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REI Sahara Shirt

rated 3.5 of 5 stars
photo: REI Sahara Shirt hiking shirt

This shirt makes great travel gear. It is lightweight, washable, packable, light. The fabric breathes well. Alas, the fabric is not very durable.


  • Good travel shirt
  • Dresses up or down well
  • Washes well
  • Lightweight


  • Fabric pills
  • Fabric not durable.

I bought this shirt for a school/mission trip to Hawaii. While I have other travel shirts, this one can dress up or down and not look like a travel shirt.

I bought a small, and it was true to size. It looked nice when alone or coupled with an undershirt. I really liked the nice feel of the fabric. However, the white was *quite* see through, so I do not wear it without at least an undershirt. Aside from the translucence of the white, I liked how the shirt fit and looked.

The arms come with a roll up strap. It has a small, unobtrusive zip pocket on the breast and the arm.  It also has pit zips.

The shirt does a good job of keeping the sun off and the wearer comfortable beneath. I do not like wearing long sleeves in the heat, but I didn't want to fight with sunscreen every minute while I was in Hawaii. It was a good choice. It did a solid job of helping me cope with being warm in general while dealing with the heat and sticky of the island weather.

On the down side, while this is a great traveler's shirt, I would NOT use it for backpacking. Because the fabric is designed to be thin and breathable, it tends to want to stretch and pill under pack straps. I did not like how the fabric and seams felt flimsy when I was using a day pack. I cannot imagine how the fabric would behave under a full pack all day.

I also see signs of how it wants to pill, and the shirt has not been heavily used.

While the design of the shirt is really good, with its shortcomings, in my opinion, it really needs to be used only as a traveling shirt.

Source: REI garage sale

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