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Reviews > Clothing > Shirts > Ex Officio Sol Cool Long Sleeve Shirt > Test Report by Kurt Papke
ExOfficio Sol Cool LS Shirt
|Height:||6' 4" (193 cm)|
|Weight:||215 lbs (98 kg)|
|Email address:||kwpapke at gmail dot com|
|City, State, Country:||Tucson, Arizona USA|
||Sol Cool Long-sleeve Tee
|Year of manufacture
||Oyster (light gray)
Also available: Cayman (blue), Koi (red), Oregano (green), Varsity (dark blue), and Zest (yellow)
||Listed: 7 oz (198 g) for unspecified size
Measured garment weight: 8.2 oz (232 g) for XL
Also available: Small, Medium, Large, XX-Large
||91% Polyester / 9% Spandex
Check back in two months when I've had a chance to tromp
around a bit in the mountains wearing this garment and see
what I have to say about it in my Field Report.
|July 13, 2014
||Santa Catalina Mountains near Tucson,
|August 9-10, 2014
||Santa Catalina Mountains near Tucson, Arizona||Samaniego
|August 16-17, 2014||Santa Catalina Mountains near Tucson, Arizona||Romero
Humid, overnight rainstorms
|August 24, 2014
||Huachuca Mountains near Sierra Vista,
My first hike with the shirt started early in the morning,
when it was still cool for Tucson in the summer. I was
hiking solo and there was a bit of altitude gain, so I worked
myself pretty hard on the climb. The shirt was
surprisingly cool for a long-sleeve garment.
On the way down the sun was getting higher in the sky and I
appreciated the skin protection on my arms from the
sleeves. Overall, my first experience was a positive one
- the Sol Cool kept me cool and protected from the sun.
I was a bit concerned that the sleeves would feel clingy in
the heat, but my experience was the sleeves were very
This is one
of my local go-to summer trails as it starts and retains a
fair amount of altitude which keeps me cool. It also has
some great camping spots among the Ponderosa Pines.
The hike in on Saturday afternoon was fairly warm, around 72
F (22 C) at the trailhead, and I was hiking into the afternoon
sun. I built up a reasonable sweat during the hike, but
the Sol Cool shirt was true to its name and I was quite
On the hike out the next morning the temperature was around
55 F (13 C), but as soon as I started walking I was at the
perfect body temperature with no layers on top of the Sol Cool
shirt. One of the things I look for in my gear is
garments that are usable over a wide temperature range, and
these first experiences was evidence that the Sol Cool is
usable from 55-90 F (13-32 C).
Something I noticed on the hike out that I have not remarked
on so far: the sleeve length on this shirt is excellent.
I like to wear a Large Tall size, but this XL fits me well
including generous sleeve length.
I hike Romero Canyon pretty frequently because the trailhead
is just 10 minutes from my house. Every hike is
different, the prior outing was just a day hike, this one was
roughly twice the distance to a campsite and an overnight
This backpack trip really stressed the wicking and drying
capability of the shirt. Saturday was hot and very
humid, to the point that Mountain Rescue was pulling a number
of dehydrated hikers off the trail. I consumed about 4
qt (4 L) of water on the ascent, and the Sol shirt was
dripping wet when I arrived. I took off the shirt and
hung it up to dry as soon as I reached camp, because it was so
wet it was chilling me down when I stopped moving.
The next morning the shirt was nice and dry when I put it
on. It had rained overnight, but I kept the shirt in a
dry spot under my tarp.
The photo at right was taken on the descent the next
day. The blue tinge to the shirt color is not accurate -
my camera must have been fooled by the background or sky
There were plenty of opportunities for snags and tears from
sharp bushes on this hike. So far, the shirt has
survived intact. It has also made it through several
launderings with no deleterious effects.
This was just
a day hike through a Nature Conservancy wildlife
preserve. Its at a bit of altitude above the desert
floor, so the weather was quite comfortable if a little
The shirt did very well in the humid conditions. The
photo at left shows what it looks like from the back, taken at
out turn-around point on the trail beside a swiftly flowing
The Sol Cool shirt has proven to be an adaptable and
comfortable garment that performs well in the Arizona summer
sun. It has kept me protected (no sunburn through the
fabric), cool, and dries quickly when wet. It has
survived the first two months of use with no visible
wear. It fits me well, and is attractive enough that I
took it on vacation with me last week to wear around town.
In my Initial Report I mentioned a concern with sunburn on
the back of my neck due to the lack of a collar on the
shirt. This has turned out to be a non-issue with the
wide-brimmed hat I have been wearing.
Stop back in two months for my Final Report.
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