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. This shirt came close to winning our award for Most Versatile, which went to the REI Co-op Sahara. 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. If you seek an excellent all-around sun shirt, this shirt fits the bill!
Columbia Silver Ridge Lite Long Sleeve - Women's Review
Compare prices at 4 resellers Pros: Soft, comfortable fit, stretchy, ripstop material, classy design for versatile use
Cons: Large fit; tricky to size, dark colors
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Our Analysis and Test Results
Out of the ten sun shirts in this review, four of them have buttons and collars, but all four we found to have very different features and best uses. If you're trying to decide which is right for you, read on to see what how the Columbia Silver Ridge Lite stacked up to the REI Sahara, Columbia Bahama, and Marmot Bridget Flannel.
Comfort & Fit
The Silver Ridge Lite is made of a very soft, lightweight material that our reviewers loved the feel of. The fabric is also slightly stretchy, adding to its overall comfort. We found this shirt to run a bit large while sporting a relaxed-fit, classically feminine cut that our reviewers thought. The sleeve tabs held rolled up sleeves to about the crease of our elbows, and as this shirt was made of softer, more flexible material than the Sahara or Bahama, we found that the sleeves don't stay up quite as well without using those sleeve tabs. Overall we gave it an 8 out of 10.
With a UPF of 40, this was only one of three sun shirts in this review with a UPF less than 50. The other two were also button-up shirts: the Columbia Bahama (UPF 30) and REI Sahara (UPF 35). Though this shirt has long sleeves, many of the available color options are dark, which might make it hard to keep those sleeves rolled down on a hot day. If you do roll them up, don't forget the sunscreen! We give this shirt a 7 out of 10 or sun protection.
Of the four button-up shirts in this review, we found this one to be made of the most lightweight, breathable fabric. However, we felt it may not be quite as breathable as the Sahara, as it has a full back panel of mesh with a through-and-through vent opening along the shoulders, rather than venting down. This shirt also sports moisture-wicking technology and dries quite quickly. We gave it a 9 out of 10.
Made of 100% ripstop polyester, this shirt gave our reviewers a sense of comfort that it wouldn't be immediately ruined by 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). We gave this shirt a 7 out of 10 for durability.
With large front and back "tails" and an overemphasized feminine shape, our reviewers felt that this shirt was perhaps not quite as stylish as the Sahara. However, we liked the low key chest pockets and many color options that are available. Though many of these colors are medium to dark, which may not be your first choice for spending all day in the sun. This shirt has an overall classy design that, while we didn't like its details quite as much as the Sahara, we still felt it's a highly versatile shirt - 7 out of 10.
The Silver Ridge Lite sports tab sleeves, back vents, and two chest pockets. It was the only button-up shirt in this review to have a hidden zippered hip pocket.
As a runner-up for the most versatile sun shirt in this review (which went to the REI Sahara), the only reason the Silver Ridge Lite didn't get that award was the seam placement in the armpits. While we didn't have an issue with this during regular wear, it did 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.
This shirt retails for around $40 (depending on where you shop). If you're looking for a versatile on-trail shirt, but don't want to fork out the $60 for the extra-versatile REI Sahara, we feel that this shirt from Columbia is also a great option to suit a wide variety of needs.
The Columbia Silver Ridge Lite is a well-rounded sun shirt. Our reviewers loved it for 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. However, if you want a shirt that's better suited to hiking and paddle sports, consider the REI Sahara.
— Maggie Brandenburg