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Reviews > Clothing > Shirts > Ex Officio BugsAway Breezr Shirt > Test Report by Michael Mosack

EXOFFICIO BUGSAWAY BREEZ'R SHIRT
TEST SERIES BY MIKE MOSACK
LONG-TERM REPORT
December 02, 2014

CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE FIELD REPORT
CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE LONG-TERM REPORT

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Mike Mosack
EMAIL: mosack(at)earthlink(dot)net
AGE: 50
LOCATION: San Diego, CA USA
GENDER: M
HEIGHT: 6' 1" (1.85 m)
WEIGHT: 240 lb (109.00 kg)

I've been backpacking for over 30 years, doing solo and group trips, with and without kids. I do day trips, weekenders and week-long or longer trips throughout the year. I backpack in all climates and seasons, from summer desert trips to Spring/Winter camping in Michigan, California and Grand Canyon, Arizona and I worked in Afghanistan for 4 years & rely on my equipment constantly. I prefer to go lighter when possible and am always trying new items. Quality and reliability of items are paramount to me over price and weight.


INITIAL REPORT

PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS

Manufacturer: ExOfficio
IMAGE 1
Image from Mfr's website

Year of Manufacture: 2014
Manufacturer's Website: www.exofficio.com
MSRP: US $49.92 - $85.00
Listed Weight: 8.5 oz (241 g) unknown what size was measured for this listed weight
Measured Weight: 9.8 oz (278 g)
Other details:
Fabric: 100% Nylon
This product is imported and not made in the USA
Sizes available: S, M, L, XL, 2XL, 3XL
Available colors: Algae, Bone, Cayman, and White (I should note that the color Dusty Olive is available in size 3XL at the MSRP of $49.92 and not all colors are available in all sizes.)
Actual product tested size - XXL / color - White

PLEASE NOTE: There is sizing information available on the manufacturer's website. The website states that all measurements are in inches and correspond to actual body measurements, not to the dimensions of the garment.

The BugsAway® Breez'r™ is Insect Shield® Repellent Apparel from ExOfficio and henceforth referred to as the shirt. The shirt is designed for many outdoor activities, including backpacking. It is a long sleeve, lightweight shirt that has numerous features and treatments. Some of the features include Flow Thru Ventilation on the front and back; breathable ripstop nylon rated UPF 30+ Sun Guard and it is moisture wicking and quick-drying. Permethrin, the active ingredient in Insect Shield, is invisible, odorless, and is tightly bonded to the fabric fibers and designed to repel mosquitoes, ticks, and numerous other insects. According to the manufacturer, Insect Shield repellent lasts 70 washings. There are seams that were intentionally moved off of the shoulder to prevent rubbing and a security chest pocket.

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

This shirt resembles a dress shirt. It is a button up, collared, long sleeve shirt. The material (ripstop nylon) is soft to the touch yet has a durable quality as well. I wear a 2XL and this is sized pretty accurately for me. There are open vents on the sides of the shirt which remain hidden unless I lift my arms. The length of the shirt allows me to tuck it in for those times when I want to look more professional yet be wearing a shirt designed for athletic wear. The funny part is that I don't know if anyone would notice it was an outdoor athletic shirt unless I told them.

READING THE INSTRUCTIONS

The only instructions I located was the Care Instructions which state -
Machine wash cold; Wash with like colors; No bleach or fabric softeners; Tumble dry low; Iron low setting; Do not dry clean.

TRYING IT OUT

I tried on the shirt and it fits well. The sleeves are a good length and I am able to move around without any restriction.

SUMMARY

I like the look and feel of the shirt and that it appears that I can wear it during outdoor activities as well as in the office. There are numerous features incorporated into this shirt and I am eager to get started on this test.


FIELD REPORT

FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

Three-day trip in the area near the Klamath River Recreational Area in Northern California USA where the conditions included clear and sunny skies with temperatures that ranged from 65 - 94 F (18 - 34 C).

Two day hikes near Twin Falls, Idaho USA where the temperatures ranged from 60 - 85 F (16 - 29 C). The conditions included clear and sunny skies.

I have also worn the shirt daily at work and around town on numerous occasions.

