CRAGHOPPER NOSILIFE SHIRT
TEST SERIES BY NANCY GRIFFITH
September 12, 2015
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Northern California, USA
5' 6" (1.68 m)
130 lb (59.00 kg)
My outdoor experience began in high school with a canoeing/camping group which made a 10-day voyage through the Quebec wilds. I've been backpacking since my college days in Pennsylvania. I have hiked all of the Appalachian Trail in Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina. My typical trip now is in the Sierra Nevada in California and is from a few days to a few weeks long. Over the past few years I have lowered my pack weight to a lightweight base weight of 15 lb (6.8 kg) and use a tent, stove and quilt.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
|Photo: © Craghoppers|
Year of Manufacture: 2015
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.craghoppers.com
MSRP: £35 (54.19 USD based on the May 22 noon exchange rate published by the US Federal Reserve)
Listed Weight: 5.6 oz (160 g)
Measured Weight: 5.6 oz (159 g)
Size tested: 8 US (12 UK; 38 EUR)
Sizes available: 8 through 20 UK (4 to 16 US; 34 to 46 EU)
Color tested: Ashen Mist (purplish blue)
Other colors available: Sea Salt (white) and Sunset (reddish orange)
Made in Sri Lanka
The Craghoppers NosiLife Base long-sleeved T-shirt is part of their NosiLife line and also has their SolarShield fabric technology. It is made of 61% polyester, 36% cotton and 3% elastane. The color is solid marl on the torso and has a marl and print combination on the raglan sleeves for a stylish look. The neck is a scoop style and there is a small open-top pocket on the left chest which seems to be more decorative than functional. At the lower left hem there is a Craghoppers logo in script. The seams are decorative and external on the hem, cuffs and pocket while the shoulder and collar have traditional plain seams.
The fabric is Insect Shield repellent apparel which is permanently treated with Permethrin insect repellent. There was a hangtag included with information stating that Insect Shield repels mosquitoes, ticks, ants, flies, chiggers and midges. The repellency remains effective for 70 washings. The active ingredient is 0.52% Permethrin with the garment making up the remaining 99.48%.
Although the shirt is long-sleeved it is listed as an 'invaluable piece of hot-climate kit' and is supposed to be cool with moisture control wicking to regulate body temperature. The same hangtag lists SolarShield as an up to UPF40+ sun protection and on another line says it provides UPF30+ sun protection.
INITIAL IMPRESSIONS & TRYING IT OUT
In comparing the shirt to the website there were just a few differences from what is advertised. The Ashen Mist color is purple where it appears blue on the website which may just be a matter of my computer monitor. And the website shows no tags at the collar while mine has three: one larger main tag, a small size tag and a small origin tag. The listed weight seemed to be right on what I measured for my size although the website doesn't say for which size they are listing the weight.
The shirt fits well and is just as expected for the size ordered. The sleeves are a bit long and extend a little over my hands which I like very much. The first thing I notice is how comfortable the shirt is. I'm not sure if it is due to the fabric or the fit or both.
I find these long sleeves to be counter to a cool shirt. I wear a long-sleeved blouse in summer to keep my arms protected from the sun but the NosiLife Base sleeves are tighter fitting. I'm curious to see how well the moisture management works and if I truly find this shirt to be cool.
I also find the scoop-neck style to be counter to sun protection and insect protection. I'm expecting to need additional sunscreen on my chest and maybe even a bandana or other cover on my chest and neck for both the sun and bugs.
I have used Permethrin for many years in the form of the spray-on do-it-yourself product. The blouse sun-shirt that I mentioned above is the only shirt that I already own with Insect Shield and it does seem to work, but that fabric has a fairly tight weave which is also effective against insects. It will be interesting to see how well the insect repellency works with a looser weave like this T-shirt.
READING THE INSTRUCTIONS
Washing instructions included indicate to wash the shirt separately from dark colors and from non-repellent-treated clothes, not to bleach it or use fabric softeners. Drying instructions say not to tumble dry.
Also the shirt is not to be dry-cleaned since that would remove the insect repellent. And it should not be re-treated with Permethrin insect repellent products.
Craghoppers website shows two different return policies. The one on the shirt webpage is as follows:
If you are not completely happy with your purchase, simply return it to us using Collect+ (GBP 3.50), unused and in its original packaging within 14 days for a full refund. Collect+ is a convenient way to return parcels at any one of their 5,500 local stores, most open early or late, 7 days a week.
I haven't used Collect+ but it sounds like a convenient system.
But then on their Customer Service information it says:
At Craghoppers we offer a 100% guarantee. Simply, if you are in any way dissatisfied with the goods you have ordered for any reason, we will exchange them or give you a full refund, provided that you return them to us unused with original labels and packaging, including proof of purchase within 28 days.
Either way, it sounds like they are anxious to take care of any dissatisfaction.
FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
I wore the shirt on an 8-day backpacking trip and five day hikes. I also wore it for mountain biking, softball, running, cutting firewood in our national forest and just around town.
Pacific Crest Trail, Sierra Nevada, California: 89 mi (143 km); 2,310 to 7,380 ft (704 to 2250 m) elevation; 39 to 86 F (4 to 30 C). Weather conditions varied from cold rainy days to hot sunny days.
