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Long Sleeve Performance Tops

Top Picks

How we choose: The best long sleeve performance tops highlighted here were selected based on 220 reviews of 93 products. Our top picks are those that are readily-available in the United States and have received the highest overall ratings from reviewers.

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Outdoor Research Echo Hoodie

user rating: 5 of 5 (2 reviews)

Outdoor Research’s Echo Hoodie is an ideal alternative to the grease and chemicals of sunscreen. Weighing in at 4 ounces, the Echo Hoodie provides SPF15 sun protection, with material that wicks sweat and keeps you comfortable when the sun is beating down on you. This hoodie and a ball cap completely negated my need to carry sunscreen (and bug spray) over the summer.

Reasons to Buy

  • Sun protection
  • Wicks sweat
  • Limited odor control
  • Lightweight
  • Thin material
  • Packs small
  • Sufficient length in torso and sleeves
  • Flat stitching

Reasons to Avoid

  • Durability
  • Polyester
  • THIN material
  • Hot in the shade
  • Pocketless

The Echo Hoodie became my go-to shirt for all outdoor activities this summer. I hiked in it—a lot. I ran in it. I rappelled into a cave in it. I mowed my yard and took a follow up nap on my deck in it. I even wore it on a winery tour for style and sun protection.  Balk Knob, Shawnee National Forest Rock Island State Park, Tennessee Cumberland Mountains, eastern Tennessee Initial Impressions Right out of the package, I was surprised by how light and thin the hoodie was. The shirt packed down to the size of a softball in my hand and only weighed 4 ounces.  The fit was just right.

Read more: Outdoor Research Echo Hoodie reviews (2)

Showers Pass Basecamp Merino Hoodie

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1 review)

The Showers Pass Basecamp Merino Hoodie is a terrific outdoor companion to anyone who values high-quality activewear made from natural fibers. The midweight, wool hoodie is great at moderating temperatures and resisting odors, while providing you with an eye-catching, cozy mid-layer. It's also a versatile piece for year-round performance—as a nighttime layer around a summer campfire, as a hiking layer in cool temps, or as part of a system of winter layers.

Reasons to Buy

  • Comfortable
  • Zippered kangaroo pocket
  • True to size
  • Fun color options
  • Shape and coverage
  • Cozy
  • UPF 40 sun protection
  • Resists odor
  • Thermoregulation
  • Hooded

Reasons to Avoid

  • Prone to snagging

Showers Pass Basecamp Merino Hoodie If I could make every garment I own out of wool, I probably would. I love the material for its sustainability, efficiency, and general comfort. And the Showers Pass Basecamp Merino Hoodie is perfectly demonstrative of these points. Available in men's and women's sizes, the hoodie is made from 230 gsm, midweight merino wool, which is an environmentally, biodegradable fiber (although some dyes prevent previously biodegradable fibers from degrading). Plus, it’s one of the coziest garments that I own.

Read more: Showers Pass Basecamp Merino Hoodie review (1)

Outdoor Research Astroman Sun Hoodie

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1 review)

The OR Astroman Sun Hoodie is an extremely lightweight, long sleeve, hooded shirt designed primarily as a sun layer for climbers. However, I believe this shirt has uses far beyond that—biking, exposed peaks, glacial travel, on the water/ paddling, travelling, and as a wind layer. The shirt boasts a UPF rating of 50+, full coverage hood, packs tiny, and weighs in at 6 ounces (no reason to leave it at home!). The thin fabric requires a little extra care around rough rocks, thorns, etc to ensure it lasts.

Reasons to Buy

  • High 50+ UPF rating
  • Fit—boxy enough to encourage air flow and not restrict movement, slim enough to tuck under a harness or blow around in the wind
  • Large, oversized hood
  • Tons of stretch
  • Reduces use of sticky sunscreens/stops to re-apply
  • Versatility
  • Weight—6 oz

Reasons to Avoid

  • Thumb loops poorly executed
  • Price might be too high for some (I personally believe it has enough value to justify it however)
  • Long-term durability may be questionable

 *This review is for the Astroman Sun Hoodie (available in men's and women's), however Outdoor Research also makes an Astroman S/S Sun Shirt and an Astroman L/S Sun Shirt, both in men's and women's.*   As you can see the fit is quite boxy, not much tailoring, great for airflow.  FIT/ COMFORT The fit of the Astroman Sun Hoodie definitely airs (pun intended) on the boxy side. There is plenty of room underneath for air movement to keep the user cool. I've worn the hoodie both directly against the skin (it's uber soft) and with a thin merino tee, with a high level of comfort in both.

