Free Fly Bamboo Lightweight Long Sleeve
20 sun protection
Bamboo Breathe 140 (70% viscose from bamboo / 30% polyester)
If you're tired of stiff performance shirts, this…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $30.19 (on sale)
If you're tired of stiff performance shirts, this shirt is a great soft and lightweight option. The bamboo polyester blend feels more like a cotton shirt than other performance tops I've found. It is so comfortable that I also wear this shirt around the house and to bed (in addition to hiking, biking, and backpacking). I don't do that with other performance tops.
- UV protection
- Quick drying
- Moisture wicking
- Layers well
- Gets pilly after medium wear
- Odor resistance falls short
I opted for the men's version rather than the women's because 1) I didn't want an overly fitted top and 2) I didn't want the extended length in the sleeves or the thumbholes (also the men's version was on sale).
Water Resistance/Breathability/Moisture: Not water resistant at all!! But it is very breathable, dries really fast, and wicks moisture. This shirt was designed as a fishing shirt, so it is meant to get wet and dry quickly.
That being said, I decided not to take this shirt on my PCT thru-hike, because of how the shirt felt when soaked with sweat under my backpack. I don't mind the moisture for a few days to a week, but longer than that I worried about chafing. I felt like a stiffer, more synthetic material might hold up better for a multi-month trip.
Warmth/Layering: I've worn this shirt in the desert and as a base layer in the winter. It is an easy lightweight layer that handles hot temperatures (100°F+) and extended sun exposure really well, and moves sweat away from your skin on cold days.
Construction/Durability/Abrasion: Over the past three years I've used these shirts for 4-5 day backpacking trips, cycling, and many, many day hikes.
From a performance perspective they hold up well to heavy use—no stitches or seams have ripped, though there is a loosening in the armpit seams (pictured below).
From an aesthetic perspective they get "pilly" after about 10 wears and washes. This hasn't impacted the performance, but is worth noting if you're particular about fabric. The armpits get discolored with sweat after heavy use.
***I'd like to note that since I purchased these shirts three/four years ago the logo location on the shirt has changed and I do not know if other features have changed. As far as I can tell from the Free Fly website, everything outside of the logo location looks the same!
I've owned two of these shirts for more than three years. They have probably each done about 400 miles.
I've used them on multi-day backpacking trips in New Hampshire, California, and Arizona, as well as on many day hikes and bike rides.