Brand: Gear 360 Reviews
Model: Product feedback from every angle
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BACKPACKER Gear 360 Review
This sun shirt kept us burn-free (no sunscreen required) on bluebird summer days in Colorado and Utah. On a hike up St. Vrain Mountain’s exposed summit cone in Colorado, the Solen Hoodie and its UPF 50+ polyester fabric protected against scorching. We then wore it over a swimsuit while taking a dip in a reservoir in the Uintas, and the Solen dried quickly afterwards. This hoody fits closer to the skin than other suns shirts we’ve worn; it’s not baggy, so it won’t snag when you’re scrambling or squeezing between boulders, but the tighter fit makes it feel less breathable than some similar tops. (The hood hugs your head as well, so it stays put nicely.) The fabric is also thicker than most sun shirts: While a slight breeze on St. Vrain’s summit penetrated the fabric and cooled us down, the shirt started to feel a little swampy in temps around 80°F without a breeze. Flip side: In shoulder-season weather it would provide a boost of warmth.
I’ve worn this hoodie kayaking and hiking in Vermont, both on super-hot and humid days. The double-layer construction does feel heavier to the touch but not when you’re wearing it. It actually wicked pretty well, and it was excellent at sun protection. I did swim in it which was okay, a little on the heavy side. It drip-dried fairly quickly. It’s definitely my new paddling shirt. I don’t think I’d wear it on a shady hike, though—I have shirts that are lighter for that. But any time I’m in the sun directly or on the water, I’d definitely reach for this one.
Summertime in the Colorado high country usually means warm days and cool nights. The Solen Hoodie is well-suited to handle these variations. The fabric is super fast-wicking. A second major feature is the UPF 50+; awesome on a sunny day up high or cruising on a bike or putzing around on the street. I wore it on my typical summer activities over a three-week period in July: A Fourteener hike, a dayhike, a three-day backpacking trip, mountain and road biking, the gym, and hanging around town. It’s comfortable, fits my body type, is functional for a wide range of activities, allows me to change layers less often, and has awesome sun protection.