Read more: Outdoor Research Astroman Sun Hoodie review (1)

Montane Dart Zip-Neck

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1 review)

The Montane Dart Zip-Neck is a long-sleeved synthetic shirt that is an ideal year-round base layer (a short-sleeved tee is also available). It wicks moisture away from the body very quickly, is exceptionally tailored, and protects the skin with a high UPF factor. If you’re looking to start your cold weather kit from skin out, I’d highly recommend it.

Reasons to Buy

  • Slim fit
  • High UPF rating
  • Deep zip for venting
  • No sweat lines
  • Resists odours

Reasons to Avoid

  • Large label on hip

Long-sleeve Dart Zip Neck on the left, short-sleeve Dart T-Shirt, also reviewed, on the right FIT AND COMFORT The Dart fits exactly as I would design an active base layer to fit. Slim, without being restrictive, and with a little extra length in the hem. I am 6 foot, 170 lbs and the size large fits perfectly. This is one of the main selling points to me, compared to a cheaper competitor's synthetic shirt. There is no extra baggy fabric around the stomach/chest/arms to bunch up and the extra length keeps it tucked in under a waist belt or harness.

Read more: Montane Dart Zip-Neck review (1)

Kora Yardang Jersey

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1 review)

Kora’s Yardang jersey is a warm wool base layer made from a blend of 70% merino and 30% yak wool. The knit is very smooth and comfortable, and the shirt has a fairly long half-zip. Sizing is more forgiving than most base layers. It’s a great layer worn by itself for hiking in cool weather, or as a base or mid-layer in the cold.

Reasons to Buy

  • Exceptional comfort
  • Warm
  • Moisture handling
  • Odor-free

Reasons to Avoid

  • No thumb loops
  • Price

INTRO/BACKGROUND Yardang men's XXL. Dusting of snow, about 28 degrees (was wearing it under another layer) Kora’s Yardang is a wool half-zip shirt made from a 240 gram/square meter fabric that’s 70% merino wool and 30% yak wool. There are men’s and women’s versions, men's sizing S-XXL, women's XS-XL. For perspective, 240 is a fairly heavy knit for a thin wool base layer; 140-150 is light, and I have a merino base layer that is 220 and quite warm. Kora claims that yak wool has some properties that are superior to other kinds of wool because yaks live at very high altitude.

Read more: Kora Yardang Jersey review (1)

Icebreaker Quantum Long Sleeve Zip Hood

user rating: 5 of 5 (1 review)

Smart design, adjusts to changing temps: Hood up for cold mornings, down as the sun rises and activity level increases. Breathable wool is naturally odor-resistant, can be used longer between washings if traveling . Durable, functional, stylish and well-made. Recommended for active/exercise wear, travel, and layering.

Reasons to Buy

  • Technical: lots of specialty features
  • Versatile: combines warmth with light weight
  • Secure pockets: zip closed to keep items safely inside
  • Thumb-slots to keep sleeves in place
  • Note: these features were on the original design: Media device pocket at chest w/opening for cord, Pockets/fabric at wrists can be converted into "mittens" to cover hands for added warmth.

Reasons to Avoid

  • Pricey—but you get what you pay for
  • Slim fit—runs a bit small for layering
  • New style ("Quantum II") has fewer tech features

Found the original design of this jacket at an excellent price several years ago, on sale at a local outdoor specialty retailer. I bought it primarily with travel in mind. I also liked the technical aspects of the jacket that make it functional over a range of conditions and activities. (FYI—the new design—the "Quantum II"—has changed a bit.) It's heavier than what I usually wear at home. IceBreaker considers it a medium weight (260) technical jacket, that can be used under a heavier outer layer for "alpine" activities in cold weather.

Read more: Icebreaker Quantum Long Sleeve Zip Hood review (1)

Simms BugStopper Hoody

user rating: 5 of 5 (1 review)

A comfortable, technical hoody that keeps you cool and blocks biting bugs and the sun.

