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Patagonia Sunshade Technical Hoody Review

A great-looking hooded sun shirt that’s as durable as it is handsome with well-thought-out design choices
Patagonia Sunshade Technical Hoody
Photo: Patagonia
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Price:  $79 List
Pros:  Well-designed, durable, versatile
Cons:  Fabric is on the thick side
Manufacturer:   Patagonia
By Justin Simoni ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 11, 2021
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76
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#4 of 13
  • Comfort and Fit - 30% 8
  • Sun Protection - 25% 8
  • Breathability - 20% 6
  • Versatility - 15% 8
  • Durability - 10% 8

Our Verdict

Despite the name, "technical" is not the first thing that comes to mind for us when describing the Patagonia Sunshade Technical Hoody. Rather, the heathered-patterned fabric on this well-designed shirt simply looks good, and useful features abound: you'll find a zippered chest pocket, thumb loops at the end of the sleeve, and a button at the top of the neck to help the hood from blowing away in gale-force winds. Targeted towards fisherpeople, to us, this seems rather like a good all-arounder, as at home on the dock as it is in the mountains.

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$88.95 at Backcountry
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Well-designed, durable, versatileOff-trail style, dobbyweave fabric wears well, ideal length, good overall sun protectionGreat value, lightweight, very breathable, looks good off-trail, excellent comfortVery stretchy, comfortable, minimal, versatileHelpful zippers, has a pocket and can pack into it, thoughtful details
Cons Fabric is on the thick sideTight in the yoke, expensive, not as breathable as some competitorsOnly UPF 40, doesn't pack as well as others, difficult sleeve-capture tabsLacks thumb loops, under the neck button/zipper, and pocketsProne to wrinkling when packed up, fabric noticeably shows sweat
Bottom Line A great-looking hooded sun shirt that’s as durable as it is handsome with well-thought-out design choicesComfortable with a great balance of features and functionality, this shirt is great on and off-trailGood-looking and a great value, this shirt floats around the torso and has a smart selection of featuresA lightweight, stretchy, and simple hooded sun shirt that will fit in with most any activityA well-designed hooded sun shirt made with light and stretchy material and featuring a zippered chest pocket and half-zip front
Rating Categories Sunshade Technical Hoody Canyon Long Sleeve Columbia Silver Ridge Lite Black Diamond Alpenglow Hoody Astroman Sun Hoodie
Comfort And Fit (30%)
8
8
7
8
7
Sun Protection (25%)
8
8
8
7
7
Breathability (20%)
6
7
8
8
7
Versatility (15%)
8
8
8
7
8
Durability (10%)
8
7
7
8
8
Specs Sunshade Technical... Canyon Long Sleeve Columbia Silver... Black Diamond... Astroman Sun Hoodie
Sun Protection Level (UPF) 50+ 50 40 50+ 50
Coverage Long sleeve, hood Long sleeve, collar Long sleeve, collar Long sleeve, hood Long sleeve, hood
Features Thumb loops, chest pocket Roll-up sleeves, zip pockets Roll-up sleeves, anit-microbial treated fabric Stretchy, under-helmet hood 1/4 zip, zippered chest pocket
Fit Regular fit Regular Regular Technical fit Regular fit
Material 100% polyester (60% recycled) Polyester dobby fabric Omni-Wick Ripstop 100% polyester Polyester Stretch Textured Knit (87% Polyester 13% Elastane) 85% nylon, 15% spandex
Odor Control? Polygiene coating No Antimicrobial treatment Polygiene No
Available SIzes XS - 3XL S-XXL S-XXL S - XL S - XXL

Our Analysis and Test Results

Like many hooded sun shirts we've tested and reviewed, big differences can be noticed in the fabric selection right away. The Sunshade Technical Hoody features soft, double-knit, 100% polyester fabric (68% coming from recycled sources). This fabric is stretchy without being comically so and durable without being overly thick and stifling. It's a fine balance that we think was nailed perfectly. On top of that, the subtle heathered pattern makes the shirt look less like a piece of technical outdoor gear and more like a favorite, comfortable shirt you could get away with wearing almost anywhere.

Performance Comparison


The Sunshade Technical Hoody is soft and comfortable.
The Sunshade Technical Hoody is soft and comfortable.
Photo: Shay Castle

Comfort and Fit


When compared to other hooded sun shirts we've tested, the Sunshade Technical has a looser fit than most, with generous length in the body, sleeves, and the size of the hood. If you're on the cusp of sizes, don't size up, or you'll be swimming in the shirt. The fabric itself likes to stretch, and that helps keep one comfortable when wearing it. You won't find any pinch points, nor will you find that the shirt is holding you back during strenuous activities like trail running or rock climbing.

