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Ultimate Sun Shirt Search
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Eric Krumland
(Eric_K) - F

Locale: The northwest is the BEST
Ultimate Sun Shirt Search on 05/23/2013 17:53:17 MDT Print View

I am look for a special shirt to wear in the summer heat that meets these criterion

Long sleeve
Thin breathable material (I would like to wear this in hot 75+ weather)
good sun protection (For high alititude and spring skiing use)
lose fit
available in white or some other light reflecting color
and this is the tricky part hooded (to protect my ears and neck form burning)

The closest I have found is the Patagonia Tropic Comfort Sun Hoody

I have not seen this in person, my only reservation is that I do not know what the weight of the material is or if it would be comfortable to wear alone.

Have any of you found a shirt matching what I am looking for


Avery S
Solar Foil on 05/23/2013 18:52:07 MDT Print View

A similar shirt was the First Ascent Solar Foil, which has been discontinued:

I thought about buying one, but the mediums were apparently huge and they didn't make the small size in a tall length.

I'm also looking for something like this.

Jessica Rankin
Patagonia Lightweight Sun Hoody on 05/23/2013 19:01:14 MDT Print View

You might check out the Lightweight Sun Hoody. I've seen this garment in person and its very light and somewhat loose fitting. Looks like a little more of an open weave than the Tropic Comfort. Also has 35 UPF while I didn't see any UPF rating on the Tropic Comfort.

Sean Passanisi
(passanis) - MLife
Re: Ultimate Sun Shirt Search on 05/23/2013 19:02:53 MDT Print View

Hi Eric,

I purchased the Patagonia Tropic Comfort Sun Hoody last year. I used it for general travel (not backpacking) in temperatures over 100 degrees, with and without a baselayer.

FYI, the Tropic Comfort Sun Hoody does not have an official UPF rating. Check out the Lightweight Sun Hoody ( if you want rated UPF. I opted for the Tropic Comfort because I liked the chest pocket and thumb loops. I don't know if I would make the same choice again.

Steven Paris
(saparisor) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Ultimate Sun Shirt Search on 05/23/2013 19:04:41 MDT Print View

Kuhl made a hooded button-down shirt a few years ago but I don't think they make it anymore (of course).

Why not get the shirt you want and add a buff or sun scarf?

Like this:

It seems marketed to women but it wouldn't look out of place on top of a white/light-colored sun shirt.

Eric Krumland
(Eric_K) - F

Locale: The northwest is the BEST
I think I found a good one! on 06/04/2013 15:21:31 MDT Print View

I found this online, I have always though that ExOffico was stupid but this actually look to just what I am looking for, have any of you ever seen this?


Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: London, UK
Re: I think I found a good one! on 06/04/2013 17:06:26 MDT Print View

I have the Sol Cool 1/4 zip LS shirt in Olive from ~3yrs ago. I would not buy it again unless they've changed fabric. Rough texture, very warm and most annoyingly quick to REALLY stink. Must clash with my garlic infused blood chemistry!

On the other hand, my Patagonia LW Sun Hoody is a much better. The fabric has some serious cooling mojo going on and I can go a few days longer before it develops only a mild funk. It would get a solid 10 score from me if it had a 1/4 zip. As it is, I give it an 8!

To that end, I bought the highy rated Rab Boreas but have yet to have it forwarded to me from my USA address.

Eric Krumland
(Eric_K) - F

Locale: The northwest is the BEST
tropic comfort vs lightweight sun hoody on 06/04/2013 18:54:39 MDT Print View

I guess that brings me back to comparing the tropic comfort vs the lightweight sun hoody. I wish I could try on both and decide which I liked better.


Sean Passanisi
(passanis) - MLife
Re: tropic comfort vs lightweight sun hoody on 06/04/2013 19:15:54 MDT Print View

I would check with your local store and see if they have them both to try. Or order them online and mail back the one you don't like.

But I would look more closely at the lightweight sun hoody. I may sell my tropic comfort and pick up the UPF rating.

Sean Passanisi
(passanis) - MLife
Colors on 06/04/2013 19:16:41 MDT Print View

Does anyone know how much difference a light vs. dark color can make in a sun shirt? For example, navy vs. light grey?

Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: London, UK
Re: tropic comfort vs lightweight sun hoody on 06/04/2013 19:16:58 MDT Print View

The tropic is a jersey knit and feels like soft cotton. I suspect it might feel better in higher humidity climate. The sun hoody is a double knit mesh similar to Cap 2 and does best in dry climate. I would not worry about having a UPF rating. All synthetics block UV effectively unless the fabric is a very open weave mesh. Dark in winter, light colors in Summer is my mantra.

Edited by rmjapan on 06/04/2013 19:21:13 MDT.

Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
Re: Colors on 06/04/2013 21:08:31 MDT Print View

The lighter the better (in color). From someone that lives in a high insolation region, you definitely will notice how much heat a black shirt will absorb (and then release onto your skin) versus a light shirt.

At the same time the absorption of light by colors is not quite linear. There have been some studies on car color that showed a red car heats up almost as much as a black car and both significantly more than a white color. The take away is that you need a fairly light color to notice any benefit by the color. The darkest I would try is a solid yellow but would suggest nothing darker than khaki to be on the safe side.

Also there is supposedly some new fabric technology (dark cool or something like that) coming from I believe Schoeller that reflects solar radiation just like a white shirt, regardless of the actual color it is dyed. Seems feasible from a physics standpoint but I haven't seen many commercial products with the fabric just yet (I think MHW may have had a few shirts but nothing I could remember by name so no help there).

Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
ColdBlack on 06/04/2013 21:15:17 MDT Print View

Did some quick google searching and came up with ColdBlack, which apparently UnderArmour uses in some clothing.

For tech specs look at this schoeller site:

I'd still go with a light color though, but if you do care about it enough there are "options" for you.

Sean Passanisi
(passanis) - MLife
Re: Re: tropic comfort vs lightweight sun hoody on 06/04/2013 21:37:23 MDT Print View

Hi Rick,

I had a visit with my dermatologist this afternoon. She also confirmed that most any (dry) shirt material will be sufficient at blocking harmful UV unless you have particularly pale skin. I guess I may end up keeping the tropic comfort hoody but I'm still a bit paranoid.

(RobertM2S) - M

Locale: Lake Tahoe
RailRiders bone flats on 06/05/2013 16:25:32 MDT Print View

I love the mesh panels on my BoneFlats shirt that run up the inside of the sleeve and down the side of the body. They let in the breeze but not the sunlight.

Dustin Smith

Locale: Bethesda, MD
Patagucci vs. First Ascent on 06/05/2013 22:06:19 MDT Print View

I have both the Patagonia Tropic Comfort (crew version not the hoody) and the First Ascent Solar Foil hoody. I actually really like both. The Tropic Comfort was my shirt of choice last summer in the 90+ degree Florida heat. It's also cut a bit better than the FA hoody. The FA hoody is randomly a bit short in the torso in my experience. That being said, due to the hood, the FA hoody is what will be in my bag on Rainier in August.