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Looking for a shirt
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Michael Davis
(mad777) - F

Locale: South Florida
Looking for a shirt on 06/06/2008 13:20:20 MDT Print View

After much searching stores and ordering “camp” shirts from outdoor catalogs, I am still in search of the Holy Grail, defined as follows:

1. Summer shirt that is cool but protective from the sun.
2. Long sleeve with a collar.
3. Synthetic material (I really like nylon).
4. Lightweight
5. Breathes like it isn’t there.

The first four are easy. Thousands of shirts meet those criteria. But, I cannot find a shirt that “breathes like it isn’t there.”

I’m surprised that I haven’t been arrested for deviant behavior as I go from rack to rack in stores, holding the shirts up to my mouth and trying to blow air through the material. With most shirts, even cotton, I think I could burst a lung before one molecule of air makes it through!

I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s the weave, not the material, that mostly determines breathability.

All the “camp” shirts that I have encountered, act more like “wind shirts.” If I need a wind shirt, I’ll bring one, but please give me a shirt that the wind blows through for those summer days! I realize some tee shirts breathes like this, but they don’t offer the protection from the sun and bugs to the arms and neck.

Nowhere is there a collection of outdoor knowledge greater than that here at BPL. Please help me find my shirt!

Richard Matthews
(food) - F

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Looking for a shirt - compromise? on 06/06/2008 13:38:16 MDT Print View


If you will compromise to a cotton/synthetic blend then you will have many shirts to choose from.

When the daytime temperatures are above 70 a cotton blend performs well.

Richard DeLong
(Legkohod) - MLife

Locale: Eastern Europe / Caucasus
Re: Looking for a shirt on 06/06/2008 13:42:37 MDT Print View

Sounds like what you need is a long-sleeve shirt made of no-seeum netting :)))

That or a long-sleeve version of the GoLite Drimove shirt:

Diplomatic Mike

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Looking for a shirt on 06/06/2008 13:49:10 MDT Print View

I don't know if you can get them in the US, but these shirts from Paramo are meant to be good in hot weather.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Looking for a shirt on 06/06/2008 17:11:31 MDT Print View

Check out the Railriders Eco-Mesh or Adventure shirts.

Paul Luther
(eredluin) - M

Locale: Northeast
Re: Re: Looking for a shirt on 06/06/2008 17:44:30 MDT Print View

Check out the Sunday Afternoons Sundial shirt. I recently returned from a trip to Zion NP. The temps. were 90 and above. I did the west rim and angels landing, in a day hike, during 100+ heat. The Sundial shirt kept me from burning, dried fast, breaths well, and is so light. It has a nice coller that I flipped up to protect my neck. Great product.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Looking for a shirt on 06/06/2008 17:51:59 MDT Print View


I think Tom's suggestion is as good as it gets. You often have to ignore marketing-speak like "cool and dry" -- especially when talking about summer in the Southeast! You are simply NOT going to feel like 'the shirt isn't even there' when you know that you can feel totally hot and miserable wearing even the thinnest tank top -- or going top nekkid outright -- during those sultry evenings that the South is so famous for!

Edited by ben2world on 06/06/2008 17:56:08 MDT.

Christopher Holden
(back2basics) - F - MLife

Locale: Southeast USA
Re: Looking for a shirt on 06/06/2008 18:03:01 MDT Print View

I see you're in Palm Beach. Check out a marine outfitter. Maybe even hit Bass Pro Shops in Hollywood. It's off I-95, close to Griffin. Go find one with loose sleeves and a vented back. Many charter boat captains wear them. They're also under the sun a lot and need ventilation. I have seen those types of shirts all over MIA/FTL/WPB close to water. Stroll down Clematis on a Friday/Saturday night and I'm sure you'll see a few too.
Short of hitting the marine outfitters, check out Mountain Hardwear's Canyon shirt for starters. That vented back design goes a long way toward keeping the air moving underneath. I used to have a couple for fishing shirts when we would put in down in Islamorada and Tavernier. You need all the breeze you can get in FL summers!
Hope this helps.

Michael Davis
(mad777) - F

Locale: South Florida
Re: Looking for a shirt on 06/06/2008 18:20:30 MDT Print View

Thanks for all the suggestions so far. Keep them coming!

Chris, I know exactly where you are talking about!