A loose fit helps with circulating air throughout the shirt, and finding this type of cut — especially in a sun shirt that has no front zipper like this one, is usually a positive sign. The fabric itself feels softer than other shirts we've tested and more on the thicker side of things than thinner.

A loose fit in general perfectly describes the Sunshade.
A loose fit in general perfectly describes the Sunshade.
Photo: Justin Simoni

The hood has a stretchy liner to help keep it in place while wearing, and the single button near the neck helps secure things even more. We found that it works surprisingly well, being such a simple and light solution. The hood size and shape are also compatible with all the helmets we threw at it, fitting over each one with ease.

The hood is kept in place by a simple button located high up on the...
The hood is kept in place by a simple button located high up on the neck.
Photo: Shay Castle

Sun Protection


The fabric of the Sunshade clocks in with a UPF 50+ rated fabric — blocking more than 98% of the harmful UV rays coming from the sun. This rating is excellent. The thumb loops found at the ends of the sleeves also do a great job in covering up the entirety of the back of the hands up to and past the knuckles. The sleeves are so long that you won't find that they need to stretch that much to reach this length. The body length is generous as well and will fit under a climbing harness without bunching up so much as to expose one's lower back when wearing a pack.

The sleeves are generously long and thumb loops hold them in place...
The sleeves are generously long and thumb loops hold them in place, allowing you to cover up to the knuckles.
Photo: Shay Castle

Breathability


The fabric of the Sunshade Technical is a good compromise between being thin enough to be breathable and thick enough to be durable and protective. Although it is thicker than most of the shirts we've tested and reviewed, it's not so thick as to feel burdensome. We believe that this shirt is more geared towards the fishing crowd, who spend long, hot, sunny days staying in the same area, but we also believe it makes a good all-round shirt because of the fabric's breathability.

Trail running with the Sunshade may leave you a little sweatier than...
Trail running with the Sunshade may leave you a little sweatier than other options due to thicker fabric.
Photo: Justin Simoni

Versatility


This shirt really should be called the Sunshade Versatile. A little styling goes a long way in extending it from just a hot weather sun shirt specifically for fishing to being suitable for almost anything you'd like. The minimal logo placements keep things classy. Showing up with this hoody out to lunch or even to work wouldn't draw any side eyes — a true trailhead-to-brewpub option.

When wet, the Patagonia Sunshade Technical Hoody does change hue...
When wet, the Patagonia Sunshade Technical Hoody does change hue, but the fabric dries out fairly quickly.
Photo: Justin Simoni

The fabric has an anti-odor treatment called HeiQ Fresh, which is similar to Polygiene, being a silver chloride additive to the fabric material. In our tests, we found that it worked admirably, and wearing the shirt for days on end is possible with minimal funk. The Sunshade would make a good travel shirt, be it traveling by plane or hoofing it over the next mountain pass.

When packed, the Sunshade Technical takes up nominal space.
When packed, the Sunshade Technical takes up nominal space.
Photo: Justin Simoni

Durability


In our tests, we didn't find any notable issues with durability. The fabric and stitching look just about as good as day one. The heathered pattern on the fabric may even help hide any stains you have accumulated from the day's adventures.

From crag to brewpub, this hoody looks good.
From crag to brewpub, this hoody looks good.
Photo: Justin Simoni

Features


The Sunshade Technical keeps a good balance of simplicity and well thought out features. The hood is well-designed with a simple yet effective button to keep it snug against the wearer's chin. You'll find a small chest pocket constructed with an all-plastic, single-sided zipper. The ends of the sleeves have comfortable thumb loops, which will help cover most all the back of your hands. The fabric itself is rated at UPF 50+ — the highest rating used for fabric and also has an anti-odor treatment applied.

The small chest pocket is perfect for keeping important items.
The small chest pocket is perfect for keeping important items.
Photo: Shay Castle

Value


Patagonia isn't known for its low prices but rather for getting what you pay for — and the Sunshade Technical certainly fits this pattern. For the price, anticipate being able to hold on to this shirt for years, to have it survive a cross country thru-hike, to be a loyal companion on a leap year in Europe, or be the sole witness for all your stories about the one that got away.

Conclusion


If you want a hooded sun shirt that looks good, works well, and has a good spread of technical features — it's all there in the name for the Patagonia Sunshade Technical Hoody. For the majority of people looking for a hooded sun shirt, this one will deliver. But if you primarily want a shirt for high-output activities like running, this one may just run a little too hot, and you'd be better served with a thinner, more breathable choice.

This well-made layer has the potential to be with you for years to...
This well-made layer has the potential to be with you for years to come.
Photo: Shay Castle

Justin Simoni