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Reviews > Clothing > Shirts > Craghoppers NosiLife Tee > Test Report by Andrea Murland
I began hiking frequently in 2006 and have since hiked in Western Canada, Australia, and spent 2 months backpacking in the Alps. I spend most weekends either day-hiking or on 2-3 day backpacking trips, with some longer trips when I can manage them. I also snowshoe and ski in the winter, but don’t have a lot of experience with winter in the backcountry yet. Elevation is typically 500-3,000 m (1,600-10,000 ft), in the Canadian Rockies and the Selkirk, Purcell, and Monashee ranges. I try for a light pack, but I don’t consider myself a lightweight backpacker.
Description & Initial ImpressionsThe Craghoppers NosiLife Base Long-Sleeved Shirt is a fabric blend t-shirt which the manufacturer describes as a good item for a hot climate, with good moisture control and UPF30+ sun protection. The hangtags describe two technologies: Insect Shield and Solar Shield. The SolarShield protection is supposed to offer up to UPF40+ protection, so the hangtags describe UPF30+ in one place and UPF40+ in another…at any rate, some solar protection! Insect Shield is built-in protection from insects courtesy of a treatment of 0.52% permethrin. The Insect Shield treatment is supposed to last 70 washings, or the life of the garment.
The fabric of the shirt is soft and supple, and a bit stretchy. The Sunset coloured shirt is a solid colour, including the sleeves. It appears that some of the other colours available have patterned sleeves. The t-shirt has raglan sleeves and a wide scoop neck. There is a small pocket on the left breast, which appears to be more decorative than functional. “Craghoppers” is embroidered near the left hem in a cursive font, in a matching colour to the body of the shirt. On the upper left sleeve is the Craghoppers logo, also embroidered in a matching colour. I do appreciate the muted branding. The shirt has three fabric tags at the collar as well as two on the left inside seam, describing the care, information about Insect Shield, and the sizing and place of manufacture. On the outside of the right seam is a final fabric tag which says “NosiLife” and also has the National Geographic text and logo. It appears from some information in the hang tags that National Geographic and Craghoppers have a partnership of some sort. The size 16 UK shirt measures 63 cm (24.8 in) long and 52 cm (20.5 in) wide under the arms.
Trying It OutWhen I first put the t-shirt on, I didn’t remember what size I had chosen. I put it on and quickly realized that it was extremely large on me. The sleeves were very long and the body was too wide on me. The length of the shirt overall was not bad, though on the longer side of ok. The main thing that scared me was the scoop neck, which came far too low to be acceptable in public without another shirt underneath. I then realized that I had intended to get a size 12, meaning UK size 12, but received a US size 12, which is two sizes larger. I’m not too sure where the mix-up happened, but I am getting an exchange!
Customer ServiceI contacted Customer Service in the UK and they were quite helpful in arranging an exchange with no questions asked. Due to the Insect Shield treatment, I am having the smaller shirt shipped to the United States rather than Canada.
SummaryThe Craghoppers NosiLife Base Long-Sleeved T-Shirt looks like a comfortable layer for hiking. The scoop neck seems rather large for offering great sun protection, but it is also really hard to tell with the large size shirt I have. I am looking forward to getting the correct size and getting out in the woods to try out the sun and bug protection.
Field ConditionsUnfortunately, I sustained a mysterious foot injury in early May which left me unable to hike for the majority of the Field Testing phase. I was able to get in three days of hiking prior to being handed crutches. Those three days were cool and damp, hovering a few degrees above freezing, with rain at lower elevations and snow at the higher reaches of the hike. The three hikes ranged in length from about 5 km (3 mi) to 18 km (11 mi). I also used the NosiLife Base T-Shirt in the evening while camping during a cycling trip, and for four evening Search & Rescue practices (which lately have involved me being found in the bush and loaded into a stretcher). I have washed the T-Shirt four times in my regular wash and hung it to dry.
Sizing & FitI received the UK Size 12 shirt from Craghoppers quickly and was happy with their prompt customer service. The shirt is a loose fit, quite wide through the body. The neck opening is still large, but about what I would expect in a scoop neck.
ObservationsDue to my limited hiking this spring, I have mostly been using the NosiLife Base as a layer for mosquito protection. It seems to do a reasonable job of this. I have observed many mosquitos land on the shirt but not bite me through it, though the shirt is certainly thin enough for them to be able to. I have received two bites through it, though in one case the mosquito proceeded to fall to the picnic table and lay there twitching for a few minutes before I put it out of its misery. I have also noted that the shirt provides no protection beyond its edges. A mosquito has landed and bit me right at the edge of the end of the sleeve. That makes the scoop neck on the shirt seem strange to me. After all, if I’m wearing a shirt for mosquito protection, I want it to cover more of my chest!
The three days that I spent day-hiking I wore the shirt as a layer to stay warm as I hiked in the cold rain and snow. The shirt was comfortable and helped provide some warmth, but it is not particularly warm. I appreciated that in other instances, as I was comfortable wearing the shirt at practices in temperatures as high as 30 C (86 F). I wasn’t doing anything active during those times (just hiding waiting to be found), but I expected to be uncomfortably hot in the shirt and I wasn’t.
The fabric of the shirt is soft and comfortable. It shows no signs of wear yet and dirty marks have come out easily in the wash.
SummaryThe Craghoppers NosiLife Base Long-Sleeved T-Shirt so far has proven to be comfortable and a good fabric weight for warm summer use. It provides protection from mosquitos, but this protection does not extend beyond the fabric. I don’t think I really like the large scoop neck, so far.
Field ConditionsI am sad to say that my summer of no hiking has continued. I have continued to wear the NosiLife Base Layer T-Shirt for Search & Rescue practices and also for evenings and mornings while camping. I have worn it for eight evening practices and one full-day practice, and for three nights while car-camping. Temperatures ranged from about 5 C (41 F) to 20 C (68 F). The weather was dry on all occasions. I have washed the shirt a further five times in my regular wash.
ObservationsI have continued to wear the NosiLife both as a second long-sleeved layer and also on its own, and I have confirmed many observations from my Field Report.
The mosquito resistance of the shirt is pretty good, but ends at the edge of the material. We had a dry summer with a pretty mild mosquito year, so it helped with mosquitos at that level.
The shirt adds a bit of warmth, but is quite lightweight. I liked that during the summer, as it was the perfect weight for slightly cooler mornings and evenings, either alone or on top of another shirt.
The t-shirt has been washed with my regular laundry and hung to dry. It shows no signs of wear or staining, and stains from dirt and rope work at Search & Rescue have easily washed out.
One thing that I don’t love about this shirt is the neckline. On top of another layer, the neck is so wide that the lower layer shows clearly, and it looks strange. Alone, the wide neck exposes my bra straps (especially if I’m wearing a sports bra for something active), and leaves my neck exposed to sun, mosquitos, and cold air. I would much prefer a crew neck.
SummaryAlthough I was disappointed that I wasn’t able to hike during this test period, I discovered that the Craghoppers NosiLife Base Layer T-Shirt is a comfortable summer-weight shirt which offers mosquito resistance. If I can ever walk again, I’ll post an addendum with what I think of it in action!
Good weight for summer use
Thanks to Craghoppers and BackpackGearTest.org for the chance to test this shirt!
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Reviews > Clothing > Shirts > Craghoppers NosiLife Tee > Test Report by Andrea Murland
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