Kalenji Kiprun Cardio t-shirt test

A training t-shirt with build in heart rate belt? Feels like a dream come true for all of those that are having problems with classical heart rate straps. Chafes, strap falling down. all of this should be solved here. But are they? Let’s find out.

About the t-shirt

The materials used are: 71.0% Polyester (PES), 20.0% Polyamide (PA), 9.0% Elastane.

So what’s the idea? It’s a standard compression shirt but the difference is that it has a heart rate connector on the chest. On the other side we can see the electrodes. And since it’s a compression shirt they are tightly aligning to the body.

There are 3 variants available:

They are for men only. Similar solution for women is also available but there the heart rate belt is connected with a bra:

However I wasn’t able to test that one:).

The standard Kelenji Kippun Cardio t-shirt costs about £20 in the Kalenji UK Store. In the € countries it’s 25€ – e.g. Belgium. In Poland it’s 99zł. It’s available in Decathlon across the Europe stores. The version without sleeves costs about 5€ less, with long sleeves about 5€ more.

Keeping in mind that standard heart rate strap costs about the same or even more it’s a pretty good deal.

Compatibility

The shirt is compatible with all heart rate monitors that have the connectors layout like Garmin/Polar:

And many others that have the same connector layout as the above. There are many no-names available on E-bay.

For sure it’s not compatible with:

The non compatible heart rate monitor can be used of course underneath the shirt but then what’s the point to buy the Kiprun Cardio shirt?

Tests

I’ve done several runs with the Kiprun Cardio. In my first test routine I compared the results from Kiprun Cardio with the CooSpo H6 heart rate monitor (data were recorded by the Garmin Vivoactive) with the HRM-RUN with Polar heart rate strap (data recorded by Garmin Forerunner 920XT).

Here are some results:

Run 1

The start the HRM-RUN showed some strange heart rate pick. Afterwards it went down

Run 2

Both results almost the same.

Run 3

Run 4

Run 5

In my opinion the Kiprun Cardio totally nailed the above test. The only difference in the first run was probably because the HRM-RUN heart rate strap was dry and the initial result was bad (so even then that’s the bad result for the HRM-RUN strap, not Kiprun). That also proves that the CooSpo H6 is a really good monitor with results comparable to the HRM-RUN.

In my second test routine I compared the Kiprun Cardio with HRM-RUN (recording with 920XT) to Polar H7 (recording with V800) with the standard heart rate strap. Small problem occured here with the export since the Garmin Connect exported the run with the pause time included. Polar Flow without and the graphs after the pauses are not matching. But you can easilly see that most of the time they would match if we skew the Polar grahp to the right over the x axis.

The results:

Run 1

Here also the graphs are matching. Average is the same, max differs by 0,6bpm.

Run 2

Small difference at the beginning. Then the difference is caused by the pauses during the run. Otherwise the graphs are matching almost completely. The max and average are matching.

Run 3

With pause but if we skew the Kiprun to the right it will match the HRM-RUN almost completely. Only at the end there is a small difference. The averages are also almost the same – 0,6 difference. Probably because of the difference at the end.

Run 4

No pause. The results are almost the same.

Run 5

No pause. The results are almost the same.

Summary

Without a doubt the Kiprun Cardio shirt is a really good heart rate belt replacement. I would recommend it to anyone who doesn’t like the classic heart rate belt and don’t like the optical heart rate monitors. It’s accurate, comfortable and cheap. For the price of an average heart rate belt replacement you get the combo of a shirt and hr belt.

Are there any disadvantages? For me only once. Be careful not to throw your heart rate monitor after the training with the shirt to the washing machine! I’ve done it once. Luckily my HRM-RUN survived but I would do that again.

For me it was my first compression t-shirt so on the beginning I didn’t feel comfortable. But I got used to it and really like it. But I wouldn’t run with it during the summer (maybe if I will finally got my 6 pack, then probably yes:)). I used it during autumn and winter together with running jacket. Initially I was afraid it would not work correct during winter but even with temperatures below 0*C it work without any problems.

And just to be clear. I’m not the Kalenji, Decathlon ambassador. I bought the product myself and tested it independently. It just a really good product in my opinion.

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