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Patagonia Capilene Cool Daily Hoody Review

Patagonia's Capilene Cool Daily Hoody is a great fitting, lightweight, and well-rounded sun shirt; the best overall.
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:  $55 List | $44.00 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Comfortable, sun coverage, versatile, water-ready, lightweight
Cons:  Hem length, lack of features
Manufacturer:   Patagonia
By Craig C. Rowe  ⋅  Mar 24, 2019
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77
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 8
  • Comfort & Fit - 30% 9
  • Sun Protection - 25% 8
  • Breathability - 20% 8
  • Durability - 10% 5
  • Style - 15% 6

Our Verdict

Supremely comfortable and an ideal every-day summer wardrobe choice, the Patagonia Capilene Cool Daily Hoody is versatile, cooling, and won our Best Overall award for Men's Sun Shirts.

The shirt lacks any superfluous add-ons other than its hood. Like the Columbia PFG Terminal Tackle's, the Daily's hood offers enough coverage to hang over the forehead to protect the face and nose when needed, but it fits better than the Columbia. There's a drawback here though, as the hood is so light, it often ends up over the shoulder. Irksome, but not a deal breaker.


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Price $44.00 at Backcountry
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Pros Comfortable, sun coverage, versatile, water-ready, lightweightGreat value, lightweight, very breathable, looks good off-trail, excellent comfortComfortable, great pocket options, good for travel, UPF+ 50 sun protectionOff-trail style, dobbyweave fabric wears well, ideal length, overall sun protectionFabric stretch and movement, streamlined features, very lightweight and packable
Cons Hem length, lack of featuresOnly UPF+40, doesn't pack as well as others in test, difficult sleeve-capture tabsToo technical for daily wear, expensiveTight in the yoke, expensive, not as breathable as competitorsTight fit, most expensive in test, feel of buttons on skin, collar point snaps; stretchy fabrics lose UPF+ protection sooner
Bottom Line Patagonia's Capilene Cool Daily Hoody is a great fitting, lightweight, and well-rounded sun shirt; the best overall.A good-looking shirt at a great value, the Columbia Silver Ridge Lite floats around the torso and has a smart selection of features.The Patagonia Sol Patroll II is an outdoorsman's shirt that's comfortable and ideal for multiple uses, except for the officeGreat for what comes after the hike or climb, the Mountain Hardwear Canyon fits nicely and feels great.An expensive but very packable shirt for climbing, backpacking, and general outdoor use, the OR Astroman is for those who chose brand over budget.
Rating Categories Capilene Cool Daily Hoody Columbia Silver Ridge Lite Patagonia Sol Patrol II Canyon Long Sleeve Astroman Long Sleeve
Comfort & Fit (30%)
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9
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7
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7
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6
Sun Protection (25%)
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8
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6
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8
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7
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5
Breathability (20%)
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Durability (10%)
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Style (15%)
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7
Specs Capilene Cool... Columbia Silver... Patagonia Sol... Canyon Long Sleeve Astroman Long Sleeve
Sun Protection Level 50+ 40 50+ 50 50+
Coverage Long sleeve, hood Long sleeve, collar Long sleeve, collar Long sleeve, collar Long sleeve, collar
Features Large hood for added protection Roll-up sleeves, anit-microbial treated fabric Double-layer collar, roll-up sleeves Roll-up sleeves, zip pockets Snap collar, strechy, breathable material

Our Analysis and Test Results

This hoody is one of the lighter shirts in the bunch at 6.3 ounces, barely under the weight of the ultra-packable OR Astroman at 6.5 oz. The Hanes CoolDRI hit the scales at 5.1 oz. The 100% recycled polyester shirt also integrates miDori™bioSoft, a plant-based permanent fabric softener. Some may wish for a small pocket somewhere, but the material's breezy weight would make a pocket's functionality quite the challenge.

Performance Comparison



This Hoody's comfort and versatility led to its winning Best Overall Mens' Sun Shirt
This Hoody's comfort and versatility led to its winning Best Overall Mens' Sun Shirt

Comfort & Fit


The shirt's shorter back length is the only flaw with the fit, and there are no flaws when it comes to comfort. The super-soft, body-hugging polyester wrapped the tester's 5'9'', mid-size frame with the perfect touch of sizing and room to move. The stretch is significant when needed, and the set-in sleeves were a great idea for a shirt made to move. (Set-in sleeves have a seam that starts at the shoulder and makes its way around the entire shoulder joint and underarm, whereas Raglan sleeves run from the neck to underarm, common in t-shirts.) The sleeve design and total lack of restriction make this a great option for paddleboarding, surfing, and climbing.

The Cool Daily Hoody is a very nice fit as a baselayer when needed, a role the Columbia PFG is simply too big to, well, tackle. Worn under a flannel or heavier hoody, it offers breathability and flexible comfort.

The shirt's cuffs push past the wrist enough to offer hand coverage, and the stretch is nicely noticeable. The hood will rest nicely on the top of the hood in all but the most breezy of activities. Similar to the Columbia Silver Ridge, the shirt all but vanishes when put on, but the former's fluid, crazy-soft fabric can't touch this version of Patagonia's famed Capilene polyester.


Sun Protection


Versatility was key to this super-light  mega-comfortable sun shirt.
Versatility was key to this super-light, mega-comfortable sun shirt.

