3/5): At a mere 9.3 ounces (for a reviewed XL), the Range Trainer Coolmax Polo had a similar weight to those of other range or cotton shirts with similar features and materials. The Coolmax fabric and Silvadur treatment afforded the shirt to be very light and breathable, while not making the overall fabric excessively heavy (esp. when wet or when the fabric was burdened with sweat). In contrast, 5.11’s Performance Polo (6.8 ounces), the Coldblack Short Sleeve Polo (8.46 ounces) from Vertx, or the Caliber Polo (7.33 ounces) from Triple Aught Design all illustrate that while the weight varies in mere ounces, the Range Trainer Coolmax Polo was still the heaviest option and appropriate (or average) amid the market with its added reinforcement whereas others did not.
Overall Rating – Above Averge (17/25)
Product Link: https://www.viktos.com/products/range-trainer-polo
I am reviewing this product as a courtesy to the manufacturer and via High Ground Media, LLC, so that I can evaluate it and provide my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give positive reviews. All views are my own, and based off my personal experience with the product.
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