Patagonia Sunshade Technical Hoody Review
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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