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Reviews > Clothing > Shirts > Ex Officio BugsAway Breezr Shirt > Test Report by Brian Hartman

EXOFFICIO BUGSAWAY BREEZ'R LONG SLEEVE SHIRT
TEST SERIES BY BRIAN HARTMAN
INITIAL REPORT
June 08, 2014

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Brian Hartman
EMAIL: bhart1426ATyahooDOT com
AGE: 46
LOCATION: Westfield, Indiana
GENDER: M
HEIGHT: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
WEIGHT: 145 lb (65.80 kg)

I have been backpacking for over 20 years throughout Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and most recently in Western USA. In addition to backpacking I enjoy family camping with my wife and kids and being outdoors in general. I would describe myself as a mid-weight backpacker. I use fairly light weight equipment and gear but still like to bring more than the bare essentials with me while on the trail.


INITIAL REPORT

PRODUCT SPECIFICATIONS

IMAGE 1
Photo courtesy of manufacturer

Manufacturer: ExOfficio
Year of Manufacture: 2014
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.exofficio.com/
MSRP: US $85.00
Listed Weight: 8.5 oz (241 g)
Measured Weight: 8.8 oz (249 g)
Fabric: 100% Nylon
Mesh: 100% Polyester
Fit: Natural
Available Sizes: Small, Medium, Large, XL, 2XL, 3XL
Size Tested: Small
Available colors: Algae, Bone, Cayman, Dusty Olive, White
Color Tested: Algae

Other details provided by Manufacturer:
Uses Insect Shield repellant for effective protection against biting insects
Flow thru ventilation on front and back for increased air flow
Button placket
Security zip chest pocket
Critical seams moved off the shoulder to prevent rubbing
UPF Sun Guard 30+
Lightweight
Quick drying
Moisture Wicking

Per the manufacturer the Breez'r shirt is "part of ExOfficio's BugsAway line of insect repellant clothing which uses Insect Shield technology to aid in the battle against insects that carry diseases."

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

IMAGE 2 The BugsAway Breez'r shirt is a long-sleeve, collared, button-up shirt made of 100% ripstop nylon and polyester mesh. It is light weight and carries a UPF 30+ rating for sun protection. The UPF30+ rating means that at least 96% of all UVA and UVB rays are blocked from reaching the skin. Over the past few years I have made a conscious effort to buy UPF rated clothing to help protect my skin from overexposure to the sun's rays. In addition to providing UPF30+ sun protection, the BugsAway Breez'r shirt also repels mosquitoes, ticks, ants, flies, chiggers, and no-see-ums using a patented process called Insect Shield to bond a proprietary formulation of the Permethrin to the shirt's fibers. From my research, Permethrin has been used in the United States as an EPA registered insecticide for over 35 years. It is also used in lice shampoos and other products that are regulated by the FDA, and seems to have a very good safety rating. A couple neat properties of Insect Shield clothing are: 1) the bug protection does not wear off over time, 2) the active ingredient, Permethrin, is invisible, odorless and non-greasy and 3) Insect Shield clothing has been tested and certified by the EPA as well as independent labs with a 99% reduction in mosquito and tick bites among test participants.

Not only do I find mosquito and tick bites annoying, but they can have serious consequences from any one of a number of diseases such as West Nile virus, malaria and Lyme disease. The Insect Shield process is designed to prevent loss of the active ingredient Permethrin over time by tightly binding it to the fabric fibers so that the shirt retains its full effective repellency through its life. In fact the repellency of Insect Shield apparel is EPA-registered to last for 70 launderings (see charts below), which is considered the expected lifetime of a piece of clothing. In addition to shirts, ExOfficio also makes pants, hats, socks and bandannas that provide the same insect protection as noted above.

Even though from what I've read Permethrin can be bonded to cotton just as easily as nylon, I like the fact that ExOfficio chose nylon fabric for its wicking and quick-drying features. I am hoping this shirt not only keeps the bugs away but also keeps me cool and dry during our usually hot and humid Midwest summer.



IMAGE 3
Photo courtesy of manufacturer
IMAGE 4
Photo courtesy of manufacturer

INITIAL IMPRESSION

It's almost impossible to backpack in the woods of Indiana or anywhere in the Midwest, between May and September, and not get swarmed by mosquitoes and ticks. Till now I've always used DEET as my bug repellent of choice, and it does a good job of repelling mosquitoes when applied generously. However, I haven't found it very effective at repelling ticks. For this reason I was really excited about the opportunity to test the BugsAway Breez'r shirt. After going online to view the manufacturer's sizing chart I ordered a size 'small' and patiently waited for it to arrive.

IMAGE 5 The Breez'r arrived at my doorstep in excellent condition and looked exactly as pictured on ExOfficio's website. It sports a simple, stylish design and tailored fit that ExOfficio refers to as 'Natural'. The shirt has a single left side chest pocket which is 6 x 6 in (15 x 15 cm) with a zipper for securing important items. I really like the fact that the pocket is zippered as that eliminates any chance of something falling out while bending over to drive in a tent stake or light a campfire.

The shirt placket is 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide with double stitchings on each side. The stitches are inset slightly from each edge. Seven small plastic buttons are sewn onto the placket equidistant from each other while a spare button is sewn onto the care tag. It will be interesting to see how sturdy the buttons are and whether they loosen or fall off over time from the force of weighted backpack straps tugging at them.

Although the BugsAway Breez'r is tailored it fits me just fine. I looked at the sizing chart on ExOfficio's website before ordering and the chest and waist measurements they provided were accurate. With most shirts and jackets, I am right in between sizes so I make my decision to size up or down based on whether I am going to be wearing anything underneath it. In this case I sized down as I will almost always wear this shirt standalone. The Breez'r is light weight and feels comfortable against my skin with no raised seams or scratchy tags inside the shirt collar. The shirt felt comfortable and breathed well during its initial debut on a quick walk around my block this evening. Overall the BugsAway Breez'r appears to be well-made with precise stitching and straight seams. The design and craftsmanship are impeccable. I look forward to wearing this shirt a lot in the next few months.

CARE INSTRUCTIONS

For cleaning, ordinary home laundering is recommended. The BugsAway Breez'r can be bleached, starched, pressed, etc., without effect on the repellent quality; however, it should not be dry cleaned as that removes the treatment.

Care instructions for the shirt are included on one of the tags sewn to the lower left seam of the shirt. They read as follows: Machine wash cold; Wash with like colors; No bleach or fabric softeners; Tumble dry low; Iron low setting; Do not dry clean.

As mentioned above, but worth repeating, the repellency of Insect Shield is EPA registered to last through 70 launderings, which is the average life expectancy of a garment as listed by the International Fabricare Institute.

SUMMARY

The ExOfficio BugsAway shirt is a well-designed, well-made shirt that is perfect for backpacking, camping, fishing and/or hiking in warm weather. Over the next two months I plan to test it in a variety of conditions and report back on its comfort, fit, UPF protection and most importantly its ability to fight off biting insects. This concludes my Initial Report. Thanks to ExOfficio and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this shirt.

LIKES:
Bug repellant is built into the clothing so it does not need to be applied to the skin
Insect Shield lasts for the life of the clothing so no reapplication is needed
Insect Shield is not greasy, it doesn't wash off and it doesn't smell

DISLIKES:
None

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2014. All rights reserved.

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Reviews > Clothing > Shirts > Ex Officio BugsAway Breezr Shirt > Test Report by Brian Hartman



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