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Apparel

Editors' Choice 2014: ExOfficio Sol Cool Ultimate Hoody

Stay cool with the perfect top for heat and sun.

Brand: ExOfficio Apparel Reviews

Model: Sol Cool Ultimate Hoody


Specs

Weight

7oz.


The great hood on the ExOfficio Sol Cool Ultimate Hoody (Ben Fullerton)

The great hood on the ExOfficio Sol Cool Ultimate Hoody (Ben Fullerton)

Backpacking Gear - Kristin Hostetter wearing the ExOfficio Sol Cool Ultimate Hoody (Ben Fullerton)

Kristin Hostetter wearing the ExOfficio Sol Cool Ultimate Hoody (Ben Fullerton)

“I immediately felt cooler when I slipped this on,” says one tester who switched out of a sweaty, short-sleeve synthetic tee halfway through a sun-scorched hike in the Jordanian desert. The magical cooling sensation comes from Xylitol—the same minty ingredient found in many chewing gums—embedded in the 91 percent polyester/9 percent spandex fabric. 

Xylitol is a sugar alcohol derived from birch trees. When it gets wet, it causes a heat-sapping chemical reaction, and ExOfficio uses a bonding agent to make the effect last through 40 wash cycles. “I’m a big-time sweater and notorious for getting lobster-baked in the sun,” says another staffer. “So this was a total game-changer for me. It wicks sweat superfast, and it’s cooler wearing this shirt than nothing at all.” The UPF 50+ fabric is light and stretchy with a comfortable—not clingy—fit that won’t raise eyebrows in town, though after a few days, your body odor might. “I wore this shirt for four days straight in Jordan,” says our gear editor. “I wish it smelled as minty as it felt.” Tip: When you hit a shady rest stop after sweating, you cool down really fast in this shirt, so have a midlayer handy. $75; 7.4 oz. (w’s M); m’s S-2XL, w’s XS-XL; exofficio.com