Columbia Featherweight Hike Long Sleeve Shirt
The Featherweight Hike Long Sleeve Shirt is a great…
Source: received for testing via the Trailspace Review Corps (Sample provided by Columbia for testing and review)
The Featherweight Hike Long Sleeve Shirt is a great warm weather performer, providing extra sun protection and bug protection for your arms while remaining cool and dry. With minimal weight and bulk, the thru-hiker can transition from trail to town in style!
- Odor control
- Highly compressible
- Strong seams
- No tab for the sleeves to help them stay rolled up
This Featherweight Hike Long Sleeve Shirt is constructed of 100% antimicrobial treated nylon. It has a UPF rating of 25. The super thin fabric allows this shirt to compact very tightly into a ball the size of a small grapefruit.
The feel of the nylon is very supple and silk like. It is very comfortable on the skin. I tested the size men's large and could layer under it in cooler weather. The fabric has a small amount of stretch, but not enough to be comfortable for thick under-layers. This fabric excels in warm weather, keeping you dry and cool.
The shirt weighs 3.5 ounces including the two spare buttons sewn in the tag. Columbia did a nice job keeping the weight and bulk to a minimum. This is not a T-shirt, but a full featured long sleeve shirt with buttons, a collar, and one zippered left breast pocket the size of my Apple iPhone 4 with an OtterBox case. I would not carry it in that pocket, but it is a good reference to its volume.
For my frame, at 5'9" 200 lbs the Large size fit loosely enough to layer a long sleeve or short sleeve synthetic tee underneath. The fit in the shoulders provided me ample freedom of movement. According to Columbia’s size chart, the sleeves are 35" measured from the center of the neck. The chest is 42-45 inches. The seams are nicely finished throughout.
Columbia markets the Featherweight Hike Long Sleeve Shirt as an excellent choice for backpacking/thru-hiking activities. The offset shoulder seems are sewn along the upper chest, avoiding abrasion from your pack straps. Whenever I am choosing shirts for backpacking I always pay close attention to this area because long-term pressure against a seam can be a nuisance on the trail.
I first wore the shirt on one vigorous hike with a pack on a very cool morning warming up later in the day. On this occasion I had a tee shirt layered underneath and it was sufficient starting out in weather with temps in the upper 40’s. As the day warmed I began to sweat through the shirt (I tend to sweat more than the average person). I found that it wicked and dried quickly.
As a backpacker, when I finish my day, instead of removing my sweaty clothes immediately, if conditions are right, I let my body heat dry my clothes. This shirt dried in 5 minutes. The fabric, while appearing wispy and delicate, is really quite strong. Also the tight weave provides decent wind protection.
Believe it or not the second time I wore this shirt was in the office. I had not washed it after my sweaty hike. My co-workers were at first amused when I asked them if they could detect any odor. They were surprised when I told them about my test and that I had not washed the shirt yet. In fact, there was no discernible odor after being worn three more times. After returning from a trip to Key West, I noticed it had developed a slight odor. I can concur with Columbia’s claims that the shirt can be worn multiple days without developing an odor.
The fabric, while appearing wispy and delicate, is really quite strong. Also the tight weave provides decent wind protection.
This Featherweight Hike Long Sleeve Shirt is a great warm weather performer, providing extra sun protection and bug protection for your arms while remaining cool and dry.
UPDATE: Performance on a hike May 19 through May 22, 2016:
On a recent 4-day, 40-mile hike, we had some heavy rain with temps tending toward cool to warm. On the first day, the shirt got thoroughly soaked during a heavy rain while I sweated under my rain jacket. That night in camp the weather broke for a while and a couple of my trail companions managed to get a nice fire going. I was able to dry this shirt out by the fire. It dried completely in about 10 minutes. I don't believe you can get those results from most synthetic shirts.