Falling just behind this category's champ, the PFG Terminal Tackle, the Capilene Cool Daily Hoody's shorter waistline does subject the individual from instances of exposure, however slight. The hood is superior, however, in that it's lighter and better under hats and helmets. Cuff length and front neckline coverage come together to offer snugness without restriction, thanks in large part to the bluesign®-approved fabric's intrinsic elasticity. Overall, this new product from one of the most respected brands in outdoor apparel gives interested buyers a serious challenger to all other hooded sun shirts on the market.


Breathability


Of all the shirts tested, only two actually felt they were "cooling" the tester: the Outdoor Research's Astroman, and the Patagonia Capilene Cool Daily Hoody. The plush touch and added wicking power of the miDori bioSoft, ideal fit, and fast-drying synthetic Capilene made for a garment that feels like the other side of the pillow every time you put it on.

While impregnated with Polygiene® permanent odor control, the shirt held on to the results of the campfire smoke test as long as the others in the test, except for the Eddie Bauer Exploration button-down, which smelled like smoke longer than others. Still, the Cool Daily it never took on the scent of the tester, and even reflected a hint of post-wash freshness after a stairs workout.

Under a pack, the Capilene did absorb quite a bit of sweat, and lacking yoke vents like many of the button-down competitors, may not be as quick to release that tacky warm air. To make up for that, it dries faster and cools as it does. Breezes flow right through this shirt as they do with the Best Bang for the Buck award-winning Columbia Silver Ridge Lite. The Cool Daily's sister product, the Sol Patrol II, excelled in this category as well.


Durability


The stretch factor in the Cool Daily Hoody seems subject to wearing out. That was tested and it didn't seem to be the case. Could it happen over a year or more of consistent wear? Maybe. The hood is also a point of concern, as it's very light and tends to wander around. There could be potential for a tear or hole, maybe getting hooked on a helmet. That's speculative of course, as our testing revealed no apparent issues with structural integrity, which is common among Capilene products. As a hoody lacking pockets, cuffs, zippers, and other such enhancements, there's little risk in something falling off or tearing.

Easy to put away and even easier to put on.
Easy to put away and even easier to put on.

Style


This is an intriguing category for the Capilene Cool Daily Hoody. Its fit, fabric, and simplicity give it a sharp, athletic look that can function well at a semi-formal outdoor event or paired with denim. The color options are all subdued but eye-catching, and the tested Big Sur Blue just adds to the cooling factor.

Nevertheless, this is a technical hoody designed to get dirty, wet with salt water, and go through cycles of perspiration, not compliment the sweet pair of khaki shorts you picked up for your buddy's backyard party. Wear it as you will to off-trail events, you probably won't hear any complaints … or have to worry about overheating.

Comfort in all conditions  the Daily Hoody fits the bill for active-wear sun shirts.
Comfort in all conditions, the Daily Hoody fits the bill for active-wear sun shirts.

Features


You can't wear this shirt without commenting on its comfort and stretch. Thus, it's fabric and treatment choices should be considered features, and they deserve to be factored into scoring.

The UPF+ 50 is the clear sun-beating characteristic, and also the standard rating for each item in this test.

The hood is the most obvious physical feature on the Cool Daily Hoody, as it is on the PFG Terminal Tackle. The hood is very light for under-helmet or over-the-hat use. And sunglasses will rest nicely under it without putting extra pressure on your ears. The cuffs expand and grip the wrists nicely, but can hang over the back of the hand if desired. Could thumb-loops add a nice touch without adding weight? Yes; and don't be surprised to see that happen on a future version of this sure-to-be-popular Patagonia sun shirt.

Keeping the cool inside and out.
Keeping the cool inside and out.

Best Applications


The Patagonia Capilene Cool Daily is the best sun shirt to wear for every-day use, especially hot afternoon runs or cycling sessions, and it would be great on the paddleboard or in-town kayak trip. In short, always have it at the ready. While not a traditional "travel" shirt design, the Cool Daily Hoody's general comfort and softness could go a long way toward making your next long flight much more bearable, even if the person next to you has managed to convince the FAA their ferret helps them relax.

Value


Given the $79 Sol Patrol II, we're surprised to see Patagonia's other entry at only $55. Because you probably won't take it off until November, this is an excellent value. It's great for multiple uses, ridiculously comfortable, and even good as a cold-season baselayer. Compared to some others in the test, like the $95(!) Outdoor Research Astroman or $65 Mountain Hardwear Canyon, the Capilene Cool Daily Hoody is the second best overall value in the test next to the Columbia Silver Ridge Lite. For those wanting a pull-over hoody, it's the best of the test.

The hoody is a classic sun shirt style  and has a number of benefits over button-down options  such as durability  coverage  and functionality.
The hoody is a classic sun shirt style, and has a number of benefits over button-down options, such as durability, coverage, and functionality.

Conclusion


This is a great sun shirt, and you should own it. The comfort will surprise you, and its packability and well-rounded functionality give it many uses, including in the water, an advantage over its close test competitor, the Columbia Silver Ridge Lite. While its style points basically come down to a matter of fashion preference, the Patagonia Capilene Cool Daily Hoody will likely become a longstanding part of the company catalog, and of any respectable outdoorsman's summer wardrobe. It's our choice for Best Overall Men's sun shirt.


Craig C. Rowe