Gear Review: Backcountry Tahoe Sun Hoodie
I’ve always scoffed at long sleeves in the summer. Yet time and time again, I forget to reapply sunblock and emerge from the mountains with a gnarly sunburn. The Backcountry Tahoe Sun Hoodie is designed specifically for warm weather activities. Built-in UPF and a lightweight, moisture-wicking material make this shirt perfect for long days in the desert or high-altitude mountains.
Materials: 78% nylon, 14% spandex, 8% polyester
Sizes: XXS – XXL
Style: Slim Fit / Hooded
UPF Rating: 30+
Circumstances of Review
There’s no better place to test this shirt than the July San Diego desert. I wore this hoodie on the “Five Peaks Challenge” – a badass local hike I hadn’t been motivated to do until staying local became the new thing. When I first put this shirt on before the sun came up, I was instantly impressed at how cool the sleeves felt. I was grateful for these long sleeves when I first started hiking in the nippy early morning, curbing those first mile goose bumps. This breezy morning reprieve did not last long, by 7 am the sun was shining and my sweat was flowing.
As the hours and elevation gain wore on, I was increasingly impressed with how well the shirt managed my profuse sweating. The temperature was pushing 90, yet the material was not sticking to my arms, armpits, or back. When I stopped for breaks I could feel how completely soaked the shirt was, yet it was still breathable. I finished the 7-hour hike without needing to strip to my sports bra once, which I can honestly say I was not expecting. A new appreciation for long sleeves wormed it’s way into my heart on the Five Peaks Challenge.
Next, I tried this shirt out on a sunny run. It did not last long on my body. I told myself to keep it on for at least 30 mins, and by 15 I had already turned it into a cape. I couldn’t get over the feeling of an extra layer on while I was trying to move quickly, even though my temperature felt about the same whether it was on or off. I might wear this shirt for a long, slow-paced trail run. But, for a fast-paced road run I will continue to pass on the long sleeves.
Because of how well the shirt performed on a long day hike, I decided to take it with me as my one shirt for a four-day High Sierra backpacking trip. I was extremely pleased at how well it managed sweat, kept me cool, and blocked the sun. However, in the future I might consider a darker-colored sun shirt. By the time I reached my car, the sweat and dirt stains against the light blue were pretty gnarly.
This shirt is my new summertime favorite. Whenever I have a long day in the sun planned, it’s in my bag. As far as runs or shorter hikes go, I still opt for short sleeves or tank tops even with high temperatures. I can happily say I am now officially two months sunburn-free. My skin has been ever-so-grateful for this new sun hoodie.
I am a big fan of the way this shirt fits. The slightly loose hang makes it super breathable. Even on the sweatiest sunny days, I never felt the material clinging to my back. There’s also thumbholes which keep the sleeves in place, and also protect my hands from the sun. I can’t remember a time I have ever remembered to sunscreen just my hands. I personally don’t use the hood, but the extra material there keeps my neck from getting burned.
Materials: 88% polyester, 12% elastane, Omni-Freeze Zero, Omni-Wick
Style: Regular / Hooded
UPF Rating: 50
Materials: 100% polyester
Style: Regular / Button-Up
UPF Rating: 50+
Materials: 95% nylon/5% spandex
Style: Regular / Button-Up
UPF Rating: 35
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