Reasons to Buy

  • UPF 50 sun protection
  • Treated with Insect Shield bug protection
  • Comfortable hood
  • Thumb loops to keep sleeves in place
  • Great moisture-wicking performance

Reasons to Avoid

  • A bit spendy, but worth it.

I purchased my first Simms Bugstopper Hoody, last spring. Although I bought it specifically for fly fishing, the Bugstopper quickly became my go-to choice for sun and insect protection for all of my outdoor activities. The Bugstopper is a technological marvel of clothing. The polyester fabric is treated with several of the latest in high tech fabric treatments. These include; Insectshield, a process that binds the organic repellant permethrin tightly to the fabric. It is very effective in repelling almost all biting insects and Simms guarantees the treatment to last the lifetime of the garment.

Read more: Simms BugStopper Hoody review (1)

Outdoor Research Baritone Quarter Zip

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1 review)

This shirt is a super soft, warm, stretchy quarter-zip layer that's perfect for wear around the house or in camp on a cool fall day. I wear mine when I'm working remotely or to and from adventures, but for big days in the mountains or on the trail, I reach for something else.

Reasons to Buy

  • Extremely soft feel
  • Stretchy fabric with plenty of give
  • Unobtrusive thumb loops
  • Quarter-zip keeps fit relaxed

Reasons to Avoid

  • Not the most breathable
  • Doesn't wick as well as other layers

This is a good representation of the color...The other photos are a little washed out The Baritone quarter-zip is a heavy-weight baselayer or a lightweight mid-layer designed to be stretchy and soft for ease of movement and comfort. The men's and women's versions of the shirts are refered to as the Baritone and the Melody, respectively, if you're looking for the same product for your wife/girlfriend. OR's website describes it as "perfect for cold weather activities that demand warmth, stretch, movement, and moisture management", and I've found this statement to be generally true aside from the "moisture management" part.

Read more: Outdoor Research Baritone Quarter Zip review (1)

Vargo Bedrock 1/4 Zip

user rating: 4 of 5 (1 review)

A midweight, quarter zip long-sleeve shirt, the Bedrock is a durable option for any cooler time of the year. It’s a tight fit for slimmer bodies, but is fleece lined and breathes well due to side stretch panels and ability to unzip collar. The fleece holds sweat, but the TiFusion (titanium infused) fabric wicks and fights odor really well. I’d recommend for any non-summer (at least non-humid) season for any activity where durability and constant use is a factor.

Reasons to Buy

  • Comfortable, fleece inner layer
  • Breathable and stretchy side panels
  • Option for use of thumb loops
  • Slim fit/active design (both pro/con), but does have longer hem and layers well in cooler temps

Reasons to Avoid

  • Price higher than other midweight fleece/activewear ($80 at time of release)
  • Quite tight (sold as “trim fit”), either size up or wait for relaxed fit version
  • Claimed as 3-season, but is too warm above high 70s

There are a lot of similarities between Vargo’s short-sleeve, lightweight Slag Short-Sleeve (review here) and this quarter zip long-sleeve Bedrock. Like the Slag, the Bedrock is durable on the outside, comfortable on the inside and breathes well from its mesh side panels. The Bedrock is best suited for fall, winter, or spring seasons, though it shouldn’t be worn as the sole insulating layer in winter. Vargo claims this to be a three-season shirt, but I found it too hot to wear for a time other than morning or at night during the summer.

Read more: Vargo Bedrock 1/4 Zip review (1)

Ibex Indie Hoodie

user rating: 4 of 5 (4 reviews)

A lightweight layering piece with a versatile and expansive temperature range...easily one of my favorite pieces of clothing...and a reliable companion on my many adventures.

Reasons to Buy

  • Comfort range
  • Design
  • Construction
  • Quality

Reasons to Avoid

  • Price
  • Dries slowly
  • Itchy

Ibex Hooded Indie In my closet things are basically settled and calm in the base-layer and shell these areas of my closet everyone knows their place...Pax Romana...and I hardly give a second thought to what piece is going with me when the time comes to pack and go. The mid-layer region however is much less is where the action does not take a lot to make the team (I easily have more layering pieces than any other)...but the starting line-up is a competitive free-for-all...a crucible of fire where articles of clothing are laid-waste to and never heard from again.

Read more: Ibex Indie Hoodie reviews (4)

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Short Sleeve Performance Tops

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