Christopher Holden
(back2basics) - F - MLife

Locale: Southeast USA
Re: Re: Looking for a shirt on 06/06/2008 18:24:38 MDT Print View

I've lived in Dade, Broward and St Lucie counties until about 2 years ago. There's 3 things you need to know in south FL during the summer: the importance of SPF rating, where to get more ice, and where the fish are biting!

Nat Lim
(LithiumMetalman) - F

Locale: Cesspool Central!
unusual on 06/06/2008 20:33:36 MDT Print View

Might be a bit unusual

H & M imports some very very light cotton blend collared button down shirts from India, I have one, and it has been an absolutely fantastic, and the price was quite reasonable, (about $10)

Th shirt is not very windproof, but it breathes and dries quite rapidly! My favorite shirt for all warm weather activities, plus it's stylish!!!

Richard DeLong
(Legkohod) - MLife

Locale: Eastern Europe / Caucasus
Re: Re: Looking for a shirt on 06/08/2008 05:47:31 MDT Print View

This might be a good option for your list of requirements:

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Looking for a shirt on 06/08/2008 08:05:49 MDT Print View

Railriders Oasis shirt- loose fit, UV protective, long sleeve, collar, synthetic, pretty lightweight.

No shirt breathes like it isn't there. This shirt does have mesh on the sides for a breeze.

For me, these days I've been wearing the ExOfficio Air Strip Lite.

Edited by jshann on 06/08/2008 08:08:58 MDT.

Michael Davis
(mad777) - F

Locale: South Florida
Re: Looking for a shirt - Railriders? on 06/09/2008 10:03:18 MDT Print View


Does the Railriders Oasis have a vented yoke in the back like a flap of regular material over a mesh layer?


John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Re: Looking for a shirt - Railriders? on 06/09/2008 10:12:55 MDT Print View

Michael, I will check when I get home. I don't think it does, just like the eco mesh and adventure shirts (don't seem to need it). They may have added some features like the zip pocket.

Edited by jshann on 06/09/2008 10:18:55 MDT.

Peter Fogel
(pgfogel) - F

Locale: Western Slope, Colorado
Looking For A Shirt on 06/09/2008 11:27:28 MDT Print View


Michael Davis
(mad777) - F

Locale: South Florida
Re: Looking For A Shirt on 06/09/2008 12:43:46 MDT Print View


I tried a few silk shirts thinking it should be a breathable material but was disappointed. (Failed the blow test, see above).

I even have cotton shirts that are a wall to air movement. This is what led me to the conclusion that any material, woven tightly enough, won't breathe.

It seems most manufactured shirts aren't woven to breathe in the hot conditions of summer and yet include collars and long sleeves to provide some sun/insect protection.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Look in REI & Cabela's on 06/09/2008 14:14:48 MDT Print View

I have 3 long sleeve backpacking shirts:

1.REI SAHARA> (polyester) totally vented mesh back

2.COLUMBIA TITANIUM> (polyester) smaller vented back shoulder "slots" but a bit less expensive than REI Sahara shirts

3.CABELA's GUIDEWEAR> (polyester) totally vented mesh back, high convertable collar & vented front pockets - the coolest of the three

So the selection is fairly good B/C these are only a few on the market. EX OFFICIO is another great choice.


Peter Fogel
(pgfogel) - F

Locale: Western Slope, Colorado
Shirt breathability. on 06/09/2008 15:28:24 MDT Print View

I agree it's all in the weave, However you're confronted by the law of diminishing returns. The looser the weave, the more breathable but the less sun resistant! You must strike a compromise somewhere. My favorite next to nothing feel shirt is made of silk. It is a loosely woven silk made by Cambridge Classic. It has two chest pockets and easily passes the blow test, however when held up to sunlight, it does not reduce light nearly as well as many other shirts I own. I also have a Columbia Titanium. It's much more resistant to sunlight but MUCH less breathable. My second favorite shirt is made by OOBE. It's 100% nylon. It also passes the blow test but not as well as the silk but it's considerably better in the sunlight and has a mesh panel in the back yoke and one zippered chest pocket.

Good luck,

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Shirt breathability. on 06/09/2008 15:35:29 MDT Print View

Those back mesh panels are useless while wearing your Hugh Jass pack aren't they?