El Dorado Trail, Sierra Nevada foothills, California: 3 and 4 mi (5 and 6 km); 1,816 to 1,931 ft (554 to 589 m) elevation; 60 F (15 C); sunny to partly cloudy
Hunters Trail, Sierra Nevada, California: 5 mi (8 km); 3,500 to 5,000 ft (1,000 to 1,500 m) elevation; 70 F (21 C); sunny
Auburn Recreation Area, California: 4 mi (6 km); 500 to 1,500 ft (150 to 450 m) elevation; 55 to 75 F (13 to 24 C); partly cloudy
Sun Rock Trail, Sierra Nevada, California: 8 mi (13 km); 6,080 to 6,200 ft (1,853 to 1,890 m) elevation; 68 to 72 F (20 to 22 C); sunny to partly cloudy conditions.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
I wore the shirt for the first three days straight of our 8-day backpacking trip. It started out cool and then progressed to cold and rainy so I wore it alone, with a fleece vest and then with a rain jacket atop. I also wore it to sleep in.
I found the scoop neck to be too large to provide good sun coverage and had to use sunscreen on my chest where I usually don't need to bother. I was curious whether the open neck would invite mosquitos but surprisingly I did not have any problem with bites even when my companions were complaining of biting insects. I'm normally quite a magnet for biting insects, so I'd have to say that the insect repellency works just fine.
I found the long sleeves to be a bit too warm in full sun at temperatures above 75 F (24 C) but suffering some discomfort did allow me to protect my arms from the sun. The fabric didn't allow enough sun to penetrate to allow my skin to color.
The odor-resistance of the shirt was pretty good. I mentioned earlier that I wore it for three days straight and had no problem with foul odor although the high temperatures were probably only 45 F (7 C) on those days. I have since worn the shirt for a day hike and then the next day for firewood cutting in the national forest in much warmer conditions up to 75 F (24 C). I didn't notice any horrible odor on the second day.
I washed the shirt on the trail and dried it on some branches. No snagging has happened either from this drying or from getting caught as I'm hiking. The durability has been good so far with no loose threads, snags or holes. I machine-washed the shirt approximately eight times so far.
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
With the hot summer temperatures, I didn't find as many opportunities to wear this long-sleeved shirt, but I was able to get some more use with it. I wore the shirt on two overnight backpacking trips and one day hike. I also wore it for pre-dawn running and just around town.
Boat Fishing/ Hiking:
Loon Lake, Sierra Nevada, California: 6,358 ft elevation; boating, fishing and hiking around for the day; very cool and windy although temperature was 65 F (18 C)
McKinstry Trail, Northern Sierra Nevada, California: 2 days, 9 mi (15 km); 5,510 to 7,050 ft (1,680 to 2,150 m) elevation; 40 to 75 F (4 to 24 C). Clear with breezy conditions in late afternoon.
Sun Rock Trail, Northern Sierra Nevada, California: 2 days, 10 mi (16 km); 6,200 to 6,600 ft (1,900 to 2,000 m) elevation; 38 to 68 F (3 to 20 C); half on-trail and half off-trail scrambling.
Auburn Recreation Area, California: 3 mi (5 km); 500 to 1,500 ft (150 to 450 m) elevation; 75 F (24 C); partly cloudy
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
When temperatures hit around 75 F (24 C) I found it uncomfortable to be wearing this long-sleeved shirt no matter how useful it was in protecting me from the sun. So during the summer season I had fewer opportunities to test out the shirt. However, I was able to wear it in the early morning for running. And at higher elevations I even had several occasions where I wore it as a layer under a rain jacket or a down jacket. On the boat fishing trip the wind off of the lake was quite cool and I wore a rain jacket over the shirt to protect me from the wind. For backpacking I wore a rain jacket on breezy evenings and then a down jacket as well on the colder nights. On the McKinstry trip, we slept under the stars on a rock ledge which was fairly cool for me, so I wore several layers over the shirt on that night.
On the backpacking trips I wore the shirt all day for hiking and then wore it overnight as my base layer for sleeping and then again for hiking out the next day. The odor resistance was quite good and I never found it to hold foul smells.
It was such a dry year that the mosquito season ended early and I didn't encounter many issues with insects during this test period. On those occasions where I was fighting off insects, I found the scoop neck to not be helping the situation. I had to tie a bandana around my neck or otherwise try to cover my open skin to avoid bites. I found that the scoop neck required the use of much more sunscreen to protect my chest and neck from the sun.
The durability of the shirt has been very good. I washed it an additional six times during this test period. It is still not showing any real signs of wear at all. The fabric has been good for resisting tearing since on both backpacking trips we did about half of the mileage off-trail scrambling over and under downed trees and through bushes. While the shirt got snagged by boulders or branches many times, there has been no damage to the fabric.
I'm looking forward to wearing the shirt more in the fall when insect and sun protection are a lesser concern and the long sleeves are more comfortable in the cooler temperatures.
The Craghoppers NosiLife Base long-sleeved T-shirt is a functional layer in addition to its being fashionable.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2015. All rights reserved.
Permanent insect repellency works
This concludes my Long-Term report and this test series. Thanks to Craghoppers and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this product.
Read more reviews of Craghoppers Ltd gear
Read more gear reviews by Nancy Griffith