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Columbia Silver Ridge Lite Long Sleeve - Women's Review

From hiking to dinner, this soft shirt can keep you both protected and stylish
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Price:  $50 List | $49.95 at Amazon
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Soft, comfortable fit, stretchy, ripstop material, classy design for versatile use
Cons:  Large fit, tricky to size
Manufacturer:   Columbia
By Maggie Brandenburg ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  May 28, 2020
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62
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#7 of 14
  • Comfort and Fit - 30% 5
  • Sun Protection - 25% 6
  • Breathability - 20% 8
  • Versatility - 15% 6
  • Durability - 10% 7

Our Verdict

A soft, comfortable, classy shirt, the Columbia Silver Ridge Lite is a versatile sun shirt that we feel has a lot of reasons to be a part of your wardrobe. Sporting a classically feminine cut with longer front and back tails, ripstop material, and a hidden hip pocket, the Silver Ridge Lite packs a lot of features into its design. It doesn't have paddle-friendly underarm seams, though, if that's important to you. While we don't have an issue with this during regular wear, it does cause some discomfort during paddle sports. We feel that this shirt is a great hiking and backpacking shirt, with the bonus of being classy enough to wear out on the town.

Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Columbia Silver Ridge Lite is a soft, breathable shirt with a collar and buttons. It's made of 100% ripstop polyester and has a UPF value of 40, two velcro chest pockets, a zippered hip pocket, and button tabs to roll up the sleeves.

Performance Comparison


Lightweight and breathable  this shirt keeps you cool and protected from UV rays.
Lightweight and breathable, this shirt keeps you cool and protected from UV rays.

Comfort and Fit


The Silver Ridge Lite is made of a very soft, lightweight material that our reviewers loved. The fabric is also slightly stretchy, adding to its overall comfort. We found this shirt runs fairly large while sporting a relaxed-fit, and a feminine cut. Our 5'4", 120 lb main tester tried both the S and XS and found both to be very large and flowy, though the XS was a better fit overall. Sleeve tabs hold the rolled-up sleeves to about the crease of the elbows. As this shirt is made of softer, more flexible material than the other collared shirts we tested, we found that the sleeves don't stay up quite as well without using those tabs. When rolled down, the sleeves are long enough for even our long-armed testers, and the back of the shirt is longer than the front.

A size S on two different 5'4" women.
A size S on two different 5'4" women.

Sun Protection


With a UPF of 40, this is one of just a small handful of sun shirts in this review with a rating under 50. Over the years, we have tested two versions of this shirt. The older version we tested was a dark purple, which we found to be difficult to keep the sleeves rolled down on a hot day. The new version we tested is nearly the same in every way but is a far lighter color, and, as you'd expect, it is much easier to keep wearing with the sleeves long. Though if you do roll them up, don't forget the sunscreen!

This shirt features two velcro chest pockets and can be comfortably buttoned up all the way to protect your chest from the damaging UV rays of the sun.
This shirt features two velcro chest pockets and can be comfortably buttoned up all the way to protect your chest from the damaging UV rays of the sun.

Breathability


Of the button-up shirts in this review, this one is made of some of the most lightweight, breathable fabric. Helpful for hikers and backpackers, the Silver Ridge has a back vent opening on each side of the shoulders, meaning it retains at least some of its venting abilities even when you're wearing a backpack. This shirt also sports moisture-wicking technology and dries quite quickly.

With a large back panel of mesh covered by a side-opening vent  this shirt helps promote air movement.
With a large back panel of mesh covered by a side-opening vent, this shirt helps promote air movement.

Versatility


With exceptionally large front and back "tails" and an exaggerated feminine cut, our reviewers feel that this shirt is not quite as universally stylish as some others. However, we like the low key chest pockets and many available color options. As a button-up shirt, there are some activities you just wouldn't do in it — like go for a run or climb a 5.11. Even among buttoned models we tested, this one lacks a few features that could make it a good paddle shirt. However, it's pretty solid as a hiking shirt and classy enough to be a brunch garment.

The REI Sahara (left) in size XS and the Columbia Silver Ridge Lite (right) in size S on our 5'4"  120 pound main tester.
The REI Sahara (left) in size XS and the Columbia Silver Ridge Lite (right) in size S on our 5'4", 120 pound main tester.

Durability


Made of 100% ripstop polyester, this shirt provides comfort that can also withstand a chance encounter with a cactus or thorny bush. The seams are also double stitched, and the fabric is treated to be antimicrobial (to help prevent that four-weeks-on-trail smell). While this is a great feature for everyday use, we found that none of the anti-smell-treated shirts we tested actually stayed stench-free if they became wet with sweat. But for staying dry (good luck with that!), it works alright.

This shirt has long enough sleeves even for our reviewers with a self-described high ape index (aka really long arms).
This shirt has long enough sleeves even for our reviewers with a self-described high ape index (aka really long arms).

Features


This garment sports tab sleeves, back vents, and two chest pockets. It is also fairly unique among buttoned shirts in this review in that it has a hidden zippered hip pocket.

The Columbia is the only button up sun shirt we tested with a zipper hip pocket.
The Columbia is the only button up sun shirt we tested with a zipper hip pocket.

Value


This shirt retails slightly on the lower-middle side of the pack among options we tested. If you're looking for a versatile on-trail shirt, but want to save a few bucks, we feel that the Silver Ridge is a solid option to suit a wide variety of needs.

Conclusion


The Columbia Silver Ridge Lite is a well-rounded sun shirt. Our reviewers like it for both hiking AND a day at the office. Worth trying on before you buy, this shirt is soft but comfortable and might be just the right style for you. That said, if you want a versatile button-up shirt that's better suited to paddle sports, you might consider another option.

Enjoy life without having to bathe in so much sunscreen.
Enjoy life without having to bathe in so much sunscreen.

Maggie Brandenburg