ExOfficio Air Strip Lite Long Sleeve Shirt

Some things that I can count on when hiking in the Southeast in the summer time is that it will be hot and humid and there will be bugs. Knowing this, I am trying to find the best shirt option that will keep me cool, keep the bugs at bay and still remain somewhat light-weight. Last summer I wore a short sleeve OR Dune shirt, this year I am trying out the ExOfficio Air Strip Lite in long sleeve…

So, to recap…

I got the size large because most of the reviews and reports I came across mentioned that this shirt was quite baggy. However, I also read that the sleeves came up short in some reviews. While sleeves riding up to my elbows is a pet peeve of mine, I took the gamble of going with the large since I also feared that an XL may swallow me. Now that I have the large, I must agree that it is quite baggy, almost to the point of being uncomfortable, and the sleeves do in fact ride up. Right off-the-bat, fit is not up to par for me with this shirt, and if I forgo this shirt, regardless of everything else, it will be due to fit.

One thing I did not mention in the video is the smell. I wore it on a recent short day hike with my kids to Big Hill Pond State Park. It was a pretty easy hike; 3 miles round trip, a fairly nice breeze, temps in the high 70’s, topping out right at 80 as we finished up and I was only carrying a day pack with about 10 pounds loaded up in it. From this one short hike, it had already acquired that synthetic stench…

I do like the idea of the pockets, but they are so large that they only add to the already almost uncomfortable amount of bulk that is the shirt. I am not that interested in this many pockets on the front of my shirt as it is. I would have been fine with the one zippered pocket, and it didn’t have to be that large at that. But, one way around this is to simply not use them…

What I do like though is the shirts ability to ventilate. It does that well. Thanks to a few different factors:

  1. The vents located all throughout the shirt.
  2. The fact that it buttons up the front allows as much, or as little, ventilation as possible.
  3. And of course the baggy sizing allows for breezes to sneak in anywhere.

If I decide to stick with this shirt, this (the ability to ventilate exceptionally well) will be the reason for doing so.

When choosing a shirt to try for this summer, I wanted white, for 2 reasons. One, because it should reflect back as much sunlight (heat) as possible, and two, because I have read that darker colors actually attract more bugs (not sure how accurate this is though). The only concern that I have with the actual color is how filthy will it look after a few days of wear. While that is not a huge factor that I am too concerned with, depending on the actual amount of filth it picks up and hangs onto, could turn into one though…

The last thing I want to mention is sleeve length. Wearing long sleeves was the last thing I ever thought about actually doing in the dead of summer, at least until wearing my Patagonia Capilene 2 long sleeve crew in the summer months. I was amazed at how much cooler I felt than I thought I would, so I feel like finding one in a light color, and that ventilated well seemed very logical. And not to mention, the long sleeves will catch all of those morning spider webs, and keep some of the mosquito bites down…

So, right now it looks like the choice has to be weighed between fit (bad) and ventilation (good). At this point, it is a tough decision. But I will say this: I have been looking around for a simple, very light-weight, white, long sleeve shirt with at least a quarter-zip (or a half-zip) on the front as an alternative to the Air Strip Lite. The only option I have found that I am considering is the REI Lightweight Polartec Power Dry Zip T. This looks to be quite promising, however, many of the reviews I have read concerning this shirt complain of bad fit and the feel of the actual fabric against the skin being somewhat uncomfortable…

One Response to ExOfficio Air Strip Lite Long Sleeve Shirt

  1. Pingback: The North Face Verto Wind Jacket | Stick's Blog

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