ExOfficio Sol Cool Crew Long Sleeve Shirt
A great summer base-layer. So, it's another ExOfficio…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $35
A great summer base-layer.
- High UPF
So, it's another ExOfficio review for me...and as usual I think ExOfficio has another great product...but the shirt is not perfect...as I would like to see at least one additional change.
First, the shirt does what it says .I use clothing instead of sunblock when concerned about sun-exposure (though I always carry a little sunblock on me). Like my bug-protection I have found that clothing is superior to chemicals as it is more reliable...renewable...less smelly...and ultimately lighter.
What ExOfficio has done is combine an excellent baselayer with the added benefit of sun-protection...so for summer outings where sun-exposure is a serious concern (mostly on rivers and lakes for me)...this shirt is a great piece of gear.
I wear this shirt everyday while I'm on the river and the shirt looks almost new (a little pin-hole from a fire in one of the sleeves). The shirt wicks well and dries fast...it also has a lot of stretch (despite the tight knit of the fabric) making it comfortable to wear all day while paddling (I have never found this shirt uncomfortable wearing it 12 hours or more a day for up to 10 days at a time).
The shoulders are moved forward...so theoretically I could wear this shirt comfortably backpacking...but thus far have never elected to because sun-exposure has either not been a concern or other articles of clothing have already provided the necessary protection.
Before I raise I complaint...I want to be absolutely clear...I love this shirt...but like all of ExOfficio's gear I had to wait to catch it on special through Amazon. Not that I care about what color shirt I get...but it is tiresome to always play the waiting game on Amazon to get some terrible color than nobody else wants just so I can save $20-30 (I would seriously wear any color shirt to save that much money). I wish they'd sell the yellow and pink shirts (for men) at discount on their website up-front...that way I could just buy the thing already.
Also...and here is my real criticism...what makes this shirt amazing is that it provides high UPF protection and is at the same time very comfortable...yet the collar on the short is a regular crew? I understand that thinking out of the box is not always easy...but a mid or full collar (like that on a lot of swimwear) would make this shirt amazing.
So again...I really like this shirt, but I would like to see ExOfficio add a little more collar and lower their price. Interestingly, they have added a hoody version of the shirt, but that seems like a little overkill for me...and not exactly ideal for swimming...but it does seem like a great backpacking baselayer!
I'm generally a huge fan of ExOfficio clothing, but…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: Don't remember, I'm sure it was on sale!
I'm generally a huge fan of ExOfficio clothing, but maybe not this time. Perhaps I'm expecting too much, a shirt that can actually keep me cooler in East Texas summer heat, but that is what the mfg description claims. But under most summer conditions here, it ain't happenin'.
- Sun protection
- Looks good
Imagine my excitement when I read about this magic shirt that claims to not only protect the wearer from the sun's rays, but can actually keep you cooler in summer heat than std summer wear.
I spend a fair amount of time outdoors all year long, and have been making a real effort to stick with long sleeves and UPF rated clothing to protect my skin during our blazing Texas summers. So far I've worn this shirt probably a half dozen time in temps ranging from mid 70s to low 90s, and under most summer conditions I actually think it is warmer than other, similar shirts I use.
The Xytol that is blended into the fabric is effective if there is a breeze. If you're sweating (I believe moisture is what activates the Xytol) and you have even a slight bit of wind, the shirt will feel a bit cooler. But much of our summer is simply hot and still and in those conditions I've regretted wearing this shirt. Perhaps for the lake, in the mountains, or for any activity where you'll be pretty confident of a slight breeze, this would be the perfect summer long sleeve T-shirt.
I should also mention the fit a comfort of the shirt are just fine, ExOfficio clothing is usually quite well made and I like their style.
I am interested in trying the shirt out in our warmish fall and early spring weather, and I imagine it will be a fine base layer for cooler weather, so it isn't a total loss at all. Just not what I was hoping or allowed myself to believe.