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Patagonia Long-Sleeved Sol Patrol Shirt

photo: Patagonia Long-Sleeved Sol Patrol Shirt hiking shirt

Designed for warm temperatures, the 50+ UPF Sol Patrol shirt is comfortable, quick-drying, and highly sun-protective. Best suited for fishing, hiking/backpacking, and general travel, this relaxed fitting button-up is ideal for many outdoor activities. Current testing shows top quality performance, even though some features seem unnecessary.

Pros

  • Men's and women's models!
  • Cool and comfortable
  • Well thought out features
  • Quick drying
  • 50+ UPF sun protection

Cons

  • White color shows stains
  • Zippered chest pockets may be overkill

It gets muggy here in the mid-Atlantic. Much of the Appalachian range is considered a temperate rainforest. Typical hiking under the canopy here is nearly 100°F and 100% humidity. Loose fitting shirts like the Patagonia Sol Patrol have become my personal favorites for nearly any summertime activities, especially when hiking/backpacking. 

UPF sun protection in apparel has been very important to me, as I try not to use chemical protection on my skin for outdoor activities. Patagonia products have become a mainstay in my preferred clothing for quite some time. Responsible manufacturing, excellent design, and great durability makes Patagonia a quick runner-up to many of the purchases I make when I need a new piece of gear.

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Another hot day in Shenandoah National Park

Patagonia has also made this product Fair Trade Certified with 100% recycled polyester ripstop material. 

Fit & Comfort:

This travel shirt has a very relaxed fit, with additional freedom of movement due to the vented back pleat in the shirt. 

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The majority of testing has occurred when wearing a daypack or multi-day backpack, nullifying this feature. There has to be scientific research behind all of that extra stitching, right?

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Men's size Medium has plenty of room for 5'10", 160lbs. Patagonia's sizing chart appears to be true to size, as I have found with any apparel I've worn by the brand.  

Note: Men's XS-3XL and Women's XS-XL are the currently available size ranges.   

The recycled polyester does not have any stretch, which helps the shirt stay away from the body even when wet from sweat. The high breathability of this shirt helps it to be very quick drying. Air drying this shirt in the breeze, although not timed, takes only a few minutes.

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Layering with this shirt works well; a base layer easily works underneath. Layering on top is also not problematic due to the relaxed fit not being too loose. 

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No problems layering on a cool, wet morning

Additional Features:

The Sol Patrol shirt has several nice features, like the double-layer collar for additional sun protection.

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Standard collar

 

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Collar up

 

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Double-layer collar

The collar stands up relatively well in the back, covering approximately to one's hairline.  

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Side-view of collar fully extended

The corrosion-resistant zippered chest pockets are very large and easy to work with. This adds an additional layer to dry, but stashing something like an energy gel or fishing fly box is perfect. Less material makes a quicker-drying shirt, but you know outdoors-people and their gadgets... 

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Patagonia has included a hidden lens cleaner under one of the front hems. The lens cleaner works great, however even the lower front hem gets dirt and grime easily. One must take great care to not scratch eyewear!

Patagonia boasts a '3.7oz 100% recycled polyester jersey knit with miDori bioSoft for added wicking and softness, and HeiQ Pure odor control' cleaner cloth- still no match to minerals and salts from sweating, and trail dirt.

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Additionally, a loop to hold sunglasses (or a fly-fishing tool dock) is sewn near one of the chest pockets. The loop works well holding sunglasses, but eyewear with wider ear-pieces may not slide in all of the way to the hinge.  

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 Button-tabs and sewn loops are included to help keep sleeves rolled. 

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Construction & Durability:

With this shirt, Patagonia uses 100% recycled polyester Fair Trade Certified materials. Although no insect protection is incorporated in its construction, the white color does seem to help spotting ticks and other "bugs." It appears that the Sol Patrol shirt is built to last for several years. No wear has been noted after several overnight backpacking trips, and approximately six washings on the gentle cycle. As typical with other used Patagonia products, construction is top-tier.  

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Close-up of Patagonia's recycled polyester face fabric

Conditions:

The Patagonia Sol Patrol shirt has been tested regularly in the mid-Atlantic USA area since late May 2022. Temperatures have ranged from the 70°F mark clear into the lower 100’s. This shirt has seen use on summer overnights on the Appalachian Trail, leading daytime outdoor adventure groups for 10- to 13-year-olds, performing trail maintenance, taking multiple day hikes, and daily use around town. Unfortunately, this shirt has seen no fishing whatsoever; I have been known to accompany people fishing, on occasion.  

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Many thanks to the people at Patagonia for the opportunity for the Trailspace Gear Review Corps to test the Long-Sleeved Sol Patrol Shirt!

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Experience

I have personally taken to wearing relaxed-fit fishing style shirts for hiking and backpacking for nearly ten years. UPF sun protection in apparel has been very important to me, as I try not to use chemical protection on my skin for outdoor activities. Patagonia products have become a mainstay in my preferred clothing for quite some time. Responsible manufacturing, excellent design, and great durability makes Patagonia a quick runner-up to many of the purchases I make when I need a new piece of gear.

Source: received for testing via the Trailspace Review Corps (Sample for testing and review provided by Patagonia)

About the Author

Sean Van Cleve spends much of his free time as a backcountry guide in the mid-Atlantic USA. A certified Leave No Trace Trainer and Wilderness First Responder, Sean focuses on outdoor education with friends and clients alike. Whether it is recreational high-pointing, section hiking on the Appalachian Trail, or leading multi-day backcountry trips in West Virginia, practicing outdoor ethics is at the forefront of the experience—preserving the land for future generations. 

Shirt worked excellently for about two years of heavy use as a field biologist. Very comfortable, breathed well, and was a nice compromise between sturdy feel and lightweight.

The right arm eventually disintegrated from getting scratched and cut by branches and briars, as I was swinging machete in dense thickets and fording swamps. I hope to replace the shirt, but it is overpriced at retail price so I will wait until I find a sale.

Overall, best fitting and most functional sun shirt I have come across. The sizing is accurate, and I would recommend buying it to fit comfortably, neither baggy nor snug. I have a 42" chest and the large fits just right.

Also, the pockets are very nice and are large enough to hold a small compass and maybe an energy bar or some other sort of doo-dad.

Fabric: polyester
Price Paid: $50 on sale

This shirt works brilliantly. Always neat and trim, the roll-up sleeves and chest zip pocket are outstanding features. I can carry meds in that pocket, extra glasses without difficulty.

I have several and wear them throughout the summer

Experience

In the bush, on the mountain, travel, compares favourably with Royal Robbins

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: Various

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Specs

Men's
Price MSRP: $89.00
Current Retail: $48.98-$89.00
Historic Range: $37.00-$89.00
Reviewers Paid: $50.00
Weight 210 g / 7.4 oz
Fabric 2.8-oz 100% recycled polyester ripstop with 50+ UPF sun protection / Fabric is certified as bluesign approved / Fair Trade Certified sewn
UPF 50+ UPF
Women's
Price MSRP: $89.00
Current Retail: $89.00
Historic Range: $29.99-$89.00
Weight 167 g / 5.9 oz
Fabric 2.8-oz 100% recycled polyester ripstop with 50+ UPF sun protection / Fabric is certified as bluesign approved / Fair Trade Certified sewn
UPF 50+ UPF
Product Details from Patagonia »

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