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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.