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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.
|October 12, 2014
||Saguaro National Park, Tucson Arizona
|Sunny, 85 F
|October 16-19, 2014
||Gila Wilderness, near Glenwood New Mexico
Francisco Hot Spring and Box Canyon
|Mixed rain showers and sun, 32-75 F
|November 13-14, 2014||Coronado National Forest near Tucson Arizona||Romero
|Sunny, 40-75 F
This was a 4-day
3-night backpacking trip along the San Francisco River in
western New Mexico in the Gila Wilderness. I wore the
shirt on days 2-4 of the trip. We had a wide range of
weather conditions, from chilly mornings to warm and sunny
afternoons, with some rain showers on the last day. The
Sol Cool shirt did a great job of keeping me comfortable
across a wide range of temperature conditions. From what
I could tell, though I have a poor sense of smell, the shirt
did not develop any nasty odors after three days of sweaty
Day 3 was particularly interesting as we did an out-and-back
hike into a slot canyon that required some serious wading and
scrambling. As is typical in a slot, it was quite chilly
in the shade in comparison to the sunny areas along the river
during the approach. I only had to put my windshirt on
over the Sol Cool for a short period when I got chilled from
wading in the hip-deep cold river. The shirt took some
serious abuse from the brush in the canyon, and came out with
no tears or snags.
Day 4, the hike-out day, saw some cooler daytime temperatures
and some rain showers. As soon as I started hiking out
of the canyon, I was warm enough to have just the Sol Cool on
over my torso.
The photo at right was taken at the trailhead as we were
preparing to hit the trail.
This was just a simple "get into the
mountains" overnight backpack. It was a little bit
longer than my prior backpack up the canyon, as I hiked to a
campsite that I like at a higher altitude.
The photo at left was taken on my ascent, and if examined
closely the sweat building up on my belly is visible.
The shirt was pretty well soaked by the time I finished my
climb. On arriving at my campsite I hung it up to dry and
changed into a fresh shirt. By morning it was completely
dry and ready to go.
The Sol Cool shirt has been a great garment, offering
outstanding sun protection and comfort across a wide range of
weather conditions during the last four months. It has
laundered up well, and suffered no ill effects from the many
snags and scrapes that it was subjected to. It is a
highly functional piece of gear that I intend to use often
during future trips into the back country whenever I want
protection from the elements for my arms.
Over the last four months I have also come to appreciate the
fit and attractiveness of the Sol shirt. I have no
qualms wearing it around town, and it really looks nice on the
trail. It is remarkably durable and washes up
beautifully - it looks the same today as it did when I
received it in the mail. I really enjoy the sleeve
length - it actually comes down over the tops of my hands,
maximizing the sun protection.
Did I say I like this shirt?!
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