IMAGE 2
Setting up my tarp

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

Overall I've been happy with this shirt so far. I am not one who usually hikes wearing a long-sleeve shirt, preferring instead to go with short-sleeve T-shirts. This shirt is roomy and lightweight. I've worn the shirt buttoned up as well as partially or fully open; sleeves rolled up and also left all the way down for added sun protection. I do tend to sunburn easily and when I do, having a long-sleeve shirt available to wear is the only way I want to go outside. It's a very odd sensation however, to wear this shirt as it makes me feel like I am dressed up a bit too much for the trail. I'm definitely a T-shirt kind of guy when I'm backpacking. I have received numerous comments about the vents on the sides of the back of shirt from those who mistakenly thought my shirt had ripped.

I like the color of the shirt in hot sunny environments, but white does show dirt terribly well and in the field the shirt is impossible to clean that well. The white color of this shirt shows every bit of dirt especially around the neck line/collar area and cuffs. About the best I've been able to do is to rinse out some of the sweat smell and light dust but the stains stay in. White is definitely not my friend in the field. Good thing there are other colors available as I would pick one of those for backpacking.

During one of my trips I wore the shirt for about three days without having a chance to wash it and noticed a bit of a smell. I did a quick wash in the river without much improvement, but I think the river water probably added to the odor. Washing it in a washing machine is a definite improvement. I have yet to find myself in an area where bugs were an issue.


LONG-TERM REPORT

LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

Three-day trip to the area of LaGrande, Oregon USA where the temperatures ranged from 57 - 78 F (14 - 26 C). The conditions included cloudy and overcast skies with some rain and gusty winds.

Two-day trip, to the Pacific Crest Trail section in Laguna Mountain region of Southern California, USA
Conditions: Foot trails and forest access dirt roads. Temperatures ranging from 45 to 70 F (7 - 21 C). Weather was cool and dry with partly cloudy skies.

I have also worn the shirt daily around town doing chores and at work.

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

I don't really have much more to add to this report that I haven't said already. I did have a situation, however, where I had packed my shirt away while wet along with my other wet clothes and forgot to pull them out until I got home. The wet clothes, including this shirt, ended up being packed away wet for about two days, When I pulled everything out, to my horror, there was mold all over everything, including this shirt. I assumed most was going to be a complete loss but I did toss the shirt which was white in color with a mild bleach solution and let it soak for a week, checking it periodically and swishing it around to ensure even treatment. To my surprise, the shirt recovered completely and with no evidence of any mold spores or stains left at all! I do not know exactly what triggered the mold this time or if any particular material is more susceptible to growing mold over another, but this was the only piece of clothing I was able to save and it looks as if it never went through this at all. I also do not know if I've ruined the manufacturer's sun and bug treatment and I have no way to test that but the shirt looks and feels like new so I am quite happy. Tragically, that cannot be said for my other clothes having succumbed to the mold, as I threw them in the trash.

During this entire test series, I was never bitten by any bugs while out and wearing this shirt. I live in Eastern San Diego County, California and admittedly, we do not have a bug problem here per se. My trip to Oregon did have me in more of a bug-dense area and while I saw numerous mosquitoes and black flies flying around, I was never bitten once. The little black flies (no-seeums) have a propensity to fly into my eyes for some insane reason and this never changed even while I was wearing this shirt, but that was all.

As far as sun protection, I did not receive any sun exposure through the shirt. Having said that, I have never had an issue where the sun affected me through any clothes I've ever worn, so I have no way of verifying if there is anything special about this shirt's treatment that is any different from any non-treated shirt in this regard. As far as I can tell, if I am covered, I do not get burned, whether the material is treated or not.

The condition of the shirt today is about the same as when it was new. It has held up quite well. No seam stresses or missing or loose buttons anywhere. I am very happy about that.

SUMMARY

Overall I like this shirt. I normally choose to wear short sleeve shirts whenever possible but this has been a positive test for me. The shirt is quite comfortable whether on the trail or at the office.

Things I especially like are:
The shirt has a large cut which gives me better freedom of movement
The vents on the sides of the shirt to help reduce perspiration
The shirt washes up very well

Things I didn't like as much:
The shirt might be prone to mold if packed wet, but then all my other clothes were as well this trip.
I'd stay away from the white color for trail use as it shows all of the dirt.

I would like to thank both ExOfficio and BackpackGearTest.org for allowing me the opportunity to test this fine shirt.

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

Read more reviews of Ex Officio gear
Read more gear reviews by Michael Mosack

Reviews > Clothing > Shirts > Ex Officio BugsAway Breezr Shirt > Test Report by Michael Mosack



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